The advantage of using online computer-based training modules and learning management systems (LMS) is that carriers can assign courses to drivers to complete in the office, at home or even in the cab. Commercial offerings come with a wide variety of pre-built courses and some have the added capability to allow carriers to customize the training to their specific needs.
The instructor-free approach to training always has been integral to the Pro-Tread computer-based programs from Instructional Technologies Inc. (ITI). The system keeps electronic records of when drivers complete each training module, as well as their results.
For fleets that do a mixture of classroom and remote training, Pro-Tread modules can be used effectively in either setting. Holding a safety meeting on winter driving, for instance, becomes more effective when drivers are assigned to complete a Pro-Tread lesson beforehand. This gives drivers and the instructor a common point of reference, says Dr. Jim Voorhees, chief executive officer of ITI. The instructor could use the classroom time to talk about specific instances to apply the information learned, such as where to stop to chain up heading West on I-70 from Denver.
“You would not have to introduce the topic cold,” he says.
ITI can customize its digitally created Pro-Tread courses to fit the unique needs of customers. For instance, trucks in the 3-D videos can be “re-skinned” to match the colors and graphics of the fleet. Customization is very popular, he says; the number of custom Pro-Tread courses now outnumber its standard courses by fivefold.
J.J. Keller has an interactive Training On Demand center at www.jjkellertraining.com. The service has more than 500 training courses. Behind the scenes, the courses are maintained by a staff of instructional designers with degrees in adult learning. J.J. Keller can also customize the content for fleets that want to include unique policies and create their own course material.
Training On Demand includes a learning management system (LMS) that fleet managers use to enroll drivers in courses and track their progress. The system can track when drivers logged in, for how long, what courses they completed and their scores.
Carriers can customize the front page of the portal that drivers see when they login to complete assigned courses, such as creating a welcome message with a company logo. Because the training is interactive, drivers can complete the online courses at their own pace.