We find ourselves in a unique moment in time. Everyone in the world is going through a shared experience right now. There will be variations for each country and person to person, but for all of us, our usual way of life has been shaken up dramatically. Things are also constantly in flux, which can create uncertainty, anxiety, and an unhealthy focus on what’s going wrong.
In a small attempt to counteract this, I wanted to take a step back and try to find positive aspects amongst all of this change. There are good things happening in the world that aren’t even being done intentionally, that will benefit everyone. I don’t want to come across as Pollyanna, but right now I think it’s important to take the wins where we can.
I’ve been working from home for a while now and it looks like this will continue for the foreseeable future. In fact, nearly all of my colleagues are working from home full time. I want to acknowledge that not everyone can work from home, and sadly, some people do not currently have work at all.
Working from home means that I’ve stopped commuting to the office. I used to drive to and from work three times a week. That reduction in driving means I’m contributing less carbon emissions. Sure, my hand has been forced by a global pandemic and the government’s recommendations, but it’s still a good thing.
In the first week I reduced my carbon emissions by nearly 7kg. After a month, I reduced my emissions by over 26kg. In three months, it will be more than 80kg of emissions. That might seem like a small drop in the metaphorical ocean, so I thought I’d survey the rest of my colleagues and look at how much we’re saving collectively as a company.
A lot of people walk, ride their bikes, or catch public transport. But for others, driving is the only option, with some people travelling in excess of 150km per day. In the first week of everyone working from home, as a company we’ve reduced our emissions by 260kg. After a month, it was over one tonne. In three months, it will be more than three tonnes of emissions.
Here’s what that looks like visually:
Calculations are based on a medium-sized car with fuel consumption of 8L/100km.
None of us can move through the world in the way we want to right now, but we can take a little solace in the fact that while we’re socially isolated, we’re all doing a little good, whether we like it or not. In situations like this, sometimes you need to take whatever good you can get.
Aurizon had an expensive problem. Trainee drivers and shunters obviously need instruction using real locomotives and freight wagons. The problem is that those operational resources need to be pulled out of production for days and days at a time — which means they’re not generating revenue. That’s big dollars lost every time you need to train up a new cohort of drivers. And given that the requirement for new drivers corresponds to increase in demand for haulage, it was a double whammy.
What if there was a way to kill two birds with one stone? Could the need for locos and wagons be reduced while maintaining the standard of training?
It turns out, yes. This video gives you a sneak-peak at the solution. Over 20 modules faithfully replicating real-world procedures; integrated strategically into the existing face-to-face curriculum.
Trainees spend the first weeks learning all the procedures in a life-sized VR shunt yard. Each trainee has significantly more opportunity to practise and receive feedback from instructors. They can re-do the activities as many times as they like — night or day; rain, hail, or shine. All the usual safety risks of taking a group of trainees into a live operational environment disappear.
By the time they’re ready to practice on actual locos and wagons, their confidence has improved. They know exactly what is expected. They’ve already nailed the radio communications protocols. They’ve practised manipulating virtual hoses, air cocks, testing equipment, and in-cab controls dozens and dozens of times. They know what all the parts are called. And the consequences of not doing things correctly are clear.
While trainees have been gaining this head start, the locomotives and wagons that would otherwise be offline have been out there continuing to generate revenue.
It took a dedicated team well over a year to pull this off and we are so proud of the end product. Aurizon is stoked, too. Increased safety, faster pathway to competency, huge cost savings… what’s not to like?
If your organisation does any kind of heavy equipment training, do a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation: If, in your training programs, you reduced the use of real, actual haul trucks, tower cranes, dozers, harvesters, tracked fellers, scrapers, etc. by half… how much would you save? What does that add up to over the next five years?
One of our specialists would be more than happy to have a chat if that’s something you’re interested in. In the meantime, please leave a comment or question on the video. We’re really keen to hear what you think.
Change might be a constant right now but I’m amazed at how swiftly organisations have been adapting to our challenging climate. At Croomo, our teams have promptly adopted remote working models to continue serving our clients.
