Thursday, February 15, 2018

Virtual Reality EHS Modules Create "Hands-On" Training

PetroSkills RDC Solutions has teamed with EON Reality ( to create Virtual Reality Modules for hands-on safety training. This technology allows users to view and perform skills in an immersive environment using a Virtual Reality (VR) goggles and controllers to see and feel the activities. The VR modules were introduced at the PetroSkills Conclave meeting in January 2018. Current EHS courses that have been created and those under development include:

Hazard Communication:
A5005 – Benzene
A5029 - Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)
A5019 - Asbestos

Safe Work Practices:
A5003 - Confined Space Entry
A5012 - Lockout/Tagout
A5022 - Fall Prevention
A5065 - Driving Safety
A5030 - Hot Work
A5090 - Office Safety

Powered Industrial Equipment:
A5056 - Rigging, Slings and Crane Lifts

Industrial Hygiene:
A5013 - Eye and Face Protection

Simulations show where exposure to H2S is possible.


Instruction for lockout/tagout procedures is simulated.

For more information, contact us at

Thursday, October 19, 2017

New eLearning Course - Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica

OSHA issues new Respirable Crystalline Silica standard. New ePilot course available to subscribers now! #ehslibrary #ehstraining

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Learning Effectiveness (eLearning Trends 5 of 5)

Today's oil and gas companies must contend with many issues related to the safety, reliability, and environmental performance in running a successful plant. Incidents, near-misses, plant upsets, and production mishaps pose a constant threat to safe and efficient operations. The fundamental ability to capture, transfer, and validate worker knowledge is critical to success.
Employees can attend training sessions, but having gone to training doesn't mean they learned. When it comes to safety, productivity and performance, what your employees know is more important than what their records may say. To truly know a topic, there must be understanding of concepts, attachments to prior knowledge and the ability to apply the new knowledge. How can you be sure your employees have the knowledge they need? How can you be sure the learning outcomes have been achieved?

One aspect of learning that draws much criticism is testing.  Most of us are familiar with testing from our school days as a means to attain a result. The result is pass or fail; qualified or not; certified or not. However, when viewed as a way to assess knowledge, a "test" serves more purpose than merely notating a final grade. Assessments and quizzes can be used to promote learning and shape the learning path.

Effective e-learning programs will rely on 3 different levels of assessment:

1.      Placement assessment is used to determine what the learner knows about the content prior to training. Useful in planning or as an individual predictor, this assessment identifies where knowledge gaps exist so that individualized learning paths can be created to meet each learner’s specific needs. As an aggregate predictor, placement assessment results can identify where groups of learners need feedback or additional learning.

2.      Formative assessment is used during the instruction to determine how the learner is progressing and to provide immediate feedback to the learner. These assessments and quizzes make learning stick. As a learning aid, answering a series of questions or responding to a quiz after covering a topic is a great way to monitor one’s own learning – it gives instant feedback so learners can find out what they know and what they don’t. These challenges make learners participate more actively in the learning process and create memory. During the assessment, the learner actively recalls the details from short-term memory. These "practice recalls" help to ultimately reinforce learning.

3.      Summative assessment is used at the end of the course to determine the mastery level of the learner and determine if they are proficient or must receive remedial training.

Combining these into e-learning programs is a three step process for learning effectiveness:
The crucial foundation for identifying gaps is understanding what knowledge is required. Defining what is actually required for best job performance involves recognizing every single procedure, issue, or parameter that could affect that job. When all requirements are defined, a thorough assessment can identify gaps in the total required knowledge.
The appropriate learning modules must be delivered consistently to each individual based on their current abilities. Well-designed learning content incorporates proven Instructional Design Methodology (ISD) with relevant content to produce effective, engaging programs geared for adult learners in technical industries. Incorporating self-teaching quizzes and knowledge checks keeps learners involved in the learning process and aid in recall and self-correction.
The actual knowledge acquired must be measured against the defined knowledge requirements. This requires well designed assessments and strategies for remediation. When competency is not attained, the personal learning path must be adjusted and the appropriate remediation completed until 100% proficiency is reached.
This combination of assessment and feedback sets up a cycle of learning where 100% competency is truly attainable. Creating e-learning that consistently and accurately checks and updates learning in each of the three steps above will ensure effective learning. With gaps eliminated, benefits can be realized in:
  • Productivity increases
  • Improved safety
  • Improved performance
  • Reduced process upsets
  • Reduced operator errors
  • Fewer machine breakdowns and shutdowns
  • Less time spent correcting mistakes
PetroSkills RDC Solutions is in a unique position to close the knowledge gaps through e-learning. With over 50 years of knowledge transfer experience in the oil and gas industry, we've worked with leading companies, licensors, and manufacturers gleaning industry experience and technical know-how. By optimizing learning with proven instructional design methodologies and e-learning technology, we enable our clients to improve performance while reducing risk. Visit our website or contact us via email at

Monday, May 22, 2017

Using Video in eLearning (eLearning Trends 4 of 5)

The days of video learning equating to dimming the classroom lights and popping a VHS tape into a player are over. When someone wants know-how about anything, most people are now quite comfortable turning to internet searches and watching videos. E-learning programs can be enhanced with video, adding dimension to your learning and development programs, but it’s not as simple as linking to a 30 minute video and letting the content do all the instruction.

