Learning in the Cloud
When working in a new role or with a new process, all operators grapple with the same problems. What do I need to know in order to be successful at this job? What gaps exist in my present knowledge and experience, and how can I redress those deficiencies? How do I even know if I have the right skills for this job, and how can I pull this off without making any mistakes? Where can I go to up-my-game, and improve my skills and proficiency?
Providing a credible and readily accessible training resource for operators is critical to their growth and success, but traditional static e-Learning is insufficient. A cloud-based solution that is accessible anytime and can dynamically respond to operator needs, delivers a solution. By using virtualized systems in a cloud-based environment, operators can train using complete instances of their control system.
The e-Learning Paradigm
There has been a significant increase in the use of eLearning over the past decade across all industries. Whereas previously the technological limitations of eLearning reduced its effectiveness in some areas of instruction; the introduction of new technologies such as 3D modeling, interactivity, and simulations, has eliminated many of these limitations such that the only remaining constraint is simply the time and expertise needed to develop the content.
The savings combined with the other benefits have naturally led to an increase in the use of eLearning. In the process industries, in particular, e-Learning is being used in virtually every area of instruction including; safety, health, and environment; regulatory and compliance; maintenance and troubleshooting; and process and operations.
Despite the widespread use of e-Learning and the success of such training with respect to time saved and ROI; some deficiencies have been noted in training curriculums that rely too heavily on eLearning. Critically are the issues of keeping content current; the inflexibility and isolated nature of training using eLearning; the lack of a genuine group learning experience or instruction tailored to the individual needs of the trainee; and most importantly the difficulty of proving competency using automated electronic testing.