For this week’s assignment in selecting Distance Learning Technologies, I chose Example 3: Asynchronous Training in finding the best distant learning technology that would provide proper safety training for a biodiesel manufacturing plant that needs to improve its safety training modules. Most online and distance learning provides the best service and value to learners in more than one way. Some of these examples would be reducing total costs with minimal travel and overnight stays, improved quality of life for learners with less disruption of home and work life, access to a wider range of courses that may not be available in their own location, and 24/7 access where these learners can carry on with their learning at a time that better suits them. Not only was the training for the employees and supervisors, but the supervisors were to ensure that all the employees training followed through with their safety demonstrations. Utilizing a Course Management System (CMS) will provide each employee and their supervisors the proper training online that is affiliated with their training competencies via collaborating and communicating. (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, Zvacek 2012).
Another tool that is great in it’s ability to reach learners is by employing a variety on modules using multimedia files or podcasts with training aids consisting of training aids (PowerPoint presentation, Flash animations, tests…etc., with a program certificate for training accountability requirements. Most CMSs and LMSs import the training via programs like Adobe Captivate that will give each learner credit for their completion of the courses.
In addition to delivery of online and podcast courses in distance learning, many students also study for our programs in the traditional classroom setting. True, the learners would be required to travel to the lectures twice or three times a week. Or the organization could bring in lecturers to teach the classes onsite if permitted. The advantages of this would be to meet with the lecturer on a regular basis which can be useful in terms of getting feedback, doing group work and also adding to their learning experience. Class times are student focused that would allow time for travel, work and family commitments. Class based courses are interactive and are great for discussion and group work and hands on demonstrations.
The Biodeisel organization can also provide face to face training with exam centers at nearby locations where the employees can participate in modules consisting of formal safety training that should be mandatory before the plant operations begin. This would involve OSHA requirements for items like permits, hot work, confined space entry permits, and personal protective equipment (PPE) (www.osha.gov)
Enabling a CMS program for individualized safety training would be compatible for the Biodiesel organization in managing its learning environment.
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and Learning at a distance: Foundations of Distance Education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.