I woke up early today and decided to finish the course. I had three sections to do and got only one of 20 questions wrong in the pre-tests and only one of the post test questions wrong. In the end I ended up with a 90% average which is good but not great. Certainly not perfect.
I really learned a lot and loved the course layout and flow. I would strongly urge anyone serious about doing their own tile work to take and complete this course. As a homeowner or hard core DIYer this test will open your eyes to the shear volume of information needed in this industry.
It will also open your eyes to the requirements of the tile industry which differ many times from what the manufactures of products claim. Understanding what is needed by the industry will educate you from mishaps that you might make simply following a random post online.
Now it's time to take the TTMAC version (our Canadian Version). As I mentioned before I will take this course with my TTMAC Specification guide and will slow down my answers at post test times. I mis-read a few questions and lowered my grade. I did not use any resource to take this test and used only the teachers review and my own training to complete this course.
My apprentice s going to take this course with me. He will do so to further his training and I'm sure he will do quite well. Lets wait and see.
Yesterday I was tiling a tub surround with my apprentice and I explained to him an error in his training. The error was switching the direction of the trowel marks or the combed direction of thin-set between the wall and the tile. I have always done this and thought I was getting as better bite. Turns out I have always been wrong.
So I tell David this and his answer is "I thought that was weird." I asked him why and he tells me "You always tell me to comb the thin-set one way when we install cement board so the air can escape. I wondered how it could with the double comb." Hmmmm.
So what is the benefit of online training? Better training. More training. Structured training.
In my online training course I also witnessed an installer measuring the temperature of the water and the thin-set. I have never done this in the field and it got me to wondering if my waterproofing products are affected strongly do to heat. Liquid membranes can 'Blister' under flood testing and this has happened to me now four times over the past few years. Every time in the summer. Hmmmm.
So I think a new series if private testing is in order. An also a new cooler for the truck so I can store my liquid membranes and products like Kerdi Fix and Noble Sealant 150.
An online peer of mine mentioned on a Linkd'In forum page that nothing compares to physical training. I think to a degree he is right but if that training is flawed to begin with you are just teaching bad habits or worse. Taking a course from a school founded by a tile mechanic or tile consultant we gain more insight from a much broader base of expierences. I tell my girls when coaching soccer "Perfect Practice - Makes Perfect". There is no sense running a skills drill and allowing them to do something wrong. No toe flips. No cart wheels. No silly passes. That can be all done after practice. Practice time is for training. At home you can review an online course at your leisure, when your awake. I dragged out my course in 4 visits and could have easily done one chapter a day.