An instance of applying technology to facilitate distance learning


In an effort to improve its poor safety record, a biodiesel manufacturing plant needs a series of safety training modules. These stand-alone modules must illustrate best practices on how to safely operate the many pieces of heavy machinery on the plant floor. The modules should involve step-by-step processes and the method of delivery needs to be available to all shifts at the plant. As well, the shift supervisors want to be sure the employees are engaged and can demonstrate their learning from the modules.


In this case I would suggest using a CMS with a linear instruction design in which “before students are permitted to continue to the next topic within a module they must successfully complete the [accompanying] assessment” (Simonson, 2012, p. 169).   This sequential structure would facilitate linking concepts and allow students to build on the content they previously digested.  I would create modules in the CMS dedicated to each of the content areas–most likely there would be a module per each piece of heavy machinery.  Each employee would receive an invitation to self-enroll and supervisors would be given instructor access so that they can track and monitor.

This video illustrates how one company, Watson Pharmaceuticals, used the Blackboard CMS to train employees via modular video coaching.  Their goal wasn’t safety related but rather they sought to improve sales through training and they were successful in that regard.

This article details how one automotive company, Subaru, used an LMS (Moodle) to put together a modular training and “gather best practices into a knowledge database” (Gale, 2008).



Gale, S.F. (2008).  Moodle goes corporate. Retrieved July 20, 2014 from

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education(5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s