By Diana Scheddin
Rather than sending employees into a classroom environment to learn new skills, an increasing number of industries are training staff through minetraining.com, a Web-based training company.
"Minetraining.com) provides the latest functional training techniques through the online training module," explains Henry Goegan, senior partner.
The training modules are made up of three categories; an operator module, which details how to use the specific product; a maintenance module, which details how to properly take care of the equipment; and just-in-time training, which allows one to review the material as soon as it is submitted.
This type of learning has various advantages, Goegan says.
"In controlled testing people were able to learn the material in 60 per cent less time (than in traditional testing)," Goegan says. "People scored 10 to 15 per cent better on tests."
In addition, one is learning by using sight, sound, motion and interaction.
When clients use this Web site they pay for the amount of time they spend on the designated learning sites.
Inco Ltd. and Cambrian College have made use of the training technology. Minetraining.com had a four-year contract with Inco Ltd. to place their learning material on the Web. While Cambrian used the test-training material.
Goegan says that although their company has focused mainly on mining and engineering training modules, they are now branching out to other sectors.
"We are moving towards other applications, like the medical field," he says.
They are currently in negotiations with a medical business in Toronto, which would employ their technology to display how medical equipment is used properly.
Nonetheless, Goegan explains that their company name will eventually have to be changed.
FedNor proposed to assist in the development of their product through funding support of $275,000; however, the offer was declined because minetraining.com is "looking at different market conditions and a different client basis, etcetera, and they weren’t really able to move that along for us quick enough," Goegan says.
One may be wondering whether minetraining.com can save companies money.
"Yes, it saves money, cost to conversion, as you move through time you save," Goegan says.
Another advantage to this type of Web-based technology is that each student is able to learn at their own pace. Furthermore, the learning can be done all around the world.
For instance, minetraining.com is currently working on a program for the graduates of the University of Chicago's business program.
"Information is received on Friday (in Sudbury via the Internet) and then put out for the students by Tuesday," Goegan explains.
Their Web site will include a testing engine, graphics, animation, and video.
A content creation engine, which allows the clients to give comments on the site or ask questions, is another tool available.
"This way clients contribute to the module, and some companies are thinking of using this technology as a marketing tool," notes Goegan.