Convergence Server Enterprise LMS: Updated Version Makes Training Your Employees Easier

We’re just about to release an updated version of our highly successful learning management system (LMS), Convergence Server Enterprise, and figured you’d like to know more about it.

Overall, here’s what we’ve done:

  • Added tons of new features
  • Streamlined procedures to save administrative time
  • Made our user interface even more intuitive

Here are some of the biggest changes and new features in the system:

Activity Update and Completion Status Reversion – When updating any type of Activity, Administrators can choose to change the completion status of all Learners who have already completed that Activity to Incomplete.

Task Sign-Off Options in Tasklists: – Administrators creating Tasklists can specify who can give credit for completing the Tasks within the Tasklist (the assigned Learner; only an Admin; dual sign-off by the Learner and an Admin; Learner or Admin; anyone but the Learner).

Bulk Completion Record Wizard – When manually creating a Completion Record for Documents, CBTs, Quizzes, or Training Events, Administrators can now select more than one Activity at a time.

Updated Reports – Reports have been modified to make it easier to select parameters; to allow for reporting on Groups; to create new, easier-to-search Report List menus; and to create a new Frequently Used Reports link.

Ability to Make Activities “Inactive” – Administrators can inactivate Activities. This will remove the Activity from any Learner’s Training Plan, from all Reports (unless they are specifically requested), and from all screens on the Administration tab except the Manage Activities screen.

Clickable “Drill-Downs” for Qualifications and Requirements – Administrators can now click on links within the Manage Qualifications and Manage Requirements screen to see the Requirements within a Qualification and the Activities within a Requirement.

Redesigned “Assign Training” Screen with New Assignment Detail Options – New four-step process for assigning training, including creation of “Renew Due Date” for training that expires after an assigned Learner first completes it and additional options for specifying Expiration Date.

File Attachments on Regions, Sites, Departments, Teams, and Users – Administrators can add attachments to a Region, Site, Department, Team, or User.

File Attachments on Completion Records – Administrators can add attachments to a Learner’s Completion Record.

If you’re already using the Convergence Server Enterprise LMS, you’re going to love this new version. And if you’re not yet using this LMS, now’s a great time to start. For more information about Convergence Server Express, or our other Learning Management System offerings, visit our website.

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New Overhead Crane Operational Safety Course Now Available

We’re happy to announce the release of a new crane safety video as a counterpart to our Overhead Crane Basics course. Overhead Crane Operational Safety provides an overview of the safe operating procedures for moving loads with floor-operated overhead industrial cranes and covers the dangers associated with lifting and moving a load with an overhead crane. Check out a sample from the video below.

You can save some money on your overhead crane training by purchasing our Cranes Combo Pack, which includes both videos at a discounted price.

Keep an eye on this blog if you’re interested in more crane training videos. We’re working on developing our library to include a number of new videos covering the safe operation of all manner of cranes and slings.

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Material Handling Courses in Research Phase

We’re excited to announce that we have several courses related to material handling safety being researched.

Convergence Training recognizes the need for computer-based training to teach the importance of safe material handling, proper lifting techniques, and back injury prevention awareness.

Back injuries are one of the most common, disabling, and costly of all workplace injuries. Proper lifting and material handling training can lead to a reduced risk of injury as well as a decrease in revenue lost to product damage.

Our new courses will include the following titles and topics:

Material Handling

  • Manual material handling
  • Material storage
  • Material disposal
  • Demolition
  • Material handling with slings
  • Material handling with mobile equipment, such as cranes, forklifts, powered industrial trucks (PITs), and earth-moving equipment

Safe Lifting Training

  • Lifting things that are too heavy
  • Lifting improperly
  • Lifting objects that are too big or awkward to carry safely
  • Lifting and then dropping objects

Back Injury Prevention

  • The anatomy of the spine, and specifics about the vertebrae, discs, spinal cord, and nerves
  • Causes of back injuries, including lifting, twisting, repetitive motions, and ergonomic issues
  • Ways to avoid back injuries
  • Back injury symptoms
  • Safe lifting techniques
  • and more…

While we’re in the research phase, we’d really appreciate any comments from our customers. Are there any special topics related to material handling you’d like to see addressed? If so, we’d really appreciate your comments. Just leave a note here and we’ll check it out here. We really value customer input and make every effort to include your thoughts in our safety training materials.

Over time, we’ll post updates here to let you know how we’re progressing during the production of these courses, and again when they’re ready for sale.

