School as we know it is transforming at a blinding rate. If you went into a high school or college classroom it probably wouldn’t look familiar.
Kids – even young ones – do their projects on PowerPoint, their lab reports on Excel spreadsheets and their essays in Word. However, there is still a teacher up front leading the lesson.
Since a good deal of my work is teaching, I’ve followed the transformation of schools with more than a little interest. Now, it seems learning institutions have figured out how to do away with the classroom altogether.
Out of the Routine
I’ve been having some fun of late.
My normal work assignment consists of getting on an airplane and going somewhere to do consulting or training. I sleep in hotels (165 nights last year) and eat out every meal (about 500 times last year).
I don’t mind that. But when I get home, there is somewhat of a culture shock when I have to get my own breakfast.
Every morning on the road I get up, get ready and teach all day.
The other night was different. I was home. At 7 p.m. I fired up my computer and went to the website for University of Kansas. I signed in and put my headphones on. There were 28 students from several countries (as far away as Africa) online with me.
Then I taught my first class from home. I was in very casual attire, instead of my usual business clothes.
Online teaching takes some getting used to. I rely on people’s faces to tell me if they “got it” or not.
I also get a good deal of energy from the group I’m teaching, and that keeps me interested and probably more interesting.
But with this online class, I figured I could go for an hour without feedback. Surprisingly, the time went by pretty quickly, and all went well.
This was an experiment. I wanted to see if I could convey the same information as in a two- or three-day seminar in five weekly one-hour sessions.
I assigned homework, gave quizzes and even had a final exam. The students had a lot more to do on their own for this online class.
Based on the comments I received, and from my observations, the first module of the University of Kansas’ Maintenance Management Online Certificate Course was a success for all parties involved.
Online learning is a great idea for both the students and organizations.
Companies are really tight with training and travel budgets these days, so getting away for a training program is tough in both money and time.
Realizing this, University of Kansas put together its three-module Maintenance Management Online Certificate Course which I teach. The course is online from 7 to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, one evening a week for five weeks per module.
The three modules are offered over a year, and you can sign up for Module 1, 2, 3, or all three.
The modules are: Introduction to Managing Maintenance, Planning and Scheduling Maintenance and Preventive and Predictive Maintenance.
Tuition for the course includes the text book, and the training is similar to the training you would travel to, except there are no travel costs.
Rather than “voice” their questions, students type them. I either answer them at that time or wait until the end of the session.
More information about the University of Kansas’ Maintenance Management Online Certificate Course can be found at http://www.continuinged.ku.edu/programs/maintenance_management/.
Fleet Maintenance has partnered with the University of Kansas to create a scholarship program for the Maintenance Management Online Certificate Course. The intent is to award 10 full scholarships each year.
To qualify for the scholarship, a person must have, at a minimum, two years of work experience in fleet maintenance and aspire to a career in fleet maintenance management.
Nominations may come from anyone, including the scholarship candidate.
Nomination forms can be found at www.vehicleservicepros.com/awards/scholarship/fmu.
Joel Levitt has trained over 6,000 maintenance leaders from over 3,000 organizations. Since 1980, he has been the president of Springfield Resources, a management consulting firm that services a variety of clients on a wide range of maintenance issues.