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Training for Environmental Education: Can E-Learning Really Make A Difference?

With the growing focus on the ill-effects of pollution and the ever-increasing carbon footprint, organizations across the world are becoming more and more conscious of exploring ways to save our environment. “Green Initiatives” have been started to help create a better environment for our future generations. These initiatives aim to educate and carve out a path to create a cleaner and greener Earth.
Self-paced e-learning
Most industrial giants work pro-actively towards making their energy consumption safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green. Many organizations begin by defining its new carbon emission reduction targets and work towards achieving them through sensitization training on an organization-wide level. The training is aimed to educate all employees on the ill-effects of greenhouse and CO2 emissions. They create awareness among the employees about sustainable efforts to reduce CO2 emission and the ways to lower carbon footprint considerably.

 

The main objectives of the sensitization training are:

  • Educate all employees of the harmful effects on the environment related to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Inform and sensitize the employees about the role of different processes within the organization that contribute in CO2 emissions e.g. Transportation.
  • Familiarize employees about the organization’s commitments to CO2 reductions external and internal.

Why e-learning makes a difference?

While presenting content related to CO2 emissions and prevention methodologies, the discussion is usually limited to the theoretical approach and the content becomes too technical and data-driven. So, even though data presentation had to be an important aspect of training, the main challenge was to identify a way to convert dry and factual data into an interesting and interactive format. With multiple learning strategies aligning to technology-aided learning, e-learning can be a very strong tool to create such training.

 

Another challenge is that these trainings are designed for the entire employee base, which has a varied educational background and experience level. Hence the content needs to be interactive, engaging and yet simple enough to appeal to the varied audience. But the depth of the content cannot be tampered with, in order to create the much-needed impact. At the same time, textual content needs to be reduced to encourage the employees to take up the course at their own initiative. These dualities needed to be addressed very well with e-learning. And here’s how:

 

  • Since the main objective of such a training is to sensitize the employees to the imperative of reducing the carbon footprint, it is important that they understood the basic concept of greenhouse and CO2 gas emissions and how they affect our environment. Keeping this in mind, we can create two distinct and independent modules for training. The first module can cover Greenhouse Gas Emission and how it affects our environment, and the second module can focus on the organisational commitment to CO2 Emission Reduction. This strategy allows learners to take the training based on their level of exposure to the subject matter. For instance, learners who are familiar with the basics do not need to take the training on Greenhouse Gas Emission. They can simply opt for the more advanced course on and learn all about the organization’s methodologies to reduce their carbon footprint. This strategy empowers the learners to take control of their own learning and imbibes in them a sense of responsibility to gather all the information needed to do their bit for the environment

 

  • The user interface should be kept simple and clean – devoid of any jarring elements that would disturb the calm of a green and white background. Navigation should be kept easy and straightforward, keeping in mind that many employees are new to the concept of self-paced e-learning. Introduction can lay out the structure of the course for employees – allowing them to plan and chart their way through the course.

 

  • To meet the challenge of creating a simple yet interactive and engaging e-learning course, a highly visual course can be developed with minimum on-screen text. Since text-heavy courses can affect the learner’s attention span, animations, charts and graphs can be liberally utilized. Additional strategies like 2D or 3D mentors can be introduced to ‘speak-out’ to the employees. Audio can be descriptive so that learners remain engaged throughout the course and grasp the content easily. Extensive use of animations and multimedia ensures that even the most complicated topics can be easily explained and retained. For instance, while explaining the greenhouse effect, rather than just presenting the concept through text, we can present it with the help of an illustration-rich animation. Understanding this concept is the core objective of an environmental training course, and explaining it in such a visually impactful manner makes sure that employees have a strong base to build upon.

 

  • Similarly, all the technical tabulated data can be converted into charts and graphs so that learners could easily assess the changes that have happened over time to our environment. For example, the implementation of various methodologies to reduce CO2 emission can be supported with various flowcharts and graphs, which all learners find easy to retain.

 

With a proper, impactful channel of knowledge delivery and sustained effort of the people, every organization in the world can work towards reducing harmful emissions and saving the environment. And yes, e-learning makes all the difference!

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