"Students in online conditions performed modestly better, on average, than those learning the same material through traditional face‐to‐face instruction."
The results are in, but not everyone is comfortable with learning and advancing their careers online, yet.
Keep reading and I'll address some of the most common concerns and perhaps some inspiration on how to improve how we gather knowledge.
For me personally, the inspiration came while I was searching for information about Responder Risk Management and LCES. Since I spoke about it in my in-person classes I wanted a deeper level of knowledge. My objective was to actually know and be prepared to use my newfound knowledge in class and in the real world … not just read about it.
Here’s what I found using the popular method of searching … Google:
- Lots of articles and definitions about what LCES is but not how to implement it. (L.C.E.S. = Lookouts, Communication, Escape Routes, Safety Zones)
- A few videos about LCES that were captured in a classroom when chalk and blackboards were still widely used.
- A couple of theory based courses on the same tired content I found on the previously mentioned websites.
Total time spent over several days of scrubbing the internet for advanced knowledge? About 8 hours.
What I have to show for it, like a pathway for continued improvement, continuing education credits (CEU’s) or a printable certificate? Nada, Zilch, Bupkis.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I have spent many hours across many days trying to expand my knowledge this way. My justifications consisted of things like:
- "I like to do it my way."
- "I have the time so why not?"
- "I don't want to pay to learn stuff."
And that's why my courses are designed specifically to address this problem of wasteful learning at an optimal value.
Imagine what you'll do with the time and money that you'll save!
Speaking of time and money savings, consider this case study:
Search & Rescue Team
"Pat" manages an all-volunteer, Search & Rescue team. The team relies on members that are spread out across four counties. As a new member, "Sam" must meet minimum requirements for 1) training 2) attendance and 3) performance before he can respond on a real search.
That process required before Sam can be deemed 'operational' can take up to a year or more is one of several reasons that many new members like him quit. This poses a challenge for Pat since not having enough qualified members to deploy on real searches can result in serious consequences for the mission to find the lost or missing person.
Many new members like Sam also come from the private sector, where the expectation to be productive is common. They expect that the training they attend is:
- Well organized?
- Time efficient?
- Cost effective?
- Valuable for their personal development?
Besides the extensive delay in training, frequent drop outs are the result of these failed expectations:
- Too many hours spent driving to and from training, meetings and seminars
- Too many hours spent attending training, meetings and seminars
- Too much money spent going to training, conferences, seminars, buying books, etc.
It can be argued of course that the mission is better off without people like that, but the fact remains that quality SAR responders are hard to come by. Identifying why some leave helps fuel a solution.
Let's expand some detail for Sam's journey:
- Like most teams, Sam's team trains once per week and schedules a business meeting each month that often includes a training element. Sam's team also hosts or attends pricey seminars, external training classes, certification courses, buys books, pays for testing fees, etc.
- In Sam's case, he also is training a dog for search & rescue. The optional weekly training he attends to work with the team's experienced handlers and the related education is yet another commitment of time and expense.
- Not including equipment costs, Sam's annual costs associated with earning an operational status can be gigantic. Remember too, that other volunteer members are also contributing their time to help Sam receive the training he requires.
- And that doesn't include the yearly 'maintenance' costs to keep Sam trained and his knowledge refreshed.
So, what's all of that time worth? The non-profit trade group Independent Sector tracks and publishes this data every year:
"The value of a volunteer hour is $24.14 and the value of a volunteer mile is .14 cents."
Using those figures, here's a conservative breakdown of Sam's volunteer time and expense to participate in his SAR team on a monthly basis:
Activity per MONTH
MINIMUM Time Spent Per MONTH
MONTHLY Costs @ $24.14/hour
Time driving to and from training
Time attending training & meetings
Time attending misc training, seminars, etc.
Fees, mileage costs, etc.
Optional K9 Training
Team member support
MINIMUM Costs Before Equipment
76 hours MINIMUM
In just Sam's first year - before he even goes on his first search - he spends nearly 1000 hours of time worth over $22,000. And has a 50/50 chance he'll quit before he even gets that far.
It should be noted that these are very conservative estimates. In my first year in SAR, I spent nearly TWICE as much time training than the above example.
For instance, here are my actual training hours for just my first ten years in search & rescue (yes, I tracked my training activity using THIS).
First 10 Years of SAR
Training HOURS Spent
MILES Driven for Training
872 hours PER YEAR
6370 miles PER YEAR
Sam and other new members like him may spend more or less time on their SAR training compared to the data above. However, anyway you slice it, the costs to train a new member are enormous and vastly under recognized.
