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Successes, challenges, learnings and recommendations of my digital learning experiances
Our department uses and I have developed/given webinars about technical subjects to technicians. We also use WBT with animations, text and classroom courses (blended learning). With new model introduction we also include the use of video as well to introduce/show/discuss the new vehicle. With some courses we use online questionnaires as tests and with others smaller tests are distributed throughout the learning.
Our technicians are enrolled into courses by an allocated person at dealer level using the LMS. Technician use the same LMS to access the WBT and webinars and can monitor their progression as on Iversity. The training is asynchronous so they can pause training to facilitate self-paced training. It is mainly passive in that the technician listens/reads and does exercises without peer intervention. Our training is very factual (physics driven) so an answer is in most cases either correct or wrong so peer interaction won't really assist.
I have finished about 80 e-leanings (mostly technical) at one vehicle manufacturer from 2009 to 2013 and about 70 at the current vehicle manufacturer I am giving training at from 2013 to date. I also did 9 courses here at Iversity. I am blessed to get time to do them...
Some of the more in depth courses, especially at Iversity, required further reading and learning for me. I unfortunately want to know all the details so I "waste time" reading up on them. I also had to brush up on my CALCULUS to understand some technical formulas related to certain concepts. Although it was a challenge for me, at times, I think the standard should be kept simple but high.
My leanings are mainly technical in nature as I have a passion for that. I also study business related course now and then to see how I and this technical side fits into it. Most of my leanings are e-learning based and reading text.
Technicians and young people generally don't like reading so plain text is not a good idea. Asking them to read up on a topic or a website won't help either. So our digital learning needs to be animated to explain how things move/operate/work, in some cases show HD pictures of components when discussing them, in other cases rather uses drawings of them if you are explaining movement or interaction, keep concepts short, have a lot of "breaks" that require them to reflect/answer what they understand so far and have interactions throughout so they can see what happens if they change the speed or positing or size or level of something.
With some courses, especially those related to diagnostics, we link the digital course to our information system where technicians would normally go to for technical information related to a specific system. In that way they can see during diagnostics what information they should access where. We also animate our diagnostic equipment in this process so they can see how and where the equipment can be used to simplify/help with diagnostics on systems.
With digital learning they get knowledge. But, at the end of the day in our industry nothing replaces hands on training, in other words mastering a skill. As what was done in the Modelling and Simulation using Simulink course on Iversity where you had to apply your knowledge by building a system using a hairdryer, ball an Arduino microcontroller.