The short story.
Improved lab safety through engaging courses and true-to-life custom animations and simulations.
Flipped traditional elearning by implementing a “Test then Tell” approach.
Cubist received enthusiastic feedback from employees, who actually enjoyed the annual refresher finding it “engaging and more interesting.”
The long story.
In 2010, Cubist asked Maestro to develop a course that would serve as an annual refresher in lab safety for Cubist employees. Maestro developed a comprehensive course based on the standard “Tell, Then Test” model. In 2013, the company asked Maestro to update this course and incorporate new features.
Cubist had originally hoped to modify the content of its lab safety refresher course to align with the company’s safety regulation updates. Maestro questioned assumptions to make sure this was truly the best approach. They asked how well the first course had been working for the company, why Cubist felt the need for an update, and about the needs and challenges of the people who would be taking it. In the process, Maestro began to uncover various opportunities to make the course more engaging and effective.
Because tracking, scoring and certification were equally essential elements of the project, Maestro was careful to factor Cubist’s LMS requirements into the design. This extra attention to detail helped identify and circumvent several potential issues.
Through continued probing, Maestro determined the need to split the training into two parts: Part One would be a more traditional eLearning course. Part Two would be a 3D lab simulation.
The rationale was that the lab safety refresher course would be for Cubist’s existing and new employees who regularly work in the company’s labs. Typically, these employees come into the training with extensive familiarity with lab environments. The first part of the training—which would have a more traditional course format—therefore needed to present important safety information without being repetitive or boring to experienced lab users.
Maestro answered this need by employing the “Test then Tell” approach, whereby the course first tests the learner’s existing knowledge. Learners who achieved a perfect score could skip part two. Those who did not received feedback that talked them through their results and explained the correct safety procedures.
Part Two of the course was a 3D lab simulation. Maestro had originally proposed a 2D lab illustration, but its designers pressed for a 3D simulation, which they felt would be much more realistic and engaging, for them as well as the learners.
The finished product places the learner into a lab custom-built by Maestro to mimic the look and feel of Cubist’s biology and chemistry labs. Once in the labs, the learner has to identify visibly unsafe conditions, answers questions about how to remediate them, and analyze the results. This allows employees to learn in a familiar environment where they are able to quickly focus on the most relevant information.
The new course has received enthusiastic feedback from Cubist’s employees, who are actually enjoying the annual refresher. “After a few months of the training being rolled out, I had great positive feedback from my colleagues,” said Marie Coeffet-LeGal of Cubist. “They’re finding the training engaging and more interesting.”