Airline industry is highly regulated in almost every function – security protocol, routine maintenance, standard operating procedures and many more.Any breach of procedures could result in costly mistakes and fatal accidents. For that, they need to be trained and well informed.
This can be achieved in two measures.
- An effective training content that is regularly updated based on the changes in technology or operating procedures. For the purpose, eLearning provides a viable option to ensure employees are trained quickly and within short notice.
- Assigning and tracking training efficiently to minimize duplication of efforts and enabling evaluation of training effectiveness. An LMS becomes an important medium to facilitate this process.
A good and well-developed course might become ineffective if it is not delivered to the right audience at the right time. This is where the efficient use of the Learning Management System (LMS) becomes crucial.
In a paper titled, “Deployment of eLearning in the Airline Industry“, Dr. Bratengeyer et al point out that airlines tend to implement LMS in one area selectively instead of implementing it enterprise-wide. This actually results in duplication of work and provides low ROI.
(Reference: Bratengeyer, E., Albrecht, C. C., Airways, E., & Schwarz, C. H. Deployment of eLearning in the Airline Industry)
Apart from delivering and tracking training, one has to measure the effectiveness of training as well. Most LMSs have means to track training and generate reports that enable measuring of training effectiveness. However, very often, the capabilities inherent in an LMS are not capitalized adequately due to various reasons. In order to make the best use of an LMS you need to ensure the following.
Dedicated project team to supervise LMS administration
In many instances, managers or stakeholders hold multiple responsibilities alongside LMS administration. When a manager, whose primary role is something else, is given the responsibilities of LMS administration, the supervision and administration may not be as thorough as required. Naturally, this would reflect on how the LMS is utilized and managed. Lower user-registrations and low course completion rates are some of the results that one notices. Most often, the causes could be issues such as login- problems, technology glitches and minor interface or navigation matters, which can be easily avoided when handled by a dedicated project team. An LMS has a huge potential and can contribute immensely in making the training program effective provided there is a dedicated project team that supervises and manages LMS administration. It is not a part-time job, and in the cases of large enterprises, a 24 X 7 effort.
Experienced technology professionals who can customize and maintain LMS
An LMS comes with some standard settings which may or may not be relevant to the organization. On the other hand, it may come with some other settings or options that could actually prove to be very helpful to the organization. How does one evaluate what one needs and what one does not require? Having experienced technology professionals who have worked with multiple LMSs and understand how the system works would be very useful. They can customize the LMS based on the unique requirements of an organization. This way, one gets better ROI on their LMS investment.
Involvement of SMEs, training managers and stakeholders in LMS administration
One does require a dedicated LMS administration staff, which can be as small as one person or big with a team of 5-6 individuals depending on how small or large an organization is. However, they have to be ably supported by SMEs, training managers and other stakeholders who have an important role to play in managing training through LMS. For example, SMEs need to keep track of the training content and ensure that it stays updated at all times. Training managers need to make sure that courses are assigned to the right people and that the course are completed within the specified duration.
Clear vision about role of LMS in the overall training strategy
Anders Halskov-Jensen, who has a background as an air traffic controller shares his thoughts in ICAO training report and makes a pertinent point.He saysit is important that training managers review their training programs periodically and not shy away from making changes and letting go of redundant practices. Just because we have always done it in a particular way does not justify that we continue doing it. In this regard, the options and reports provided by an LMS can be of immense value. We can use them to assess training as well as plan future training programs. Therefore, it is important that we have good clarity about our training strategy and how the LMS fits in.
Definitive efforts to popularize eLearning amongst staff
Lastly, it is important that employees are clearly shown the benefits of online learning. Online courses can be made compulsory to ensure higher registrations and course completions. But, a more lasting impact will be seen if the staff understands how the medium is better when compared to the existing methods. Its advantages in terms of convenience, freedom of choice and interactivities can be highlighted. Having a dedicated team to manage the LMS also ensures that discussion boards, messages and training events are regularly monitored and updated. These forums can be used to communicate with the employees and keep them abreast of developments in their field.
Having a well-administered LMS would ensure good and proficient training deployment. It would also help in managing and monitoring training that could be helpful in designing future training programs. What do you say?