Game On!

level 2After several months of work, and lots of trial and error, I have completed my Level 2 Gamification Journeyman through Sententia Gamification. My final project was titled “Hazard Hunter” and was mentioned in an earlier blog post. Through my earlier completed Level 1 class and now Level 2, I learned so much about what goes into a successful game design. You know the saying “You don’t know what you don’t know?” Well this sums up my experience exactly. I encourage everyone to learn at least a little about gamification and find ways to incorporate it into your safety training. If you need ideas, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d love to brainstorm some ideas with you.

Note: If you want to take a look at Hazard Hunter, I’m happy to share that too. As I continue to get feedback from other safety professionals who volunteered to try out the game, I will keep making revisions to make it the most effective it can be.

Learner Personas

Learner Personas-3Learner Personas are fictitious but realistic profiles, based on actual data, of the individuals you expect to attend your training classes. Your learner persona will have a name, age, gender and maybe some details about their life and what motivates them.  Finding a photo of this learner persona and keeping it in front of you as you develop and prepare training materials can help keep you on target and help make sure training materials are going to be right for your intended audience. Sometimes, you will need to develop several personas if you have a wide variety of people in a class.

It can be really difficult to generalize an entire trainee population but it is important to consider the wants and needs of the majority of the group.  If you work with your trainees everyday, it will be easy to create this persona. What do they do in their free time? What gets them excited? What do they dislike? What is their background, education level and experience with the company? All of these questions can help you to provide safety training that is best matched for your audience.

I first came across the need to create a player persona during a recent course I took on gamification. One of my assignments was to create several personas for the type of trainees I think will be using the safety training games I am designing. Two of my player personas are shown below:

Untitled-design

Meet  Fix-It Frank 

Frank is a 38 year old High School Graduate and 2-year Vo-Tech graduate who is married with 3 kids.  He is a Production Maintenance Supervisor at his current company for the last 15 years. He believes work is just work and is only willing to do what he is specifically paid to do. His biggest complaint is that there are too many work orders for the number of staff in his department and there is little appreciation for the “miracles” he is able to pull off. He is also not a fan of excessive safety rules and feels that they slow him down. He loves professional football and Nascar and plays 3rd base on the company softball team.

old-guy

 

Meet  Mario the Manager 

Mario is 60 years old, married with 2 kids and 5 grandchildren and has been with his company for 35 years. He graduated High School plus completed various certificate programs through work including Lean Six Sigma training. He is currently Packaging Manager but has also previously held the positions of Line Supervisor, Packer and Forklift driver. Mario works hard everyday and takes pride in a job well-done. He arrives early and stays late if necessary. His biggest complaints are around the lack of initiative of younger workers and too much required paperwork. Mario loves baseball and uses his vacation time every year to travel to Florida to watch Spring Training.

If these two individuals represented the type of trainees in your training classes, what would you be sure to include and careful not to include? Would e-learning or traditional classroom learning be better? What type of illustrations and case studies could you use that would get and keep their attention? What would they relate to best?

If you are including interactive learning activities, would a team-based hands-on activity work better than an individual pen and paper writing exercise? How much competition would this group like?

All of these considerations are important to consider. Before you decide what type of training you will deliver and what type of interactive class activities you will introduce, it is important to consider the type of trainees you will have in your class. Learner Personas are a great way to do that and by keeping personas like “Fixit Frank” and “Mario the Manager” in mind, you will stay on track and not fall into the trap of designing and using something you yourself would like but that is of little interest or not effective for your trainees.

Take a second to give it a try. How would you characterize one of your typical learner personas? I’d love to hear what you come up with!

Word of the Year

PUSH.pngI recently read about a trend started by Melinda Gates to select a personal “word of the year” as an alternative to New Year’s resolutions. Your word of the year should motivate and inspire you in all that you do.

When I first read this, I thought “Oh, I need a word for my safety life and for my professional life” but after thinking about it, one word really can cover it all.

After looking through my list of goals, ideas, and events for the next few months, I think the best word for me in 2020 is PUSH.

I’m also working on learning 20 new things in 2020 as described in my earlier post so I already have a big push to learn new skills and try things that may be out of my comfort zone but when I look at my list of things to do, I have some pretty ambitious projects lined up as well. PUSH not only makes me think to do just a little bit more than I think I should but also to encourage (gently) others around me to try things that they may not think they can do.

