|Enhanced Member and Officer Training on the ASTM International Web Site
Using its Web site, ASTM International has answered the call from its technical committee officers and members for access to training on ASTMs standards development process.
ASTM staff members often receive requests from officers and members for instructional information on the ASTM process and the tools that are available to help them with their committee-related duties and responsibilities. To help satisfy this need, ASTM has for many years offered its Officers Conference, a structured educational event held at ASTM International Headquarters every two years. In addition, staff frequently present similar educational modules on a variety of ASTM-related topics at Committee Weeks, independent committee meetings and other events throughout the year.
For some time now, visitors to the ASTM Web site have been able to access the PowerPoint presentations and related material presented at these different events and download them for review. This has allowed those unable to attend particular training sessions to benefit from the information contained in the material presented. However, without the benefit of seeing the presentations in person and in context, members often still have had unanswered questions.
New Training Now Available
Based on this feedback, ASTM staff has been working on ways to expand the types of training that we can offer our membership. One approach is to take advantage of new technology that allows us to better use the Web site as a vehicle to educate our members and visitors about ASTM International, our process and tools.
In October 2004, the officer and member training section of the ASTM Web site was redesigned to help meet this goal.
As part of the new look, training modules were organized into three general categories general ASTM information, member-specific information and officer-specific information for ease in finding the information most relevant to a users needs. Further, general instructional modules have been translated into Spanish in an effort to provide a general overview of ASTM for some of our international members, or prospective international members, new to the process.
The most significant enhancement to the training pages is the ability to offer several of the educational modules in a variety of formats. In addition to the existing capability of downloading reference guides and presentations, visitors to the ASTM Web site now have the added benefits of accessing self-running tutorials on demand and participating in live training workshops free of charge.
The ASTM on-demand educational modules allow visitors to view a training session on a particular aspect of the ASTM process or a demonstration of specific ASTM standards development tools at their convenience. These self-running tutorials permit the viewer to access slides with voice-over instruction from their office or home on the Internet with the use of the Windows Media Player. Participants are able to play, rewind, fast forward, pause and restart the presentations to accommodate their schedule.
Live Virtual Training
Staff recognizes that many times the most beneficial information presented at our educational modules comes as a direct result of questions posed by participants or through responses to individual cases that are brought up during the course of a session. In an attempt to preserve this aspect of member training, the enhanced member training Web site offers the opportunity for visitors to register to participate in live training workshops. These workshops, available through the use of the ASTM Virtual Meetings system, are scheduled periodically throughout the year on a first-come, first-served basis. The Web-based training workshops use the Internet and your telephone and require no special software. An ASTM staff instructor facilitates each session, allowing participants the opportunity to interact with the instructor and other participants through discussion and questions during the course of the module.
Modules currently available on the site include:
About ASTM International (English and Spanish);
Balloting and Handling of Negative Votes;
Strategic Planning; and
Additional modules on Main Committee Officers Duties and Responsibilities, Duties of Subcommittee Chairs, ASTM in the National and International Arena and others are currently slated for posting in the future. Visitors are encouraged to provide feedback on the different sessions and to offer suggestions for additional topics that should be covered in future modules.
ASTMs success is tied to the dedication and effectiveness of the volunteer members and officers who drive the Society forward. To increase your effectiveness, we have worked to develop a training system you can access in a variety of formats (hard copy, on-demand or virtual training sessions), depending on your needs. It is our goal to ensure that you have the information you need to make maximum use of the ASTM process to meet your goals and objectives. //