Rapid, Relevant, and Real: Practical eLearning

By Shaun Rigby

May 2, 2024

Source: Adobe

An old carpenter once said, ‘You can’t learn to cut wood by reading about trees.’ I think it is a simple wisdom that’s been lost of late. Too much theory and not enough ‘real world’ means the need for practical, effective eLearning solutions is more critical than ever. This urgency comes from a lesson I learned from my boss, who, amongst other things, was a dive instructor. He told me the biggest thing you can learn about diving is ‘Not to hold your breath.’ Amidst extensive training to become a dive master, this straightforward advice stood out as a beacon of practical wisdom in a sea of complex theory.

In our line of work at Kiah, we often face what we call a ‘doozy’—projects, programs, and problems that are either completely off the rails, have no simple solution, or where a fancy slide deck and set-and-forget strategy just won’t cut it. ‘Doozies’ are what good consultants thrive on.

When Retail Drinks Australia (RDA), an organisation representing 75,000 retail liquor workers across Australia, approached us with the challenge of helping address the rising tide of retail crime, we knew it was our kind of problem. With 54% of all retail robberies now armed, and assaults nearly doubled in recent years, RDA members faced a critical responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of every individual they employ. This wasn’t just about statistics; it was about protecting mums, dads, sons, and daughters. This was duty of care.

Responding to such a significant challenge, we developed a High-Risk Situation Training course delivered through a state-of-the-art eLearning platform. This program wasn’t designed as a mere academic exercise but as a transformative educational tool aimed at saving lives. Featuring interactive modules, the training engages participants in real-life scenarios, from de-escalating violent confrontations to handling armed robberies effectively.

Online training has great benefits: reach, scalability, and timeliness, to name a few. Online training can also be boring, ineffective, and expensive. It should be none of those things. Good eLearning is applicable, practical, relevant – and enjoyable. Entertaining to a point, informative always, and relevant.

The beauty of such practical eLearning lies in its triple-R framework: Rapid, Relevant, and Real. This approach underscores the necessity of delivering training that is:

  • Rapid: Quick to deploy, affordable and easy to access, and just 30-45 minutes long, ensuring that learning begins almost immediately and continues seamlessly.
  • Relevant: Tailored to meet the immediate needs of the workforce, addressing specific challenges they face on the job.
  • Real: Grounded in realism, providing learners with applicable skills rather than abstract theories, enabling them to act decisively and appropriately in real-world situations.

This model stands in stark contrast to traditional, theory-heavy learning paradigms that often leave learners underprepared for the realities of their roles. In sectors like retail, where employees regularly face high-risk situations, the practicality of eLearning is not just beneficial; it’s imperative. By focusing on the actual needs and challenges of the job, eLearning can bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application, making it more effective and directly impactful. But our approach went beyond just practical skill-building. Ethical considerations were paramount, ensuring that the training was grounded in realism without sensationalising the dangers these workers face. By integrating the latest police data and criminological research, we ensured that the scenarios were as realistic as they were informative, providing balanced, actionable strategies without inducing unnecessary fear.

The affordability and scalability of eLearning make it an ideal solution for widespread implementation. Organisations can roll out training to large numbers of employees without the logistical and financial burdens associated with traditional in-person training sessions. This makes eLearning not only a smart choice but a sustainable one that can adapt to evolving needs and threats. But you must do it right. eLearning shouldn’t be about checking boxes. It’s not just about cramming theory into digital slides and calling it training. Effective eLearning must transcend traditional boundaries and embrace a hands-on, experiential learning approach. In fields like retail security, where the risks are real and the consequences severe, training must not only inform but also prepare individuals to think on their feet, react swiftly, and manage emergencies with both precision and compassion. It may be controversial to say but this isn’t just about learning—you should be engaging with content that mirrors daily realities. Good eLearning isn’t hypothetical; it’s real-life application at its best.

The case for practical eLearning is clear. As we face increasingly complex challenges in various sectors, the need for training that is as immediate and applicable as it is accessible becomes more apparent. Let’s not hold our breath waiting for traditional models to catch up. Instead, let’s breathe new life into training with practical eLearning solutions that are fit for the demands of today and tomorrow.

If you are after training that empowers as much as it educates, then visit our website or send us an email at This is the future of eLearning—rapid, relevant, and resoundingly real.

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