Flipping around Induction/Compliance courses

Dec 21, 2016

Hi all,

My organisation (Health Care) has a large number of induction and compliance modules and we are being pushed to add more and more, meaning new starters have a growing number to go through prior to commencing work.

The majority of these modules are older style click and next with a few interactions and then a quiz at the end.

I have floated the idea of flipping this around so we quiz new starters up front to determine their knowledge level, and then only provide information and activities for the areas identified as learning gaps.

So far this idea has been well received especially as I have sold it on the potential time savings (1 hour per person would be 900 hours a year). However, it is a huge undertaking given the amount of content and how the systems are currently setup.

Has anyone else done something similar? Do you have any ideas or potential gotchas to watch out for? 




8 Replies
Nicole Legault

Hi Tristan!

That sounds like a great idea. Good for you for taking on that initiative - your organization is lucky to have you! 

I haven't exactly done something like this but I'm sure others in the community have and will jump in. One thing I did think about though is... if the courses are compliance courses don't the learners HAVE to take them, regardless of whether or not they already know the content? I would just make sure to not be skipping any content that learners by law/audit regulations have to go through. That's my two cents :) 

Dave Ferguson

I agree with Nicole: this is a great idea, and one I think the newcomers will appreciate.

On the compliance issue: I imagine the existing courses have some desired outcome (e.g., hand sanitization in certain settings). If you're able to have your internal client work from those outcomes and identify representative settings (e.g., before each patient in emergency, on entering a patient's room, whatever), then you've got material to build the check-your-knowledge material that's at the heart of the flipped approach.

Ideally there are multiple situations that could illustrate a given outcome or combination of outcomes, so that if someone fails to pass the check-first example, after going through the relevant material, he experiences a different specific example to demonstrate mastery.

One of my colleagues has used this approach to redesign some of our internal training, setting the priority with her internal client and using the success of the first redesign effort to gain support for others.

Tristan Hunt

I personally feel like the current courses are more tick the box than actually delivering quality learning outcomes, so anything that can show they actually have the knowledge will be a great improvement.

The biggest problem I can see is the amount required so new starters essentially spend a whole afternoon or more just going through the content and completing less than challenging quizzes so they aren't retaining much at all.

As part of this, I will also be looking to also break the delivery of the content up over a 90 day period.


Dave Ferguson

Tristan, it's possible that check-the-box courses exist in organizations other than yours.  ;-)

I think breaking up the delivery is a great idea, especially if your client has ways of getting people to work before all the compliance boxes are checked.

I've heard "repurpose legacy content" many times, and I'm sure people manage to do it, but my experience suggests often it means "reuse the old stuff" without questioning how effectively that old stuff accomplished a goal other than "deliver training."

Rereading Nicole's comment about legal mandates: I once worked on a course for supervisors (topic: dealing with workplace discrimination and sexual harassment). One criterion was that the online version needed to take two hours to complete -- because (at the time, at least) the state of California required that supervisors receive two hours of such training per year.

Tristan Hunt

Had started to reply to your first reply then got caught up.

Yes, I'm sure a large number of organisations have tick the box courses. 

Good point about checking legal requirements. I don't think we have any that specify length, more that we need to show we have provided training. Definitely something for me to keep in mind though.

When I first come on we did the same, basically remaking old flash courses. Due to time delays and not being up for review yet was only able to make them look a bit more modern and add the odd interaction here and there, but not look at the content or even the order of the content.

Now that I have established myself in the business I am pushing to update all of the older modules, and ensuring any new ones use more modern design and adult learning principles.