Below is a short list of commonly-asked questions about Locksmith Apprenticeship Distance Delivery courses.
Q: I'm a registered Locksmith Apprentice in a Canadian Province. How do I register for a period of training via distance delivery?
A: You should register for your period of training by sending in the usual class enrolment form. A current class enrolment form (in pdf format) can be obtained from Alberta Apprenticeship's Trade Secrets web site (In the "Links" box on every page, click "Forms and References", then "Enrollment Instructions for Technical Training" and "Enrollment Form for Technical Training").
Alternatively, if paying by credit card, you can simply call Trades Registration at 1.888.475.1101.
Q: Is Distance Delivery easier than going to class?
A: Definitely not. We have many successful distance delivery students and every one of them will tell you that they would have preferred to come to class if they could have. The distance between you and your Instructor, plus all of the samples, cut-aways, props & short demos he could otherwise show you right at the moment they're of ineterest to you, puts you at a distinct disadvantage. Plus, you're doing this on your own time. We do our absolute best for those who simply cannot come for regular classes, but it should never be chosen as an easier option. If you're unsure about the financial intricacies of coming to class for 2 months, you should talk to an Apprenticeship consultant or the Locksmith Program Instructor.
Q: How are the courses structured?
A: Each course is presented to you in a series of learning modules. These modules are of two types:
- Theory Modules
- Lab Modules
Most theory modules are followed by an accompanying lab module. Each theory module is divided into a number of learning objectives. At the end of each objective is a series of questions about the material learned so far, which is called a "Self-test". You should use this self-test to asses your understanding of the objective. The answers for all of the self-tests in the module, are located at the end of the module.
Once you have completed a theory module, you can complete an exam on that module. Exams are drawn from a special computer system which you log into over the internet. They are mostly multiple-choice questions. If you achieve 80% on the exam, the system will then allow you to proceed to the next module. If not, you can review the module at your leisure and draw a 2nd exam from the system when you feel you are ready. The system is designed to deliver multiple exams on a module without repeating exams. If you do not achieve 80% on your second attempt, you would normally consult with the instructor before taking a third exam.
Lab modules are also divided into learning objectives, and directly relate to the proceeding theory module. For each objective within a lab module, you are provided with:
- A list of tools, equipment and materials required for that objective
- Step-by-step instructions
- A "Performance Evaluation", which is a checklist of important points to observe while doing the exercise
If you'd like to see a sample lab module, click here.
We always encourage students to complete the lab exercise before taking the exam on the accompanying theory module. Performing the exercises can only increase your understanding of the topic.
The instructor will always be available to you to answer questions and clarify points as required. This is often done by e-mail or telephone, and often using multimedia such as photos, animations, drawings, and even video clips. Other options include text message, Skype, Windows Live Messenger, and even our own online virtual classroom with voice & video - whatever suits you.
Q: What do books cost?
A: All books (Learning modules) are included in the course fee - in digital format. Once you are registered, modules are made available to you and you can print them on your own equipment as you need or just read them on-screen.
Q: How are the learning modules delivered to me?
A: We use a Learning Management System (LMS) called "Blackboard". You simply log into a certain web site using your web browser (such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome).
Modules are viewed and/or downloaded in PDF format. This file format works well for viewing on-screen, while preserving the graphic quality when printed.
Each theory module is accompanied by a post test, which the LMS also delivers. Once the post test has been successfully completed, the next module becomes available.
Q: How much time will I have to complete my course?
A: You will have 6 months to complete your studies and lab work/exam, after which you will have until the 2nd last Friday in June to review for, and complete, the AIT Progressive Exam (see below). We'll provide the tools you need to set a schedule that effectively spreads the work out evenly over the time frame, so there are no surprises. See an example schedule by clicking here.
The main principle is to help you pace your studies in a way that allows you to complete the course in an un-hurried, pedagogical manner by getting started right away and keeping up the momentum. Distance delivery can be a huge exercise in self-discipline and the schedule helps to overcome the tendency to procrastinate. This also gives you the flexibilty to complete the course early. Some of the 4 periods of training, have been completed in as little as 2 months.
Q: What is the workflow involved in Apprenticeship Online courses?
A: An orientation session is recommended for all new Apprenticeship Students. This session can be in person or through video-conferencing.
- The learning modules and other materials are made available to you through the LMS. You can study them onscreen and/or print them as needed.
- Post tests are completed via the LMS using your home computer at your convenience.
- Supervised exams (graded exams) must be completed under supervision of a proctor. There are a number of supervised exams within each period of training. There is no final exam within the course itself. Your theory grade is a weighted average of your scores on all supervised exams. Students residing in Alberta, can complete their supervised exams at their nearest Alberta Exam Center (by appointment) at no cost. Students who are not convenient to an Alberta Exam Center, can use a local commercial exam proctoring service at nominal fee. Of course, Supervised Exams can also be completed at RDC by appointment.
- Completion of Lab modules is not mandatory, but strongly recommended. Lab modules can be completed at your home under your own supervision, at your shop under your employer's supervision, or on the job. You are also entitled (and strongly encouraged) to come to RDC for lab days by appointment, to complete any labs for which you cannot equip yourself and from which you feel you would benefit.
- A one-day Final Lab Exam must be completed at RDC. Your Lab mark, as reported to Alberta Apprenticeship, is based solely on your score on this exam. The Final Lab Exam is normally done after completing all theory modules and supervised exams.
- Your Final Grades are reported to Alberta Apprenticeship by RDC upon the completion of all Supervised Exams and the Final Lab Exam.
- Once your Final Grades have been reported, you will be eligible to write the respective Progressive Exam for your period of training, which is administered by Alberta Apprenticeship at an Alberta Exam Center. Simply call the Exam Center and make an appointment. Apprentices in Canadian Provinces other than Alberta, can normally write the exam at the nearest Apprenticeship office in their home province. After achieving the required 70% pass mark, have your employer complete the proper entry in your work experience record book (provided by Alberta Apprenticeship) and submit it to your Apprenticeship office.
- Once all of this is complete, you progress to the next period of training.