How To Design an Interesting Online Orientation for Your Contractors?

09 May 2017

How do you make orientation training for your contractors a success? It is important to learn how to build truly engaging and impactful courses for your target audience to ensure learner adoption and positive feedback. There are several key considerations that you should keep in mind when building a training course to captivate learner’s attention and elicit meaningful results.

1. Knowing your learners

First and foremost, you must know your audience and the relevance of the information you are sharing. Knowing your audience gives you the leverage on the material you want to present and how you choose to convey the information. For example, consider your worker’s native language, location and role, and adapt the orientation material accordingly.

2. Considering the right structure and delivery

Simple is always best, so always use the same basic structure in your orientation course – introduction, main content, conclusion, and final quiz. Using a table of contents is an effective way to highlight the topics that will be discussed throughout the orientation. It is always important to provide a simple overview and set the right pace for the learner.

The main content can be divided into various chapters (based on the bulk of the information you wish to present) and subdivided into specific topics. For example, if you have a chapter around ‘Health and Safety Practices on Site’, you may consider including relevant subheadings, such as ‘Fire Safety’, ‘Emergency and Evacuation’, ‘Access and Egress’, ‘Incident Reporting’, etc.

When designing slides for your training, it is important to provide the information in a compact manner to avoid ‘overloading’ learners with too many details.

Use bullet points to break the information down into ‘digestible’ bits, for example when you list manual handling ‘dos and don’ts’ or outline policies on a work site.

Leverage visuals and images as much as you can – it’s important to remember that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Using pictures and videos is highly effective in helping learners understand the content more easily and retain the information they learned for longer.

Finally, the conclusion should be fairly simple. This is where you can thank users for completing the training course and also advise on the next steps to follow.

The final quiz can then be constructed to highlight the main points presented throughout your training material. This is an excellent way to test learner’s knowledge and what they took away from the training.

3. Asking relevant questions

When building a course, we often wonder what questions types should be used. Most online training courses utilize multiple choice and ‘true or false’ question types. These are quick and easy to complete. Although some answer choices may get tricky, the learner can choose to go through the process of eliminating answers that are mostly likely to be incorrect first. These multiple choice questions can be added at the end of each chapter or in the final quiz. This can help recite the main points of each chapter to prepare users of what is to come in the final quiz.

Providing feedback when the learner selects a correct or incorrect answer, like ‘Oops, that is incorrect, please try again’ or ‘Excellent!’, can be an effective learning mechanism rewarding or encouraging the learner along the way.

So, make sure to leverage these simple tips if you want to make your orientation a success:

  • Keep it simple and create the right structure – introduction, main content, conclusion, and final quiz
  • Preview your course content before releasing it – this will help you get a firsthand experience and put yourself in ‘learner’s shoes’
  • Always double check grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • Use engaging chapter questions to involve and motivate your audience
  • Use a consistent format throughout – for the example, the same font style and size
  • Ensure that all images are clear and ‘tell the story’
  • Do not use more than one topic on a single slide
  • Keep all slides ‘short and sweet’ and to the point

4. Ensuring successful engagement

You may think you have written the world’s greatest orientation, but without the proper measurements there is no way of knowing for sure. Using the measurements below will allow you to analyze whether your online orientation training is engaging or not.

  • Have learners fill out surveys – Immediately after they have finished their orientation, give your employees a survey to fill out. Making sure it is quick and easy to fill out, for example asking them for a rating of 1-5, will ensure honest responses.
  • Track their time spent on the orientation training – Are your new contractors spending too much time on your orientation course? If they are, odds are they may be struggling to complete the course. Make sure your orientation training is easy to understand and not ask questions that are irrelevant to their job roles.
  • Ask your workers for feedback – There is nothing more concise than simply asking your contractors what they think of your online orientation trainings. Talking to them face to face will give you clear responses and feedback whether your orientations are engaging or not.

Using these tips will ensure that your contractors retain the important information that was given to them and help prevent any accidents that may occur in the future.

What challenges do companies face when it comes to contractor orientations? We would love to hear from you!

New call-to-action

Jenny Snook

Jenny Snook is content executive at GoContractor with the job of researching the latest health and safety trends in the heavy industry. Her past-experience includes the research of large museum collections such as the Louth County Museum, many from the industrial age.

Show me more!

Take a look at how GOCONTRACTOR can save you thousands of hours