Originally posted on August 31, 2016 @ 5:26 PM
Learning Design in Tackling Risk and Safety – Inductions
I have decided to release another video from the series Risky Conversations that was launched recently in Perth (https://safetyrisk.net/risky-conversations-book-launch-in-perth/) and released with the transcripts book in July 2016 (https://safetyrisk.net/risky-conversations-the-law-social-psychology-and-risk/ ). The fourth video that has been released publically from the series is the first of three discussions on the challenges of training (and education and learning) in risk and safety. You can watch it below or access the video here: https://vimeo.com/164670789
The video fleshes out the many challenges of training and induction faced by an industry that confuses training with education and learning. The idea that training is a ‘data dump’ or, that certain elements need to be included in inductions is challenged, as well as the legal liabilities and myths associated with induction obligations.
Many of the problems connected to poor training and inductions in risk and safety stem back to the training of people in the safety trade. I tackled this issue in a recent paper delivered to an SIA conference https://safetyrisk.net/isnt-it-time-we-reformed-the-whs-curriculum/. What was made clear in the paper was that the fundamentals of education and learning design are not part of WHS training. More so, the idea that a Cert IV in training is a qualification in education and learning is also a misnomer. Training and assessment is not education and learning nor a preparation for learning design, pedagogy and curriculum development.
It is clear from the video that most inductions experienced by the presenters have been a disaster. Many inductions experienced by the presenters have little focus on learning, confuse information with learning, saturate and ‘flood’ participants with excessive information that cannot be retained and confuse recall with learning. Most of the inductions experienced by the presenters have not been professionally nor educationally designed and are remarkably boring. Most inductions suffer from the deception that a ‘data dump’ and signature will ‘cover one’s arse in court’, which it doesn’t. Similarly, the on-line induction suffers from the same assumptions. Many inductions do not consider human limits (‘bounded rationality’) in comprehension nor have clear learning outcomes.
I was recently asked by a mining company to help them reform their inductions to make them more engaging and focus on learning. Remarkably, the 15 core principles of education and learning were not present in any of their inductions on site. I just about had to scrap the lot and start all over again.
In an induction review I often ask key people what they think is the purpose and meaning of the induction and few can articulate a comprehensive response. ‘Its just something we have to do’ is often the response. ‘Do you know if it is effective?’ I often ask, with the response, ‘Everyone hates it, its boring as bat-shit and no-one wants to present it’.
The first thing I do in an induction review is experience the induction myself and critique it against the 15 core principles of education and learning design. Then, I interview staff and visitors about their experience and am astounded that most people seem to accept that training is normalized as poor, boring and irrelevant. Then with feedback in hand, propose a new design for the induction and learning to the organisation. Not many organisations want to stand their inductions up to such scrutiny. They would rather spend a fortune on audits of everything else on site except the effectiveness of their induction. Yet, this process is the first experience of the company when someone comes on site, this is how we welcome people to the organization and induct them into the culture.
I have previously provided some tips on effective inductions that you might find helpful.