Using Metaphors, Similes, and Analogies to Create Better Training

this-is-like-thatWhat would you do if someone told you something entirely new and you wanted to make sense of it, remember it, and use it later?

For example, say I started telling you about a game you had never heard of. While you’re trying to figure it out, is it possible you might compare the new game to a game you already know? Have you ever done anything like that when you’re trying to learn something?

Even better, would it also help if, while I told you about the new game, I explained how it’s similar to and different than a game you know? For example, if I know you understand soccer, and I’m trying to explain American football to you, would it help if I explained some similarities (it’s played on a rectangular, grassy field; you score by moving a ball down the field to a goal or zone at the other end) and also explained some differences (a soccer ball is round, a football is ovular; in soccer you kick the ball, in football you run with it or pass it; in soccer you score by kicking the ball into a net, in football you score by passing a line at the end of the field, etc.)?

In this article, we’re going to see how using metaphors, similes, and analogies to create better training materials can help your workers understand, remember, and later use new information on the job more effectively.

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What Does the MSHA Part 46 Competent Person Do?

MSHA Part 46 Competent Person

If you read through 30 CFR Part 46, the MSHA regulations related to safety training for most surface miners and other employees at those mines, you’ll see references to the MSHA Part 46 competent person role. But just what does that mean? What is a competent person according to MSHA and Part 46?

In this article, we’re going to look at those questions more closely and dig up the answers. Ha-ha! Mining pun intended!

In addition, we’re going to give you some resources that can help you prepare yourself or someone else to be a competent person for Part 46.

So let’s get started.

Along the way, we’re going to address some similar issues for Part 48, and we’ve written a similar similar article related to Part 48 and MSHA-approved instructors, so check that one out as well.

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New International Translations for Convergence Health & Safety Courses

Today we’re announcing the availability of newly-translated versions of 25 of our most popular health and safety eLearning courses in up to 13 different languages.

The courses cover critical safety topics such as Hearing Conservation, Crane and Hoist Rigging Safety, Lockout/Tagout, and Fall Prevention and Protection. Courses are now publicly available in the following languages (in addition to English):
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8 Training Mistakes to Avoid

8-mistakes-to-avoid

Normally when we write about training here, we write about how to design, create, and deliver effective training.

You know-training that works.

Meaning, training that’s designed and delivered in a way that helps your employees learn. That helps them understand, remember, and later apply that training on the job. Training that builds real job skills and changes on-the-job behaviors. Training that makes your workers better at their jobs and more successful. Training that helps your business reach its business goals (which is why you’re providing training, right)?

But today we thought we’d have a little fun and turn our normal blog post on its head by listing some ways to create bad training. And so we’re offering you some tips of training mistakes to avoid.

We all have some ideas about this, no doubt. And so we ask you to please use the comments section below to give some “tips for bad training” or “bad training you’ve observed.”

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Lean Manufacturing and Training: A Look at “Training Within Industry”

Our customers are very interested in being more efficient. That’s why they come to us looking for help with their training programs. But of course training isn’t the only solution they look at to increase efficiency. As a result, many are interested in lean manufacturing principles, and so we’ve recently been running a series of articles on some basic lean concepts. For example, we’ve had articles introducing 5s/lean 6s, kaizen, and kaizen events, and we’ve even listed some ways you can use these lean tools to create a safer workplace.

In this article, we’re going to look at another aspect of lean manufacturing–Training Within Industry (TWI). Training Within Industry is the lean approach to training, has been used by Toyota and other manufacturers throughout the world for decades, and still has valuable lessons that can be put to use in training today.

We have also written separate articles about smaller parts of TWI, including the TWI Job Instruction program and the TWI Job Methods program.

Read on to learn more.

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12 Tools for a Safer Workplace

We all want a safer workplace, but we’re not always sure how to get there.

Fortunately, there are lots of good ideas and lots of places to find them. You can do worse than checking out OSHA, NIOSH, and MSHA, for example. There are professional safety organizations, such as the National Safety Council (NSC) and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). There are plenty of good EHS journals, including EHS Today, Occupational Health & Safety, and Industrial Safety and Hygiene News.

And there are lots of good blogs that cover important occupational health and safety information as well. We would like to think that the Convergence Training blog is one of them, with our blend of safety news, tips, tools, free e-learning courses and checklists, and safety training information.

