March 2015

E-Learning and Training Upgrades

Since the very beginning of our apprenticeship training programs, members have always referenced printed training manuals or periodicals that were developed by industry experts. Technology is changing everything we have ever known about the training process, the way training is delivered and how assignments are completed. Many learning institutions are printing fewer books and students are using computers to read reference material and complete homework assignments online. Over the past few years, we have received several requests from training coordinators to move from printed books to an electronic format. The National Training Fund has heard these requests and has decided to begin the process of developing an International Learning Management System (LMS) website that can be used by locals to deliver training and even testing.

The system will automatically score assignments and tests for each student and greatly improve the accuracy and completeness of grading, record keeping and reporting. Administrative workload at the training centers will be decreased, freeing up more time to be used on other training activities. Training records and data that are currently unavailable will be accessible electronically and will be used to populate a member’s transcript. Some of the planned features include: 

Student features:
• Read/access the reference manual section for each assignment
• Fill out and submit assignments online (auto grade when possible)
• Fill out and submit tests online (auto grade when possible)
• Review history of assignments
• Email/message with instructor
• Receive emails, updates, news and events from the administrator and instructor

Instructor features:
• Ability to grant apprentices access to the system
• Email with individual student
• Email with group/class
• Assignments are automatically graded
• Review history of assignments
• Manually enter assignment grades if a paper version is handed in for record keeping
• Manually add grades from requirements such as hands on activities to calculate final grade

The goal is to develop a site that will simulate the process of reading the reference manual and completing homework assignments with the difference of being done online, electronically. It will also allow tests to be delivered over the Internet in a proctored environment. Taking advantage of these automated processes are only possible by the use of computers. These benefits will help us remain the best trained workers in the industry. And now, we will be able to provide the documentation to back it up. For more information on this training initiative, please contact the Apprenticeship and Training Department.