With respect to safety, in 2020 I hope to become really knowledgeable about e-learning and gain mastery of an e-learning authoring application plus I want to finish up 3 books I am almost finished writing PLUS work on and finalize a new, fairly substantial book that I am under contract to write and finish by November, AND achieve a new certification in learning and development and if there is any time left, kick-off an online course. I know myself and I can get this done but I will likely need to PUSH myself at times to keep the momentum going and to get over the bumps that are sure to come. If you know me, feel free to give me a PUSH as well!

What is your word?

Attention Spans, Goldfish & Fake News

I just came back from a safety conference where one of the presenters stated that humans have an attention span of 8 seconds – less than that of a goldfish. While this is a vivid and easy to remember statistic that many presenters and media sources like to repeat, it is not proven and there seems to be little to no evidence backing it up.

goldfish.png

If you think about it, imagine what we would be like if we really only could pay attention for 8 seconds. Our training classes would be chaotic! While I agree 100% that it is important to include as many opportunities as possible for trainees to be involved during training to help keep them involved and focused, I don’t think we have to worry about people zoning out every 8 seconds. The original source of the goldfish story has not been backed up. More recent studies show much more interesting data pointing out that 1) we don’t have shorter attention spans than goldfish* (usually attributed to the increased use of technology),  2) we are becoming better at multi-tasking (thanks to technology) and 3) our attention spans are actually evolving and learning to be more selective. I am sure you can relate to this as well as I can. We are flooded with information so if you are like me, you will see something and quickly decide if it’s worth your attention before moving to the next thing. In these cases, I am sure my attention span is less than 3 seconds! There is so much coming at us from every direction, we need to be able to limit our focus to a few seconds so that we can focus longer on what’s important.

One important thing I’d like to point out is the overuse of the whole goldfish and attention span story. Even though the original goldfish story was published by Microsoft in 2015 and is still quoted as fact every day in 2019, it has not been backed up by science. In fact, there are dozens of more recent reports that have debunked the goldfish attention span myth. Telling and re-telling the goldfish story is in effect, fake news. As trainers, we need to check and re-check the stories and statistics such as this before we teach them to others as “the way it is.”  The goldfish attention span story is relatively harmless but it’s an example of how something can so easily perpetuate.  Going past the first page of Google search results can often show facts, research and opinions that differ  from the more popular ones being quoted by everyone else.  A few resources to check your information, plus a few links about the goldfish attention span story are below.  I hope you can come to your own conclusions and keep an open mind in the future.

PS – If you got this far, your attention span is definitely longer than 8 seconds!

Note: The lowly goldfish actually has a much longer attention span than 8 seconds and goldfish researchers take offense at this poor little guy being used as the poster child for poor attention spans. If you are really interested in goldfish attention spans, the research studies are available online.

 

  1. http://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/ 
  2. http://brandongaille.com/average-attention-span-statistics-and-trends/  
  3. http://www.iflscience.com/brain/do-you-have-lower-attention-span-goldfish/ 
  4. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38896790 
  5. https://guides.stlcc.edu/fakenews/factchecking
  6. https://martechseries.com/sales-marketing/customer-experience-management/survey-finds-attention-spans-arent-shrinking-theyre-evolving/

 

 

 

 

Halloween & Safety Training

report

Halloween stores pop up all over the country and many stores temporarily dedicate multiple aisles to halloween decorations, candy and costumes. Many of these items can be great props for use in safety training classes and activities. For some ideas on how to take advantage of Halloween sales (especially in the days following October 31st), check out our FREE Halloween and Safety Training guide!   Happy Halloween!

For our full guide on Halloween and Safety Training, Click Here.

 

Diversity and Training Images

noun_professor_2909357.pngIt’s important to try to use images in your safety training that reflect a diverse population. Specific images related to safety can be hard to find in the first place but trying to find safety images that reflect diversity can be almost impossible. The Noun project (a great source for icons for your training materials) has a new set of icons that show women in leadership and STEM positions. I applaud their efforts! If you want to check out or download the icons, see the link below.
 

An Apple a Day

IMG_6581I just read it’s #NationalAppleDay! I remember a Bible school teacher cutting an apple in half as part of a lesson and I remember learning about an apple falling on Newton’s head which led him to come up with the law of gravity – in both cases an image or prop really helped with what someone was trying to teach me since I still remember it many years later. Always try to think how you can create a mental image to share with your trainees when trying to get a concept or new idea across. Do you have any other “apple” ideas to share?

Check out this and other posts, plus other safety training resources at https://safetyfundamentals.com/blogs/news