In the Oil & Gas industry, there tends to be a plethora of criticism buzzing around online training for employees. Despite the bad notions that surround online training and online courses, this method of teaching has proved to be successful and popular across various niches of the world of learning. In the 21st century, it is becoming increasingly normal for methods of accomplishing things to shift from pen and paper to computers and web-based learning management systems (LMS).
For example, driver’s education, college courses, generalized testing, certification, etc. have all transitioned to a web/computer-based methodology. In addition to having successful results, there are multiple advantages to web-based training and testing:
- Convenience and flexibility: The employees are able to take the courses anywhere and anytime there is internet access available. They can learn in the comfort of their own homes when their brains and bodies are relaxed and ready to learn.
- Save company time: The hours employees spend on site can be kept as hours for working rather than training.
- Immediate results: Rather than having to wait for results to be calculated, reports can be immediately pulled to show how each employee scored. Because the results are online, reports or scores can be pulled at any time.
- Pace: Employees are not pressured to rush through training. They can go at their own pace and review or replay things they find confusing so they have a better understanding of the material without being shy about lack of comprehension in a group/in-person setting.
- Content: The courses can be easily kept up to date with the most recent and relevant information as we learn safer methods and continue to find better ways to manage risk. In addition, the courses can be kept fresh with the latest ways of capturing attention to increase retention of information.
- Cost: One of the biggest advantages of online training is the lower cost. In addition to being easy to use, online courses can be significantly cheaper than instructor-led courses and deliver comparable or better results.
As I have mentioned in a previous blog, there is a generational shift occurring in the oil and gas industry. Online training will be inevitable as Gen Y moves in and completely replaces Gen X. I can easily recall multiple times in my life when I have retained more information from a TV show like Bill Nye the Science Guy or the Magic School Bus than I did when in a classroom with a monotone teacher. That is not to say that there are not amazing teachers out there who have the ability to engage an entire auditorium of students, but it is a rare find. Online training is not the enemy.
It is just the new way of achieving awareness and safety. It is definitely something to embrace as long as the quality of courses is continuously maintained.
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