Things to consider when using video in e-Learning:
  • Keep it short. Consider the length of the video. If it’s too long you will lose the attention of the learner. You cannot expect deep attention from video alone. Stay focused on the point to keep learners attention. When kept short and focused, video can easily demonstrate a concept.
  • Learners cannot control the pace of video, so you need to supply controls to pause and replay video within the course.
  • Video content should only be key points of information (see my previous post on microlearning to be easily comprehended, and of interest to learners.
  • Reinforce the video content by engaging the learner in knowledge check questions, and other e-learning instruction methods.
What about oil and gas learners?
Oil and gas learners are often covering complex technical information. They need sound instructional design and verification of knowledge transfer. Organizations can’t rely solely on video, but can use some benefits of video to enhance e-learning.

Short focused video can make e-learning more media rich and engaging, but videos can also be boring and lose the interest of learners if they are not combined with interactive content. Interactivity makes learners focus, think, analyze, and take part in the instruction. Presenting objectives and tying meaningful questions to the video topics with knowledge check questions keeps learners involved.
Repeatability is good for comprehension. Video can refresh and reinforces previous learning. Different learning styles can be addressed by repeating instruction in different formats. Visual learners and poor readers my find video enhanced courses allow them to connect visual information to what they read and recall, thus reinforcing information. Video simulations show processes and prepare learners for actual use of equipment beforehand.

On its own, video may not be enough, but when incorporated into student-centered interactive e-learning content there are many benefits including:
  • Convenience, self-paced
  • Promotes knowledge retention
  • Enhances learning experience
If you would like to know more about making impactful eLearning, helping your learners to engage with the content, why not drop us a line at Or visit

Monday, May 15, 2017

Microlearning (eLearning Trends 3 of 5)

Microlearning is a short, focused learning chunk designed to deliver content that will quickly close a skill or knowledge gap. E-Learning that is chunked down to bite-sized learning can be easily consumed and understood by learners.

How do you implement microlearning in your e-learning curriculum?
  1. Break down topics into individual learning goals (terminal objectives)
  2. Create short interactive modules/microcourses
  3. String together microlearning/courses into process
The key to the microlearning approach is the breakdown of required job knowledge into its smallest logical requirements.

Each job role has specific knowledge that is required for proficiency. Once the knowledge requirements for each job role has been defined, a proven instructional design methodology is used to break down the educational material into chunks that contain all information for a specific learning goal, or terminal objective. The resulting chunks of information are now modules or “microcourses”. Each microcourse focuses one small learning goal or terminal objective. This is the lasting useful knowledge that the learner will have acquired after completing the microcourse.
Microcourses become the building blocks and when arranged in sequence or logical groups create a complete training curriculum. The learner launches a training course following the prescribed sequence. Each course presents the material (microcourses) in a logical and progressive order. In addition to ensuring that each and every learning objective is specifically addressed, logical assessments are incorporated into the content with in lesson “check your knowledge” questions and a final assessment to ensure each objective is met. Learners actively participate in the learning process with knowledge verification assessment for each objective.

Additionally, microcourses can be automatically combined and recombined in real-time with other microcourses to form truly unique personal learning paths ( So that learning content is pulled by the learner’s need, instead of being pushed by a static “one-size-fits-all” curriculum. Microcourses add to the flexibility of e-learning access, allowing users to have anytime/anywhere access to learning and even in limited time frames (Please see our previous articles “Closing the Gap”).

The benefit to oil and gas learners
The pace and timing of microlearning activities are important. Adult learners on-the-job need quick access to timely instruction. Breaking down technical topics into small modules with short time requirements enables learning activities to be incorporated into daily routines and tasks. Learners are in control of what and when they’re learning. And the rich media formats in e-learning ensure better learning retention.

PetroSkills RDC Solutions
Our course planning processes follow the extensive quality standards set by IACET. Each series is planned in advance, including the module, the terminal objective, the lesson, lesson topic, graphic asset requirements, evaluation requirements, and source material. Following proven instructional system design principles each topic is distilled into learning modules that work together in sequence to provide effective learning solutions. Our modules facilitate site, unit and job-specific customization to meet the mandated specificity requirements and the unique requirements of each job. Pre-tests, post-tests, and in lesson knowledge checks verify that learning is taking place. For more information on our approach, please visit our website.

Instructional Design Terminology
Microcourse. A microcourse is the smallest reusable learning element and contains all the instructional material to insure proficiency of a specific Terminal Objective. Developed using an accredited instructional system design methodology, it is the foundation building block in creating a learner’s Personal Learning Path.
Lesson. A Lesson is a small unit of learning content designed to transfer knowledge for a single Learning Objective. Each Lesson consists of a combination of multiple learning frames, learner interactions, review questions and learning assets. Lessons covering related material are grouped together in a specific order for presentation to the learner in a microcourse.
Lesson Topic. A lesson topic is a learning component that assists in knowledge transfer at the lesson level. Lesson topics are tied to evaluation requirements, where each topic will be validly and reliably assessed to ensure knowledge transfer occurred.
Terminal Objective. A Terminal Objective is the statement of the learning goal for a Microcourse and represents the lasting useful knowledge that the learner will have acquired after completing a microcourse.
Learning Objective. A Learning Objective (also referred to as an Enabling Objective) is the statement of the learning goal for a Lesson. Together, the combined Learning Objectives for all the microcourse Lessons address the overall Terminal Objective.
Evaluation Requirements. Evaluation requirements are tied to lesson topics. Each topic must be evaluated to ensure that knowledge was transferred, and if not, provide the appropriate remediation.

If you would like to learn more of how PetroSkills can help you - please email