Elearning! September

2014

Elearning! Magazine: Building Smarter Companies via Learning & Workplace Technologies.

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36 September / October 2014 Elearning! Learning! 100 NASCAR's Learning Rides to 'Victory Lane' NASCAR is the sanctioning body for stock car racing and the No. 1 motors- port in America. It sanctions more than 1,200 races at 100 tracks in more than 30 U.S. states, Mexico, Canada and Eu- rope. Te sport has millions of loyal fans and recently signed 10-year TV rights agreements with FOX and NBC. More than 100 Fortune 500 companies rely on NASCAR to build their brands — more than any other sport. Te organization's management be- lieves that behind every successful race season are its employees and afliates on the ground, from ofcials and track personnel who put on races each week to the corporate I.T. and R&D employees using the most cutting-edge technolo- gies. To help workers continuously learn, NASCAR ofers a blend of self-paced and traditional classroom learning, ranging from employee onboarding to emergency response services to a signature culinary program. Te company's philosophy is that learning is key to keeping NASCAR in "victory lane." Te 29 tracks that host NASCAR national series events, which are geo- graphically dispersed, employ more than 7,000 track services workers who need to be equipped to respond to the unique demands of the auto racing en- vironment: stock car design changes, car speeds of 200 mph on straightaways, and temperatures in driver cockpits that can exceed 130 degrees. One of NASCAR's main challenges is that most track ser- vices personnel (fre, EMS and opera- tions workers) are not captive employees but are hired by the host racetracks. Workers come from diverse educational backgrounds, and many rotate to work at multiple tracks. Training requires hands-on learning using emergency equipment and prac- ticing response skills and procedures at the track, which may need to completely shut down for regular business dur- ing training (normally two full days). Tus, NASCAR devised its Track Ser- vices Training Program with a goal of reducing the amount of classroom time needed to free more time for hands-on practice before every race. "We sit down with subject-matter ex- perts and make sure we design exactly what they need," says NASCAR director of Training & Development Karen Mas- encup. In 2012, NASCAR began to ofer free self-paced e-learning courses to give workers the opportunity to complete the courses before arriving for in-person training. Te rollout received high par- ticipation and positive feedback. In 2013, NASCAR's T&D team increased the number of online courses, and in 2014, it began rolling out courses on tablets and mobile devices. "Te Track Services folks used to teach in classrooms," Masencup says. "We took those courses and put them on line, and it's become a huge success. We've had more than 37,300 courses taken in the last eight months alone." Today, NASCAR's Track Services Training ofers 23 e-learning courses and 40 instructor-led courses. "Our department works hand-in-hand with NASCAR Training & Development," says Mike Phillips, director of NASCAR Track Services. "Being able to ofer the e-learning courses they develop in ad- vance of our training events has allowed us to maximize the time we spend with workers during on-site trainings. We are so very proud of the e-learning training that is developed by the Training & De- velopment team." Troy Willrick of the Daytona Interna- tional Speedway also praises Masencup's team. "Having more than 400 track ser- vices employees complete online courses before they arrive for training has dra- matically increased the amount of time we can dedicate to hands-on training," he notes. "Tis allows our workers more time to hone their skills and practice re- alistic scenarios they may encounter dur- ing an event. With our diverse workforce coming in from many locations around the country, the centralized system works perfectly. NASCAR's high-quality train- ing has proven to be extremely worth- while." In the future, NASCAR will improve its e-learning oferings. "We'd like to take the courses we have now and make them more advanced. Tat would make the hands-on training that much more efec- tive," says Masencup. NASCAR is a frst-time Learning! 100 honoree. INNOVATION AREA OF EXCELLENCE '[Online courses] allow our workers more time to hone their skills and practice realis- tic scenarios they may encounter during an event.' —Troy Willrick, Daytona Int'l. Speedway

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