The Training Problem:

Measure Tool Most machinists learn their measuring skills in one of two ways, on-the-job taught by others in the shop or in a classroom setting. Both methods have problems. On-the-job (OJT) training is normally informal and lacks any logical sequence of instruction. Individuals are at the mercy of their "instructor" and whatever measuring situation happens to arise each day. Since there is seldom a test to determine retention, neither the trainee nor the instructor knows what level of competency exists. The assumption has been that they will "learn from their mistakes" as time goes by or that "practice makes perfect".

Yet, years of research have shown that practice makes permanent, not perfect. Individuals get better at doing things their way, not the best way. For example, some gain confidence in a particular measuring instrument and use it in situations where it simply is not precise enough to provide the required accuracy. Or, they simply avoid other gages because they don't understand how to use them.

What does a person learn from making a mistake? Unless someone is available to tell them what they did wrong and how to avoid that problem in the future, very little may be learned. In any case, knowing what you did wrong does not mean you know the best way to perform the task the next time. There can be many more incorrect methods available. That is why it is called "trial and error" and not "trial and success".

Chekcing the Spindle With the shortcomings of OJT, classroom techniques seem a logical alternative. Contrary to OJT, classroom methods provide a structured approach, a logical sequence, and a testing process. Since it brings a number of trainees into contact with an instructor, it seems cost effective. However, the fixed-time component causes problems. Trainees spend a certain number of hours in class and are tested at the end. Scores of 75% or higher are generally considered satisfactory. Therefore, the training time is fixed while the competency of the trainees becomes a variable. Even individuals with the same score on a test will have missed different questions, some more important than others. Plus, slow learners are reluctant to "raise their hand" and ask questions for fear of revealing their ignorance to the class and potential ridicule by their peers. As with OJT, the assumption is they'll learn the remainder on the job.

The MasterTask Solution:

Digital Indicator While OJT often has no testing or performance criteria, and classroom methods have a structure and testing but allow a variable level of competency, MasterTask designed a new training method to overcome these problems. Instead of a system that has fixed time and variable competency, the MasterTask method requires a fixed level of competency but allows time to become the variable. If there are ten steps to a measuring procedure, it seems logical that the person know and understand all ten. Therefore, each test question must be answered correctly before a person can move to the next lesson.

While a 100% score by every student in a classroom setting might have caused the instructor to make the test more difficult, MasterTask tests only ask the trainee to recall necessary information and perform tasks they'll typically face on the job. There are no questions on the history of micrometers or who invented the CMM.

There is one more very importance difference. You want people that can perform, not just know about a task. MasterTask includes simulations of the job tasks as part of the interactive test. Individuals can learn and practice without tying up machinery or other operators. You also reduce the chance that they will damage a key instrument or cause it to need re calibration.

Verniew Micrometer Since everyone eventually achieves 100% on each test, in other words everyone gets the same grade, the length of time taken to achieve a perfect score becomes the variable by which trainees are evaluated. Since each person has a variety of skills, knowledge, ability and motivation when they begin the course, variation between individuals can be expected. However, to assure that individuals are putting in the necessary effort to complete the course, they can be judged against the average completion time of others with similar backgrounds.

Focused Instruction and Testing:

To make sure your trainees learn exactly what they need, you select from inch, metric, or both systems of measurement when you register each trainee for the course.

They then receive instruction on the topics within the lesson seeing real world examples and techniques. During the interactive test they will read prints, perform math calculations, and complete simulations of the measurement procedures. The trainee will only see the interactive test questions that reflect the selections made for them during registration.

Controlling the Instruction:

Height Guage The course administrator or instructor can control what skills a person learns at three levels. First, the initial selection of inch, metric, or both systems of measurement determines which questions will be presented to the person. Second, the instructor can activate or deactivate lessons if certain gages are not commonly used. Third, questions within the interactive test can be turned on and off at the instructor's discretion. Once these selections are completed, all the elements of the course are automatically adjusted. Your trainees can be divided into "classes" based on their departments, measurement types, shifts, or any other criteria you decide. This gives you the power to customize the courseware for any group without affecting others.

The Learning Sequence:

The instruction for each lesson is found on a professionally produced color DVD or videocassette. After viewing a lesson, the trainee can turn to the work sheet for that lesson found in the Student Guide for that lesson. Answers to the Student Guide work sheet questions are found in the Leader's Guide. After completing a Student Guide test, a trainee can begin the CD-ROM test. The measurement type or types selected by the course manager when registering the trainee in the course determines which questions will be presented to the trainee.