New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) has ditched traditional classroom-based learning for a story-based approach to teaching fire safety to its 20,000 or so staff. The new Story-based Learning Objects (StoBLs™), delivered via e-learning, have been developed by the global e-learning producer, Tata Interactive Systems (TIS) – and have generated strongly positive reactions from managers and thousands of learners at NYP.
Staff trained via the classroom-based courses had consistently demonstrated levels of comprehension and retention which were lower than desired. One reason suggested for this was that the training was presented only in terms of steps and rules, without the application of the principles in a real-world situation.
“Basically, the content didn't relate closely enough to the audience's daily experiences,” said TIS’s Chaitanya Hakkaladadi.
“NYP, like many hospitals, has a recurring training requirement related to certifying – and re-certifying - that all of their 20,000 or so employees are aware of, and competent in, the basics of Fire Safety,” commented Hakkaladadi.
“This is necessary not only to ensure they can react appropriately in the event of an actual fire emergency, but also for regulatory/compliance ‘spot checks’, when fire and safety officials randomly show up, unannounced, and ask questions of anyone they wish. And if these employees don't answer the questions correctly, the hospital is penalised.”
TIS’s solution was to create the ‘NYP Fire Safety Course Demo’ which uses a story-based approach to a learning programme which is built around the NYP fire safety acronym of ‘RACE’: rescue, alarm, confine, evacuate/extinguish. Each element of the acronym forms a module of the course.
“Each module is a retelling of a fire event, from one character's perspective – so the same fire event is recalled five different times. Each module opens with the story, and then is followed by a series of ‘teach screens’ and knowledge checks,” explained Hakkaladadi.
“The StoBLs™ approach uses visual imagery and audio to bring learning content to life,” said Alan Samuel, head of TIS’s UK operations. “This enables the learning programme to achieve interactivity in the true sense of the term – engaging learners’ feelings and emotions as well as imparting the knowledge that they need.
“Everyone – of any age – loves a good story,” Samuel continued. “Stories help to lower adult resistance to new ideas; can make the tedious memorable; make abstract concepts ‘concrete’ and simplify complex ideas to concepts that are readily understood.”
StoBLs™ are ‘CRUNCHED’:
- Contextual: to convey emotions; trigger memories and provide insights which aid the learning process.
- Realistic: to enable them to be credible.
- Unusual: to enable it to be memorable.
- Natural: rather than contrived, in order to gain learner acceptance.
- Concrete: dealing with specific people, things and events, to which learners can relate.
- Human: ensuring learner empathy and receptivity.
- Easily accepted: scepticism is usually suspended in order to accept a story. Curiosity and readiness to be entertained aids acceptability and retention of the story’s underlying learning points
- Discovery-orientated: people like to learn when they discover the learning for themselves – which a story-based approach facilitates.
About Tata Interactive Systems (TIS)
Tata Interactive Systems (TIS) is a global pioneer in e-learning, with more than 16 years experience in designing and developing innovative and cutting-edge e-learning solutions. TIS is a part of the $22 billion Tata Group – one of the largest and most trusted business conglomerates in India.
TIS employs a global team of some 950 multi-disciplinary specialists – a unique mix of project managers, software engineers, instructional designers, content developers, visual designers, video editors, sound engineers and animators. Its service bouquet includes Simulations, Systems Training, New Hire Training, Business Processes and Skills Training, Regulatory and Compliance Training, Sales and Customer Service Training, Adaptive Assessments, Story-based Learning Objects, M-Learning and EPSS. TIS also has a K–12 maths practice and a K–12 content practice, as well as having substantial experience in developing learning content and tools across key stages and subject areas.
Powered by creative talent, sound processes and technological excellence, TIS has developed e-learning solutions for more than 350 clients – including 50 Fortune 500 companies – across the US, the UK, Australia, Mainland Europe, Japan, UAE, Canada and India. Its client roster includes leading corporations, renowned educational institutions and government bodies such as American Airlines, British Airways, Citibank, Colgate-Palmolive, ExxonMobil, GE, GlaxoSmithKline, HP, McGraw-Hill, ntl, Orange, Pearson Education, Qantas, Qwest, Royal Mail, Swiss Re, UNICEF, University of Phoenix, University of Maryland and Vodafone, along with Hodder, Oxford University Press, Granada Learning, Nelson Thornes, Research Machines PLC, Compass Learning, Florida Virtual School, Harcourt, Prentice Hall and, in the government sector, BECTA, UFI and DODEA.
Apart from holding ISO 9001 certification, TIS is the only e-learning organisation in the world to be assessed at Level 5 in both the SEI-CMM and P-CMM frameworks. TIS’s quest for excellence is reflected in numerous prestigious industry awards, including a Silver Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Award 2005 and 2004, APEX 2006 Award of Excellence, BETT 2004 Best Product Award, and two Business World–NID Design Excellence awards.
About the Tata Group
The Tata Group, established in 1904 by the great visionary Jamsetji Tata, is one of India’s largest and most trusted business houses. The group pioneered the industrial revolution in India by founding the first steel plant, power plant and chain of luxury hotels, to name but a few.
The Group employs more than 220,000 people in 93 companies across diversified industry sectors including steel, automobiles, cement, telecom and IT. Generating revenues to the tune of $22 billion per year – some three per cent of India’s total GDP – it is recognised as a leader in several industry segments such as such as steel, power, software exports and chemicals. It is also the parent company to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Asia’s largest software producer.
Further information from:
Alan Samuel, Tata Interactive Systems, 00 44 20 7905 0156