If these teams were businesses, they'd be broke and still short of employees.
So it's easy to see why the burden of time and money breaks the will of many eager SAR prospects, doesn't it?
Therefore, if there's a way to trim 10%, 15% or even 20% percent off of that huge time and expense burden, it should be worth considering.
DID YOU KNOW?
Training industry experts believe that nearly 85% of all on-boarding, foundation, and refresher training takes place online. (via E-Learn-Info Industry Report).
Online learners also report their top three results:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does Online Learning by TEAM Solutions replace hands-on training?
Some, but not all of it. Similar to not having a paperless bathroom anytime soon, in-person training will likely always have a place. Even so, training via Virtual Reality (VR) and Immersive Reality (IR) will nibble away at that, too!
If the complete mastery of a topic represents 99% (never 100% ... there's always something else to learn), then online training done right may represent up to 50% of your total development.
Why should I enroll in online training from TEAM Solutions?
If there were a better way to train the topics in my course catalog, I'd recommend those instead (and do, occasionally).
- I only offer courses that I would take myself.
- I stake my reputation on your ability to improve with my training.
- Here's my training compared to other popular options:
No distractions by funny cat videos
Certificate of Completion
For Response Leaders, by Response Leaders
Verified Sources & Experience
Specialized Original Content
Experienced Subject Matter Experts
Free from 'Gvmt-Speak'
Tactical and Practical for the Real World
Easy access to Course Creator
Free Email Support and Email Refreshers
How does 'Fundamental' Training by TEAM Solutions differ from 'Regular' Training? And why should I care?
“It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e. the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang onto.”
Futurist and CEO of: SpaceX, SolarCity, Tesla
Good questions. After all, many organizations are already producing adequate results by sending people to training class after training class. World-class organizations, however, like the ones I work with, are constantly looking for ways to improve.
Besides looking for cost reductions, another area of improvement is expecting longer-lasting behavior change from their training program instead of just a 'check in the box' and a certificate.
For this transformation to occur, a strong foundation is required.
Without a solid base of fundamental knowledge, future learning is fragmented and without context. Training that get's piled onto this weak foundation in the future increases the likelihood that the student becomes disengaged and starts performing poorly. Like a building with a weak foundation, it eventually crumbles.
Okay, please explain how we learn without an instructor present?
We learn new material from an instructor, that instructor is either present (online or in-person) during your learning or is not present during your learning.
There are two $12 words to describe these approaches: Asynchronous and Synchronous.
- Asynchronous Learning
- Synchronous Learning
Asynchronous Learning is self paced.
Example: You (the student) are up at 2am with a pint of Chunky Monkey Ice Cream learning how to plan for and lead the response to a crisis and I (the instructor) am in bed asleep.
Also called 'distance learning.' Other examples include:
Synchronous Learning is when you take classes (online or in-person) according to someone else's schedule, in real-time.
Example: You (the student) meet me (the instructor) online at noon and we each have a pint of Chunky Monkey ice cream while I deliver content about how to plan and manage a large-scale crisis.
Other examples include:
Does TEAM Solutions also offer in-person (synchronous) education?
Yes! Because of the success I've seen with online learning, many of my in-person courses now include a 'blended' component:
- Participant starts with an online, foundation course.
- Participant continues by attending an in-person course delivery.
- Participant continues by receiving periodic refresher emails to reinforce what they learn in previous sessions.
I'm not ready to enroll yet ... how can I stay informed?
Even if you feel that don't have enough time or investment to progress now, consider this:
- All of my courses have at least one (1) full year of access, so you can enroll now and progress when it's convenient.
- All of my courses will never be less expensive than they are now. As I refine them and add more content, the value and the price will likely go up.
Also, I have several free email subscriptions available. After an initial 'get to know ya' period, they are sent twice per month and are short, valuable, and free emails full of techniques, intelligence and other nuggets.
- Check out the "SOLUTIONS" menu at the top of the page, select the topic/s of your choice and then sign up on that page.
In either case, I look forward to seeing you "on the inside!"
Okay, What's The Bottom Line?
If you and your team want the benefits from an improved education, a transformed knowledge while making a more intelligent investment of your time and money, then scroll down to learn how to enroll you and your team.
Right, Let's Do This! How Does It Work?
HOW IT WORKS
- Select the options you want for you or your group.
- Click one of the "Enroll" buttons.
- Register using the full name you want on your certificate/s and your best email address.
- Return to this page or access 24/7 via your MY Account portal.
- Consume each Lesson and Topic as many times as you want.
- Return to your MY Account page anytime to download or print your certificate.