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5 Reasons Why More US Manufacturers are Using Online Training

While many U.S. industrial facilities still use time-consuming classroom training for repetitive site-specific orientations, more progressive manufacturers are turning to custom online training to reduce injuries, lower costs, and make better use of valuable classroom training time. Here are five important reasons why.

Convergence Training is a training solutions provider that specializes in training for manufacturing and industry. We make a series of learning management systems (LMSs), many library of e-learning courses, custom training solutions, and more. Contact us for more information.

While you’re here, feel free to download this free Guide to Effective Manufacturing Training, too.

(more…)

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Convergence Training Now Offers Hosted “Mini-LMS” for Contractor Orientations and Other Training Needs

Our customers trust Convergence to help train their employees. They recognize the effectiveness of our custom and retail training materials, which incorporate audio, 3D animations, 2D graphics, photos, video, text on screen, and interactive assessments to create training that makes a difference. And they appreciate the power and flexibility that our Convergence Server Enterprise Learning Management System (LMS) provides for training their employees: content import and creation, training delivery, tracking, reporting, and more.

But in addition to all this, many of our customers need a separate solution for providing online orientations to contractors or for other training needs. And that’s why we’ve developed Convergence Server Express, a simple, easy-to-use, flexible LMS that still packs all the power you’ll need for delivering, tracking, and reporting.

Some features of Convergence Server Express include:

  • Hosted on our servers (this reduces your liability issues)
  • Simple, self-guided registration process for contractors
  • Automatic training assignments after registration
  • Simple administrative security role for basic administration needs
  • Streamlined “report viewer” security role to run reports and see who’s completed training
  • Low costs that don’t get billed back to your company by contractors/outside workers

If you provide orientations to contractors before they can work at your site, the Convergence Server Express LMS may be just what you need to make your job easier.

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OSHA Postpones Creation of Combustible Dust Regulation

The Associated Press published an article yesterday indicating that federal regulation regarding combustible dusts may still be a long way off.

While OSHA is in the process of developing safety requirements covering combustible dust hazards, according to the article, the rules were moved to a “long-term” agenda. This, despite the insistence of the Chemical Safety Board to move swiftly in completing the regulation.

In the absence of an official OSHA specification, it’s up to organizations and employers to determine how best to protect their workers from combustible dust hazards. Our own Combustible Dust Safety video was created according to industry best practices and OSHA’s official combustible dust reports, and is a great way to educate your employees about the dangers of combustible dusts.

Get the video from BuyBetterTraining.com

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Two Heat Stress Videos in Production

Although it’s the dead of winter, summer heat is coming sooner than you think. You’ll be sweating like a pig and sticking to your car’s leather seats before you know it.

We know our customers face special challenges in the summer time trying to keep their work forces safe while working in high temperatures and humidity.

With that in mind, we’re working now to produce two training modules related to heat stress:

  • Heat Stress Causes
  • Heat Stress Symptoms and Prevention

The Heat Stress Causes training module will explain:

  • What heat stress is
  • What causes it (including the relationship between heat and humidity)
  • Factors that affect individual tolerances to heat

The Heat Stress Symptoms and Prevention training module will address:

  • The different types of heat stress, including heat rash, heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting), heat exhaustion, and heat stroke
  • Factors that contribute to heat stress
  • Ways to reduce the risk of heat stress, including ventilation, air cooling, shielding, insulation, hydration, and proper clothing

We’re sure these Heat Stress training courses will be selling like hot cakes once they’re on the shelf and that you’re probably burning to get your hands on them. We’ll keep you updated, posting some previews as production continues and then letting you know when the two modules are ready.

Be sure to come back and add these to your collection before the dog days of summer are on. And know that we’re also working on a Cold Stress training module to cover the rest of the year.

Until then, treat yourself to a listen of this scorching classic.

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Convergence LMS Provides Needed Flexibility for Management of Change and Document Management

One of the first things companies want to know about a learning management system (LMS) is: Can I use it for management of change and document management, and how will it work with my existing management of change and document management systems?

First, let’s define our terms.

Management of Change (MOC) is a process in which key company documents, such as standard operating procedures (SOPs), are created by some people, reviewed and edited by others, and then saved in a final format.

A Document Management System is a system that stores documents and gives some people the right to edit them and others the right only to view and read them. Microsoft SharePoint is a commonly used document management system.

Got that? Now that our terms are straight, let’s see how the Convergence Server Enterprise LMS works with these systems.

