by Michelle Yungblut - Vice President of Training & Certification
Yes, you read that title right. And nope, we aren’t hiring virtual instructors. The ESA National Training School is going to start offering instructor-led training courses virtually! We are referring to this new delivery method as Online Instructor Led Training (OILT).
In the training world, this is also called synchronous online training – where teaching and learning are happening at the same time. ESA has been a front-runner when it comes to offering online courses for the electronic security industry, and we continue to stay ahead of the pack with this new and convenient delivery method.
What exactly makes synchronous training different than online or live training?
First, let’s define live and online training. It all boils down to when and where the three parts of learning - learners, instructor, and course materials - interact with each other.
Live training includes an instructor, learners, and the course materials all in the same location at the same time and; therefore, interacting together at the same time. Online training involves a learner and the course materials in the same location, at the same time — but not the instructor and other learners. The instructor develops the online materials and is only utilized for Q&A or for providing feedback.
Synchronous online training is the best of online and live training as the three components are all involved at the same time. ESA is very excited to launch this new delivery tool, as it will bring the knowledge of our highly-qualified and experienced instructors to more technicians.
There is no doubt that learning installation methods from a great instructor is the best way for technicians to learn. However, NTS’ instructor-led courses haven’t been accessible to everyone due to the burdens of travel, which often equates to more expense and more time.
Our online courses have done a fantastic job bringing the training to students who would not otherwise get the opportunity to participate in an instructor-led class, but learning online by yourself isn’t for everyone. Certain learning types need to hear and see others to stay engaged and interested in the materials. This personal interaction keeps them motivated.
NTS will now bring students from across the state or country to an instructor-led course, using high quality video and screen sharing that allows the NTS Instructor to teach the course. Not only can the students see the instructor, but they can also see other students via their webcams.
The instructor will also share screens so that course slides can be shown — they’ll also have the ability to live poll, get student feedback, utilize a white board to write or draw, and answer questions from students when they virtually raise their hand.
Students can interact with each other during Q&A sessions or chat features in the tool’s interface. Each hour students will be given a break so that they can step away from their computer and stretch their legs.
The platform also allows for mobile delivery through an app, but we recommend that students use the platform in a stationary setting to ensure a consistent Wi-Fi signal. Also, it is recommended that the courses be taken in a quiet setting with little distractions.
NTS will begin offering OILT courses in May of 2018 with a few pilot courses. More and more courses will be taught this way throughout 2018, as we get more instructors and training providers transitioned to the delivery platform.
Current NTS OILT Courses Available: