There is a great debate in the HVAC contracting and service world.  One side says that online training for technical people is the wave of the future.  The other says that distance learning for people who primarily work with their hands cannot be effective.

Recently, the ACHR News tackled this subject in the July 11 issue with an article written by Nicole Krawcke.  I was pleased to be quoted in the article and I’m glad to see that online training is becoming more recognized.     Click here to check out the full article.

I began to explore the idea of presenting training online when the demand for my live training grew to be intense.  I was teaching in 9 different locations across the state of Colorado and was getting a bit ragged.

I took a minute to think about what was going on and how strong the demand was for my training programs.

I asked the question:  What if instead of teaching the same class 9 different times in 9 different places, I could do the class for everyone at the same time through the internet?   I had received valuable training through the internet myself when I was involved in PV Solar.  It seemed possible.

I began to poll my live class students.  I asked them if they would be interested in receiving the same instruction we did in class only over the internet.  After several hundred surveys filled out, the results came back with 70% yes, 30 % no.  I was encouraged to press on with the idea.

I began looking for an online teaching platform and was quickly led to the format that Harvard University uses for their distance learning programs.  If it is good enough for the ivy league, it’s good enough for me.

The first class on combustion analysis turned out to be a fantastic success.  The class was well attended by students from a very wide area spanning hundreds of miles including some remote rural areas that are typically underserved.  The feedback afterwards was outstanding, too.  Every attendee felt as though the experience was as good if not better than coming to class like usual.  Several students I have worked with since have reported that they were able to take the training right into the field the very next day and they have been using it every day ever since.

HVAC Service Mentor Online was born.  I quickly realized that the online format was not limited to just my home state of Colorado, but also the entire nation.  Also, I now could produce more in depth programs spanning several weeks.  The Boot Camp six week training format was created.  My first AC Boot Camp Online course debuted to a national audience and students enrolled from as far West as California, as far East as New York, as far North as Wyoming, and as far South as New Orleans.

The enthustiastic response from the students and their supervisors clinched it.  Online training programs have real lasting value and I have been providing online programs ever since.  Check out the feedback from one recent Masterclass participant:

“I think what you’re doing with these mini seminars is incredible and I think there needs to be more of it!  It’s one thing to take full time extensive training course but when one can hold a full time job and custom build a knowledge base specific to them; it proves to be an incredible resource.”

While I am committed to the online training format, I have not abandoned live training.  I still appear in Denver several times a month, and providing live private training sessions is a very important part of my work.

HVAC Service Mentor serves busy contractors and facility maintenance teams by boosting the technical capability and profitability of their field technicians with convenient and cost effective technical mentoring and training programs.  Online training programs work well for students who cannot be present in person for whatever the reason.  Click here to find out about my current online programs as well as live training sessions!

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