When we produce online safety induction training our clients have varying strategies as to the best way to ensure the competency of the learner.
The most traditional approach is to to present the material and quiz the student using multiple choice answers. The student is given one chance to get the question right and then at the end of the course if they exceed a certain passmark then they are deemed competent. There are two main problems with this namely:
- Although the learner exceeded a pass/fail threshold the one question they got wrong might be a critical piece in ensuring their health and safety in the workplace. One solution to this is to make particular questions mandatory.
- From an online training perspective we are not taking full opportunity of our ability to tailor the online safety induction training experience to the learner. We should be able to assess that a learner has misunderstood a particular piece of safety information and present the material again in a different way. Then we can reassess if they have understood with a subsequent quiz.
A very simplistic solution to ensure the learner completes the online induction with 100% success is to enable them to do each question multiple times until they get each question correct. This really does not ensure the competency of the learner as they soon understand that rather than thinking clearly about each question they can just keep selecting an answer until they get it right. The box may be ticked but our overall goals are unlikely to be achieved.
A more thorough approach is to use the quiz once, pass or fail a threshold and then manually review with the learner the questions they got incorrect. In most cases the online safety induction training is complemented with a face to face site induction and this an be an ideal opportunity to review the missed items. The drawback is that from a system point of view we are relying on a follow up that may or may not occur.
Our best online solution is to present the material in an effective and engaging way and then test the learners understanding. If they have misunderstood something then to go back and recover it so as to ensure a proper grasp of the issue. This way when the learner has successfully completed the online induction we are confident in the competence of the person. That said there must be a limit to the number of iterations that are feasible and in a few cases we may have to accept defeat and fail the course participant.
There is a final bit to this puzzle and that is that we do need to have methods of assessing in an overall sense how well our course is designed and implemented. Part of this is looking at external factors that we are trying to improve through our online safety induction training but also looking at the course we have designed. For example if learners are regularly getting a particular question wrong then we need to look at whether the material is confusing or even if the question and choice of answers is ambiguous.