By Scott Prater
The 50th Operations Support Squadron unveiled a state-of-the-art, 29-seat instructional classroom inside Bldg. 300 Monday.
“This is a big moment for us,” Lt. Col. Jay Fulmer, 50 OSS commander, said prior to the cutting the ceremonial ribbon for the new area. “This classroom will not only serve as an area where people will receive instruction, but where we’ll now have the capability to also perform computer-lab functions while instruction is taking place. This will allow students to access electronic technical orders, operations procedures and other interactive multimedia, which will reinforce the information OSS instructors are providing. All the things we need to take our training to the next level.”
Though the classroom has existed for years, it’s taken on a much different look during the past few months as IT personnel coordinated with various teams to install this modern instructional equipment. The classroom’s table tops seem bare at first glance, but dynamic workstations are hidden behind built in “garage doors.”
According to Debra Adams, 50 OSS chief of instruction technology and resources, instructors have the ability to unlock the full computerized instructional system as they conduct training. For instance, an instructor may begin a lesson in a traditional lecture style, and with a flip of a key switch transition to computer based instruction as garage doors open and raises laptop computer systems.
“Interactive multimedia instruction provides an engaging, media-rich training vehicle for refreshing and sustaining knowledge critical to the warfighter’s success on the battlefield,” Adams said. “Learning theory has long established that students learn more effectively if they are actively involved in the learning process, are given feedback on their progress and have the opportunity to repeat and practice lessons.”
First Lt. Isaiah Montemayor, 50th Operations Group chief of faculty development, believes the new class room accomplishes the goal of creating a more interactive experience for today’s tech savvy students.
“Space operators are using multi-billion dollar pieces of equipment on the job, but when they come in for training, suddenly they’re back to using a marker board,” he said. “Ms. Adams’ shop is working toward providing that technology to instructors. Now, those instructors won’t be limited to instructing space concepts in a chalk-and-eraser type atmosphere.”
The new classroom also creates flexibility for instructors and students base wide, in multiple types of training scenarios.
“This new classroom relieves some availability issues for operations units who have difficulty finding a place to conduct training,” Montemayor said. “It also provides a place for anyone who needs to complete their mandatory or recurring computer based training.”
Fulmer pointed to the new classroom’s capability to create a more efficient instructional process as perhaps its biggest benefit.
“From a mission ready training perspective, we will be able to get deeper into the curriculum and to the supporting documentation as we work to improve our crew force’s overall understanding and proficiency of the weapon system they operate,” he said. “From a mission qualification standpoint, students will be able to access the IMIs our technology team has developed, which could shorten Mission Qualification Training by as much as a week to two weeks, allowing operators to get where they need to be sooner, which is on the operations floor.”
The ribbon cutting doesn’t mean the OSS has delivered the final product. Future upgrades could include ergonomic chairs and SIPRnet access to better meet a variety of training needs.
Instructors who would like to schedule time in the new classroom or people inquiring about open computer lab time can contact Montemayor at 567-3063, Capt. Adam Howland at 567-2608 or Tech. Sgt. Christopher Courtright at 567-2600.