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Making Forklift eLearning Interesting w/Examples

Submitted by Kingsley on Tue, 10/13/2009 - 09:36

About a year ago I was presented the opportunity to create some online training for folks getting certified to drive a forklift. The objectives were to familiarize them with the parts and pieces of the forklift, point out differences between forklifts/cars, and stress safety.
Right away I thought... "This could get boring for the student within a few slides!" So I set out to build some useful interactions and look for ways to display data in a non-traditional format.

As a Flash developer one of the things I love about Articulate is it let's me (or others) quickly build the majority of eLearning content. This allows me to focus on creating the more complex objects.

One thing we wanted to highlight was that a forklift simply drives differently. I was able to build this Flash 'game' that allows the student to actually experience that feeling. I was also able to use the Articulate SDK so that the student could not advance until the load was delivered to the cargo area. As an eLearning developer I was happy to see students actually go back this interaction several times to play it again.
[swf file="demos/forks/fm_drive2.swf"]

This one follows the same principles. We wanted to show that it is important to get the forks all the way under the load. See what happens if you only get just 1/3 or worse 1/2! Interesting while watching students I found they really enjoyed just stabbing the box with the forks.... Again I used the Articulate SDK to control the students movement to the next slide.
[swf file="demos/forks/fm_pickUp.swf"]

At first I created the following piece in pure Flash. It was a very good animation of how to stack boxes. Boring. What it lacked was interactivity. Rather then code another 'driving game' I choose to use Articulate's Engage. I broke the animation up into parts and let the student control the flow. This is not as... eh hem... 'engaging' as a game but it does allow the student to take control and get evolved. No use of the SDK here but Engage greatly shortened the development time.
[swf file="demos/forks/engage_355/engage.swf"]


Submitted by Carmen Toro (not verified) on Wed, 10/21/2009 - 12:22


I love the non-traditional approach to presenting materials. Do you have any advice on convincing management not to do the traditional information dump?

One method that I have found useful is to build a quick prototype to help them understand my idea. It can be pretty rough looking but should have a bit of functionality to draw them in.
I think the biggest concern management has about 'non-traditional" training is time/cost. By building a quick prototype it helps them see what they are getting for cost and gives them (and you) a feel for the amount of time involved.

Also, testimonials from students help but they should be focused on how much more the student learned rather then how much more fun it was. Good: "After the interaction I really understood the motion of the gear lever." Bad: "Whooo Hooo that course was fun!"

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