The continuing education industry is evolving, offering adult learners greater flexibility and a variety of delivery methods to suit almost every need.
Training is the focus of this latest issue of Incident Prevention, and these are pretty exciting times when it comes to educating adult learners. I often sit at the back of the room during Incident Prevention Institute (www.ip-institute.com) classes, amazed at just how far the education process has come. Today’s effective instructors exude confidence, have a solid understanding of their audience and spend untold hours developing their courses. The increasing use of humor and gaming techniques are just two ways today’s educators are deviating from conventional training practices. The growth of group work in the classroom also enhances the student experience, allowing individuals to exchange ideas and share experiences.
As technology continues to advance and trainers learn how to best incorporate new tools into their programs, the result is content far more engaging than almost any we have seen in the past. And the demand for this content is growing. The Incident Prevention Institute receives more and more requests for blended learning opportunities each month. Dynamic, instructor-led courses complemented by online education seem to be the order of the day. Virtual lessons enable participants to be reminded of what they learned in the classroom; they also offer opportunities to introduce new ideas to adult learners. Perhaps the greatest benefit of online courses is the flexibility they offer to utility safety professionals with busy schedules.
Whether you call it training, professional development or instruction, the bottom line is that it’s all about learning new methods and processes to enhance your job skills. I find it incredibly invigorating to witness adult learners enjoying the educational experience and becoming elevated by their new knowledge. Education is the foundation of any strong safety culture and requires an investment of time and resources. Kudos to all those employers who make the decision to invest in their employees’ education. Your return on that investment is a smarter, safer workforce.