Ideas - Reaching Truck Drivers through elearning

Feb 15, 2011

Dear all,

I thought I would put this out to the community as I'm positive there are some great ideas out there that have been tried and tested in organisations that have similar restraints.

I work in a logistics company and as there are a lot of remote sites where we are using elearning to reach drivers.

Problems we face are:

  • Computer literacy - general fear of using computers
  • Peer group pressure
  • Language barriers
  • Using Moodle LMS - complicated navigation
  • Short time frames
  • Also a resilience to learning (they feel that learning = compliance)

We do have mandatory learning for compliance around fatigue, food handling, OH&S etc.

My question is really around ideas on how people have combated these issues in the past?

I look forward to hearing more from the community.

Thank you


9 Replies
James Brown

I'm new to the realm of rapid e-learning but I am by no means a neophyte and your dilemma is something talked about by Cathy Moore. My question is how are you measuring compliance? Not to sound negative, but I think you need to go back and re-evaluate things.  As you listed out above, you have a very broad audience of learners with different skill sets and different languages which means you cannot rely on e-learning as your one and only tool. Luckily there are a lot of ways to present information and here are just some ideas I would use to tackle the above issues.

  • E-learning on DVD's that truckers could take home and watch along with a question and answer sheet to keep them attentive
  • Audio CD's that could be listened to while the driver is on route.
  • Tips sheets that would be passed out to the drivers
  • Materials presented in multi-languge format. 

There are probably others out there who have designed materials to address your scenario but if this were me I would first start with audio cd's since they can be listened to while driving and they may be played over and over again to reinforce what is being learned.

Renee Tregonning

Thank you James, all very valid ideas and things we definitely think we should investigate these.

Only today I spoke about audio CD's in trucks so "great minds...".

We are about to re-assess things and identify ways to better meet the needs of the drivers. A proportion of it will end up being online due to the requirement of training happening at odd times of the day in remote areas etc. We are definitely taking a blended training approach as e-learning is not always the answer but it is a piece of the puzzle.

In the e-learning space, if you do have any suggestions on how to combat the issues suggested in the first post please keep me posted.

I will check out some of the info from Cathy Moore.


Steve Flowers

Those are great suggestions. CDs an DVDs have the side benefit of not relying on a piece of IT owned equipment and aren't tied down to a login. The disadvantage is you'll have a harder time capturing validated outcomes if that's important to you.

One way you might try to ease the folks into it is by easing them into it. Blend with off-technology interventions. For example, you might ask everyone to call into a number if they are dispersed and send out a print based package or workbook. At the close of this session you could setup a quick and easy recorded quiz (10 questions or less) to provide a painlessly facilitated experience. Building up from here you could condition a positive response by providing a convenient and positive experiences that gain a little bit of complexity as the sequence continues to build. Ease'em into it.

You could also implement some "real world activities" in your series by asking them to take a job aid / workbook into the field and record some things that they observed. Send them back into the computer in short bursts for simple virtual discussion / feedback. Just because it's eLearning doesn't mean that all the humanity has been sucked out of the experience. There's still one human in that equation I like to leverage that one human and a heap of other stuff that I don't have to build - it's a big, big world out there. Chocked full of cool props and *other humans* I can use to enhance a learning experience

In my opinion, the real world is what makes eLearning fun to design. Otherwise it's just a slideshow:)

Steve Flowers

I've also found this model to be really approachable:

I prefer this "connective emulation" to the standard information push. I'm working on a way to get these to display in Articulate and be driven off of an XML data file (with audio and narrative avatar). Here's a prototype for one I did a few years ago (gosh... a long, long time ago)

This was the quickie prototype. The follow-on was more sophisticated and deeper. But this articulates the concept. We've done a few similar things by adding media headers to some electronic job aids. These media headers are primed and ready to engage in a conversation or quickly explain a concept associated with the task. We build quite a bit of EPSS since most of our tasks are vocational in nature and often carry an infrequency profile. This is a neat way to weave training tutorials and organic "help me" elements into a just in time support mechanism.

Laura Lowden

I work for a public school system which has a diverse population of over 10,000 employees.  I created two required modules that all employees(superintendent, teachers, custodians, bus drivers, etc.) must go through.  One way we overcame this challenge was to have audio on every slide, quiz question, feedback, etc.  We also kept the word level to around 4th grade (which as a teacher, we were told was the average reading level for parents) when possibly.  We tried to speak to our audience on their level.  When we did branch items for particular sections of employees, we would change the wording for some things for the administrators using their language.

As for the outcomes, I probably am not much help to you.  Our IT department created it's own "employee online training database" that pushes the modules out to all employees.  Employees have to login to this database, and click the link to the module they need to view.  We didn't assess so much that they "learned" but that they completed the module.  We had it locked down completely so they had to go slide by slide.  That is how we measured that they had reviewed the mandated policies.

Renee Tregonning

Thank you everyone. Some interesting (out of the box) ideas. Bruce, always thinking which I love. My only hesitation is here in Australia there seems to be a real push on phone use and driving, phones may be banned from vehicles completely (I'm not positive how that will work), but definitely something they could do before or after a trip. Will put that in the ideas bank for sure.

Steve, I love the characters (especially six sigma) and the use of conversation, I think that this could be achievable short term. Perhaps a set of characters (similar) that are branded for different types of learning so that the drivers acknowledge what they are about to do. Anyway the characters and narration and how to deliver help functions will definitely assist.

Laura, we definitely follow some of the things you are doing, locking down projects. We are trying to move away from this if possible.

Thanks again.

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