In this article, we’re going to consolidate a few topics we’ve written about in earlier posts, presenting twelve solid tools you can use to make your workplace safer. Of course, these aren’t the only tools out there, and we encourage you to check out those links above and/or dig into your own safety toolbox too. And please leave some ideas in the comments section below if you have time. (Note: This article began with 12 tools/tips, but we’ve been adding to it and we think we’re up to 14 now–enjoy the extra bonus tips).
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A Look Into The Future of Manufacturing Training: an Interview with Fred Foster

fred-fosterRecently, Fred Foster, owner of Technical Training Professionals, and fellow 3D-animated training proponent, sat down with us to discuss the finer points of using computer-based courses for technical training, and give us his perspective on the future of manufacturing training.

Read below to see what Fred had to say about manufacturing training in general and the use of 3D graphics in particular.

Once you’ve finished, use the comments section below to include your own predictions for the future of manufacturing training, or do share your thoughts about 3D animation and training, or even stuff like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for manufacturing training

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4 Good Books about Training We’ve Read Lately

We thought we’d pull together a list of a few good books about training or instructional design that we’ve read lately.

If you’ve read any of these, it would be great to hear your thoughts on them. If not, you might want to check one or two out.

Of course, you’re invite to use the comments section below to give us some additional book suggestions as well–we’re always looking for good ones.

And if you’re wondering what’s next on our reading list, it’s this book about “lean” training: Training Within Industry: The Foundation of Lean.

(Note: It’s been a while since we originally wrote this post–so you can read our article about TWI and Lean Manufacturing now, too).

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Improving Workplace Safety with Lean Manufacturing Principles

lean+safetyA lot of people are familiar with the lean manufacturing method known as 5S. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a method for straightening and organizing a workplace. Like all lean manufacturing concepts, it’s intended to create efficiency.

But of course, a more organized, clutter-free work area also improves safety. This is well known and I’m saying nothing new. Whether you use 5S or not, I’m sure that housekeeping is a big part of your safety training and your safety program in general. But if you’re not using 5S currently, you may find some of the techniques will be a helpful addition to your current housekeeping efforts.

In addition to 5S, you can use other lean concepts to improve safety at the workplace as well. These include kaizen and kaizen events. And again, even if you’re not using the “lean” name for each, you may be doing something similar at work already. Or, if you’re not, maybe now’s a time for you to add a wrinkle or two to your current approach.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at 5S and two other ideas to investigate improving workplace safety with lean manufacturing tips, plus include a link to a general “What Is Lean Manufacturing?” article. Be sure to check out the linked resources embedded in the article, because they lead to substantive, helpful resources.

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MSHA Part 46 Training Requirements for Contractors

msha-for-contractorsWhen a contractor is working at a surface mine, it brings up a lot of questions regarding the MSHA Part 46 training requirements for contractors. For example, who’s responsible for what in terms of providing the MSHA Part 46 safety training? And, of course, there are questions about the type of training the contractor needs to receive, who pays, etc.

If you don’t know all the ins and outs of this issue now, you will by the time you finish this article. So let’s get started with this overview of MSHA Part 46 training for contract employees.

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15 Tips for Effective Safety Training

Tips for Effective Safety Training Image
We’re all in favor of safety training. But even better, we’re in favor of EFFECTIVE safety training. Safety training that employees learn from. Safety training that causes them to perform fewer unsafe actions. Safety training that drives down our number of accidents, injuries, illnesses, near-misses, and property damage. Maybe all the way to zero.

That’s the kind of effective safety training we’re all in favor of.

But effective safety training doesn’t just happen. It comes from a focused, concerted effort that involves lots of know-how and planning. In this article, we’re going to look at some things you can do to make your safety training more effective, and as a result make your workplace safer.

Note: We know you’ll enjoy this article, but please know we also have a more formulaic article that walks you through six easy steps for more effective safety training you may enjoy as well.

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How to Develop an Effective Paper Manufacturing Training Program

We work closely with customers in the pulp, paper, tissue, and corrugated industries.

In fact, that’s where we started–partnering with a local paper mill to create a learning management system (LMS) to deliver training online and track its completion.

From that beginning, we quickly began creating e-learning courses for the same industries, covering training for pulp manufacturing, paper manufacturing, tissue manufacturing, occupational health and safety, basic manufacturing principles, and even HR & soft skills.

Often, our potential customers and customers aren’t training experts, and so they don’t really know how to pull together an effective workforce training program to help their employees develop the job knowledge and skills required to succeed in their jobs and help the company achieve its business goals. And that’s why we’ve created the free guide to paper manufacturing training for you below.

We think you’ll find this Paper Manufacturing Training Guide helpful. In addition, you might also want to check out our Papermaker’s Guide to Online Training, which gives specific information about how to use eLearning courses and a learning management system (LMS) within your total workforce training program.
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