For the last several years we have been asking every participant who takes the CWI Seminar how we can improve their experience. Over the last two years, the most common answer received on the survey indicated that participants wanted more than the single week of training currently provided. At the same time that we were surveying participants, we asked our instructors to evaluate the preparedness of our participants. Mainly, we wanted to identify the most common knowledge gaps.
What we found was that most participants were not as ready as they thought they were for the CWI Seminar. Many participants believed that they had enough knowledge and experience. They believed that all they needed was a review prior to the exam. Some of them did, but some of them were quickly overwhelmed. It became clear to us that many participants would benefit greatly from more than a single week of training.
This of course provided participants and AWS with a new set of issues, mainly additional time away from work and family, additional travel expenses, and additional material to learn immediately before the exam. In an effort to provide participants with the additional training they wanted, while minimizing the potential issues produced by multiple weeks of training, AWS decided to pursue a blended approach to CWI training.
On July 1st, The American Welding society will release the online CWI Pre-Seminar through American Welding Online. The pre-seminar is composed of six individual courses Welding Fundamentals, Safety in Welding, Math for Welders Level 1, Understanding Welding Symbols, Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist: Fundamentals, and The Science of Non-Destructive Testing. These seminars combine 57 hours of e-Learning content and are designed to prepare users for the fundamentals (Part A) section of the CWI.
Participants that sign up for the CWI Pre-Seminar will have access to the six courses listed above for a ninety day period. This will allow participants to complete the training in the months leading up to their in-person CWI seminar and exam.
Do you need the CWI-Pre Seminar?
This will depend on the individual. The current week-long CWI Seminar is a review of the CWI Body of Knowledge (B5.1, Table 1). It is designed to fill in any knowledge gaps before taking the CWI exam. The seminar is not designed to teach participants the entire topic from beginning to end. There is no way to teach the entire CWI Body of Knowledge from beginning to end in a forty hour course.
For example, the CWI seminar covers welding symbols in a one to two hour block. There is no way to cover all 130 pages of A2.4 Standard Symbols for Welding, Brazing, and Nondestructive Examination in two hours. The Understanding Welding Symbols online course offered through AWO contains 10 hours of content, and takes the participants approximately 15 to 18 hours to complete.
In contrast, the CWI Pre-Seminar is not constrained by class times or travel schedules. Participants can take their time and learn the information on their own schedule and pace.
How long does it take to complete the CWI Pre-Seminar?
This varies per individual. On average, individuals can expect to spend between 75 and 85 hours on the pre-seminar if completing all sections of all six courses. Most persons however, will not need to go through the courses to this extent. The AWO courses are designed so that you need very little to no prior knowledge of the subject to understand the material. Therefore, you might not need to review every module of every course. One of the main reasons we build American Welding Online was to provide you, the learner, with complete control over your educational experience. With the CWI Pre-Seminar, you will be able to do as much or as little as you need to prepare for the CWI Seminar.
Is the CWI Pre-Seminar mandatory?
No. The CWI Pre-Seminar is not required to take the CWI exam, though we highly recommend that participants take the online courses. Not only will it help you fill in gaps in your knowledge, it will also ensure that you are fully prepared to get the most out of the CWI Seminar by covering many of the basics that participants are expected to know beforehand.
How do you sign up?
Registration for the CWI Pre-Seminar opens on July 1, 2013. In order to register for the pre-seminar, open the AWS seminar registration webpage (http://www.aws.org/w/a/registrations/) and fill out the information.
Check out Part 7 of this blog series for more information on the CWI Pre-Seminar.