The good news is we designed our LMS to give you unlimited flexibility for working alongside existing MOC processes and document management systems. Or, if you’d prefer, you can use the LMS itself for management of change and document management.

Let’s look at each scenario in more detail.

Management of Change

First, let’s take a look at management of change processes. You can always continue to use your MOC process, and then store your final version of key documents on your network, in a document management system, or within the Convergence LMS. That’s easy enough. (We’ll explain how to have key documents saved on your network or in a document management system and in your LMS shortly).

On the other hand, you can use our LMS to implement a MOC process too. When training content is created in our LMS, you must first save a file and then publish the activity. The file includes all the content that will eventually be assigned, but it cannot be assigned until it is published to create an activity. By assigning some employees to security roles that allow them to create files but not publish activities, and assigning other employees to security roles that allow them to take a saved file and publish it as an activity, you can effectively create an MOC process incorporating content creation and content review phases all inside your LMS.

Document Management

Now, let’s consider document management systems. In their simplest form, they are used to store key documents in a final form, give a small number of people the ability to edit a document, and give a larger number of people the ability to read the document. More robust systems can include multiple versions of a document, allowing a company to complete the management of change process within the document management system.

If your company current uses a document management system, there’s no need to stop. Your final version of key documents can be stored in your document management system and then imported into the Convergence LMS by creating a link between the LMS and the file in the document management system. When you assign the activity to an employee, and he or she launches the activity, the linked document opens within the LMS just as if the employee had opened the document directly from the document management system, and when the employee completes the document, he or she is given a completion record. Employees always see only the most recent version of the linked document, ensuring that only the most up-to-date information is presented. There’s even a way to notify employees if a document they have already completed has been updated so they can review the changed material.

On the other hand, maybe you don’t have a document management system at your work. That’s OK, too—you can use the Convergence LMS for your document management needs.

In the most basic sense, you can store your key documents inside the LMS and assign only certain personnel the ability to edit different documents (while allowing any assigned employee the right to view the document, of course).

But, you can use the Convergence LMS as a more robust document management system as well. Over time, you’ll probably revised and update your key documents and training materials. Our LMS always presents only the most recent version of an activity to employees, but it keeps a copy of every historical version of every activity. This way you can always see the materials you were using to train 5 years ago; you can even open an earlier version of an activity, edit it, and make it the most recent version.

At Convergence, we know that management of change and document management are key needs at many companies. And we also know that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t cut it. That’s why we’ve created a system that will work in so many different ways for you: you just choose the one that’s right for you and let us help you get your training program working optimally.

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Updates & Edits – The Hidden Benefits of 3D Animated Training

In addition to the visual appeal and technical detail delivered through 3D animation and computer graphics, some other hidden benefits really start to show up when edits and updates are required. And edits are more common than most clients expect, in the form of adding, removing, or altering visual elements due to client policy changes, compliance requirements updates, or even evolving brand aesthetics.

For example, a client recently requested an update to a custom training course we produced for them several years ago. They had recently switched to a new type of chemical tote, or bulk liquid container, and they wanted the training to accurately reflect that as well as the procedural changes involved in handling the new equipment. Since we modeled the work environment and visual assets in the training on the client’s warehouse, we were able to model the new type of tote in 3D, put it appropriately into the training, and update the edit for a completely seamless update. Because this client also used our online learning management system, we could republish the new version of the course with no interruption to their intensive training schedule.

In the old days of live-action video training, matching this level of visual and audio continuity would have been nearly impossible. Very likely, the old video would simply become obsolete and the cost of production would have been lost in favor of a completely new production. So by starting with 3D animated training and computer graphics, clients get the benefits of seamless edits, consistent visual quality, and training that has a much longer shelf-life than traditional live-action video.

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Updates to Bloodborne Pathogens Training Course In Progress

As part of our process of updating our existing training materials, we’ve turned our attention to our Bloodborne Pathogens training course.

Our Bloodborne Pathogens course is popular with our customers—it’s our best-selling health and safety course, and has been for years. Still, we found some things we could add, and wanted to make sure our training didn’t just meet expectations, but exceeded them.

Here are some of the new things to look for:

  • Materials on hepatitis C virus (HCV) to accompany existing materials on hepatitis B (HBV) and HIV/AIDS
  • Information about the hepatitis B vaccination sequence and an employer’s responsibility to offer the vaccination to employees
  • New assessments
  • 3D animations that match our current production capabilities (even though we’ve been creating 3D animated safety training for more than 10 years, we get better every year)

We’ll post updates here during the revision process and again when the revised module is complete.

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