Today’s technical classroom is multi-dimensional
This is the second of a multi-part series on the evolution of technician training and education.
Twenty years ago, the diesel truck manufacturers and OEM suppliers relied primarily on written service training publications or instructor-led classes to update service technicians.
But in the past 10 years, many Class 7-8 commercial truck and engine manufacturers – including OEM suppliers – have developed computer-based technical training courses to train and update their current technician workforce.
Today’s classroom is multi-dimensional.
“These web-based courses are frequently prerequisites to the instructor-led training courses,” Tina Miller, director of public relations for Universal Technical Institute, says. “Well-designed web courses help establish a consistent baseline of theoretical knowledge for the technician to learn prior to attending the ‘hands-on’ workshop.”
“A lot of homework is done through online environment,” Jerry Clemons, program coordinator at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College adds. “They have to function from the first day of class on that.”
Clemons says industry demands have moved much of the learning experience online as instructors seek to reach more students with more information.
“There’s just so much more technology now,” he says. “There’s no way you can say all the words they need to know. It was much easier to retain it all in the classroom years ago, because there just wasn’t so much to learn.”
Advancements in technology brings with it needs of new instructional material.
Miller says in response to vehicle improvements the diesel truck manufacturers (and OEM suppliers) have created service information systems that can be frequently updated and easily accessed by their distributor/dealer service networks and customers.
“Teaching (vocational)-tech students, entry-level and seasoned technicians to properly utilize PC-based diagnostic software to troubleshoot vehicle systems also is crucial to their success in the industry,” she says. “A modern vehicle has many systems that are interconnected that can cause complex troubleshooting problems. Training students and technicians to access OEM service information resources and properly use electronic service tools is one of the more significant changes in the diesel service industry during the last 10 years.”