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:

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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.

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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?

Halloween & Safety Training

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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

The Feynman Technique

Have you heard of the Feynman Technique? If you want to learn something – really learn something – the 4 steps proposed by Richard Feynman, a Nobel prize winning physicist, can help. The 4 basics steps of the Feynman Technique are shown below but in a nutshell, they are: 1) Pick a concept and write it out as if you were explaining it to a child (no big, hairy technical words or jargon); 2) identify areas where you had trouble explaining the concept. This is where there are gaps in your knowledge. Go back and find the information you need and study it so that you can now explain that information to an 8 year old; 3) organize your notes and organize them into a story that is again, simple and easy to understand. If there are still confusing parts, go back and rewrite your summary story; 4) Tell someone else about it. A good way to see if you really understand something is to try to explain it to someone else.  (We can use this last step in safety training – more on that in tomorrow’s post).  Take a look at the infographic below which summarizes a description of the Feynman technique that was originally posted on the Farnham Street blog.  What do you want to learn next? Can you try the Feynman Technique and see if it works?

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