Tuesday, March 15, 2011

KnowledgeWeb Aids in BP Whiting Modernization

Resource Development Company, LLC (RDC) has been selected by BP Whiting to provide a customized KnowledgeWeb implementation for Foster Wheeler SYDECSM  process knowledge at the Whiting Indiana Refinery. 
In 2008, BP began the Whiting Refinery Modernization Project, the largest private investment ever made in the state of Indiana, which is planned to benefit Indiana and the nation for years to come.  As part of this project, several new process units are being constructed including a new fully automated delayed coker, the first of its kind.  As a first, no experienced workers exist to mentor operators for the new unit. BP chose KnowledgeWeb as a solution that would ensure workers were properly trained in advance of the launch. 
KnowledgeWeb fits right in with the innovative modernization, improving performance and preparing workers to 100% competency on the new coker unit. All knowledge required to operate and maintain the delayed coking process and the learning modules that transfer the knowledge will be accessible to workers on demand, online, via RDC's hosted environment.
As the project nears completion, Whiting workers will use the KnowledgeWeb to prepare for a successful start up on the new coker unit and then for years to come as a continuous learning environment. 

Assessment: A Learning Opportunity

To achieve their goals and move their businesses in the direction they want to go many companies are putting more focus on workforce knowledge.  Performance, efficiency, safety and best practices are directly related to workforce knowledge and ability.  In today’s world, businesses are finding that learning is more important than ever. 
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. 

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 you can find out what you know and what you don’t.  Reviewing which sections were missed helps one learn by focusing on what is needed and allowing for self-correction.  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 the information to transition from short- to long-term memory, ultimately reinforcing learning. 
Assessment can also be useful in planning. Used as an individual predictor, an 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, assessment results identify where groups of learners need feedback or additional learning.

Testing contributes to creating a pathway to 100% competency for each learner.  RDC’s solutions rely on different levels of assessment.  For example, a Mastery Assessment first identifies any gaps in required knowledge.  This information is then used to create a Personal Learning Path for each learner.  Then, learners are presented with the module content, which includes pre- and post- assessments and quiz questions, all designed to give learners practice in recalling what they are learning.  This prepares the learner for the Final Assessment, where they can demonstrate knowledge transfer.  This combination of assessment and feedback sets up a cycle of learning where 100% competency is truly attainable in a cost- and time-effective manner.