Over the past few months the eCreators content team has been converting the Vic Roads motorcycle training booklet to online training. I have found this to be an up and down adventure as the course has changed considerably since the last time I did motorcycle training.
The aim was simple “To convert the booklet to online training with an assessment at the end that people would be able to do before their riding course. This would remove some of the class room based training that you received on the day”.
The main struggle that I was having with the eLearning was getting the message across to such a wide audience but still being able to keep the correct language level and really explain how important the information is without diluting its importance or leaving it up to interpretation.
Finding out I would do the training
So as an early Christmas present from the boss I was enrolled in the course. Really, I think it was for me to get a better understanding of the course not pretend to be Valentino Rossi around the track. It really did open my eyes though to how much the course had changed and why it had changed.
How the days were run.
The course was two full days with a mix of class based and practical learning. Before this course, you are required to read though the booklet that Vic Roads offers so you have all the specific information and road rules that apply to bikes. The book gives you the answers to the written test that you take at the end of the first day.
So along came the 28th of December a nice 33oC day in Ballarat perfect day for riding in anyone’s book if you wanted to lose a few KG’s. We started off inside and were given an overview of how the day would run. We would spend 30 – 45 mins inside learning about road craft and then we would go outside and apply this to the practical side. This concept worked great as you didn’t have to remember a full day of classroom training and then apply it to the practical side on the second day.
After I had completed the first day of the course I had a new understanding for why they wanted to move away from the booklet that is offered by Vic roads (nothing against the book) but there is an issue with the written word “People can interpret it different ways” and I could see this happening just by the questions that were being asked.
So, coming back after the Christmas break and with the training in mind we have decided to incorporate a lot more video to explain how certain crash types are caused, what the advantages of buffering are, how to handle curves and what are the best ways to reduce risk. When you read about these is the booklet they can be harder to understand because you have no concept of space, speed or time whereas with the animations that we use we try and incorporate all of this in there which is then reinforced by the practical training that you would do on the day.
By using video the hopes are that it can only be interpreted one way as these small 10 second animations that also incorporate a question at end of it which means that if the user has interpreted the information in a different way they will get the questions wrong and be given feedback to reinforce the information and how it should be understood.
We are still in the development phase but it has defiantly gone a lot smoother now that I have done the practical side and can relate to the issues that we were having in the design phase. So you can look forward to another update once it has been rolled out and we have had a chance to evaluate the training.
On a side note I would highly recommend that if you get the change to do the practical side of any training that you are developing I would do it. It opens your eyes to what the issues could be and might completely change the way you are designing the training.