A challenge we’ve been actively solving in recent days has been our ability to closely consult with clients remotely. As we have a number of large projects that require dense discovery work, it became very apparent that our tried and true face-to-face workshops were simply not possible. We started asking ourselves: “How do we facilitate productive online workshops? Is that an effective way to reach the desired output? How will participants engage with an online workshop format? Will there be technical barriers that cause friction?”
The rise of collaborative cloud-based software in recent years has seen tools come and go. Most recently, we started testing an online whiteboard tool called Miro. Across the production team, it has been trialled for a myriad of purposes (e.g. project management, user experience research, team meetings, and product strategy). I was keen to trial this software for a key tool in my process: the discovery workshop.
In order to assist our software product team to prioritise their roadmaps, we decided to walk through a simple ‘problem solving’ workshop process. To prepare, I set up our virtual workspaces, lay them out as steps in the process, and allocated each participant their (colour-coded) virtual sticky notes. A group of 4 individuals then logged in to the whiteboards, greeted each other with the video conference feature, and switched their cameras off to get stuck into the work. The working group generally followed the steps well, albeit with a few fumbles as I explained each step. It quickly became apparent how much reliance we have on “reading the room” when facilitating workshops. Body language makes up the majority of our communication – something I had been taking for granted! Without it we were forced to consider the virtual workshop process itself and spend more time checking in at every step to ensure participants understood the objective, the instruction, and that we provided useful examples.
Our next steps are to actively improve our online workshop templates to:
Provide a clear journey and sense of progress to workshop participants
Include useful examples of good/bad workshop outputs
Provide ‘stop and reflect’ moments in the process – Silence is OK!
Explore ways to further humanise the experience (e.g. using photos of participants)
Test the technical barriers with our clients and partners.
Every day, the crew are supporting each other’s well being and helping to manage the inevitable technical challenges that come with this significant change. You may have read Jason Reed’s article about our daily ritual: Virtual RealiTEA? The social and mental health benefit of checking in with your colleagues informally is immeasurable in our remote working culture. Many of us regularly look forward to this brief 10 minutes of virtual office banter.
There have been wins internally as we adapt to remote working, but we acknowledge there will be technical challenges to solve with clients. Some may not hold the technical literacy we ‘digital natives’ take for granted and will require thorough onboarding or alternative approaches. There will be no ‘one size fits all’ solution and each workshop will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. We are confident. The technology works, is useful and when the focus is spent bringing participants on the journey it will be a fruitful experience for all involved. I look forward to virtually workshopping with you soon.
As we are sure is the case in your own business, 2019 has been a huge year for our group (Croomo, Clui and Lode) and we wanted to share some of our highlights with you.
Over the next 25 days, we’ll be sharing 25 projects that have made us incredibly proud in 2019. Each day you’ll receive a new poster in your holiday mailbox for you to view and place on the wall. Some posters will contain a nice message, while others will come with little treats for you to enjoy.
Don’t worry if you miss a day or two, the posters will automatically be placed for you to review at any time!
The best digital training evolves alongside emerging technologies and finds ways to integrate them into learning experiences. At Croomo, we’re constantly searching for innovative ways to integrate virtual technologies to enhance our training and extend the reality of what a user can experience. We utilise virtual and augmented reality to offer learners new and meaningful ways to gain valuable skills.
Just so we’re all on the same page, extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term that covers virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). If XR is a new term for you, be sure to drop it into conversation with colleagues and friends. This article focuses on virtual reality, but most of what is discussed can apply to augmented reality as well.
Should You Use VR?
You want your training to be modern, innovative, and immersive, so that it creates a meaningful impact and positively influences learner behaviours as they develop key skills. But does that mean you need virtual reality?
Ask yourself these questions:
Do learners need to use equipment that is in demand or costly to procure?
Are there potential hazards when training in a real environment? Do you have a large workforce to train in procedures, but limited resources?
If you answered yes to any of the above, virtual reality could be part of a viable solution. There are a lot of advantages to using virtual reality and we’ve implemented it in our training to address all of these needs and more.
What’s So Good About VR?
A virtual environment allows you to have industry and role-specific elements that can be accessed at any time and can be reset quickly and easily. The virtual setting can be modeled on a real location, allowing users to practice skills in situ before attending the site in the real world, or it can be a non-specific training space or location, e.g. a warehouse, a dirt road, or a field. This environment can be populated with characters, each of whom have a specific role to play, and learners can interact with fully functional, industry-specific machinery and equipment.
