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Interactive, online course in basic electricity now available


Date: May 20, 2010  

A new online course in basic electricity principles has been launched by TEEX for a general audience desiring a basic understanding of what electricity is and the principles involved in voltage, current, resistance and power.

The Fundamentals of Electricity online course would benefit anyone from the home repair do-it-yourselfer to those pursuing a career in electric power transmission and distribution, construction, manufacturing, sales, maintenance, telecommunications, engineering or security.

"The course is a good prep course for non-technical or new employees to take before pursuing more formal training," said Bill Stansbury, Utilities Training Director with TEEX's Infrastructure Training & Safety Institute (ITSI). "It provides a very good basic explanation of all facets of electricity and would be beneficial for any kind of job that involves electricity. It could jumpstart your training, and would even provide the basic level of understanding for those starting out in basic electric power line work.

"Even though it's designed to be completed in less than three hours, there's a lot packed into it," Stansbury added. "It's well- organized and delivered with a common-sense approach."

The course took more than 18 months to develop and is very interactive, said Senior Instructional Design Specialist Leslee Yadav. "The course is pretty sophisticated for an entry-level course," she added. "It explains electricity concepts in detail. We know the best way for a user to learn is to use multiple learning methods, so the course is very engaging and highly visual."

Basic math skills are necessary to effectively complete the course, but the program includes a built-in calculator, and the concepts, including Ohm's Law, are explained in a basic way that's easy to understand, she said.

Besides the basics of electricity, which includes the atomic theory and how electricity is created, the course covers voltage, current, resistance and power, Ohm's Law, sources, paths, loads and switches, and circuits. The content was developed by subject-matter expert Robert Thompson, who teaches the face-to-face, electric power principles course at TEEX, which is a 24-hour, hands-on course that is more in-depth.

"It's really an outstanding course and better than similar online courses," Stansbury said. "It's even a lot better product than we originally envisioned."

Students can register and complete the course online and even print out their certificate. EPP400 is eligible for CEUs and online help is available for both technical issues and content questions, Yadav said. The course is in English but is available to an international audience.


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