A resource for safe and effective troubleshooting from the leaders in simulation training.

Welcome back once again, Troubleshooters! Thanks for joining us as we continue our series on how to choose a training solution. If you’re just tuning in, in Part 1 we presented a list of the top 11 things you absolutely should expect from a training solution. We also talked about the first two items on that list—value, and professional development opportunities. Last week, in Part 2, we looked at ease of access and implementation of a training solution. Today we’re talking about the fourth item on our list: whether or not a technical training solution has a proven track record as a robust solution.

A history of success

We hear the phrase “proven track record” so often that it pretty much goes in one ear and out the other. But the reason it is used so much is that it’s important. Not all training programs are created equal! Experience and a history of success matter.

It may be hard at first glance to tell the effective solutions from the not-so-effective, so you may have to dive a little deeper to find out which ones will actually help you accomplish your training goals.

When you’re evaluating a potential training solution, be sure to ask these questions:

  1. How long has this solution been available? A long lifespan will indicate that users are getting desired results, and that the developers have had time to work the bugs out and to establish a first-rate bank of practice exercises.
  2. How can you measure the success of the training initiative? You may want to implement a trial program to see if it delivers what you need. Is there a way to conveniently collect the training data to measure against a predetermined benchmark?
  3. Who has successfully implemented this solution? Reputable enterprises? Companies like yours? Try to talk to them to see how it worked for them.
  4. Do industry associations recognize and/or recommend this solution? Is it even on their radar? Training programs designed on sound principles of learning will be recognized as effective, and may even be recommended by training or specific industry organizations.

Well developed, comprehensive and science-based

To be sure you’re correctly estimating the ROI on your investment, you’ll want to be certain that the technical training solution you choose is robust, i.e., includes all the elements you need for exceptional training.

A robust technical training solution will:

  • Be based on sound, scientific principles of learning
  • Offer proficiency, and not just familiarity (proficiency requires a lot of practice—that’s why, for example, pilots require thousands of hours of flight practice before being licensed)
  • Provide post-training tests for comprehension and allow for custom testing
  • Provide opportunities for skills maintenance after training is complete
  • Allow administrators to easily monitor trainees’ progress, gather training data, and evaluate and compare trainee performance

In the specific case of troubleshooting training, Morris & Rouse’s research has shown that any instruction should include the following:

  1. General knowledge of system function and specific knowledge of all components
  2. Knowledge of typical problems, symptoms and causes
  3. Competence in use of diagnostic tools/test equipment
  4. Knowledge of appropriate data collection methods
  5. Knowledge of various search strategies
  6. Knowledge of specific repair or correction procedures
  7. Extensive practice with feedback

Be sure to ask how each solution addresses these goals.

The Simutech Training System

The Simutech Training System was developed using Robert Mager’s Criterion-Referenced Instruction framework, the gold standard for design and delivery of troubleshooting instruction programs. It teaches a proven, systematic method for troubleshooting electrical faults in manufacturing equipment, reducing downtime, saving money, and helping plants meet their production goals.

Simutech Multimedia is trusted by over 500 companies and more than 200 educational institutions. It has won 15 awards, and has accumulated over 250 practice faults that prepare maintenance professionals for the electrical faults they will encounter on the job.

See what Simutech Multimedia’s customers (many of them Fortune 500 companies) have to say about The Simutech Training System.

And that’s all for today, Troubleshooters! Be sure to join us again next when Troubleshooting Thursdays looks at item #5 on our list—completeness.

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