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Case study: MidAmerican Energy uses innovative technology to modernize field crew training with eBooks

A new case study published by Chartwell, Inc. details how MidAmerican Energy Company partnered with Index AR Solutions on a series of eBooks to modernize the utility’s gas apprenticeship training program.

According to the case study, classroom materials used by MidAmerican to train incoming apprentices consisted mostly of three-ring binders and VHS tapes that were often out of date. Following the project with Index, the digitization and updating of the materials culminated in a series of eBooks that contain interactive AR visualizations, new training videos, and quizzes that enable apprentices to track their progress through the program on their company-issued iPads.

The eBook initiative proved to be an ideal solution to the challenge MidAmerican faced combining two separate gas field technician apprentice programs into a merged, but shortened, program that allowed for increased flexibility and versatility in its workforce.

“We knew there was a lot of overlap in these programs, but we were still asking our apprentices to learn almost twice the material that we were before. The only way we could make this possible was a revamped curriculum with improved classroom education materials,” said MidAmerican Energy Director of Business Optimization and Innovation Mike Hoff in the case study.

The case study noted that feedback from current students has been positive, and trainers report higher levels of engagement from the apprentices as they work through the “video game-like” AR diagrams and lessons on everything from how to assemble a gas meter set to how to safely inspect a home for a gas leak.

Some 34 eBooks and 21 mobile AR-enabled apps were created during the Index project with MidAmerican.

The case study was authored by Chartwell, an Atlanta-based specialized information provider for the utility industry focused on strategic research and facilitating issue-targeted forums for collaboration among industry peers.

Click here to download a complimentary copy of the case study, and visit the Index website to learn more about the Apprentice Program SuperApp™ for Natural Gas Utilities that is now available for purchase.