6 Adult Learning Principles You Should Use During Safety Training

adult learning principles for safety training image

Before you read any further, let’s do a quick check.

Are you in safety/EHS and do your responsibilities include safety/EHS training?

If so, that’s a good sign that you’ll find this article relevant.

Next, take a moment to think about the people you provide safety/EHS training to. Are they adults?

If so, things are looking very promising for you and this article.

Because in this article, we’re going to take a look at something called adult learning principles and see how keeping them in mind when you design, develop, and deliver safety/EHS training can make your training more effective. Which of course means your training will create a healthier, safer work environment.

We’ll even give you some tips and examples of how to apply adult learning principles, and try to clear up some confusion about the multiple different lists of adult learning principles you’ll find if you do a Google search for the term.

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Training that Workers Will Remember: Six Sticky Tips

Made to Stick Book Image

Want some easy tips to follow to make training that sticks? To create training workers will remember and apply on the job? To help you attain the business goals you’re trying to reach?

Although inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point and written for a popular reading audience instead of exclusively for training professions, the book Made to Stick (more details about the book will come below, don’t worry) is a great source of information about current research into what makes things memorable and what causes people to act.

As trainers, we want to craft memorable training and we want training that workers will apply on the job. So you can see how the messages in this book will make your training better. It’s even a book you will notice a lot of training professionals referring to.

Interested in learning some of the tips from Made to Stick? If so, start by taking a little time to read the two selections below. As you read, ask yourself which you’re more likely to remember later–one or two days later, but even an hour or fifteen minutes later, too.

When you’re done we’ll cycle back and explain how this all relates to effective workforce training.

“A friend of a friend of ours is a frequent business traveler. Let’s call him Dave. Dave was recently in Atlantic City for an important meeting with clients. Afterward, he had some time to kill before his flight, so he went to a local bar for a drink.

He’d just finished one drink when an attractive woman approached and asked if she could buy him another. He was surprised but flattered. Sure, he said. The woman walked to the bar and brought back two more drinks-one for her and one for him. He thanked her and took a sip. And that was the last thing he remembered.

Rather, that was the last thing he remembered until he woke up, disoriented, lying in a hotel bathtub, his body submerged in ice.

He looked around frantically, trying to figure out where he was and how he got there. Then he spotted the note:

DON’T MOVE. DIAL 911.

A cellphone rested on a small table beside the bathtub. He picked it up and called 911, his fingers numb and clumsy from the ice. The operator seemed oddly familiar with his situation. She said, “Sir, I want you to reach behind you, slowly and carefully. Is there a tube protruding from your lower back?”

Anxious, he felt around behind him. Sure enough, there was a tube.

The operator said, “Sir, don’t panic, but one of your kidneys has been harvested. There’s a ring of organ thieves operating in this city, and they got to you. Paramedics are on their way. Don’t move until they arrive.” [Source: see note 1]

Now, the second:

“Comprehensive community building naturally lends itself to a return-on-investment rationale that can be modeled, drawing on existing practice,” it begins, going on to argue that “[a] factor constraining the flow of resources to CCIs is that funders must often resort to targeting or categorical requirements in grant making to ensure accountability.” [Source: see note 2]

OK, now that you’ve read them both, which are you more likely to remember? Why?

And how can you apply this to the training you create? Read on to learn how.

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The 70/20/10 Model for Workforce Learning & Development: How to Help Workers Improve Learning & Performance at Your Work

70/20/10 Workplace Learning Model Image

Have you heard of the 70/20/10 model as it’s used in workforce learning & development? It’s also sometimes called the 3 E’s (for Experience, Exposure, and Education), and two of the three parts of 70/20/10 (the 70 and 20) are often combined and referred to as informal learning.

Quite a few of you probably have heard of this idea–it’s a buzzword in L&D these days–but it’s possible that others haven’t.

In this post, we’ll briefly explain what the 70/20/10 model is, give you some ideas of how to use it, and explain a few reasons why.

