Title: Web-based virtual learning for digital manufacturing fundamentals for automotive workforce training

Authors: Vukica Jovanovic; Nathan W. Hartman

Addresses: Mechanical Engineering Technology, Old Dominion University, 214 Kaufman Hall, Norfolk, 23529, VA, USA ' Department of Computer Graphics Technology, Purdue University, Knoy Hall, 401 N. Grant Street, West Lafayette, 47907, IN, USA

Abstract: Automotive manufacturers are experiencing difficulties in hiring highly qualified workers with ability to adopt new technologies fast. This kind of ongoing need for training is slowing innovation. This problem is related to the difficulty in obtaining consistent training resources and services especially with lack of training for advanced manufacturing practices for specialised industry sectors. More and more occupations require degrees higher than secondary education because of the global need for so called 'knowledge workers'. An example of an interactive learning programme, developed with the support of narrated presentation technology, podcasts and online access has been shown in this paper. Sixty nine online modules have been developed during the course of a project funded by Department of Labor for automotive sector. These online modules have been developed for lifelong learners to be used and accessed at any time (asynchronously from a website). Curriculum modules, developed for the Introduction to Digital Manufacturing are a part of a certificate programme which expands the pool of skilled workers, enhance the abilities of incumbent workers, and strengthen the entire advanced manufacturing sector.

Keywords: lifelong learning; continuing education; web-based virtual learning; digital manufacturing; automotive manufacturing; automobile industry; employee training; advanced manufacturing technology; AMT; interactive learning; narrated presentation technology; podcasts; e-learning; online learning; electronic learning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2013.055403

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2013 Vol.23 No.3/4, pp.300 - 310

Received: 04 Nov 2012
Accepted: 10 Feb 2013

Published online: 30 Dec 2013 *

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