When attending a PTC University training class, students typically receive a printed guide that covers all the content of the course. It’s likely that this is the case with most other software vendors’ training classes, too – the traditional printed manual is pretty established.
However, the question is: how many students really use them after the conclusion of the class? You might have taken notes during the class and want to reference those notes once you are back at your desk. But ask yourself, when you sit at your computer and a question comes up, do you go to your bookshelf, take out the manual, and flip through the pages?
Anyone who has attended one of our classes before knows that these books can be quite large. I mean, really large. Some are more than 500 pages, so it may not be easy to find a specific note you took during the training session. Now imagine you would like to discuss this with a colleague – you lift this heavy and bulky guide out off the shelf and walk down the hall. Certainly, you’d rather not do this too often as it interrupts your work.
We at PTC University have been brainstorming better ways to provide you with reference material for your class. We heard your feedback, did some research, and came up with a solution: Digital Class Guides.
One hot topic in the industry right now is mLearning (mobile learning), and we could see the value this service could have for our customers. My colleague, Renee McHale, one of our Education Development Managers here at PTC University, project managed this exciting initiative.
“The original Instructor-Led Training (ILT) guides were printed books provided to PTC University students. These guides, while useful and well-written, are very cumbersome to carry and can be difficult to handle,” explains Renee. She believes the new Digital Class Guides will serve the same purpose as the ILT guides, but will improve the user experience dramatically by allowing students to interact with the document online. She also points out that students can bring their own devices to the classroom.
For example, students can now bookmark pages and take notes within the guide electronically. According to Renee, the Digital Class Guide is not your average e-book. Where typical e-books can be downloaded as a PDF file, PTC’s digital guide will allow students to have 24/7 access to class material and organize their notes all in one place so they can refer back to them at any time. The responsive design makes watching on an iPad easy, too.
What I personally love most about this is the environmental impact. Not only will this project enhance the user experience, but it will also save many trees. Currently, more than 31,000 ILT training guides are printed annually. By going digital, PTC University will save an average of 70 tons of paper – that translates to saving more than 600 trees per year*. We’re saving not only the trees, but the energy required to print and deliver that many guides.
At this point, many of the latest PTC University courses have been transferred to the new format and many more will soon follow. If you would like to know if your class is available in digital guide format, just ask our Training Advisors.
In addition, we are running several demo webcast. To sign up for a a free 30-minute demonstration, please go here.
We look forward to talking with you and hearing your feedback on this exciting new training solution.
* Source: Conservatree.org
Will you be able to use these locally on your own computer without having to go online? There are a lot of people in the industry that may not have on-line access from their CAD stations.
Dale, no we won't be offering an offline option at this time. If in the future, we can develop a secure and well rounded set of tools for an offline experience, we will explore that option. For now, you can be connected by virtually any mobile device - these are super lightweight, very responsive and you can run a class on a hot spot.
As a student are they forever yours? If I switch companies can I still log into them? Or do I lose that right?
One nice thing about a book. It can travel with you.
The guide will be yours forever. If you switch companies, you can contact us and reassign your email address. Thank you for the great questions!
I love and welcome the idea of digital guides, and coming from the PTC training ecosystem, I do understand the desire for digital security to protect IP. But I also want to note that portability without Internet access risks decreasing the value of the investment in training if some savings are not passed on to the consumer.