British Columbia Institute of

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ACES 0020 - Technical Literacy: Tools of the Trades

Access to Trades Part-time Studies Course

School of Transportation

BCIT is planning for a substantial return to on-campus activity for the Winter 2022 term as informed by BC Provincial Health Officer guidelines. Refer to each course listing for details.

Course Details

Updates study skills and gives a head start on trades training. Provides the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in trades and apprenticeship training.



This course isn't currently offered through BCIT Part-time Studies. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive email updates.

Learning Outcomes

Module 1 introduces techniques used to enhance your learning skills and explores fire safety and safety precautions for hand and power tools. At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Write a commitment statement.
  • Determine your preferred learning style.
  • Develop a study time plan.
  • Describe safety procedures for hand and power tools.
  • Describe procedures for preventing and extinguishing small fires.
  • Identify symbols used on portable fire extinguishers.
  • Define combustion.

Module 2 identifies some of the factors that influence reading comprehension and also introduces general insulation principles and the effects of heat and heat transfer. At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Apply the skim, scan, and read method.
  • Describe tips to increase reading speed.
  • Define terms such as heat, cold, convection, conduction, and radiation.
  • Describe the various functions of insulation.
  • Describe the factors considered when selecting the appropriate insulation materials to use for a given job.

Module 3 introduces strategies to increase your technical vocabulary while examining tire codes, metal fasteners and metals, metric prefixes, and forms of energy. At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the difference between a glossary and a dictionary.
  • Decipher tire codes.
  • Identify various metal fasteners.
  • Describe characteristics of metals.
  • Interpret metric prefixes.
  • Describe types of energy.

Module 4 investigates the structure of matter and properties of gases, liquids, and solids while also examining three note-taking strategies. At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Use the Cornell, outline, and concept mapping forms of note taking.
  • Describe the structure of matter.
  • Describe the properties of gases, liquids, and solids.

Module 5 takes a close look at orthographic and isometric drawings and describes some techniques for reading drawings and tables. At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe strategies for reading drawings and tables.
  • Identify three types of pictorial drawings.
  • Identify basic lines used in drawings.
  • Sketch orthographic and isometric drawings.

Module 6 introduces techniques to enhance your memory while examining WHMIS symbols and basic hand tools such as pliers, wrenches, and saws. At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Apply techniques to enhance memory.
  • Identify WHMIS symbols.
  • Identify pliers, wrenches, and saws.

Module 7 describes concentrated study techniques to help increase retention and understanding of information. You will have an opportunity to apply study skills in order to learn about internal combustion engines and electrical circuits. At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the combustion process.
  • Describe the operation of two-stroke cycle IC engines.
  • Describe the operation of four-stroke cycle IC engines.
  • Identify basic series and parallel circuit concepts.
  • Identify current, voltage, and resistance and their relationship according to Ohm's Law.
  • Apply concentrated studying techniques.

Module 8 provides you with an opportunity to apply successful test taking strategies. You will complete an invigilated timed exam on internal combustion engines and electrical circuits, as learned in the previous module. At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the impact of stress on learning.
  • Describe the brain dump technique.
  • Apply day-of-exam techniques for successful test taking.
  • Describe follow-up strategies for after the exam.

Effective as of Fall 2006


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