This is a response I recently added to the Discussion Forums of the SCILS website. A user had posed the question "How does Online Induction Work?"

Online Induction can only be successful if it is blended with other learning activities. For example, an online programme cannot teach you the practical elements of Moving & Handling or First Aid. Where it does benefit in these fields is that a trainer can ensure, through e-learning and the reports mechanism that people attending a practical course have all the necessary knowledge to fully participate and benefit. This means that practical, off the job training events can be either reduced in terms of man days or improved as more time is assigned to practical exercises and problem solving.

A good online induction programme will suggest workplace activities for the learner to complete to ensure that learning is taken into the workplace and their own workplace context is created. This can then be supported by an online recording function that allows managers to review the learners evidence before signing their induction programme off as complete.

In terms of the learning materials themselves you should look for a programme that is suited to your audience – the people who are to be trained. As a whole this means building the interactivity as you progress and making use of audio and not using too much on screen text. This has a secondary benefit that it builds confidence in use of IT equipment.

A good online Induction programme should also include content on Bad Practices in the industry and how these can be avoided / reported.

There are major benefits to using an online learning programme as part of your Induction process including:

  1. Cost Savings.
  2. Improved Induction records.
  3. Consistent quality of learning.

We have also found that organisations using our system have found that the provision of Induction reports for Inspection is a straightforward task – no more hunting for paperwork etc.

Finally for now, a good online Induction programme should not stop there – it should allow the capacity to manage refreshers for your existing team, show attendance on practical training days and build an NVQ portfolio for the user.