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Preparing Businesses to Minimize Risk

COVID-19 Business Survival Guide from Soteria120 & OttoLearn Aims to Protect Workers and Businesses

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Fast Facts


Soteria120, an educational technology startup creating effective industrial safety and compliance training

Training Challenge

Combat misinformation and provide business survival training for hard-hit companies during COVID-19 crisis


OttoLearn solution delivering essential information in a minimalist format that promotes active learning

Startup Soteria120 is determined to disrupt training

Soteria120, a Calgary-based startup, is passionate about preventing injuries and saving lives through effective safety and compliance training in construction and other industries.

With nearly a century of safety training between them, Soteria120’s founders are familiar with the failures and flaws of conventional training models. Their company aims to augment or replace conventional training with a more effective, minimalist approach based on cognitive science. All of their training is built on the OttoLearn microlearning platform.

People are really seeing the value in this platform through our COVID-19 demo. They’re liking how it’s different, how it’s low-touch, and how we don’t throw a pile of information at them all at once. You just pick it up and go. Two minutes later, you’re done!

Allan Macdonald
Co-founder, Soteria120

The COVID-19 crisis highlighted weaknesses in the traditional training model

Much safety, compliance, and recertification training occurs annually — or even less frequently. The problem is, learners don’t remember material they’re exposed to once, especially if they don’t see it again for a year — or three!

But those learners’ welfare may depend on their remembering and adopting safety protocols covered in the training.

Woman in a mask, putting an "OPEN" sign on the door.
Screenshot of OttoLearnOttoLearn screenshot

Soteria120 was tackling that problem head-on. The company bases its training solutions on cognitive science. Its approach aims to ingrain key practices, change behavior, and build long-term retention.

When COVID-19 struck, Soteria120 realized that companies faced a double threat: Keeping workers and customers safe and keeping their businesses afloat.

Business owners needed accurate information and effective guidance on keeping workers and customers safe. Delivering information wasn’t enough; learners had to be able to apply what they’d learned. Throughout the pandemic, government mandates shifted frequently, so content had to be easy to update. And the business owners needed help immediately.

Putting OttoLearn’s strengths to work to inform, educate, and assist

Since they already were using OttoLearn for their corporate safety and compliance training, they were confident that OttoLearn could meet this challenge. Soteria120 quickly pivoted from building its industrial and construction safety training library to providing essential, authoritative COVID-19 guidance.

Targeting business owners, who face considerable risks whether they remain open during the pandemic or shut down, Soteria120 launched its COVID-19 Business Survival Guide.

Rather than simply provide information that citizens can easily find elsewhere, the Survival Guide uses information from the World Health Organization, Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, and national and provincial governments to promote active learning and:

Teach and reinforce key protocols & principles
Assist businesses in their response to the crisis
Encourage learners to figure out how to apply information to minimize their risks
Educate learners on identifying and avoiding misinformation
Close-up, over-the-shoulder view of a hand holding a mobile phone. On the phone is a shot of OttoLearn, as if the person is taking a Training Session.

It covers personal and workplace hygiene protocols to contain the virus; emergency management and business continuity protocols; information on occupational health and safety requirements; curated, factual information on the virus; and guidelines for recognizing and combating misinformation.

The Survival Guide takes an active-learning approach with its COVID-19 solution. It delivers information from trusted sources, packaged as activities that challenge learners to think through and apply safe workplace principles.

The COVID-19 Survival Guide capitalizes on what Soteria120 identified as OttoLearn’s key strengths: Daily engagement; spaced repetition; active learning; and a minimalistic, straightforward delivery of content. Public response to the COVID resource has been overwhelmingly positive, according to co-founder Robert Crooks.

The Soteria120 PSA/Business Survival Guide, a downloadable app, is available free from the Soteria120 website.

It’s not that classroom training doesn’t have a place … it’s just that it’s inefficient, expensive, and doesn’t really lead to good performance — at least compared to OttoLearn. Even traditional eLearning can’t compete on measures like retention and engagement. This is going to transform the industry!

Robert Crooks
Co-founder, Soteria120

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