How we teach so effectively

Tips for getting the most from our eLearning modules

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Virtual teacher guidance

Let our self-study worksheet guide you through a typical lesson.

A reminder of the main eLearning benefits

  • Low cost. Every topic and course levels for one price.
  • Flexible learning schedules. Follow short modules whenever convenient.
  • Clear, learning progression in simple steps.
  • Expert advice via your smartphone whenever you need it.
  • Learn in a way that best suits your individual needs by using any of the wide range of different media types
  • Instant results recording and standard LRS reporting.

Mentoring to match classroom benefits

  • Instead of teachers discussing each student's needs, our course planner will investigate your requirements and suggest the most appropriate training modules. We also have set courses for each profession or a full list of training modules to select from.
  • Instead of teachers telling students what to do we have detailed worksheets for students to self study and lesson plans for teachers to lead classes.
  • Instead of classroom test rigs, our real equipment simulations provide an interactive environment where all students can experiment safely.
  • Instead of teachers accessing student's abilities then setting a lesson to suit the whole class, our interactive quiz checks each person's skill level so they can recognize the level they should work at.
  • Instead of teachers answering questions in class, our online discussion forum is available 24 hours a day to provide answers.
  • In the classroom, you can't get distracted by other things. Online training requires personal discipline, helped by shorter sessions so you don't get bored.

How to use eLearning and get the best results

Online training can provide everything students get from the classroom but with much greater flexibility. Rather than simply following what the teacher says, with online learning it's vital students find the right subject modules and work out how they retain knowledge best. For example, that might be in short 10 minute blocks using video and simulations rather than reading text. This article highlights some of the key issues and explains how to get the best results from different online resources. In summary, learn, practice, understand, validate.

Let's start by reviewing the four simple steps to becoming an expert in fluid power.

  • Step 1 Find the Right Course.
  • step 2 Guided Instruction.
  • Step 3 Hands-On Experiments.
  • Step 4 Testing and Qualification.

Step 1 How to find the correct course and skill level

Traditional classroom approach: Teachers are able to discuss each student's needs although they generally provide the same course to everyone.

eLearning approach: e4training.com has an online course planner that asks some relevant questions, then recommends the appropriate training modules personalized to the needs of each individual. We also recommend courses for different each job types or you can select from a full list of training modules.

Top Tips: Discuss your training needs with your employer or an experienced hydraulics engineer. Blended training (online and in-house) or pure online with specialist mentoring also works well.

Step 2 Guided instruction for knowledge-based learning

Traditional classroom approach: Sitting in lectures can be, time-consuming, not to mention expensive and research shows that as little as 10% of what is taught gets remembered. Books are arguably better than websites but can be more expensive and less accessible for large numbers of users. Powerpoint presentations don't work very effectively online both from a software and a usability point of view.

eLearning approach: Self-study worksheets are used to guide students through each lesson. These follow the same content as a teacher's lesson plan and can be split into sections as time permits.

Rather than simply showing videos of classroom lessons e4training.com provides short, detailed, and intensive hydraulic training videos. Attention spans are shorter with online lessons so videos need to be short and include a good menu system to enable users to find the specific video they need quickly. Videos can also be watched several times to refresh and embed learning. Website text is plentiful but menu systems need to be clear and easily navigated. A further benefit is the free language translation and 'text to voice' utilities which are becoming more effective and accessible to everyone. People are different and like to learn in different ways and at different speeds.

As an alternative to PowerPoint or flashy animations, online content includes interactive tutorials that run using intelligent software routines to keep users more engaged. They allow students to work at their own pace as they investigate and interact with the content. Along with spoken narration, this user interaction helps to reinforce and embed learning. Content management software also means that each module can be written by the subject expert, without the need to learn how to program.

Top Tips: Split online learning courses into several short, intensive, training modules studied over a period of time. Repeat video sections until you are confident it has been fully understood. Replay modules as a refresher course, at any point that the information is required. Engage with the tutorials rather than simply letting them play through.

To learn the same amount as a one week course may only take around half the time but will still require a lot of hours working through the modules and will need the self-discipline to sit for the 15-30 minute intensive learning blocks.

Step 3 Hands-on experiments for skills-based learning

Traditional classroom approach: You see you forget, you hear you remember, you do and you understand. We all know that hands-on learning is very effective, and that won't change.

eLearning approach: While e-learning can't include real machines to work on, it can include virtual test rigs that respond in the same way as the real thing. What is lost in reality is made up for with increased safety and the ability to see inside the components as they operate. I'd like to say it is also cheaper, however, industry figures show that building simulations is very expensive, although the costs are covered by large numbers of users.

Top Tips: Follow the interactive exercises provided. Think about what is happening and run your own experiments until you fully understand the relevant principles involved. Try adding the component sizes you work with and compare results with actual data.

Step 4 Testing and qualifications to validate performance

Traditional classroom approach: Teacher assessments provide a pass or fail grade but are subject to variations between schools.

eLearning approach: Online quizzes are used to reinforce learning and assess progress. LRS and LMS systems provide an instant and very effective way of collating detailed results from every student's.

Top Tips: All tutorials and virtual test rigs contain progress trackers that analyse performance and allow students to post their own results to an LRS system. Repeating exercises several times should mean you will learn more and achieve a higher grade.