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Grader Academy: Series 200 Courseware

The development of the next level of NELMA’s grader education for Eastern White Pine is set to go live this monthGrader Academy Logo. The 200 series, Application of Characteristics to Grading, is where the rubber meets the road in learning the 5 grades of Eastern White Pine, or should we say where the crayon meets the lumber. As the next logical step after the 100 Series, where the general wood characteristics were introduced, this next educational unit will provide an understanding of how these same characteristics are applied to each grade.


The level of complexity with this section was significant for staff and the developers in terms of depicting a method of online learning that was visually interesting to the users of the program, yet effective as a means of becoming grade knowledgeable. Through the introduction of comparative tables, images, and embedded instructional short video clips, we believe an effective mix of media has been developed for the 200 series. “The video clips in particular will be a key component of understanding some of the more confusing terms when applying characteristics to grading,” according to Matt Pomeroy, NELMA’s Director of Inspection Services. “These selected short visuals with sound bites greatly elevate the ability to understand the written grading standard.”

In June, the NELMA staff and the SOAP Group developers took a day at the HQ Office to video a lucky-13 instructionalYou Tube Screen Image segments that will be included within the 200 series. With most around 1-minute in length, they include information on how to apply the characteristic to a grade in addition to measurement procedures when applicable. Don Pendergast, NELMA’s Coordinator for the Lumber Program and Senior Lumber Inspector provided the expertise and voice-over audio instructions. Click on the image to view a sample clip that will be used in the Grader Academy.

Please note that the 200 series will not be accessible to registered program users until each of the 100 series (Characteristics) is successfully completed.  So if you haven’t already, go online, register and complete the first level to be ready when this next series is made available! And to test your knowledge on occasion, play the affiliated Above Board grading game to see if your score ranks with the best.



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