It should be no surprise to those involved in the delivery of training of any type that people learn in different ways. But did you know that e-learning can help overcome some of the challenges this presents for lift truck operator training?
Different types of learners
There are generally considered to be four main learning styles for lift truck instructors to be aware of.
- Auditory learners – these are people who prefer to hear information, rather than seeing it displayed visually or reading it.
- Visual learners – these candidates would rather see information so that they can visualise the relationship between different concepts.
- Readers and writers – these learners benefit most from interacting with text, rather than using visual or auditory information.
- Kinaesthetic learners – these are people who learn best by doing and benefit from hands-on, experiential learning.
Do male and female forklift operators learn differently?
While not every operator has the same strengths and weaknesses due to gender alone, there are also often gender differences to consider.
In general, female trainees tend to have a better memory, bring greater focus and attention and are more articulate, displaying a better use of language. Meanwhile male candidates often bring greater special awareness and more mechanical focus to the training environment.
And if Instructors didn’t have enough to contend with, its also important to be aware of how individuals from different generations prefer to learn.
Baby Boomers (1946 – 64)
These individuals are often untrusting or dismissive of technology, partly because they developed their careers without it. However, they are not rigid because of this, and are often adaptable, practical and pragmatic learners.
Generation X (1961 – 81)
A large proportion of the workforce is made up of this group. These individuals tend to be independent and like to learn their way, on their terms. They prefer to be guided, not taught, and are competent with technology.
Millennials (1981 – 96)
For this generation, technology is an expectation in training, as it is present throughout the rest of their lives. They tend to be highly visual learners that look for collaboration in learning. Much like Generation X, they don’t want to be ‘taught’ in the traditional sense.
Generation Y (1997 – 2012)
These individuals have never lived in a world without the internet. They are used to absorbing enormous amounts of new information every single day, where they spend hours online. They tend to learn best by storytelling and are keen to have autonomy over their learning.
Why is forklift e-learning good for different types of learners?
Traditional approaches to lift truck theory training can struggle to cater to all of the factors we’ve previously discussed. In many cases, elearning can provide an excellent alternative.
It provides autonomy – elearning is self-paced, giving candidates access to the training materials to complete as and when they need to, making it appealing to those who want more independence.
It appeals to the eyes, ears, and more – the best forklift elearning solutions, such as eTruck UK from RTITB, combine visual elements, with narration and things to read, appealing to different learning styles. With its unique digital storytelling style, it also helps kinaesthetic learners to immerse themselves in the training.
There is genuine behaviour change – with eTruck, digital storytelling is used to help learners better retain information (its proven that this method helps trainees remember up to 20 times more!). With emotional links to the story and the opportunity to learn from real life events and their consequences, this type of elearning also has a bigger impact on driver behaviour.
All of the above benefits can combine to help train more skilled, knowledgeable and safe operators.
Learn more about online forklift operator training
You can also watch our free webinar on getting started with forklift e-learning.