Repetitive worksheets in a course

Jul 09, 2012

Hi all,

Most of the courses I build at my day work are about technical issues, normally related to construction, recycling or the use of machinery.

The thing is that these courses contain lots of worksheets about Health & Safety (about 40, 60 or even 80 files).

Every file has always the same steps: risk factors, preventive measures, personal protective equipment...

I'm building them with Quizmaker, asking instead of telling, but anyway, after 4 or 5 files I'm sure that students could die of boredom.

Any tips to build such courses? Maybe these things aren't to be presented in an e-learning course but just PDFs and then some tests/activities?

Thanks for your help!


6 Replies
Hugh Gardner


  Break down the items and determine what is the goal of the learner reading that document.  What knowledge do you want them to take away.  If each one has a small amount of takeaway, consider combining multiple items into one learning.  If you need to test that knowledge add a quiz section.  If you just need to provide access to them during a training that focuses on other material, consider adding them in a a document section (doable in Studio and Storyline), but out of the way unless needed.  

Steve Flowers

I think your final paragraph nails it, Belen. I'm not sure an e-learning course is the right solution here, at least not in the traditional sense.

It sounds like a bunch of tools have already been produced to guide folks to the right behaviors (worksheets / job aids). So framing those in an e-learning course seems a bit like welding a hammer to another hammer. 

You may already have a perspective on what the real problems are. Is it that folks aren't using the worksheets? Do they not value the process or is the process itself the problem? What stands in the way of what people need to do? Lots of things that could be considered here

One of the things we've done in the past when we had job aids in multiple forms was create a "companion" for the job aid. The companion presented a series of problems we wanted the participant to solve using the worksheets and job aids. These were very brief but gave people relevant challenges and, at the early stages, guided the use of the worksheets and job aids.

Mike Taylor

I'll second Steve's comments. It's important to look at the situation from a holistic point of view. If they know how to find and use the documents are their questions about any gray areas that could be misinterpreted? ( For example, we've had policies that were pretty clear but many people had questions about when and/or where to apply them. )Are there any disincentives on the job that might impede people using them? Do their managers disagree with the contents of the documents? Do they have all the necesary resources/equipment ot follow them? Etc Etc

Even the world's greatest elearning course can never fix a performance problem if these other "environmental" factors are out of alignment. 

Dawn Mahoney

Adding to the thread:

Is there a way that the associates/learners can go through the repetitive elements once on a pass/fail basis and "certify" they know how to use PPE, etc.? Once they've passed, then they move on to the "real" content without having to revisit over and over again.  This could be done on a quarterly, semi-annual, annual basis as compliance requires. 

I agree that a digital delivery "course" isn't necessarily the answer. If you are reasonably sure they're going to be safe on the job through the process I mention above, why would good instruction sheets work? Interactive .pdf docs that could be loaded on cell phones or tablets, etc. Even paper sheets to be used on the job would be more beneficial than sitting through repetitive info. They'll tune out before they get to what they really need to learn. 

Belen Casado

Thank you very much for your answers!

@Hugh, the goal in this course is to prevent some safety issues to happen... very difficult to do if a student must read a lot of info. On top, they're operators not interested in reading anything. Companies are obliged to warn about safety but operators don't like to be warned.

@Steve, I think it's key to present these as problems to be solved instead of a click and read course or even a looooong PDF file. So I'll create a scenario, or some scenarios, to present risks and ask students to choose how to avoid them.

As @Mike says, environmental factors are out of alignment, as long as both companies and workers are usually reluctant to enforce health & safety rules, while it's compulsory for them.

Thanks again, I'll squeeze my brain now to see what I get!

Belen Casado

@Dawn, thank you for your answer.

Well, the repetitive thing is that, for every element, the information is always similar.

For example, for "falls from heights", students should know all risk facts, all preventive measures, all personal equipment that should be used... Then, for "falls on the same level", students should again read about risk facts, preventive measures, equipment... And they're slightly different, but they sound similar when you've read 3 or 4 files.

Anyway, now I need to convince my bosses to using another workaround. And I'll do it as Tom Kuhlmann should: by showing them a different solution.

Thanks again!!


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