The Highly Effective Fleet Manager is the first of two certificate programs to be released, according to Goode. In the spring of 2013, TCA plans to release a similar program on training and recruiting for HR professionals. The Truckload Academy includes other training materials in other formats, Goode adds. For example, the majority of sessions at the organization’s annual meetings are recorded and available online, played back with the accompanying Power Point presentations.

Webinars offered by TCA are also recorded and available through TCA’s Live Learning Center.

As a long-time provider of safety and compliance training for the trucking industry, J.J. Keller & Associates is also adding online, interactive training to its broad mix of educational offerings, says Joel Landsverk, product manager for the company’s online training, including for course development.

“Interactive training is self-paced, so people can spend more time on areas where they need to,” he observes. “A benefit of online education is that the system does the recordkeeping for you. It can keep track of when each student began a training program, when they finished and how well they did,” Landsverk adds. “If you are being audited, the first thing you’ll be asked for is your records.

“Another good thing is that online training is consistent; the same message is delivered every time,” he notes. “It is a good way to make sure you are hitting your marks.”

Landsverk also views interactive, online training as an especially good option for adult learners. “Most adults who have been on the job 15 or 20 years don’t have much time or appetite for required training,” he says, “and we are very respectful of that. Some topics, like cargo securement or hours-of-service logging, can also be rather mundane, and people just don’t want to have to hear it over again. We acknowledge that.

“We want people to connect with the training and not to be bored,” he adds. “We want them to say, ‘I really didn’t want to go through that training very much, but I have to say that they brought out some interesting ideas.’” To help make training programs engaging, J.J. Keller even studies film and incorporates as many techniques as possible, including graphics, sound effects and original music.

Face-to-Face Learning

Landsverk notes that most of the company’s customers say they still use a mix of all types of training, from interactive e-learning to instructor-led training programs. “We try to give people as many options as possible,” he says. “We still highlight video-based, instructor-led training, though. We give instructors complete guides to teaching courses using our video programs.”

NPTC’s Moore shares this belief in the ongoing value of face-to-face learning. “Our new interactive program will help people prepare to sit for the Certified Transportation Professional test,” he explains. “They don’t have to attend the classroom training we offer at our annual Institute to help them get ready for the test, but we are looking at the new online program as an addition to the in-person Institute, not a replacement for it. There is still something extra, something unique that happens when people actually get together and share ideas.”