Provider Review: SkillSoft
Safety training online is a competitive industry, full of provider options. To help you make a smart purchase, HSI does the diligence on quality, cost, and ease of implementation, offering an unbiased overview of the industry’s more popular vendors.
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Skillsoft is the legacy training provider for many Fortune 500 companies, because its focus is broad—Skillsoft has eLearning courses for each member of the corporate workforce, from executives to the front desk. Major areas of emphasis include business & leadership skill building (known as ‘soft skills’), digital skills, IT skills and certifications, and, finally, compliance. As evidenced by its courseware for web development, Skillsoft has adjusted its product offer to align with the tech shift and focus on modern business skills. Today, Skillsoft claims over 400 million users and over one billion elearning modules completed.
As one of the largest and oldest online safety training providers, Skillsoft’s library of eLearning courseware modules is fairly extensive relative to its peers in the marketscape.
Skillsoft offers 111 general safety courses in its Environmental Safety & Health courseware library, including:
- Access to Employee Medical and Exposure Records
- Cold Stress
- Confined Spaces in Construction
- Carcinogen Safety
- Disaster Site Workers
- Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)
- Infectious Diseases
- Mold Awareness
- Portable Fire Extinguishers
- OSHA 300 Recordkeeping
- Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) Safety
- Retail Safety
- Safe Work Practices
- Slips, Trips, and Falls
- Workplace Safety Orientation
22 courses related to California’s OSHA standards, including:
- Accident Investigation
- Office Safety
10 courses to satisfy HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Annual 8-hour), including:
- Emergency Response and Spill Control
- Hazard Communication (HAZCOM)
11 online training courses categorized as Environmental, including:
- Biosafety Hazardous Waste Handling and Disposal
- Environmental Management Systems
- Universal Waste Rule Training
- Used Oil Management
19 Transportation courses, including:
- Collision Avoidance
- Defensive Driving
- Distracted Driving
- Loading Dock Safety
6 courses for Federal Motor Carrier Safety, including:
- DOT: Airbrakes
- DOT: Drug and Alcohol Awareness
- DOT: Hours of Service
Courseware for Hazardous Materials Transportation (5 for DOT; 5 for IATA), including:
- DOT: Hazardous Materials Table
- IATA: Hazard Class Indentification/Classification
4 Courses for Dangerous Goods Shipment by Sea (IMDG), including:
- Dangerous Goods List, Special Provisions and Exceptions
8 eLearning modules for Security, including:
- Active Shooter
- Campus Safety
- NFPA 1600 Disaster/Emergency Management
And 11 courses for Global Safety Principles, including:
- Fire Safety and Prevention
- Indoor Hoisting and Rigging
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
In support of training product diversity, Skillsoft also offers 144 smaller eLearning modules from its Compliance Impact Series; 10-minute lessons providing an overview of many of the topics covered in greater detail by its Environmental Safety & Health course catalogue. Basically, smaller courses, intended for refresher training.
You can find many examples of Skillsoft’s elearning modules like Harassment and Ergonomics on YouTube. It’s fair to characterize some of Skillsoft’s courses as matching the industry standard without experiencing each individual example; this is particularly true for recently published courses in its catalogue covering broader business skill development.
These examples speak to the quality (production value) of its courseware and display different styles used to connect learning objectives with the user. Filmed scenarios with actors appear as a favored device of Skillsoft’s instructional designers. These bits typically included a mock-scenario or example used to provoke the audience, and serve as the introductory vehicle for further content delivery.
Animation is another device used by Skillsoft in support of learning objectives.
Within Skillsoft’s courses you can turn off animations, turn on closed captioning, and even enable keyboard accessible course play.
Safety courses tend to be 30 minutes to an hour long. As an outlier, its NFPA 70E course is 2 hours.
Courses can include job aids (called SkillBriefs) that can be printed. Typically these are 1–2 page condensed summaries of a safety training topic.
Instructional content is text with audio narration and typically a supporting image or animation.
Within a topic, you’ll find knowledge checks, as is common with many eLearning and computer-based training (CBT) modules. Skillsoft’s knowledge checks may be multiple choice, true or false type, or matching.
Skillsoft’s content satisfies Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee (AICC) and Subject Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) eLearning standards.
SkillSoft does provide a majority of the safety content in Spanish. They also have additional courses in other languages such as French and German.
Occupational health, risk, and safety topics are available in 29 different languages.
Training Management Options:
Skillsoft’s course delivery platform is Skillport. Skillport is a “learning platform”; a Learning Management System (LMS) by another name. It billed as “cloud-based” content delivery software.
Skillsoft does not heavily detail the Skillport experience, largely avoiding the individual feature and benefit descriptions that many providers typically list, which makes it somewhat difficult to quickly evaluate its learning management system (LMS). However, visitors to www.skillsoft.com are given the option to read an informative brochure and tour the product.
According to Skillsoft, Skillport delivers…
- Analytics, reporting, measurement.
- Rich user experience with a beautiful, clean UX design.
- Extensive search and discovery.
- Personalized learning recommendations, featured topics and curated learning plans.
- Social and collaborative learning to connect learners across your organizations.
- Deliver a full complement of learning options and administration features.
Yes. Skillsoft is one of the few online training providers that offers a mobile app, a “dedicated Learning App”. This mobile capability supports elearning on mobile devices. Admin types are also able to use the app for elearning management purposes.
Custom Course Development:
Skillsoft does not offer custom eLearning development. However, SkillSoft’s online courses are customizable via the SkillStudio tool. Skillstudio allows for removal of topics, mixing and matching of course modules, and addition of text, graphics, or audio. While this tool will work with any SkillSoft-developed course, it’s more applicable to the IT, Desktop and Business skills training topics.
The Skillsoft of today is all about driving business outcomes, a recurring theme symbolic of the provider’s shift toward fulfilling the learning and learning management needs of modern Fortune 500 corporations. That explains its top to bottom product emphasis on traditional “soft skills” training.
The Skillsoft of the past provided a ton of training options, ranging from online courses and books, to live online events for information technology (IT) certifications, videos, and even online mentoring for desktop applications.
Skillsoft’s reputation has never been settled as an online safety training company, in part because of the broader focus on serving corporate mega-customers, where the appeal rests in other areas, like soft skills training. That isn’t to say that Skillsoft does not have products related to safety and compliance training. As evidenced above, Skillsoft has many products created to satisfy compliance with OSHA safety training standards.
Today, an immense volume of eLearning courses are offered by Skillsoft across multiple disciplines, allowing it to claim one of largest product catalogues in the online training industry.
To learn more about SkillSoft’s awards and recognition, visit: http://www.skillsoft.com/learning-company.asp#awards
OpenSesame Rating: N/A