Are you making the most of distance training? If not, you should be.
While COVID-19 naturally brought a new urgency to agencies looking for a virtual training environment, the fact is, before the pandemic, agencies tended to underestimate just how much of their training could be delivered virtually. That’s a shame, given the savings and logistical simplicity an online training program can offer. A properly utilized learning management system (LMS) will bring consistency and efficiency to online learning—pushing all relevant content through the same portal with attendance rates, test scores, and other relevant data viewable on the instructor/supervisor’s end.
The logistics of in-person training will always be a part of public safety education. There are simply too many components requiring physical interaction—everything from CPR and CQC training to live firing exams—to realistically think otherwise. But there’s also a lot of room for improvement in the way public safety agencies and their overseeing organizations deliver the other category of content—things that can safely be moved to a decentralized, web-based learning platform.
While some instruction needs one-to-one attention and rigorous input (dangerous driving training comes to mind), there are still plenty of topics that can easily move to a digital format. This is where an industry-built LMS comes into play. Utilized properly, it can deliver online learning content to people across a broad range of devices; manage day-to-day aspects of physical training endeavors; and, in general, spread a louder message to more people than a legacy training system would allow.
Streamlined course development
Chances are, there are large swaths of your curriculum that could be reconfigured as an interactive eLearning module or presented live via streaming—provided you had a tool in place that simplified the process.
An LMS allows upload and management of new coursework from multiple content providers through one central point and collects all dimensions of continuing education into a single system. This easy access to information gives individuals the tools to fully engage with the content of the curriculum and gain the skills they need to succeed.
An LMS helps maximize teaching opportunities: Because instructors can broadcast their training sessions live or via recording, training is more widely available and can be accessed at the learners’ convenience.
Ability to easily reuse content and courses
Transitioning to an LMS allows instructors to upload existing content to the system and modify it without the cost and time of printing new materials.
A comprehensive LMS makes it easy to reuse and adapt courses for different audiences. Utilizing class templates, authorized users can add classes with the click of a button. Creating a year’s worth of training from one class template takes minutes, so more training can be delivered to more people, quickly and easily.
As standards and technology evolve, you may want to add new features to a course. With the use of versioning, you can quickly copy and rename an existing template, make any necessary changes to the class, and create new classes as needed.
The LMS allows courses to be easily adapted for a changing training environment. Instructors can reconfigure training modules, with updated and applicable information, for personnel to complete as their schedule permits.
Faster, broader distribution
An LMS allows for a more streamlined process in every aspect of the training delivery by removing or reducing time-consuming administrative tasks.
When you consider gathering, grading, and posting scores for dozens of paper tests, it’s easy to see how a digital system that handles those tasks automatically will save considerable time. That’s why industries across the board have been replacing paper processes with digital ones.
Information through an LMS is distributed quickly and can be set to recur without any additional work on the part of the instructor. It can also readily support retakes and automatically confer or renew certifications.
Courses can be completed whenever
Because digital training does not have to be live, courses no longer need to be scheduled around instructor availability. Once material has been recorded or created, online classes can be completed whenever time allows; no more scheduling logistics. Training does not have to be delayed or rescheduled due to class size or schedule conflicts.
Learning can occur wherever
With online LMS access, students can interact with the course from any location across the country where they have sufficient internet access. Students do not need to be on-site or physically together to complete the necessary training.
Training can go to whoeverneeds it
Modern LMS solutions are scalable and can reach any number of users, from just a few employees to thousands of students. Course schedulers can save time by easily focusing on a target audience in their database, seeing at a glance who hasn’t received or completed a particular training. Individuals can register at their convenience, or an entire group can be enrolled at one time. Depending on the LMS, it is also possible to assign updated training to those students who completed an older version of the course, allowing all personnel to stay current on the latest best practices and policies.
An LMS offers confirmation of completion
Student progress and scheduling are outlined clearly and concisely every step of the way. Everyone knows where they stand and how far they need to go to succeed in their training.
Automated emails save time and inform students of their required work. Results of assessments are automatically recorded and are available for review, so students and instructors can proceed confidently with clear results that reflect professionally trained individuals ready to get the most out of their future. Plus, an LMS allows easy-to-access reporting at both organizational and individual levels.
An LMS that integrates into other aspects of an individual’s training, coursework and assessments can provide a full-picture view of someone’s professional record and can be easily accessible and extremely valuable if at any point documentation is needed.
Get the most out of online training
Of course, planning for online learning is only half the battle. But expanding your online learning is possible with the right technology partners and software solutions in mind.
The Acadis® Readiness Suite—our comprehensive software—is specifically designed to deliver online learning and dozens of other core public safety tasks.