Do you know on an average 3000 people get killed due to Fire accidents in the US every year? The NFPA estimates that 65,880 firefighter injuries have occurred in the line of duty in 2013, out of which 12,535 accidents took place at non-fire emergency incidents.
According to the EnergyWire review of federal labor statistics, the oil and gas industry has more deaths from fires and explosions than any other industry. This is because the workers of this industry are exposed to hazardous substances and flammable gases which can lead to frequent fire explosions. So, it is important for organizations to have firefighting equipment in place and provide training to their employees on how to fight fires.
However, employees usually do not show interest in attending these trainings as they find fire-safety courses routine and boring. According to a Towards Maturity research report, the top barrier to effective compliance or mandatory training is the lack of user engagement.
Given this scenario, eLearning is seen as an effective medium to impart interactive and engaging fire safety training.
We have recently designed a course of fire extinguisher training and would like to share some instructional strategies that we have used.
1. Short videos to demonstrate product handling
Short videos of 3-5 minutes are ideal to demonstrate the features, benefits, correct usage and precautions to be taken while handling the products. Video demonstrations offer virtual hands-on learning experience to learners and help them understand the operating process very effectively. Videos also help keep learners engaged and active throughout the course.
We used short videos to provide a brief introduction to the different classes of fire and types of extinguishers and demonstrate how they need to be operated.
2. Icons and visuals to present guidelines and comparisons
A picture is worth a thousand words. Icons can be used to convey messages instead of plain text. Visual representations are self-explanatory and help learners get connected to the subject-matter. Colorful images with text can be used to show the variation between various types of extinguishers, and icons can be used to explain the guidelines and the dos and don’ts of using them.
3. Interactivities and animations to explain how to use the extinguisher
No matter what the subject-matter is, an online course will be boring if you don’t include interactivities and animations. Instructions can be presented in the form of interactivities such as click-on-tabs, click-on-images etc. Animations can be used to demonstrate how fire extinguishers need to be used. To make it more effective, step by step animations can be created to demonstrate the processes, with background describing the additional details.
4. Accident Prone Situations using Scenarios
Including real-life scenarios is powerful way to train people and assess their understanding of the subject. You can present risk-based situations simulating the real environment and ask to learners to respond. For example, we explained the dos and don’ts of using fire extinguishers and presented some situations wherein the learner has to choose the right fire extinguisher based on the type of fire.
5. Interactive exercises to check knowledge
Formative assessments can be designed in an interesting way to reinforce learning by using interactive activities. These interactive activities are fun and can enhance learner motivation. For example, we used a theme – a house on fire to evaluate the learner’s understanding of the types of extinguishers and different types of fire emergencies which they may come across. If the learner selects the correct answer, the fire gets extinguished.
Almost all fires can be handled effectively in the early stages, if your employees are well-trained on firefighting measures. Fire-safety training courses need to be engaging to make learners feel that they gain something in the process.
These were some instructional strategies which can be used to ensure that your courses are effective, interactive and engaging. Hope you like this blog. Do share your views.