To improve a poor safety record at a biodiesel manufacturing plant, the best technology to deliver asynchronous training would be the use of Podcasts. Podcast can be used in a number of different ways to support distance learning. Podcast can be created as audio-only, which will allow the learner to listen to safety regulations anytime or anywhere. Also audio can be used in conjunction with images, and video for training purposes to significantly improve learning. Podcast can on-demand or in a mobile format, which works well for a biodiesel manufacturing plant with multiple shifts that needs to be trained. Podcasts offers freedom to select what, when and where learning takes place. Podcast can be used in a variety of ways to enhance safety training such as:
- Update safety policies
- Review simple procedural or regulatory changes
- Broadcast safety awareness messages
- Broadcast short interviews with in-house or outside safety experts
- Present brief case studies involving safety issues
- Talk about recent accident, its causes, and measures required preventing similar accidents (https://safetydailyadvisor.blr.com/archive/2008/08/29/safety_training_podcasts_broadcasts_mp3_RSS.aspx?Ajax_CallBack=true).
The ability to download podcasts at any time, to listen to them as often as they wish and at their own pace, furthermore while doing other tasks, would be highly regarded by most distance learners. Learner choice and flexibility are considered to be key factors when it comes to designing distance education courses (Edirisingha, Rizzi, Nie & Rothwell, 2007).
Podcast provides the ability to replay PowerPoint presentations that contain step-by-step instructions while placing the trainee in charge of their own learning. The benefits of Podcasting are many but to a company that has to provide training to a large number of employees can be costly, podcasting can significantly reduce that cost.
Edirisingha, P., Rizzi, C., Nie, M. & Rothwell, L. (2007). Podcasting to provide teaching and learning support for an undergraduate module on English language and communication. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 8(3), 87-107. http://tojde.anadolu.edu.tr/tojde27/pdf/article_6.pdf
Van Zanten, P., (2008). The value of lecture podcasting for distance and on campus students. School of Agriculture, Food and Wine The University of Adelaide. Retrieved January 23 http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/melbourne08/procs/vanzanten.pdf