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Training & Education

Performance-based trades training

By Udo O.J. Huff, M.ED.

May 2010 - Performance-based technical trades training can be part of both formal and on-the-job training programs. Contemporary apprenticeship training provides a broad range of skills that support changes the industry demands, both in terms of personnel and production.

A company can use a developed curriculum as a guide for training in a particular area, but this same curriculum can be adapted and used as a standard for other trades within the company.

But the training syllabus should also be updated frequently so that the contents reflect changes in technology. The flexibility of such training systems with a known positive output will increase productivity, which is a major economical aspect for any operation.

Traditional instructional training and performance-based training differ in a variety of ways.

One is in regard to learning objectives. In traditional instruction, they are generally stated in broad terms. In performance-based training, they are specific and based on job and task analysis.

Another relates to learner analysis. Traditional instruction relies on assumptions of the learners’ capabilities. They are assessed prior to beginning a performance-based training program.

Additionally, in traditional instruction, testing involves a graded assignment, and it references norms. In performance-based training, by comparison, testing involves learner feedback and determination of mastery, and it references criteria established prior to training.

Put into practice
Say an apprentice receives the print shown above and is instructed to manufacture the welded screw clamp. The apprentice should be able to successfully complete several steps: correctly interpret the shown print, check it for missing dimensions and complete it, identify the needed materials and plan the steps required to manufacture the welded screw clamp within a specific time limit (for example, eight hours).

Here is a synopsis of the hands-on application:
1. Lay out the web plate on a mild steel plate (determine the thickness according to the print).
2. Use the center punch, preparing a guide along the layout line for cutting with the gas torch.
3. Cut out the web plate with the gas torch, and after the web plate has cooled down, use the angle grinder and bastard file to finish the required shape. Then compare with the print.
4. With the gas torch, cut off the material required for the flange plate; use the angle grinder and bastard file to finish the plate according to the print.
5. Drill the core hole in the hub and cut the required thread with the tap.
6. File a point to the threaded bolt.
7. Cut off the thrust piece and file it to required dimensions.
8. Fit the flange plate into the web plate and tack-weld it.
9. Determine the welding sequence and finish welding both parts.
10. Weld in the threaded hub, and after the welding operation, use the tap to clean the thread from weld beads.
11.Weld in the thrust piece and apply the threaded bolt.

Wrapping it up
After the apprentice has finished the task, an instructor or a journeyperson must evaluate the final product. This is an essential part of the training.

After the evaluation, the instructor and apprentice should discuss the progress of the workpiece. The criteria for the workpiece evaluation will have been established before the discussion takes place.

It is critical that comparable data was established throughout the evaluation, as this can be used to better determine the apprentice’s progress after accomplishing other given tasks.

Such a training exercise could be repeated and would give the apprentice the opportunity to enhance his or her skills.

Further, the apprentice or trainee would be able to take on more advanced production tasks and provide high levels of quality assurance.

This scenario with the welded screw clamp consists of the principles of a general syllabus: following the occupational profile, testing the required skills and knowledge, providing a learning experience and performing an assessment. FFJ

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