During the last 20 years, both my industry and the way education happens in my industry has drastically changed.
The automotive industry is an always advancing state. There are a number of new technologies at have come to the forefront in the last decade. The biggest is the commercial success of hybrid and completely electric vehicles. Alternate fuels have always been available, but not until the last few years have they actually become popular enough that manufactures now consider them a major market segment.
Another area of change within the automotive industry is the level of computer technology that is used. Fifty years ago, the wiring schematics for all cars available in North America could be found in a single book. Today, vehicles can have multiple module fiber optic networks that controls only the stereo. Wiring schematics for a single model of vehicle now come on a DVD.
The way that future automotive technicians are trained is just beginning to evolve. When I began formal training on 1999, we received class room lecture with limited interaction with other students. Today, there is a trend toward much more interaction. Students will receive group activities and even group projects. Some of these group assignments can be self-directed. Others may include a presentation to other students, creating peer teaching.
As someone who is new to adult education taking the PIDP course has been a very useful guide to the becoming a effective instructor. Over time I would consider re-taking certain course within the PIDP program to stay current. Participating in Instruction Techniques and Delivery of Instruction would be a great way to see new techniques and to network with other instructors to find out what is working for them.
In addition to gaining knowledge through the PIDP, there are many ways to increase my knowledge of the automotive industry. I would like to actually get back into the industry and job shadow to see the most up-to-date technology.
There are two specific roles that are relevant to my curriculum that I would like to observe. The first being that of a dealership service technician. Dealerships will always be seeing the latest technology in the automotive industry. Being able to job shadow with an experienced technician would allow me to see the current day-to-day service work that is going on.
The other role I would like to job shadow is that of a vehicle manufacturer representative. I have a friend whose official title is Aftersales Manager, Western Canada. He oversees numerous things including customer complaints to the manufacturer, procedures involving warranty processing, and training dealership employees on new programs and procedures. The opportunity to observe this person’s work would give me great insight into current business practices of the manufacturers. While it would all be on the business side, it is still relevant. Not all students in the automotive program want to end up in a hands on repair job.
Additionally, sitting in on another instructor’s class from my department would be another learning opportunity. Seeing and learning other teaching techniques that are applicable to the automotive trade would help my own future students.
Being a VCC employee, I have the good fortune of professional development time. This allows me to not only advance my instructional techniques through the PIDP, but it also provides me the opportunity to return to my field of expertise to ensure that I am familiar with the current industry trends.