We’re also curious to hear your own experiences and thoughts (as always), so don’t forget to leave your comments below.
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How to Write Better Smile Sheets: What’s Wrong With Traditional Training Evaluation Forms and How to Make Them Better

Smile-Sheet-GraphicIf you’re in training, you’re probably familiar with the sheets that trainers pass out to learners after a training session, asking the learners to evaluate the training session and the trainer.

These are known by a variety of names. Maybe you call them training-evaluation forms, or student-response forms, or trainee-reaction forms. But they’re also commonly–maybe most commonly–known as smile sheets.

Why smile sheets? Because it’s common for the learners attending training to give the training/trainer high scores that make everyone smile. But the common assumption is that the trainees do that politely, kindly, quickly, uncritically, and without giving any great thought. And so the term smile sheet is generally used somewhat dismissively, with the assumption that the information they contain doesn’t really provide a lot of value. Or, they’re assumed to hold much valuable information, even if that’s not really true due to poor design.

And yet, quite a few trainers continue to use smile sheets, and many of those trainers do nothing to improve them. Maybe they’ve never even thought of improving their smile sheets. It’s all become a bit of a habit to them, one they don’t think about because there’s so much else to think about, worry about, and to do.

I recently read a very good book called Performance-Focused Smile Sheets: A Radical Rethinking of a Dangerous Art Form by Dr. Will Thalheimer. The book explains some of the common problems with smile sheets, but also gives some very helpful tips to help make them better. We definitely suggest that you buy and read the book, and we’ve included a bunch of information to help you do that at the bottom of this article.

But for now, let’s look at some of the general points Thalheimer makes in his book and see what we can learn from them.

If you’re extra curious on this topic, I recommend you check out our interview with Dr. Thalheimer on smile sheets after you read this introduction.
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Helping Workers Acquire Basic Job Skills and Perform Standard Procedures

Teaching Workers Basic Job Skills and Procedures Image

In every job, there’s a set of basic skills and simple procedures that a worker filling that job has to learn to perform.

For an organization to perform at peak efficiency, it’s important that the workers in each job role know how to perform each of these skills and procedures.

But how does a company go about teaching those basic skills and procedures? How can employers help workers develop these skills and knowledge quickly and efficiently? And how does the company know if the workers can perform those procedures?

That’s what we’re going to look at in this article.
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Training that Helps Employees Learn Basic Job Knowledge

Training for Basic Job Knowledge Image

As a producer of learning management systems (LMSs) that are designed to let you to use a variety of different training delivery methods in a blended learning solution, we give a lot of thought to how employers can create the “best” blend.

Actually, we don’t think there’s any one simple answer to that question that you can apply every time. There are various ways to look at it, and each make sense in different circumstances.

However, one idea that we’re big fans of when creating a blended learning solution is to select the training delivery method (example–e-learning, written, video, field-based OJT, instructor-led classroom training, etc.) by considering the type of training material (the information) that you’re trying to convey, and/or the employee’s need for practice and feedback during training.

We’ve introduced that method of creating a blended learning solution in an earlier article. In this article, we’re going to take a deeper look at one aspect of the blend–training that’s designed to help employees acquire base-level, foundational knowledge that doesn’t require a lot of practice or feedback.

In other related articles, we’ve addressed training to help employees learn to basic job skills and procedures and training to help employees develop advanced job skills.
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How to Write Multiple-Choice Questions for Workforce Training

writing-mc-test-questions-for-online-training-activities-imageA lot of you write test questions for online training. Or even paper-based tests you’re still delivering the old-fashioned way (good on you!).

Maybe you’re doing it with an eLearning authoring tool, such as the ones from Articulate, Adobe, or Lectora.  Or maybe the learning management system (LMS) you use at work has a built in tool for creating online quizzes.

No matter how you’re writing tests for training, you may sometimes find yourself wondering about the best practices for writing standard question types. (By the way, instructional designers often use the wonky phrases “assessment” for a test and “assessment item” for a question within a test.)

We’ve got a few of those best practices for you below. Hope this helps you with your question writin’. 🙂
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How to Create Your Own Safety Training e-Learning Course-Recorded Webinar

Create Your Own Online Safety Training eLearning Course Image

Ever wish you could create your own safety training eLearning course that fits your particular training needs and is based on your own site-specific information?

