Have you ever wondered how online training works? This week we caught up with John English, who’s a trainer and assessor for Builders Academy Australia. After working as a chippy for over 12 years, he became a qualified teacher so he could share his skills with future carpenters. Check out the gallery to see how our virtual classroom works, and why it’s becoming more useful than ever to do some of your learning online.
Are you in a trade and ready to take the next step in your building & construction career? Builders Academy Australia are running Certificate IV & Diploma level qualifications in Building & Construction that are a stepping stone towards getting your builders license and registration. See our course pages for more information, or call us on 1300 LEGEND to speak to one of our consultants today.
CPC50220 Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)
CPC40120 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building)
Name: John English, 36
Job: Online trainer and assessor for Builders Academy Australia
“Teaching wasn’t something I planned on from the start, but I evolved into it. I’m a qualified carpenter. I was on the tools in both domestic and commercial construction for a little over 12 years, and then I started teaching Certificate III in Carpentry. My wife suggested I do the training and assessment qualification, because I’ve always liked telling people how to do things.”
“I did it as a back-up for the future, then a job training Cert IIIs came up. I taught that for about six years, and while I was doing that, I was contracting at nighttime to Builders Academy. Then this opportunity came up, and I thought, ‘I know how to teach face to face, so why not give online a go?’ The world we live in, and moving forward, online is where it’s going. You can put your head in the sand, or you can give it a try.”
“The virtual classroom is far superior to just having the coursework available online. People can have all the good intentions, but when they’re sitting at home by themselves and they don’t understand a question, it’s very easy to close the laptop. If you don’t have that engagement, that mentoring, to keep you rolling, it’s easy to drop off.”
“These guys have direction. They’re doing the Diploma for a reason: to become a project manager or a builder in their own right. They seem to have a lot of respect for me as a trainer and the content of the course. It’s challenging working in the virtual classroom. If you’re not on 100%, they’ll pick you up on it. They’ve got me for very defined periods of time, and that’s when they can pick my brain.”
“We do ice breakers, like asking everyone who they are, where they came from, and what they want to get from the course. That’s how you break down the barriers and get people talking. They’ll compare notes on where they’re working and if they’ve got a good conversation going, I’ll give them a minute to just talk to each other. That way, they build connections and learn from each other, too.”
“Once you get the interaction going with the guys, it is very similar to teaching face to face. Whether you’re standing in a classroom or the other side of a computer, the students are still talking to you. They’re still having a laugh with you, and each other. The students have microphones and headsets. I share my screen so they see what I’m seeing. I can adjust what they see, add handouts and take polls. Every session is recorded, so if a student misses a session, it’s all linked to YouTube.”
“Online learning is going to get bigger and bigger, whereas books and paper are going. You give a guy an opportunity to use a laptop or go paper-based, and 80% take the laptop. It’s rapidly changing and evolving, which is a clincher for me. We’ll see where it goes.”
“My background and experience on the tools helps me understand what the students are going through, because I went through it myself. I like teaching. I like sharing my experiences and helping students get from point A to point B. They go from not being able to understand a hell of a lot about a qualification to understanding all the skills and knowledge required. That’s what I enjoy.”
Legend. Thanks, John!
To find out more about our online training options, plus the latest updates to our Certificate IV and Diploma courses, check out the link below or give the team a call on 1300 LEGEND.