One of the biggest advantages to this kind of virtual environment is that it provides a safe way for learners to engage with equipment, or participate in potentially hazardous situations so they can practice and master valuable procedures before being exposed to the real thing. Unique situations, such as weather-based events, can be engineered on demand, offering learners an opportunity to learn in a context that they might not have encountered during training.
Virtual training is always available and allows people to repeatedly practice what they need to do on the job. This would otherwise be an expensive process logistically in terms of the people required to train, and the cost of utilising equipment that would otherwise be earning the business revenue.
Part of the Whole
We’ve worked with many people including national transport and logistics, and mining clients to create highly immersive, robust, and expansive virtual experiences. The feedback from our clients and their learners has been overwhelmingly positive, and they’ve seen training positively impact behaviours. The common factor amongst all of the training we’ve developed in the virtual space is that, while virtual reality forms a critical part of the experience, it’s always integrated into a broader training strategy.
A virtual experience might be the right solution for a specific procedure or set of skills you want learners to practice, but there’s usually more to training than that. Often it works best within structured, facilitated sessions with supporting materials and classroom activities.
Leveraging Digital Assets
Generating a virtual environment means digital assets need to be created to populate it. These assets can then be leveraged for a variety of other learning materials, each of which complement the virtual experience.
This might include animation coupled with a professional voice-over to help explain more complex concepts, assets could be used as part of an eLearning module, as part of face-to-face training, or even feature in printed materials. This highlights the ongoing value that digital assets can offer your business, as they can be repurposed for a variety of training strategies.
One of our clients wanted to enhance training for drivers regularly travelling to rural areas in 4WDs. This often involved traversing uneven terrain, and depending on the weather, they might need to drive through a water crossing. This was a hazard that had been responsible for frequent damage to vehicles and injuries to personnel due to the unpredictable nature of water crossings.
Their drivers already performed in-car training, however, training all of their workers specifically on water crossing was challenging as this was dependent on weather conditions. The client desired a simulation that would allow learners to safely experience what it was like to navigate this hazard, the controls that were in place, and to learn how to assess this type of situation.
Croomo created a custom solution, combining virtual reality, real-life video of a water crossing, and a simulated vehicle. The experience was filmed using a 360 degree camera and the footage was overlaid with the simulated car interior. Hazards and controls were integrated into the live action footage using animation and photography.
The reaction from learners has been overwhelmingly positive, which demonstrated observable training value. This training also won a Silver LearnX Award for Best Simulation Design.
Try it Out
If you’re interested in expanding your training into the virtual or augmented world or just want to see what’s possible, get in touch. If you’ve never tried something like this before, come in and strap on the goggles and experience some of the work we’ve done.
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll show you a whole new (virtual) world.
Whether you’re training learners across Australia – or around the world – the cost of training your workforce in inductions, compliance and health and safety can be high.
The often-debated question is: What is the best value (in time or resources) for training: eLearning or face-to-face training? Should you allocate your (often limited) budget to face-to-face training or to building (or licensing) online learning?
There can be many benefits to shifting your training online, including consistency of delivery and significant cost reductions over time. Face-to-face training generally costs less to develop, but more to deliver. Custom created eLearning is the opposite: usually a much lower cost per user but costs more to develop.
What are the benefits of transitioning from face-to-face to online training?
Investing in technology to enable training can have some big payoffs. Here’s some considerations.
You can scale and repeat learning versus the costs of sending your trainers to various locations to conduct training (this can double, and even triple the time spent if they need to travel). Modules can be updated in part when needed, so they have longevity. Learners also don’t need to pay to travel costs and give up their time.
It can lead and support business processes. Gamification can increase motivation to complete and comprehension of message. Microlearning allows training to be spread out over time rather than all at once. You can train a wider audience. Learners decrease time wasted in meetings. The ‘fear factor’ of the group workshop environment is eliminated – allowing individual focus for learners who prefer a more reflective setting. Self-assessment tools allow learners to evaluate their own skills and identify opportunities for improvement, then develop their own action plan. Depending on your needs and budget, you can go much more granular in terms of reporting. For example, you can measure interactions or conduct surveys.
