San Diego Electric Training Center

San Diego Electric Training Center

Company: San Diego Electric Training Center.
Business: Electrical and Sound Telecommunications training
Location: San Diego California

The Company
San Diego Electric Training Center (SDETT) is located on and is in conjunction with Palomar Community Collage. SDETT has approximately 400 students enrolled in any given semester. They are responsible for providing a qualified, highly skilled work force for the unionized electrical and sound telecommunication industries in the San Diego and Imperial counties of California.

The Challenge

Providing quality hands on education is expensive and time consuming for both students and staff at SDETT. SDETT was looking for ways to make the learning process more effective and repeatable. Their typical student is construction electricians who get up early, work hard, and then are expected to attend class two nights a week for three and a half hours, along with completing homework assignments. Initially SDETT used the Blackboard system the Community Collage had purchased. SDETT staff found Blackboard's authoring environment to be primitive, mostly consisting of the ability to display Power Point presentations with tests. SDETT did not find that this environment provided any benefit to their teachers or students and went looking for a more effective solution.

The ReadyGo WCB Solution
Patrick Knighton the Training Director at SDETT looked at a number of e-Learning authoring tools. When he came across ReadyGo Web Course Builder it caught his attention. He liked ReadyGo's web and instructional design approach, availability of online training, and support.

Without any experience developing and delivering on-line training, SDETT made the commitment to complete their 6th semester training on-line, requiring no supplemental books. Each SDETT semester is 102 hours long, half the time is spent in the classroom taking lectures while the other half is in required lab work. Using ReadyGo WCB Patrick had the first lesson, a three and a half hour lecture, completed on time. To the astonishment of SDETT's instructor's the first lesson was a success. The cumulative score average for this subject was higher than all the previous semesters.

With the availability of the first online semester SDETT continued to provide lectures and homework. After the successful first semester, SDETT decided to start reducing the amount of PowerPoint based lectures being presented and depend more on courses built with ReadyGo WCB. The students preferred taking training online, at home, rather then coming into the school for a lecture. Instructors now require students to show up with the “certificate of completion” they receive after completing a lesson. Based on a proctored test, the grades for course material given online are 10-15% higher than the previous year's instructor presented scores. Required online learning forces the students to do their homework, which markedly improves their subject matter knowledge. SDETT has now instituted the policy that if the student completes his on-line assignment and passes with 85% or greater on a proctored test, he gets to go home, not having to attend the instructor based lecture. Most recently 3 out 19 students had to stay for lecture, the rest went home. SDETT hopes to refine their process and reduce student time in class by 40% or more. By integrating course material to Facebook, SDETT has been able to easily facilitate online conversations about specific topics between trainers and students and between students. Students appreciate receiving information in a medium they are comfortable using.

SDETT has a class of advanced placement high school students who come into their training center in the morning for classes on energy savings. Patrick decided to roll out their ReadyGo WCB build courses to these students. He assigned them the course “Electrical Power Quality”. In less than two hours the majority of the high school students had completely approximately 70% of the on-line course (night school apprentices spend 4-8 hours on the course). The students all said they really liked the course, finding it easy to understand. The teaching assistant assigned to the class was amazed that from the instant the students logged-on, their heads went down, they completely focused, and were not interested in taking any breaks.

“ReadyGo WCB has given SDETT a way to effectively deliver technical courseware, improve our student's ability to learn the material, and lower the amount of time students need to be in class. I cannot compliment your product and staff enough for helping us achieve a goal in such a short time.” states Patrick Knighton . p>

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