The word ‘training’ often brings to mind sitting in a stuffy room in plastic chairs, while the fluorescent lights hum overhead, the stale coffee burns your tongue, and the trainer drones on in a monotone that the participants drown out in subconscious self-defense nearly instantly.
For many companies, this is true. Some see training as simply a requirement to get a piece of paper, without really worrying about the lessons themselves. They assume that how they do things is fine, or that they remember most of what the class was supposed to cover. It’s all about having the paper, and going back to work to do things as they have always been done.
Unfortunately, when you are dealing with people’s food, complacency is not acceptable. Teaching to the test is common, but it serves no purpose. More importantly, verifying that those who have attended training have gotten something from it is vital to keeping those certificates useful.
This is where E-learning can be different. Rather than sitting in a crowded, unfamiliar, and uncomfortable room, E-learning allows trainees to attend from their own office or home. It allows them to take classes at their own pace and in their own time, avoiding those 8 hour lectures.
Studies have shown that learning this way, with shorter, more focused lessons, actually helps retention as well. By minute ten, most students, even the most interested ones, start to lose focus. Their minds wander, to their favorite movies, plans for the evening, or emails they need to respond to.
Additionally, gamification, the addition of things like points or badges earned after completing courses, has been shown to work. Humans are driven by goals, even small ones. Earning a badge is motivation enough to pay attention, especially when each video or module takes less than five minutes to complete.
Where blockchain comes in will be in the form of smart contracts. Showing that a training was completed in a way that cannot be tricked, incorporating passing grades from testing and other metrics, will safeguard the value and intent behind certification. It will be possible to show when and where a training was completed, who completed it, and how they did, in a manner that will be automatic and unspoofable. It can help restore trust with consumers who want to know that the providers of their food are taking their safety seriously.
More and more training is going to be taking place online in the future. It allows for an ease of use and consistent experience that is hugely beneficial. The key will be to continuously adapt how these lesson are taught and presented, to maintain engagement and make sure the people who utilize them don’t just listen and repeat the words to pass a test…instead, students should walk away from the training with new information, relevant to their day to day lives, that they are prepared to use in practical situations.