Build your business case with these inputs
What (internal) resources you have to deliver face-to-face training and these costs;
The cost to reach those learners who couldn’t attend the training due to leave, sickness etc with a “mop up” session;
Internal resources you’d need to build the eLearning module/s;
Your learner’s locations. Ie are there multiple locations;
What is the available technology to deliver the training?
How often will the course need to be completed? How often will it need to be updated?
The number of learners who are completing the training annually; eLearning build costs;
Travel costs – for trainers and learners;
Cost of learners taking time out of their roles for their face to face training vs a reduced time to complete online learning;
Other training tools you use in offline training – for eg books, notepads, etc that you may not need in future.
In terms of ways you can measure the effectiveness of shifting your training online, each organisation is different, but measures may include: a reduction in safety incidents over time; the lost time injury rates; an increase in number of learners trained; cost of training – time and resources; Employee/Learner Net Promoter Scores; and an increase in customer satisfaction (if the training relates to customer experience).
Custom made eLearning or off-the-shelf training?
While there’s clear benefits to custom made training, including the ability to solve a specific learning challenge, incorporate targeted content and scenarios specific to your business, you can also buy user licenses to courses, such as these seriously engaging ViaUp off-the-shelf courses. The ViaUp modules have been created in collaboration with leading subject matter experts, to ensure learning material is relevant and at the forefront of workplace trends and challenges. Topics covered include Alcohol and Other Drugs in the Workplace; Stress, Anxiousness and Anxiety; Office Ergonomics; and Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination. The ever-growing library is available within GO1.com’s Premium library or via Clui – our Learning Management System.
We’ve won two Best Shift-It-Online Design LearnX Impact awards in the past two years. Along with our partners, TMR, we received a Platinum award in 2018 PrepL for transforming of the original 30-question, paper-based Queensland learner driver test into an online, engaging, and interactive learning experience called PrepL. This year, we won a Silver award with our clients, Rowland. These leaders in face-to-face communication training asked us to help them transition into online learning, enabling greater reach and cost effective delivery. We designed Step It Up to take the best of Rowland’s face-to-face training and combined it with interactivity and a bold design, for mass appeal.
We’re experts at taking your offline training materials and creating engaging, effective learning outcomes. With budgets ranging from modest to large, we’ve helped create engaging training for businesses all over Australia covering a range of topics. We’d love to help you make the best decision for your learning problems.
Most people can drive, but how many can drive safely? How many people can honestly say they don’t get distracted, never drive when fatigued, or avoid speeding? For most of us, driving means going to and from work, and out on the weekend. But what about everyone who drives each day as part of their job? These people have the added challenge of driving for hours at a time, over long distances, all while representing their company.
It can be tempting to put the blame on work conditions as the cause of unsafe driving. A lack of policy, poor management, and tight deadlines can all contribute. These are legitimate concerns, but the reality is that these issues take time and influence to change. In the meantime, there are a number of factors that we can all control.
The Fatal 5 driving behaviours of fatigue, speeding, distraction, not wearing seatbelts, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are the quickest ways to be involved in a serious crash that could be fatal for you or someone else involved. Instead of revisiting them in detail, it’s more valuable to discuss how you can avoid them.
It would be easy to say don’t drive while tired, slow down, don’t look at your phone, wear your seatbelt, and don’t drive or take drugs when you know you need to drive. However, to create a meaningful and lasting change, we need to examine the underlying reasons why people are engaging in these behaviours.
Most people are responsible, but it’s the external factors that create situations where they feel like they need to go against their better judgement. Are they speeding to meet an unrealistic deadline? Are they tired from changes in their shift work? Are they taking prescription medicine that could impair their ability to drive?
If some of this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. We’ve worked with many clients who’ve struggled to change the behaviour of their workforce. It’s not easy. It takes a commitment to safe driving from everyone involved, as well as a willingness to shift behaviours that have become ingrained. To achieve this, we’ve created everything from short explainer videos to extensive campaigns that help to change people’s attitudes. For us, it’s about more than just creating quality training, it’s about having a positive impact on our learners, and hopefully avoiding someone getting hurt… or worse.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter when or why you’re behind the wheel. Safe driving shouldn’t apply just when you’re at work. It should be something that happens all the time. Let’s shift driving from something we all do, to something we all do well.
