Need Ideas for Hazardous Material Training

Jan 09, 2013

Hi there!

I'm in need of some ideas.  I have to create an online course based on the attached word document for hazardous materials. The attached document is based on government guidelines and all content must be in the training. So, my question is, how can I make this engaging, interactive and semi-fun. I was told it can't be "off the wall" and have a bunch of "that training nonsense" as this is serious material. <<<Sigh>>> Oh and I will eventually have 5 additional modules to create for hazardous materials that go along with this, so if anyone has an idea for a theme, pics, etc. bring 'em on...PLEASE!

I'm using Storyline and I'm still new to the creation of online learning, so how would you go about this?



9 Replies
Daniel Brigham

Hi, Robyn:

All instructional designers go through this. We look at the material and say to ourselves, "OK this material, as is, is about as interesting as dusting a houseful of Venetian blinds." We doubt our chose profession and then we get on with making the content more interesting.

Begin by asking questions of it: why is transporting hazardous material important? What good occurs when it's done well? What bad occurs when it's done not well? What problems are currently occurring? I might make that my starting focus. Starting with real problems that your learners know our problems makes the course seem more important.

Scenarios of course will help. Maybe you have a few characters that run throughout the course, and they make different runs carrying different stuff. You could then ask questions about if they are carrying the loads in appropriate ways.

You could also just build a potential run and then pose questions to the learner--"OK so you are going to X and carrying Y. What do you need to do? Have them make a choice and provide the consequence of their actions. "Well, if you do and the cannister tips over, you had better hope your life insurance premium is paid, etc., etc.

Doing something interesting is a risk. And some managers abhor risk. Have a good conversation with the person who will approve this project to get a sense of what the boundaries are.

Theme: well, you could do a highway theme. There are a whole bunch of sites the provide blank road signs that you could put your on-screen text on. Truck sfx won't be hard to find either.

And know that, really, anything you do is better that what you've got now. Best of luck. --Daniel

Glyn Chadwick

Hi Robyn

I have been training HAZMAT / Dangerous Goods for airline crews for around 8 years and it can be a very dry subject.

I find that a scenario based approach is best, giving real examples of incidents and accidents that have occurred when theye rules have not been followed.

I then normally then go into what is covered in the regulations (ICAO/IATA for airlines), then how to use the regulations.

Throughout the course I try to give real world working examples of why the rules are as they are.

Every now and then an example of what can go wrong is always useful.

PM me if you would like more info.



Jennifer O'Hartigan

Hi Robyn,

I've created hazardous goods awareness elearning courses in the past.  I have to agree with the comments above.  Scenarios are the best way to go.  For example, one course I created had to do with markings and labels.  I found a background of a cardboard box and used the box throughout the course to display the various labels and markings graphics. Each example was paired with a scenario for using the particular label and/or marking.  For the quiz, the question was replaced with a scenario.  The learner was asked to click on the label that was appropriate for the scenario.

Good luck,


Bruce Graham

Whenever I have something like this, I build, for example a little suite of
courses that just start by showing what happens if you get it wrong.
Can make it a little "lighter" in tone.
Did one for a government research group once called "Going home with the
same number of body parts you came to work with".
Just because a subject is deadly serious it does not mean it has to be
deadly dull!
Hope that helps to spark a few ideas.

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