MST Academy students have real-time access to the Samurai every Monday evening at our live webinar "Office Hours." Sometimes it is just an open Q & A, other times it's a presentation that dives deeper into an appliance technology topic.
One of our most popular webinar formats is Troubleshooting with Tech Sheets, where the Samurai simulates troubleshooting scenarios using actual tech sheets from several real appliances to show how to kick appliance bootay the Samurai Way!
Attendees get to interact along the way, offering up possible answers to the problem scenarios and asking questions of their own.When possible, we make a recording of the webinar available to those unlucky few who can't attend live.
We call these live training webinars Office Hours and they're held every Monday evening-- details on this page.
If you're curious about what goes on during Office Hours, here's a 16-minute sample from last Monday. It shows just one of the five tech sheets that were covered in the full webinar. But this is a good peek into the teachings of the Samurai and the life of a master appliance tech.
Most modern gas ovens use a carborundum ignitor to both control the gas valve and ignite the gas. Even though these are simple systems, I've found that many appliance technicians do not have a detailed understanding of how these systems work and, as a result, there's a lot "tech mythology" out there about how they fail.
This HOT webinar recording from an Office Hours webinar with Master Samurai Tech Academy students explains the theory of operation of these systems along with a detailed circuit analysis. I also explain some of the common failure modes and show an uncommon failure mode that can leave a gas bomb in your customer's home unless you know what you're looking for.
Our weekly, live Office Hours webinars are one of the powerful, interactive features of being a student at the MST Academy. You get access to in-depth technical presentations such as this one as well as the opportunity to ask the Samurai any questions you have related to your coursework!
Online learning may seem like the new kid on the block, but it is really just a new and improved delivery format of the old “correspondence course school” model for training that has been around for over 100 years.
Online appliance repair training is a proven and effective way to improve technical skills for the right kind of student. How do you know what the right kind of student is? That's exactly what I'm going to explain in this post!
The strengths of the online training model are many:
affordable (few if any hard copies of material to produce)
However, there is one component that is critical to the success of online learning that cannot be provided by the online school: student motivation.
Of course, student motivation is a necessary ingredient for any type of education to be effective, but at a traditional brick-and-mortar school there is a regular face-to-face interaction with the instructor that can help to keep the student accountable.
At the Master Samurai Tech Academy, we do everything we can to encourage our students, to provide accountability via quizzes and exams, and to give them help when they need it. However, we are not there with the student day in and day out.
To achieve a successful outcome with the MST Academy, a student must have one of these two characteristics:
Self-motivation with a strong desire to learn (gets help when needed, works to improve test scores), or
A supervisor who is keeping a close eye on the student’s progress (more on how to do that here).
When one of these two factors are in place, then the results of learning appliance repair in an MST Academy online training course can be spectacular! When neither are in place, then the results are something less than that.
So, before investing in any online training, evaluate your situation honestly. If you are signing yourself up, evaluate your commitment and motivation to doing what it takes to achieve the results you want. If you are signing up techs who are under your supervision, set up a system where you will monitor their progress closely and intervene when necessary.
Team Samurai is dedicated to excellence in appliance repair training. Our online training courses are a comprehensive and cost-effective way to improve technical skills. And we offer several powerful interactive teaching resources to help you understand the material:
Interactive question and answer help in the Student Forums where students post questions about their coursework and we reply with additional instructional explanations. This can go back and forth quickly as many times as it takes until the student grasps the concepts they’re trying to understand. But it requires the student to have the initiative to ask a question. If the student doesn’t ask, we can’t help!
Weekly, live webinar meetings with the Samurai. We call these weekly meetings Office Hours. Think of the webinars like Office Hours at a regular school where students can drop by for extra instruction and ask questions about their course work, live and in real-time.
Manually-graded open answer questions on the Midterm and Final Exams in the Fundamentals course. These open-answer questions allow us to see inside the student’s head so-to-speak and identify more clearly how a student is misunderstanding a particular concept. We can then work with the student to resolve this misunderstanding.
If you bring your effort, energies, and motivations to the table, we have the tools in place to ensure that you WILL learn how to be a better technician!
Whether you want to track your own progress or that of a tech under your supervision, we have a great "at-a-glance" tool for you!
The Members Area page shows the progress and grades for each course a student is enrolled in. When you log in to MasterSamuraiTech.com this is the page that you'll be taken to first. If you are already logged in, you can just click on your name in the upper right hand corner of the window to get there.
Here's an example of what you'll see at the Members Area.
You can get a more detailed report for each course by clicking on the course title.
If you are supervising an MST Academy student, then all you need to know is his or her username and password to be able to keep track of their progress and performance.
I talk to lots of appliance service company managers and many of them are asking, "Where can I hire good techs?" This is the wrong question! You won't find any good techs in the appliance repair trade because there are so few of them. And techs you do find with experience generally still do not have sufficient technical skills or they may have attitude/people skill problems.
The right question is, "How can I cost-effectively train someone to be a great appliance tech?"
You're going to have much better results by hiring someone based based on character: Do they have a good work ethic? Will they show up for work on time (or at all) and sober? Do they seem to have good people skills? Do they have a willingness and ability to learn, in other words, are they trainable? Once you've found someone with good character, then add the technical skills with training.
Here's the bottom line: You can't change character with training. But you CAN change technical skills inexpensively and effectively with the online tech training here at the Master Samurai Tech Academy.