Online welding courses
The most important questions for many welding operations today are “How can I find more welders for my operation?” and “How can I get them into production faster?”
Finding ways to train welders faster — and using engaging training methods — are important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to addressing the shortage of skilled welders. Many manufacturing operations struggle to find and train qualified welders to fill their production lines. As a result, more manufacturers are turning to technology to help make welder training more efficient.
Learn more about a free online solution from Miller that offers flexible, customizable training — so operations can get welders into production faster with the specific skills needed for their applications.
Customizable welder training
The OpenBook™ learning management system provides an easy tool to assign and deliver welding content, create quizzes, download welding labs, monitor participation, and assess and report trainee progress and performance.
While this online curriculum is popular for high school and technical college welding instruction, it’s being used more frequently in manufacturing settings as well, as companies see the benefits of the program to help them train welders of all experience levels. With OpenBook resources, manufacturers can provide people who have little to no welding experience with consistent baseline welding information and instruction — ensuring each welder gets the same foundational knowledge about welding.
OpenBook offers a wide range of pre-curated e-learning modules — from basic electricity and an introduction to welding to courses focusing on each of the welding processes. The classes provide the “why” behind welding so trainees can understand fundamentals that can help them troubleshoot issues down the road.
Manufacturing operations can build their own courses, or they can pick their desired curriculum from the existing course list to build a track and set up a training program that is most relevant to them. An operation could build a track that is specific to aluminum welding, for example. Students or trainees then log in to complete the coursework for their assigned section on their computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet.
Moderators (called administrators in OpenBook) can set various thresholds, such as establishing a minimum passing score or restricting the number of attempts allowed to complete an assignment. OpenBook administrators can also change the order in which courses are presented to trainees by dragging and dropping within the program. OpenBook also offers item analysis that lets administrators or instructors view the metrics of everyone in their organization who takes the courses, to better understand how people are learning and answering questions.
Quiz Builder in OpenBook
One tool that enhances OpenBook’s flexibility is the Quiz Builder tool. With the Quiz Builder, administrators can create their own work activity or their own assessments. Quiz Builder allows you to add a URL directing trainees to video links or internal company documents to watch or review. Then they can be quizzed on the content of those links.
Administrators can also customize the quiz, setting such filters as number of pages, number of questions per page, if they want the questions randomized, if they want true/false or multiple-choice questions, and more.
The Lab Builder tool allows assignments to be aligned with training equipment solutions from Miller — the AugmentedArc® augmented reality welding system and the LiveArc™ welding performance management system. Administrators can create a welding procedure document that outlines welding details, and that document becomes an assignment. For example, within a course, trainees can be instructed to perform welding tasks in the weld shop or in AugmentedArc or LiveArc systems, followed by a quiz on that material using Quiz Builder.
Trainees who successfully complete the course modules and quizzes can earn certificates of completion through OpenBook. Companies can keep these on file as a part of career development and training records. They can use them to set experience levels for welders in the operation.
The welding collateral used in OpenBook aligns with American Welding Society (AWS) SENSE program standards.
Additional training resources
Beyond OpenBook, Miller also offers additional free resources designed for welder training and education. A library of presentations, e-books, posters and quizzes that all support the OpenBook curriculum can be found on the Miller website.
OpenBook and other training resources aren’t exclusively for new welders. They can also be used for ongoing development of experienced welders, who can use the resources to brush up on certain processes or when the operation is making a change to welding procedures.
The bottom line? A consistent training program that covers the fundamentals of welding can help operations reduce defects and rework down the line, because they can develop welders with a common foundation and techniques specifically tailored to their needs.