By Denis Poirier, Jr., CFPAI/AJPP, CFPS, CFPCC, CFPHS, CFPIHM, Vice President of Certification, The Eaton Corporation – Hydraulics Group
Advancements in materials and manufacturing combined with the integration of electronics and software have made the hydraulics industry more complicated than ever before. It can be a challenge identifying hydraulic professionals with the appropriate knowledge base for the tasks which lie ahead. Successful completion of the International Fluid Power Society’s Hydraulic Specialist fluid power certification can assist in this process. As an industry leader, in third-party certification, an IFPS fluid power certification is not just an individual achievement, but it communicates to others within the fluid power industry a certain level of competence.
Just as the process of applying fluid power has changed, so has our knowledge of how people learn. Put simply, not everyone responds to the same material in the same way. For example, some adults prefer to read in a typical textbook fashion, that is, they respond to the action of turning pages, using a highlighter, and writing notes by hand. Others prefer reading and making notes with an electronic document. In both cases, the transfer of information [the learning process] is limited by an individual’s ability to apply what they have learned from a single source of information; in this case, what they read. For many, this is the least effective method for learning.
Animated Hydraulic Circuits
The first of which is the creation of animated hydraulic circuits. In this offering, every circuit in the Hydraulic Specialist Study Manual is displayed in color. Additionally, each schematic is animated showing the path of fluid flow and includes notes (bullet points), but is not narrated. These schematics can be purchased as one complete package and used in conjunction with the Hydraulic Specialist Study Manual to enrich the learning experience by bringing the schematics to life.
Interactive Study Manual
If having control over an immersed learning environment is more your style, then the Hydraulic Specialist Interactive Study Manual is for you. This fully interactive self-paced learning system uses audio narration in conjunction with animated schematics to walk you through the Hydraulic Specialist Study Manual one outcome at a time. Developed with the e-learning user in mind, this program appeals to the multisensory learner and can be used in conjunction with a printed study manual to expand on the information provided in text. Interactive practice tests and quizzes are also included.
Instructor Training Session
If those options do not support your style learning, another option would be to attend an instructor-led review session. This environment appeals to the maximum number of senses and works well for the majority of all learners. There are visual, textile, and audio stimulation. Additionally, you work with an Accredited Instructor, can ask questions, work through practice exams, and interact with others who may share the same experiences and challenges that you do. This is typically the most effective method for knowledge transfer, and in many instances, this is also the most expensive option, as it can require both travel and time away from work.
Regardless of your learning style, the IFPS is here to support you every step of the way as you work toward your goal. Visit www.ifps.org for more details.