Luma “Brighter Learning”, a learning and instructional design company that helps carriers save time and money with their orientation training, recently created a game-based and interactive Hazardous Materials Training out of a need to help drivers remember the content.
Anyone who has been in charge of hazmat training can attest that there is a lot of essential content to remember. Just flipping through the Department Emergency Response Guidebook got a reaction from Dr. Gina Anderson, Luma’s CEO. “The average person can only hold 7 +/- 2 pieces of information in their working memory. This guidebook made my mind spin. We talked to drivers and carriers and they had the same reaction. We wanted to help drivers access and learn this content.”
With 20+ years in the education field, Luma understands how people learn and specifically studies driver learning preferences so that the best possible content can be delivered in a way that is most meaningful to them. Studying drivers’ learning preferences over the past six years, they published the E2A Instructional Model to help orientation and safety directors align their training materials with best practices for teaching drivers. The following sections show how the E2A Instructional Model is used to break down the complex hazardous material into a format that will help drivers learn.
The first step in learning is to have someone’s attention (e.g., Clark, Nguyen, & Sweller, 2006). Attention spans are decreasing (Lopatecki, Rose, Hughes, & Wilson, 2017) so it is important to know what medium of content drivers prefer so you can engage them right away. Have you asked your drivers? Luma found that most hazmat training was delivered passively where drivers have to watch a video or listen to someone telling them the information with a PowerPoint.
Luma’s research in the driver industry shows that drivers prefer different types of content and not just video. 70% percent of drivers ask for a mixture of content. Interestingly, they specifically rate content that looks or functions like a game on average 4.55 out of 5 stars. As one driver stated, “I love these! I’ve learned so much and I’ve been a professional driver for over 20 years.”
The Hazmat Training builds on the E2A guideline to keep the content entertaining and fun. For example, to learn about hazardous classes, drivers not only read about and get tested on the hazmat classes, they also get to see how fast they can match the correct classes for select examples. They get repeated practice, which also helps with efficiency.
Everyone’s working memory has limits as to how much it can retain. In addition, learning research historically has shown that people, in general, have to attend to content that is new, complex, or unfamiliar repeatedly and over time before it can be encoded into long-term memory (Ebbinghaus, 1885). Importantly, the learner has to play an active role in the construction of information rather than passively studying or listening to information (Smith & Kosslyn, 2007).
In order for drivers to actively engage with the Hazardous Emergency Guidebook information, Luma created a way to condense the information and get it to the drivers when and where they need it. The content is broken down into an eNugget®, or a small bit of electronic content, instead of flipping through 400 pages of PDF content!
With the Interactive Emergency Guidebook eNugget®, information is condensed in order to take into account the limits of human cognition. Now, the driver can quickly search for emergency response information and get the information instantly on any device. Instead of scrolling through the 400 pages to find the guidebooks they need, the orange guidebooks and important fire information is provided right at their fingertips.
Sometimes making content relevant to a driver is knowing what is important to them. Drivers have told us that they appreciate when technology is easy to use. Additionally, they prefer a mixture of content. For example, in the Hazardous Materials Training, Luma provides both a print version for those drivers who would want to print it and an interactive version for drivers who want to search and find information through their smart device. Luma’s research shows that it is imperative for retention of content to differentiate the learning tools, the mediums, and the type of training offered. For example, 12.9% of our drivers have used the virtual agent to have the content read to them, while others want to explore and read the content on their own accords. “Our goal is always to make the content and tools useful for the drivers,” says Dr. Scott Anderson, COO of Luma. If drivers find the Interactive Emergency Guidebook eNugget® useful and are able to pull it up on the job, it will ultimately save them time and help prevent costly and perhaps deadly mistakes.
ReferencesAnderson, G., Anderson, S., Hensley, M., & Nordquest, E. (2018). One-size orientation fits all? Our brain doesn’t say so! White Paper presented at the Women in Trucking Conference: Frisco, TX. Retrieved from https://learnwithluma.com/the-learning-process-and-white-paper/
Clark, R., Nguyen, F., & Sweller, J. (2006). Efficiency in learning: Evidence-based guidelines to manage cognitive load. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Ebbinghaus, H. (1885/1962). Memory: A contribution to experimental psychology. New York: Dover.
Lopatecki, J., Rose, A., Hughes, J., & Wilson, B. (2017). U.S. Patent No. 9,612,995. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Merrill, M. D. (2012). First principles of instruction: Identifying and designing effective, efficient, and engaging instruction. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Smith, E. E., Kosslyn, S. M., & Barsalou, L. W. (2007). Cognitive psychology: Mind and brain (Vol. 6). Upper Saddle River: Pearson/Prentice Hall.