Three key benefits:
- Less travel, fewer classroom days – particularly valuable in time of travel restrictions
- Study format designed around operator’s 24/7 shift schedule providing lessons on smartphone, tablet or computer
- Blended approach improves retention of learning
About the customer
Grid operators’ control room staff are responsible for keeping electricity flowing whatever the circumstances. They have to handle vast amounts of data, using cutting-edge technology and their own expertise. DNV’s GridLab offers training for grid operators from Germany, Asia and Africa based on SCADA and multi-terminal dispatcher simulations. Its training centre provides a real-world style environment for trainees and can run models of customers’ own grids if required.
The customer challenge
Control room staff need training to meet regulatory requirements and to keep their expertise up to date. However, control rooms operate 24/7, with operators working demanding shift patterns decided far in advance. This makes it difficult to schedule time for control room operators to attend off-site training programmes. The impact of COVID-19 is now further adding to the difficulties of travel to attend face-to-face training.
DNV’s GridLab team has created a new ‘Blended Learning Approach’ to enable control room operators to study more flexibly. Typically, the courses extend over 2-3 weeks. An initial interactive ‘e-learning’ module is followed by the classroom session, which can be up to 30% shorter than classroom-only courses. After this, another e-learning module and webinar help participants put their new knowledge into action and to retain it for the long-term.
Control room operators often have very limited interaction with their colleagues and customers during work hours. Many look forward to training courses as opportunities for socializing and networking with colleagues and peers at other companies. Therefore, the Blended Learning approach is designed to maintain the social interaction, not just in the classroom sessions but also during e-learning webinars and activities.
Benefits to the customer
The Blended Learning Approach not only fits around the work schedules of power system control room operators, it also combines the advantages of online study with the benefits that come from exchanging knowledge and experiences with trainers and fellow students in a classroom situation.
Overall, the training is more effective. Trainees are better prepared for the classroom element, and the extensive use of different media helps keep them engaged throughout. Combined with the follow-up webinar, this optimizes the activation and retention of the content.