The end-of-life vehicle (ELV) recycling industry is a complex and ever-changing one. To stay ahead of the curve, ELV recycling professionals need to have the latest knowledge and skills. Traditional classroom training can be a great way to learn new skills, but it can also be time-consuming and expensive. Online training can be a more flexible and cost-effective option that can still provide learners with the knowledge and skills they need. Mark Jones, founder of ELV Training, a company offering vehicle depollution, and dismantling training, discusses the benefits of online training for ELV recycling professionals.
It’s fair to say that a lot of hard lessons were learnt by many companies, large and small, on how to effectively deliver workplace training during the COVID-19 pandemic. The desire to rapidly accelerate the movement of employee training online meant that many traditional classroom-based training formats were simply “lifted and shifted” into the virtual environment.
On reflection, this did the online learning format a lot of damage, and even now, the mere mention of e-learning still disengages many. Consequently, when the time came to move back into the workplace, many businesses took the decision to revert to training in the classroom. This was a real shame and an opportunity missed for those organisations who did switch back. But does that mean that online training as a format only works for some organisations? Absolutely not. Online training is, and remains, the most cost-effective and efficient way of delivering consistent workplace training. However, online learning should never just be classroom training over the internet. E-learning is its own thing and should be designed and delivered as such.
Online technical training
For those who argue that an effective technical training programme simply cannot be delivered online, think again! Ask yourself how many learners pre and post-pandemic managed to put themselves through college and university degrees using online training alone. How many people have successfully taught themselves how to complete technical activities like replacing the screen or battery in their mobile phone using only an online resource such as YouTube? I am not trying to undermine the value of classroom and in-the-field learning experiences; everything has its place, and no one size fits all. However, I believe that recent experiences of poor online training implementation during the pandemic are still raw for many, and as such, people are blinded into simply dismissing e-learning as a real alternative to traditional training formats. However, in doing so, those same people and organisations are missing out on the proven benefits to both learner and organisation that a positive e-learning experience can fulfil. Most, if not all things can be delivered online, even the very technical topics, reducing deployment costs, minimising operational downtime and saving on both travel and accommodation costs.
Better learner retention
Students can learn in their own time, access the curriculum in a way that suits their learning needs, and progress at a pace that ensures knowledge is obtained permanently. E-learning is, and continues to be, the most effective way of retaining information because, unlike traditional one-off training sessions, learners can revisit subject areas and absorb information in manageable pieces over a longer period. Better still, if a learner wants to revisit something because they have forgotten it or require some additional clarification, online learning provides that facility. Research suggests that 20 minutes is about as long as humans can maintain their attention on one source of information. In addition, there is a limit to how much information can be maintained at any one time. For this reason, most class lectures last a maximum of sixty minutes, whereas traditional classroom workplace training always lasts more than an hour. Most training stretches to half or full-day formats, with information being constantly exchanged. How much of that information can truly be retained?
The Forgetting Curve
Another consideration of the learning environment is something neuroscientists refer to as the forgetting curve. This diagram illustrates how, within one hour, people will have typically forgotten an average of 50 percent of the information presented in a classroom environment. Within 24 hours, learners have forgotten an average of 70 percent of new information, and within a week, forgetting claims an average of 90 percent of it.
Building competence and capability
Regardless of what avenue or approach your organisation takes regarding workplace training, building capability and competence within the team helps attract the right people into your business and ensures you hold onto them. Training motivates and inspires technicians, positively influencing five of the top six reasons employees typically leave their roles.