“Wendy Luiten describes the first two training days of her first online Cooling of Electronics. “I’m used to looking into the classroom. Then I immediately see how the material lands.” Because of this, the pace of this remote classroom is a bit slower, according to Wendy. “In classroom trainings, I talk to people and it’s easier to look over shoulders.”

When I called her on the evening of the second day of the training, Wendy said that she was quite tired the day before, but that it was already getting better. “It takes some getting used to. Hopefully, it will continue this way over the next three days.”

Cat Okkie was the very first participant of Wendy’s online module. After attending the first two days, Okkie seems happy. Credits: Martine Raaijmakers.

During Wendy’s presentations, the cameras of many participants are off. In part, they do this to squeeze the highest quality video and audio out of the connection. But it has also been common practice for many years for remote consultations. Wendy: “At video meetings, people say hello at the start, then we have a suggestion round and then, the cameras go off. With video view, the tension curve is also more intense.”

Furthermore – and this was also to be expected – students do not automatically look for each other during breaks for social interaction. In the classroom version, there is usually a positive vibe at the coffee machine. “Now, that’s almost gone,” says Wendy. “If I want them to look for each other, I have to give them a push. It’s something to remember for next time.”

'They have to learn to make decisions at the CAD drawing level because it's only a design when you can draw it.'

The Cooling of Electronics training course is strongly practice-oriented. “People often run into very practical issues in their work. They often have more than enough theoretical background, but are faced with very simple decisions: where should the gap be, or how much space needs to be saved? Therefore, my training is quite concrete. During the exercises, people work with a spreadsheet because that is sufficient for a first-order assessment. They have to learn to make decisions at the CAD drawing level because it’s only a design when you can draw it”.

Wendy estimates that she spends about 60 percent of the time ‘sending’ (lecturing), while the other 40 percent of the time, the students spend 40 doing exercises. Initially, she planned to save exercises for the end of the day. In the meantime, however, she has noticed that it’s best to go between theory and practice. “And it works well to turn on the cameras during the exercises.”

Because of the excellent preparation, there were no technical issues. However, there was still a small bump. Wendy and program leader Hans Vink sent the material via WeTransfer, but some companies do not allow the use of this tool for large digital mail items. The solution was simple: the participants concerned solved it via their private email address.

This blog is the second blog of a series in which we share our first experiences with online training.
Read the first blog here.

Soon: the evaluation by the participants.

This article is written by René Raaijmakers, tech editor of Bits&Chips.

Recommendation by former participants

By the end of the training participants are asked to fill out an evaluation form. To the question: 'Would you recommend this training to others?' they responded with a 8.9 out of 10.

High Tech Institute organizes Wendy's online module once or twice a year.