eLearning Deals with the Practical Realities of Training at Mines

trendTraining at mines is impacted by a number of issues, principal among these being …

  • the rate of change and complexity of technology
  • high staff turnover
  • workforce diversity
  • measuring the effectiveness of training

The discussion below deals with how eLearning contributes to a successful, sustainable training program in the context of each of the above issues.

Dealing with complexity and rate of change of technology

Training is all about preventing accidents, saving lives, and ensuring business success … i.e. about ensuring sustainability in a world that is changing rapidly. As such, it is in the interest of the individual as well as the mining community to carefully consider the following three simple, core principles of training excellence …

  • Are we using best-practice training techniques, backed by research and experience?
  • Are we relying on real data to continuously measure the effectiveness of our training programs?
  • Are we using the above measurements to continuously refine and improve our training outcomes?

eLearning supports all three of these principles and provides a platform for managing change.

Dealing with high staff turnover

eLearning is available on demand to cope with high staff turnover. Documentation is easy to customize, translate, and incorporate new tasks and simulations.

eLearning is readily scalable to any number of trainees and produces quantifiable outcome … i.e. tracks and measures the effectiveness of training.

Dealing with workforce diversity

The mining workforce is multilingual, with varying education levels and different learning styles.

eLearning can readily accommodate different languages and allows the trainee to set the schedule and pace of learning.

Measuring the effectiveness of training

Many individuals have a preference for informal training, for example … job shadowing which has inconsistent outcomes, ad hoc training which varies significantly in comprehensiveness, low levels of process documentation which results in repetition and relearning, and loss of knowledge when people leave.

With eLearning results are tracked and measured by the learning management system, and correlated with safety and business metrics. In a continuous feedback loop, learning outcomes are improved and ROI using a metric-driven approach can be measured.

eLearning presents a platform for managing change

Properly implemented, eLearning presents an opportunity to transform training from an informal, tick-the-box exercise into a platform for engaging the workforce, continuous improvement and management of change.

Integrating the right online learning content with eLearning technology creates a sustainable responsive solution that engages and empowers the workforce, adapts responsively to the needs of the organization, promotes a safety culture, and continuously improves the mining process.

Responsive training based on eLearning technology provides a metric-driven environment that supports blended learning by ensuring the delivery of training materials and measuring learning outcomes. With the application of responsive training, professional development becomes attuned to the needs of the individual while adhering to organizational objectives. By linking training data with operational safety, learning outcomes are continuously improved and operations become more efficient and safer.

Contact Simon Houlding to discuss eLearning and training in more detail.

Simon Houlding was Vice-President of Professional Development for InfoMine Inc. He founded Edumine in 2000, and was responsible for this InfoMine division which provides learning and training programs to the global mining industry until 31 October 2017. He is a professional engineer and author.

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