Over a year ago, our online trade school program decided to move away from the traditional textbook look and feel. We wanted to redesign the content in our plumbing program to fit employed students who are pursuing continued education and additional training. We wanted to deliver a new and improved interactive learning experience with relevant information that students could apply in the field. We are proud of our work and love what we do! We decided to interview our Plumbing Coach to get an insight into one of his favorite lessons from the plumbing program.

Continue reading to learn the behind the scene of creating NexTech Academy.

What is your favorite Lesson?

With the creation of so many lessons, I have to say, I have a few favorites. One of those is the lesson on Water Heater Troubleshooting and Repairs. This is a Level 3 lesson that follows the basic installation of water heaters in Level 2.

What do you want students to take away from this lesson?

When designing the course, I looked at the tasks that are commonly performed on water heaters in a service setting and then created the components of the course from there. The text component of the lesson also has some role-playing scenarios to give the students a real-life feel for some of the conversations that they will eventually have with customers.

When you think about it, of all the fixtures in the home, the water heater is one that nobody will live without. People will deal with drippy faucets or running toilets. The first cold shower will be motivation enough for them to find a way to get their water heater fixed. Knowing how a water heater works, and what the components do in every step of the heating cycle, helps when diagnosing a problem and providing solutions to remedy the problem. Water heater calls, if handled properly, are always revenue-generating calls.

What is one of your favorite projects from this lesson?

I really enjoyed creating and filming the video lessons in this course. The video lessons include removing and replacing T&P valves, gas control valves, elements as well as troubleshooting a variety of water heaters. Each job is different, the videos are more of a high-level overview of the task. With this, the students understand what is involved in each process. It also helps to relieve the anxiety of doing something new for the first time. When students read about something, then they see the actions that mirror the task, they are more confident in doing the tasks.

What can students learn from the skills assessments?

Skills assessments are the hands-on learning part of the lessons and involve performing the tasks as they would in a real-world service setting. The skill assessments outline the process of the job so that the students can follow along (literally) while they are performing the tasks. Training Leader Guides are a new addition to the program and are available in most modules. These give guidance to Training Leaders on ways they can facilitate the program and outlines tasks that can help their students be successful.

Closing Remark from Jeff Atwell, Plumbing Coach

I hope you find as much enjoyment in this course as I did in creating it. For questions about this lesson or are interested in our online vocational training, get started with us today or call us at (651) 426-2000.