Working in a specialised role means you need specialised knowledge. Heavy vehicle drivers follow the same safe driving practices as everyone else, but they have an added level of complexity and responsibility when they’re behind the wheel. There are more factors at play, including the load they’re carrying, the mass of their vehicle and required stopping distance, and the momentum they can gain when travelling down an incline.
So it’s not enough to just know how to drive safely, heavy vehicle drivers need to understand how external forces can work upon their vehicle, and how to take preventative steps to avoid a situation that could result in an incident. There’s a lot of pressure on these drivers not to fail.
One of the most effective ways to avoid an incident is to witness one or more in a safe, online environment. There are a number of advantages to incident recreations. They allow drivers to observe what is happening from different vantage points, including behind the wheel, from a bird’s eye view, and to see how the vehicle as a whole is behaving. They also provide an environment free from consequence. You can watch a digital tanker roll without any danger.
Incident recreations can also be interactive so that users are required to make decisions at key points. This allows them to see the outcome of their actions and to fail safely. Witnessing how an incident plays out takes learners beyond theoretical learning and allows them to enhance their understanding of the factors involved in the lead up to an incident.
Users who are allowed to make mistakes—both accidentally and intentionally—in a controlled environment without real world consequences, can learn from their actions and develop strategies to avoid an incident. This allows them to establish these skills now so they’re prepared when they get behind the wheel. It also gives drivers permission to experiment and find out what happens if they purposefully make a wrong choice.
To take this a step further, virtual reality can be used to create memories of how to best respond in a given situation. Research has shown that our brains encode and organise memories according to the amount of detail and verisimilitude in an experience. That means the memories with the most detail are the easiest to recall. Experiences in VR often use lifelike 3D models of vehicles and environments, which look and feel close to reality, so our brains treat them in a similar way to real memories.
Drivers who participate in VR incident training simulations are more likely to remember their experiences as if they really occurred, as well as the associated lessons they’ve learnt. This means it will be easier for them to recall the necessary skills they require when they’re in a real world environment so that they can respond appropriately.
Don’t wait for an incident to happen. Give your drivers the best possible chance of avoiding one by allowing them to experience what can happen in a safe space. If they’re going to fail, better to let them do it in a digital environment.
When drivers are on the road in company-branded vehicles, they’re the face of your company. They’re responsible for upholding the reputation, conduct, and professionalism of your organisation. Their safety on the road is paramount, but it doesn’t just impact them. It affects other drivers and pedestrians, as well as how people see your company.
Safe driving has a number of obvious benefits. It keeps your workforce in good health, reduces incidents, avoids injuring other motorists, and reduces costs and loss of time caused by damage to vehicles. So, how do you ensure you have safe drivers?
When it comes to driver safety training, drivers have usually heard the same content repackaged in so many different ways that they’ve stopped listening and may even have become complacent. It’s not that they don’t care, it’s that they can’t stand to wade through another hour-long compliance elearning program that will quiz them on common sense information.
One of the best ways to break through complacency is to take an unexpected approach. The element of surprise, of something different and fresh, that is bold and engaging will go a long way towards capturing people’s attention. It will help drivers to lower their guard and be open to hearing what’s being said.
Humour can go a long way to cutting through and making a connection with learners. If they’re entertained, it’s easier to forget that they’re doing training, and far more likely that they’ll be receptive to the content.
Pairing comedy with a story to convey your training will go an extra step towards engaging your learners. Give them characters they can relate to and empathise with so that they can make an emotional connection. Offer them a story that feels realistic, like something that could actually happen to them.
All of this will help learners slip into a state of mind similar to when they’re being entertained. It will reduce the urge to argue against the content and will make them more willing to listen. Add to this a polished aesthetic to make the training look enticing, well-written content with just the essential information, make it easy to access, and you’ll have a winning combination.
So the next time you need to update your driver safety training, invest in a solution that will make an impact, connect with your drivers, and help to represent your company reputation when they’re on the road.
