Online Learning Can Improve Your Fleet’s Safety — Here’s How

Online Learning

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Online training provides a variety of benefits regardless of industry sector – increasing training effectiveness, reducing or eliminating associated travel costs, and improving delivery consistency.

However, businesses in transportation and related sectors reap several additional benefits – especially when it comes to overall safety and compliance.

Online Learning Allows for Data Measurement and Analytics

Driver training is a process, not an event, and to get the most out of that process, companies need to understand how effective each training activity was, who did well and who needs extra help, in what areas, and what the logical next steps are.

The only way to do that is by keeping detailed records on all training activities and analyzing them after the fact.

While this can certainly be done with classroom training (by administering tests as part of the training event and tracking participant performance, then storing the data in a centralized system) very few do.

Excel spreadsheets, the main tool for tracking training participation, are fine for keeping attendee lists but not sufficient for ongoing quality improvement programs.

To really affect continuous improvement and see increased levels of safety and compliance, training activities need to be tracked in a database where they can be analyzed, compared, and measured over time.

Online training solutions, which track all user performance data automatically, make this kind of analysis easy.

Drivers Are More Likely to Participate in Online Learning

Even with the most diligent scheduling and planning, participation in training sessions is a challenge for most companies. Rates vary from fleet to fleet – studies show a low of about 20% to a high of 90% attendance, with most fleets reporting average attendance of 50%.

Online training programs, on the other hand, have been shown to have greater than 98% participation, and in many cases, fleets reach 100% participation regularly. This high level of participation is attributed to three main factors:

Convenience – As discussed above, drivers can participate without making other sacrifices so they view it more positively and are more likely to participate. With online learning, drivers can learn from anywhere, at any time, even if they’re sitting in a dock waiting for a load.

Visibility – Managers can easily see who’s participating, so there’s nowhere for drivers to hide (the old excuse of “I was there, you just didn’t see me” doesn’t work online)

Lack of fear – Fear of failure or looking stupid in front of peers is one of the primary reasons drivers skip classroom training and a major stressor for many of those that attend; online, they have the privacy to work through content at their own pace, with no peer pressure.

So, what’s this mean for your fleet? The more people that participate, the safer our nation’s roads will be.

E-Learning Offers More Individualized Instruction

Anyone who has ever taught in a traditional classroom setting knows how difficult it is to give individual instruction while at the same time meeting the needs of the class as a whole. Instructors must pace their presentations for the majority of students in the class. If some students are having a difficult time mastering a new concept, it is virtually impossible for the instructor to know about this unless they speak up. Without knowing this, the instructor cannot adjust his/her pace. In addition, even if the instructor is aware of these students having difficulty mastering a concept, he/she still need to pace the instruction for the majority of the class. This inability to pace instruction to each student’s needs is a major drawback to traditional instruction.

This is not the case with e-learning. Studies have shown that if e-learning is constructed properly it can produce more individualized instruction (Adams, 1992). Students can take computerized pre-tests on the content of the class and based on their performance, only receive material or instruction on what they need. Likewise, the course can be structured so that it is adaptive. Students can be presented with material and then tested throughout the course to see if they mastered each concept. If students demonstrate that they understand the concept, they then are presented with a new one. If not, then they can continue to be presented with that concept until they have mastered it.

As you seek to improve overall safety and compliance within your fleet, this alone can have a far-reaching impact.

While a good safety program begins with hiring safe drivers, it’s up to fleets to ensure they remain safe drivers. And online learning – with its many associated benefits – is just one way that carriers can help ensure all drivers are following guidelines and regulations and keeping our roadways safe.