First blended learning course candidates pass with flying colours


The first entry in TWI’s suite of blended learning courses, combining online study with classroom teaching, has been hailed a success by the company.

Two candidates completed the phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) course at the end of 2015. They first studied the theory and concepts behind the methodology in their own time online using TWI’s eLearning package, before attending eight days of classroom-based practical teaching. This prepared the candidates for their two-day BS EN ISO 9712 CSWIP Level 2 exam, which they both passed.

The candidates’ success shows the effectiveness of studying non-destructive testing (NDT) methods using blended learning, an approach which is set to be more widely introduced as an option across TWI’s courses in 2016.

The course was delivered by newly-appointed PAUT lecturer Alex Tsougranis.

One of the advantages of the blended learning system is that the eLearning segment can be studied in different languages; trainee PAUT Lecturer Alicia Gonzalez, one of the two candidates who attended the first running of the course, completed it in Spanish.

Studying alongside Alicia was Paul Chapman, Business Development Engineer at advanced NDT systems specialist Phoenix Inspection Systems Ltd. The flexibility of the eLearning programme meant he was able to spend less time away from the office, minimising disruption to his normal working practices.

“For me, cutting down on time away from the office was key,” Paul explained. “As I had access to the eLearning several weeks before the start of the course, I was able to progress through it as and when I had spare time.

“The modules were easy to navigate, with concise information sections and section tests to verify your understanding before moving on. Interactive exercises allow you to get a feel for instrument set-up without having to have one in front of you.”

Paul attended the classroom-based part of the course at TWI’s headquarters just outside Cambridge, UK. He praised the ‘very high standard’ of the facilities and said that “having access to a range of phased array equipment from several manufacturers was also beneficial”.

Neil Harrap, Advanced NDT Lecturer at TWI, was pleased the course was such a success. “This is the start of a new generation of NDT learning,” he said, “which will enhance understanding of theory and concepts while also enabling candidates to concentrate fully on the practical aspects whilst in class.”

Additional blended learning programmes will be added to TWI’s course schedule throughout 2016.