We’ve enjoyed another big year at Croomo, working with our clients to create effective and engaging learning for their workforces. We’re so proud to, once again, have our efforts recognised at the 2019 LearnX Live Awards, going up against some of the best learning and training industry organisations in Australia.
Croomo has now collected 31 LearnX Live Awards over 6 years. This year’s spectacular effort includes 5 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Finalist awards, sharing the moment with our clients Santos, ViaUp, The Training Store, Unitywater, Rowland, Cricket Australia and PeakCare.
About the LearnX Live Awards
The LearnX Live Awards, now in their 12th year, recognise the exceptional impact of organisational learning, technology, and performance on workforce learning. LearnX promotes innovative workforce learning and supporting technologies.
Best eLearning Design – Video It was no surprise to us that the LUEZ ‘Line of Fire’ Video got the attention of LearnX judges for Gold. Santos engaged Croomo to create training that increased Line of Fire risk awareness after a crushing fatality at one of their sites. The video was developed using heart-felt storytelling and used live-action interviews to provide very real footage that hit hard about how simple yet important the ‘step-back’ mentality is.
Best Learning & Development Project – Leadership Capability Cricket Australia engaged us to create a series of Junior Coaching training modules that their volunteer coaches can access on the go – in bite-sized pieces – to develop their skills and game awareness. We created a set of 2D illustrated characters used as pedagogical agents to assist learners, present questions and give instant feedback.
Best Learning & Development Project – Induction/Onboarding Unitywater are passionate about connecting their people to its purpose of “Keeping our communities healthy” and to build a culture that drives strategy and enables its people to thrive. We jumped at the opportunity to develop their induction that introduces and embeds their values into a new starter. Using a mix of 2D and 3D animation, the style used triangular shapes that reflects the rest of the UnityWater look.
Best Learning & Development Project – Wellbeing PeakCare approached Croomo to create learning to bring their Hope and Healing trauma-informed therapeutic practice framework to life, to train those in child protection who work with children and young people living in residential care. Paying respect to diversity, the characters used were designed to reflect the breadth of Australians.
Best Learning & Development Project – Customer Experience The Training Store engaged Croomo to take their 4-6 hour face-to-face FISH! Philosophy culture training program and create online training to provide more interactive learning that’s scalable. Learn more about the FISH! Philosophy for Business course.
Best Learning & Development Project – Workplace Health & Safety ViaUp engaged Croomo to create the Alcohol and Other Drugs in the Workplace course, which puts a fun, interesting and impactful twist on compliance training as it examines how alcohol and other drugs can get in the way of showing up fit for work.
Best eLearning Design – Shift-it-Online Leaders in face-to-face communication training, Rowland, asked Croomo to help them transition into online learning, enabling greater reach and cost effective delivery. We designed Step It Up to take the best of Rowland’s face-to-face training and combined it with interactivity and a bold design, for mass appeal.
Best eLearning Design – Simulation We love working with Santos as they’re so open to using technology to enhance learning outcomes for their workforce. They asked us to develop Virtual Reality training to demonstrate what might not be possible normally, for example: water crossings. Using a mix of VR, real-life video of a water crossing, and a simulation using a 3D animated car, the experience includes gaze-to-click technology.
Best Learning & Development Project – Wellbeing ViaUp’s Stress, Anxiousness and Anxiety course takes an engaging approach to training staff on what is often a complex and misunderstood issue: Mental Health. Managing mental health in the workplace can be a sensitive topic. Our goal was for the learner to feel like they were receiving a hug; that they felt emotionally nurtured and understood in regard to anxiety, anxiousness and stress.
Best Learning & Development Project – Compliance ViaUp briefed Croomo to develop an off-the-shelf Office Ergonomics course that shines a spotlight on the immediacy of the problem of bad office ergonomics, creating an engaging story that sees the effects of what poor ergonomics does over time.
The LearnX Live Awards October 2019
The LearnX Award winners were announced in June 2019 and will be presented during FuturistiX Live! from 15-16 October 2019, Crown Promenade, Melbourne.
If you’re looking for engaging, quality training for your workforce or learners, talk to us about the right solution today.