Get the best of both worlds with self-paced online training plus customized instruction
Whether you run a small machine shop or a large manufacturing facility, it can be challenging to find the time, money, and focus to commit to GD&T training. The thought of shutting down the production line for a few days to send your whole team to a workshop might be a deal-breaker for some companies. But learning Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing can facilitate better communication and collaboration—saving you time and money by preventing deviations, disputes, and scrap parts—so it’s critical to find a way to get your team trained.
Self-paced online training offers a flexible, focused, and cost-effective option to teach your team GD&T, whether you have dozens of people to train or just a few. On-demand courses give your employees access to learn GD&T whenever and wherever it’s convenient for them, so they can develop GD&T skills without interrupting your production schedule.
Through years of refining our curriculum at GD&T Basics, we’ve modified our online courses to emphasize the biggest benefits of self-paced training while addressing the top concerns companies have with this online format. In the process, we’ve developed a hybrid approach to GD&T training that offers the best of both worlds by blending the flexibility of on-demand learning with customized coaching from a certified GD&T expert. In this article, we’ll explain how this hybrid structure can help your company maximize GD&T training so you can start communicating and collaborating more effectively.
Time is On Your Side
Finding time for training can be one of the biggest obstacles to learning GD&T. The flexible format of self-paced online training turns timing from a challenge into a convenience by giving your team the freedom to access course materials at their own pace. This flexibility is the biggest benefit of online training, and ultimately, the reason why many time-crunched companies choose this option.
Instead of coordinating full-day training sessions that pull your whole team off the production floor, and expecting your employees to retain all the knowledge packed into their brains during those few days, our online program makes training easy. The self-paced platform gives your team access to lessons anytime, anywhere, from any device—so you can fit training around your production schedule instead of the other way around. By giving your employees plenty of time to absorb the complex concepts of GD&T, you make it easier for everyone to get on the same page. You can even request bi-weekly progress reports to keep tabs on your team’s progress.
Self-paced training is simple to implement, with no scheduling hassle. Once you get your enrollment link, your employees can log in and start learning right away. As they work through the program, which spans about 12-15 hours, they can break the course into manageable chunks of time. For example, if they dedicate 30 minutes a day, they’ll complete the fundamentals course within a month. If they need more time to digest the material, they can keep revisiting lessons throughout their 6-month membership—saving their progress mid-lesson, if necessary, so they can pick up where they left off if they get interrupted.
But what if you don’t have several months to spare, and you need employees to learn GD&T before the 12-month membership ends? Consider imposing your own internal deadline for completion to push employees toward the finish line faster. We can recommend or even customize a schedule to keep your company on track with a strategic timeline for conducting training and applying GD&T in your operation.
Extended Access and Exposure
Instead of packing GD&T training into two or three full days of class, the self-paced online course gives your employees access to all our resources for twelve months. This extended access allows students to review lessons again and again, developing their GD&T knowledge through prolonged exposure to the concepts and examples we cover in the course.
Our online membership includes:
- Access to exclusive members-only webinars and a library full of previously recorded webinars where we illustrate how to apply GD&T to real drawings.
- Direct connection to our professionally certified GD&T instructors through our student question line, so you can ask questions and receive clarification on any topics in the course.
- Printable reference materials like handouts for each lesson and comprehensive quick reference charts you can refer to after completing the course.
- Regular quizzes with detailed explanations to reinforce our course material.
We’re constantly working to enhance our resources and strengthen our support system, so you get more than your money’s worth for your online membership. We want to make GD&T training as easy as possible, so you can get quick answers to your questions, with in-depth explanations and examples to deepen your GD&T knowledge.
In fact, we use student questions to improve our courses over time. Just as manufacturing companies use engineering change requests to modify a drawing, we have a rigorous change control process for updating our lessons based on user feedback. If we’re getting a lot of questions on a certain topic, for example, we’ll redo portions of the course to clarify that concept with more examples or different illustrations. By continually adapting our training material, we keep our courses fresh.
If you’re running a company-wide learning management system (LMS) to conduct other online courses for your organization, ask us how to add GD&T Basics to your LMS. We’re always trying to make training easier and more streamlined so it can be seamlessly integrated into your operation.
One of the other main benefits that draws companies toward self-paced online training is the cost. Whether you’re training a few people or your whole department, this platform offers a reasonable price of a few hundred dollars per person, with group discounts available to maximize the value of multiple licenses.
Since you’re not paying an instructor to directly train your team, the on-demand learning platform stretches your training budget further. You’re still learning our basic GD&T framework from our expert instructors, and you’re still engaging with the material through quizzes, discussions, and live webinars. But you’re tapping into our library of general GD&T knowledge, instead of paying a dedicated trainer to fully customize the classes for you—which can save you hundreds or even thousands in training costs.
The price you pay per student for online training could be the same price you pay a GD&T consultant per hour to solve your problems for you—making this platform an attractive option for companies with limited training budgets.
Reinforcing Online Training with Tailored Coaching
The biggest concern companies have with online self-paced training is that it tends to be generic because it’s designed to be a one-size-fits-all option. That’s great if you just need to build a basic understanding of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing, and don’t have the time or budget for fully customized training. But if you’re looking for more personalized instructions to apply GD&T to your own drawings to solve specific production issues, it requires a more tailored approach.
In that case, we recommend adding a few hours of consulting to complement self-paced online training. Just 4-8 hours of additional instruction can help your team connect the dots between what the standard says and how to apply those rules within your operation.
The additional live instruction can be broken down into a few hours at a time, so there’s minimal impact on your team’s work schedule. For example, you might bring in a consultant for a couple hours every other week to help your team distill the online lessons into real-life scenarios using your company’s actual drawings.
Depending on your situation, you might want to reinforce self-paced online training with:
- Drawing reviews to verify how well your team is applying GD&T to your prints
- Inspection planning to help your quality department measure parts consistently using GD&T
- NCR/deviation resolution to help you correct manufacturing errors and minimize downtime
- Internal dispute mediation with an objective perspective based on a universal standard
- Handling customer or supplier issues by using GD&T to clarify the specifications for every part
- Establishing templates for design, manufacturing, and inspection processes by leveraging GD&T best practices and practical engineering experience
This hybrid approach to learning GD&T can condense training into a more flexible solution—saving you both time and money. In some cases, you can combine online self-paced learning and a few hours of customized coaching for about the same price as a fully-customized three-day training course. And you didn’t have to pull your team out of work or shut down the production line for several days to do it.
By adding reinforcement to our online GD&T course, you can get customized support to solve production problems that you’d spend hundreds of hours (and countless headaches) trying to fix on your own.