Hybrid equipment training

Project brief



The skill levels of new members wishing to use Humanmade's shared workshop varies widely from novices to professional tradesmen. To qualify, new members must attend either a hands on training course or demonstrate pre-existing skills through an assessment.  However even the most skilled professionals may require a little bit of instruction if they haven't used the exact make and model of tools in the shop. This means Humanmade needs to communicate essential information to a wide audience without it going over their heads or wasting the time of experienced members.

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When redesigning Humanmade training, I aimed to enhance efficiency and support for all skill levels by incorporating e-learning modules.

Current training materials include printed booklets and 1-page job aids, which are limited in information, can't be updated after printing, and lack multimedia capabilities. E-learning addresses these issues while also allowing users to learn at their own pace. Novices can take their time, revisit information, and access supplementary resources, while experienced users can skip familiar content and focus on filling in knowledge gaps.

While hands-on tools will always require some in-person training or instructor skill verification, I believe that developing online content can streamline in-person sessions, accommodate larger groups, and potentially reduce costs for trainees and the organization.

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The solution

This project is still in progress, but the first prototype is an electronic training module for the miter saw. While providing a lot of information, it allows learners of all skill levels to move through at their own pace, making it useful to different groups in the following ways.

  • Novice Users: This module acts as a pre-training resource, allowing them to learn vocabulary and concepts at their own pace before in-person training, plus as a resource after training
  • Intermediate Users: The module serves as a post-training reference to recall details like control locations.
  • Advanced Users: The module acts as a prep-tool for skills evaluation, they can pay attention to key information they may not know, such as the exact location of tool controls, while skipping beginner concepts that they are already familiar with.
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The results

This training method is still in development and has not been tested on a large group, but early prototype results are encouraging:

  • Skill Improvement: 8 participants of varying skill levels took the e-learning module and completed online and in-person tests, all showing score increases, including highly skilled users.
  • Knowledge Retention: Novice users identified controls, safety tips, and workflow during in-person evaluations up to a week after taking the module.
  • Efficiency: The module halved class time. Implementing it as standard pre-training could save staff time or allow more participants per session.

Video examples

Turning a bowl

A short promotional video showing a montage of how to turn a small bowl on the wood lathe. Meant to encourage new members to try the wood lathe training.

Saw blade choice

A short video showing the benefits and drawbacks of the most common styles of table saw blades.

CMS training

The organization is changing from one CRM system to another. This is a brief video showing how to book workshop equipment in the new system.

What is CNC

An introduction to CNC machines at the Humanmade woodshop. What they can do, their history, and how something goes from digital design to being cut.


Look below to learn more about me and to see a selection of my recent work. If you want to work with me directly you can also reach out, I love to work with individuals and organizations to spread workshop knowledge and skills.

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