UMN launches new online training program for school employees

Training Hub will be fully implemented by the end of June.

Research Development Services Manager Jason Kadrmas poses for a portrait on Monday, June, 18. Jason is the developer of the new training hub program switching from the previous ULearn module.

Easton Green

Research Development Services Manager Jason Kadrmas poses for a portrait on Monday, June, 18. Jason is the developer of the new training hub program switching from the previous ULearn module.

Michelle Griffith

The University of Minnesota’s Office of Information Technology implemented a new employee training program this month to replace a previous program that many found difficult to use. 

The program, called Training Hub, is a new interface targeted at University employees such as faculty and student workers. It is used to educate employees on topics such as sexual misconduct and safe technology use, and will completely replace the previous program by the end of June. 

Training Hub was developed by the University Academic Health Center’s Information Systems, and is integrated with Canvas, an online program launched at the University in 2017 to replace Moodle. The previous program, ULearn, was slow and not user-friendly, said OIT Service Owner Kathy Breitenbach. 

“We wanted something that met the University’s needs really well, was tightly focused on training and tracking and was much easier to use than the tool we had previously,” Breitenbach said. 

The change comes after the ULearn vendor’s contract expired. Following a comprehensive review, OIT decided to implement a training program that the AHC-IS department was creating for research training. OIT used what the AHC-IS had developed and tweaked it to fit its needs, Breitenbach added. 

ULearn started to phase out this month, and many at the University have already transitioned to new program. The initial feedback has been positive, Breitenbach said. 

“My training was easy to complete and loaded fast,” said Coffman Bookstore employee and sophomore Franco Garcia. 

The user-friendly aspect is the biggest benefit of the program, Breitenbach said. It is easy to use, which makes it easier for OIT to support, she said. 

The AHC-IS developed the original program, the Human Research Training website, under the request of the University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, said Research Development Services Manager Jason Kadrmas. Training Hub is basically an expansion of the website his team had already created, he added. 

There are currently 337 courses available on Training Hub. Some of the modules include Agricultural Tractor Safety, Animal Use Tutorial and Radiation Safety Orientation. Each module must be created by a University training administrator, of which there are currently about 80, Breitenbach said. 

Administrators use Training Hub to develop the necessary modules to facilitate the required training that employees need to take when they’re hired, Kadrmas said.  

An employee’s required training modules appear on their Canvas account and are free to use. Administrators are able to track the progress of each employee’s training.