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ASTM International University

ASTM International recently launched ASTM International University, a Web-based training resource providing instruction on ASTM standards and other related technical information and on-line training modules for ASTM members. ASTM International University complements ASTM’s existing Technical and Professional Training program of public and on-site live training courses by expanding the availability of ASTM training. Anyone, anywhere in the world can access ASTM International University 24/7.

ASTM has partnered with IHS Engineering to develop and administer ASTM International University. IHS Engineering is the largest reseller of ASTM publications, serving customers in over 90 countries with comprehensive collections of standards and other technical information delivered in a variety of formats. This partnership gives visitors to ASTM International University access to ASTM on-line training courses as well as access to a variety of information technology training courses from IHS such as classes in how to run applications by various software developers. In the future, IHS partnerships with other standards developers will expand the variety of on-line training available to ASTM International University students.

Leveraging the Internet for ASTM International University also makes a new kind of training product possible — short tutorials of 30 minutes to one hour for individual standards. In the past, ASTM has not developed training courses on individual standards unless there was enough training content for at least a one-day, live course. The new technology now makes it possible to effectively develop and deliver much shorter on-line courses on the use of individual standards. The new courses typically feature a series of slides that automatically advance through the program accompanied by narration.

Standards that are candidates for this treatment are those that:

• Have a high sales volume.
• Are complex and need clarification based on the number of calls or inquiries staff or members receive.
• Are cited in regulations.
• Are featured in ASTM Proficiency Testing and Interlaboratory Crosscheck Programs.

Four new on-line courses were developed last year. These include:

• An overview of E 1527, the Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Process authored by John Worlund of Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment.
• A tutorial on D 4169, Performance Testing of Shipping Containers and Systems, authored by Al McKinlay, former chairman of Committee D10 on Packaging.
• A tutorial on D 93, Test Methods for Flash-Point by Pensky-Martens Closed Cup Tester, authored by Rey Montemayor, chairman of Subcommittee D02.08 on Volatility (part of Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants) and member of the ASTM board of directors.
• “Entry Into the European Union,” an overview of the requirements facing U.S. companies wishing to export their products to the European Union, authored by Helen Delaney, former ASTM Washington representative, former NIST standards attaché to the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, and current consultant to the ASTM president’s office.

A fifth course will be available mid-March. This course is a tutorial on D 445, Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids (the Calculation of Dynamic Viscosity), authored by Janet Lane, assistant secretary of Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants.

Up to 20 additional standards tutorials will be added to the on-line course catalog by the end of this year. ASTM staff and members have identified 40 standards meeting the criteria cited above.

Another training application through ASTM International University is converting existing live Technical and Professional Training courses to Web-based format. Whole courses will be broken into manageable learning modules of 30 minutes to one hour each. A student will have to complete all of the on-line modules to get credit for the course. Also, segments from some of the live courses will stand alone as new mini-courses. In this case the student only has to complete the module to receive credit. The advantage of using the on-line format is that they will have access to the training for six months and can train at their convenience.

All of the above products are sold for a fee. Students at ASTM International University will have an electronic “Learning Locker” where courses they have purchased will be housed. Access to the Learning Locker will be 24/7, and the courses they purchase will be available for unlimited viewings for six months after the date of purchase.

Another new on-line training service being offered is free training modules for ASTM members. These modules cover various aspects of ASTM regulations, procedures, and policies to assist in the development of ASTM’s voluntary consensus standards. ASTM members have unlimited access to these programs. Three modules will be available shortly, and more are planned for this year. The first modules to be available will be:

• ASTM International — General Overview
• Electronic Tools for Creating and Revising Standards
• Balloting/Handling Negative Votes

ASTM has made a commitment to use technology to improve the development and delivery of ASTM products and services. ASTM International University is another step in that direction, making training services available to anyone, anywhere, at anytime. //

Copyright 2003, ASTM

Scott Murphy is director of ASTM Educational Services.