You can, and this recorded webinar (below) shows you how. The webinar runs almost exactly an hour, and you can listen any time.

Once you know how to do this, you can make your own eLearning course anytime you want. Maybe even combine it with some off-the-shelf safety training eLearning courses for a nice blend of generic and custom, site-specific safety training eLearning at your workplace.

If you’d prefer the same information in a different format, we’ve got the same information in a written blog post including lots of helpful screen grabs. Or hey, you can check ’em both out! Why not?

Note: This webinar shows how to use an authoring tool created by Articulate. Many companies make similar authoring tools, and the tool used below isn’t the most recent created by Articulate. That point isn’t too important, though–the main idea is to show you the general idea of how to make your own online safety training course and show how relatively easy it can be.

Also, there’s a free Guide to Effective EHS Training below the webinar that you’re free to download if you’d like.
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10 Key Benefits of Online Safety Training

10 Benefits of Online Safety Training ImageWe believe the best way to provide safety training to your workers is to use a blended learning solution, mixing and matching the different types of training (instructor-led, field-based OJT, video, e-learning, written materials, social learning, webinars, etc.).

And that’s no surprise, since we write about it a lot, but also since it’s recommended by ASSE/ANSI z490.1, the US national standard for EHS training; by the noted learning researchers Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark (in her book Evidence-Based Training Methods) and by Dr. Will Thalheimer (in his Does eLearning Work? white paper); and by the US Department of Education, in their Evaluating Online Learning study.

But it’s also true that within a blended learning solution, when you select the type of training to use for each training need, you shouldn’t select randomly. Instead, you’ll want to look at the benefits and downsides of each training type, and try to find a match between training type and training need.

With that in mind, here’s a quick list of some advantages of online safety training. We’ve got 10 items on the list, and have given one or more examples or case study for each.

Hope you find some food for thought here.
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Free Manufacturing Training Webinar–Recorded

Manufacturing Training Recorded Webinar Image

We held a webinar that explained how to make “Manufacturing Training that Works” not all that long ago. If you missed that webinar, you can view a recorded version of it right here time you wish. The webinar runs 40 minutes even.

You can watch and listen to our free, recorded Manufacturing Training that Works webinar at our Webinars page.

Plus, we’ve got more great resources related to manufacturing training for you below as well.
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Blended Learning for Manufacturing Training

Blended Learning for Manufacturing Training Image

You can’t train a manufacturing workforce using just one “type” of training–just field-based OJT, just written materials, just instructor-led classroom-style training, just e-learning, etc.

Well, you can. But you won’t get the most effective training, and you won’t create a cost-effective training program. So you don’t want to.

Instead, it’s best to use a “blended learning” solution that mixes and matches different types of training. In fact, this recent and well-respected study suggests that blended learning solutions tend to lead to best learning results.

In this article, we’ll give a few reasons why you should consider a blended learning solution for your workers; give you some tips for creating the right blend to help workers acquire basic knowledge, develop skills and learn procedures, and develop advanced job skills that really create value for your company; and show you some tools and techniques for making this all happen smoothly.
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Training Manufacturing Workers for Next Job in Line of Progression

training-manufacturing-workers-for-next-job-inline-of-progressionAt many manufacturing companies, employees enter the workforce in a role reserved for new hires, then work their way through an organized line of progression from their first job to the next job and so on throughout their careers.

As a result, it’s helpful to have a plan in place, and some tools to use, to help train workers at each position and better prepare them for success at each new job during their career with your organization.

In this post, we’ll give some tips and introduce some tools you can use to improve the line of progression training at your facility and make administering it more efficient.

By the time you’re done reading, you should have enough information to help you deliver (a) more effective training to your employees in each job position, (b) at a lower cost, and all while (c) spending less time administering the training. You’ll be better prepared to move new employees from one position to the next in their line of progression, and as a bonus you’ll find some tools to help you cross-train employees so they can fill multiple job roles if necessary.

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