May 18, 2020—While launching the Professional Development Program 2.0, I-CAR ran into software and management issues, John Van Alstyne, I-CAR's CEO and president, says in a live announcement May 6.
I-CAR is a not-for-profit organization providing information, knowledge and skills required for collision repairers to perform complete and safe repairs.
As of the end of April, the system issues have been fixed, he says.
One of the systems that needed updates was the learning management system (LMS). An LMS is a software application or web-based technology used to plan, implement and assess a learning process.
I-CAR also updated it flash player to Adobe non flash because some repairers had issues accessing I-CAR's virtual classes. Most modern computers and browsers are non flash. Van Alstyne emphasized that students taking virtual classes should not use the Internet Explorer browser because it does cause some issues. The reporting in My I-CAR in the LMS system is now accurate as well, Van Alstyne says.
During the transition, I-CAR transferred over 5 million data records containing training history and organization information. Right now, about 54,000 repairers are using the LMS. In April alone, there were 19,500 active learners in the LMS system. That's increase of about 7,000 learners as compared to April of last year.
Since the launch of the PDP 2.0 in October, I-CAR has seen 365,000 online courses completed.
"Our online activity is tremendous and students are successful in completing online courses," he says.
I-CAR's Online Solutions During COVID-19
The organization's live and in-shop training has been affected by the pandemic. A pause on those programs has been extended through June 15. Restart plans are in progress for this training.
The organization did a rapid conversion of the live classes required for Gold Class and Platinum statuses. They were turned into a virtual format and the conversion process was completed by April 30. Virtual classes are web-based, instructor-led training.
Courses not available right now are welding and hands-on skills development courses.
Van Alstyne says that the organization does plan to move the live classes that were converted to virtual back to a live format after COVID-19.
He does believe that COVID-19 will condition repairers to do more online training.
"I think we're all learning new ways to do things," Van Alstyne says. "Hopefully it does break down the barriers if they existed to adopting and embracing online because it is an effective medium."
Yet, he says online is not the solution to everything. The type of successful training depends on the nature of the learning objective.