Peter Burdon at Siemens relies on tests and quizzes to improve the quality of the training he provides.
Since our State of L&D 2016 report revealed that only 9% of learning professionals use standard industry benchmarks, such as the Kirkpatrick Assessment matrix, to measure their training, we wanted to get a better understanding of how corporate learning practitioners in various industries measure the results of their work.
Our customer, Peter Burdon, has been a technical trainer at Siemens for over 16 years, more recently as the training and documents manager. Siemens is a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. Peter supports the rail division, which builds light rail, mass transit, and locomotive vehicles.
Peter’s lean team is responsible for training customers on complex transit vehicles. Because of contracts won through 2020, this year the team grew from 1 trainer to 3.
Whenever the rail division signs a contract, Peter’s team is tasked with providing training and support materials to the customer. The end-goal is that the customer’s maintenance team will be able to build, drive, service, disassemble, and reassemble the complex vehicles.
Peter’s team of three provides exclusively face-to-face training wherever their customer is. The standard course is 160 hours, spread over 4 weeks. 80 hours of that is in the classroom, and 80 hours is simulation on the locomotive itself. They place an imperative on always having an instructor present to answer questions and use PowerPoint and animations to explain how the software and mechanics of the vehicles work.
While Siemens tracks that the training is delivered on time, Peter delivers requested metrics to the customers. Throughout the 160-hour course, the team uses tests, quizzes, and evaluations to monitor the progress of the learners. At the end of the course module, the learners complete a smile/evaluation sheet to give Peter’s team further feedback. The goal of these various methods is to measure learning transfer and to identify which parts of the course needs revision.
How Metrics Help Peter
Peter pays most attention to the tests and quizzes throughout the course. While no learner is going to fail the class, the tests help Peter’s team gauge which modules are most effective in learning transfer and which lessons need to be strengthened.
How Peter Uses Mimeo
Peter’s customers request handbooks so that they can retain what they’ve already learned and continue learning even after his team has moved on. Before Mimeo, they used local shops to print the handbooks and then had to lug or ship the books themselves to each customer’s site. With Mimeo, they simply upload the file, proof, and ship directly to each location. This allows Peter to take advantage of downtime to prepare for months on the road. For example, in October he orders all the handbooks to customer sites, and when he shows up in November, the books are already there, waiting for him.
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