Conquering distance with eLearning

Article image - Conquering distance with eLearning Consistency of training and standards is now available across 42,000 square km of water and 15 separate communities.

In 2018 eLearning was established by the Torres Strait Island Regional Council through its Human Resources department as a way to overcome the barriers of distance, languages and skill levels.

The system has brought the 15 separate island communities together, with all staff receiving the same information and training across Torres Strait Island Regional Council at the same time.

Each divisional office has its own unique characteristics and service requirements, including different traditional languages.

Maintaining consistency in, for example, interpretation of local laws, procedures and Workplace Health and Safety presentations, is now possible.

Previously, different training resources, approaches and opportunities across all divisions, meant that inductions and professional development of staff was not consistent.

The high costs associated with flying training organisations to the different divisions had been a long term challenge as were substantial costs associated with staff traveling to the mainland.

The eLearning platform now includes delivering ongoing training, induction for new employees, Workplace Health and Safety policies and procedures and other information to employees.

As well as the 26 courses on offer, the platform provides Workplace Health and Safety: Take 5’s reflecting a different topic each month.
Online solutions have addressed some of the barriers of a council that covers 42,000 square kilometres of water and a population of approximately 5,000 people.  

Divisional Manager St Pauls Community, Moa Island, Peli Ware, said, “ELearning is more user friendly and flexible.

“ELearning prompts users if incorrect answers are submitted. Users are able to monitor the progress of their ELearning short courses.

“At the end of each completed course, users are rewarded with a Certificate of Completion of Course which not only boosts employees drive to learn and practice safe work practices but has increased their self confidence.  

“ELearning has increased the interest of all employees and they are responding to change especially those ones that are beginning to adapt to modern technology.

“ELearning allows all employees to engage with supervisors and have more meaningful discussions”

Divisional Manager Hammond Island, Kelly Beckley, said, “ELearning is great for self paced learning without the need to try and get everyone together especially when our schedules get busy.”

Divisional Engineering Officer Warraber Island, Nathan Pearson, said of the Monthly Take 5’s (safety information quiz), the safety team know as soon as the quiz is submitted and let staff know if any requirements are outstanding and who is at 100 percent completion.