1. < Back to Articles

    Changing the Dynamics of the Classroom

    September 30, 2020


    For the construction industry, adapting to a new normal has involved changing the way we approach traditional training techniques. Fortunately, there are creative teammates to lead the way.

    Throughout COVID-19, ensuring Balfour Beatty teams have safe work environments while maintaining optimal productivity in the field has remained a top priority. And with many teams working on tighter schedules and incorporating proper physical distancing, traditional classroom training has become less practical. To effectively navigate this challenge, Balfour Beatty has leveraged existing and new technologies to conduct training in a virtual environment.

    Safety 

    In Charlotte, N.C., COVID-19 required many Balfour Beatty teams to cancel in-person safety trainings. With the need to keep safety at the forefront of every jobsite and a commitment to Zero Harm culture, Safety Health and Environment Manager Jason Jackowitz knew it was essential to provide teammates a different avenue for their safety trainings. 
     
    By conducting the training via Microsoft Teams, Balfour Beatty teams can access critical safety training in a faster, location-independent way. The platform has proven beneficial for busy teammates on deadline-driven jobsites unable to step away for a full day at times. With online learning, attendees can attend live presentations or access program materials at their convenience. 

    The virtual program has been so successful, the entire Southeast Buildings team has adopted the new mode of training.

    Quality Control

    The Texas Buildings team also successfully adopted virtual learning regarding quality control. 

    The “Quality Control Start Finish” training course, launched by Senior Project Manager Roy Evans and the Texas construction technology team, uses Microsoft Teams in addition to a virtual camera and Open Broadcaster Software, a new green screen technology. Participants attend two half-day virtual sessions that include a panel of external speakers, developers, clients, architects and trade partners to discuss successfully quality control approaches that can prevent the cost and waste of rework. 

    Clients and partners have praised the new course, noting that it differentiates Balfour Beatty as a learning organization. 

    While online learning may not completely replace the traditional classroom, our Southeast and Texas teams have proven it can be beneficial to embrace new technologies and innovative ways of delivering essential training without impacting productivity.