Auto Training Stories

Automotive Online Training – A Misunderstood Opportunity

Over the years I’ve gotten to be a part of many development projects, and by the wisdom gained from these experiences, I would like to steer the automotive industry towards the real opportunities of online training.

Automotive Technology Training and Courses

The workshop staffs’, mechanics’ and technicians’ training has traditionally been leaning on the training provider’s, quite hands-on, courses on current subjects. For the training to be successful, the trainer’s showmanship is often more important than the physical training material. Therefore I’d like to warn you, that even the most brilliant visualisation, addition of VR (virtual reality) or gamification of the training material will never make digital training a directly comparable alternative to hands-on training events.

Pre-Learning Trainings as Trailblazers

Car manufacturers and professional training organisations have used online training as a part of the training entity. They often use material called pre-learning that is used to make the course more effective and free up time from the training event that can be utilised for hands-on practice and divide the learning process into different steps. In other words, the online training is used to add value and not to cut expenses. This solution develops processes, but often requires additional investments. Since the material is very manufacturer/brand specific or closed off from “outsiders”, the time window for the utilisation is short or the audience narrow.

What if…

In the heat of online training development, simple targets are pursued.

What if, a top-tier trainer took the theoretical part online, and concentrated on the central parts, in other words applying the theory in practice. Could he raise the amount of training sessions? Could the material work , almost as by accident, as pre-learning material or even post-learning repetition — even for years afterwards to make up for the notes the learner never took during the course?

What if, instead of investing in visualisation and game-like coding of the online training, one would focus on the story-telling of the online training, or to put it in another fashion, utilise the trainers movie director skills instead of coding skills? Wouldn’t it make the material truly interesting and a tempting story, where there’s a new “plot-twist” waiting around the corner?

What if, we wouldn’t hide the online material, but make it available to a greater audience, even in another country. This would perhaps also lower the cost of the training on an individual level.

Here’s a few examples of how to look at the opportunities of online training.

The Thought Model Changes

There are players on the market, such as Prodiags, Autodata Training and Electude, that offer online training, in addition to organisations, also openly to everyone. You can utilise these according to your own interests or on the order of your employer, even if you have not signed up for any local training events.

For workshops and garages, online training is the most efficient way to start the training and skills development of a “greenhorn” mechanic. This is simply because the assessments and exams of online training reveal the skill level very clearly, without separate level assessments or many months of internship.

Online training also solves the never-ending problem of training and education — how to identify where you are lacking knowledge yourself. It also helps separate adult education from the feeling of shame that often has its root among the coworkers. The closed environment that online training enables provides privacy and opportunity to develop yourself at your own pace.

Trying Pays Off

We can’t stop the changes in automotive technology and the skill demands in workshops, that’s why we there’s reason to focus on measuring the true learning results instead of the amount of days spent on the training. With online training we challenge top-tier trainers with their weak points and look for new cost-effective solutions to new training needs.
I encourage everybody to bravely try online training and look at it as a new kind of opportunity.

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