Ten Questions For Selecting a GD&T Training Source
by Alex Krulikowski
ask if GD&T training from a particular source is good training.
Good training includes three basic areas: the course design, the
instructor, and the organization. A brief investigation when
choosing a training source can significantly increase the return
on your investment.
This list of
ten key questions will help you to determine the strength of a training
source in each basic area. A short commentary on possible answers
for each question is included.
1-5 are about the course design. They are intended to determine
three important factors:
- Is the
course a learning experience or is it just a presentation of technical
- Does the
course design contain fundamental training principles?
- Are the
student materials designed to support the course structure?
Can you provide a list of the major goals from the course?
Can you provide a list of the performance objectives for the course?
What method do you use to measure the skills improvement from this
What level of skills improvement do students typically achieve from
What materials are used in this course?
6 & 7 provide insights about the instructor. They help
determine two important factors about the instructor.
- Does the
instructor know how to teach to adults, or does he just present
- Does the
instructor have a good blend of teaching and technical background?
What adult learning principles are used in the course?
What is the background of the instructor?
8-10 provide insights about the training organization. They
help determine two important factors:
- What is
the reputation of the organization? What is the composition
of the whole organization?
Can you provide 3 student references and a summary of student course
evaluations from recent classes?
What post training assistance is available?
What additional products and services does your organization offer?
1. Can you provide a list of the major goals
from the course?
A well designed
course will have a list major goals. If the goals don't exist, or
are merely a restatement of the topic title, the course materials
probably were designed as reference materials instead of learning
2. Can you provide a list of performance objectives
for the course?
course will have a set of performance objectives for each major
goal. The performance objectives are the road map for the student
and the instructor. If the performance objectives don't exist, or
are poorly written, then the course is probably deficient.
each class topic, transparency, activity, and handout should be
related to the performance objectives. Compare the course goals
and objectives to the skill deficiencies you want to improve. Do
they match? Do the goals or objectives need to be revised?
3. What method do you use to measure the skills
improvement from this training?
is a very important component of training. It provides feedback
to the student on which skills are mastered and which skills require
further study. Also, skills measurement provides feedback to
the instructor about what is going well and what areas of the course
materials or presentation need improvement.
skills of adults in industry can be a sensitive issue and it must
be handled tactfully.
4. What level of skills improvement do students
typically achieve from this course?
The level of
skills improvement is an indication of the course effectiveness. If
the skills improvement isn't known, how can anyone say the course
is effective? How can the course be improved? How do you
know you got your money's worth?
5. What materials are used in the course?
two categories: student materials and instructor materials. The
student materials should relate directly to the performance objectives. Ask
for a copy of the student materials and look for the performance
objectives. The student materials should include plenty of
practice problems. Charts, tips, and job aids should be available
and used extensively throughout the course. The instructor
materials should relate directly to the performance objectives.
6. What adult learning principles are used
in the course?
This may sound
incredible, but many industrial trainers and technical experts don't
even know what adult learning principles are. Using adult principles
in the class can have a significant impact on the effectiveness
of the course. A few of the common adult learning principles
are listed below:
- Allow the
learners to be a resource
how the learning can be applied
- Relate the
learning to the learners' goals and objectives
7. What is the background of the instructor?
Here you should
look for three things. The first is recent real experience. If
an instructor has not worked with GD&T in industry in the last
five years, he is probably out of touch with the real world.
instructor's knowledge of GD&T should extend well beyond using
GD&T in industry. The best instructors are often lifelong
students of the topic. Has the instructor been published?
Has he participated in any national or corporate standards or development
Third, the instructor
must know how to teach (having taught many classes doesn't necessarily
assure this). Formal training in preparing course materials,
classroom management, presenting materials, and measuring instruction
effectiveness, are important factors in developing a good instructor.
The right balance
between technical and teaching skills is hard to find, but the students
will benefit tremendously.
8. Can you provide 3 student references and
a summary of student evaluations from recent classes?
It is a good
practice to obtain and verify references. Ask the students
if the goals and objectives were explained to them and if the course
materials supported the goals. Ask how much they learned. Ask
if the class was focused. Ask if the course was really a class
or just a technical presentation of the material.
9. What post-training assistance is available?
After the course,
can the students call or fax the instructor a question? Is
there a charge for answering questions? How long does it take
to get a question answered? A good training source will answer brief
questions, in a day or two, without charges.
10. What additional products and services
does your organization offer?
of this question is to find out if they are large enough to handle
your future needs, yet small enough to care about them. Other
factors that should be considered are:
- Does the
source develop the course materials or purchase them?
- Are they
willing to use your drawings in the lecture?
- Can they
customize a class to suit your needs?
- Do they sell
the course materials so your organization can continue training
on its own?
- Do they offer
advanced training to satisfy your future needs?
- Are you working
with an organization, or a group of loosely knit technical experts
across the country?
a brief investigation can reveal a lot of information about a course
or training organization. Doing a good job in selecting a training
source takes time. The rewards: the training effectiveness
can be tenfold for the students.
I suggest that
you use these 10 key questions to compare course offerings by various
training sources. The commentaries provided are brief thoughts
and ideas about evaluating GD&T training sources. If you
would like additional discussion on any aspect of GD&T training,