AETC, Sheppard collaborate on Continuum of Learning

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Jacqueline Jastrzebski
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Headquarters Air Education and Training Command Force Development expert Masoud Rasti visited Sheppard Air Force Base April 17, 2018, to help leaders understand implementation of the Air Force’s newest training paradigm, the Continuum of Learning.

Rasti spoke with commanders and instructors from the 82nd Training Wing, 80th Flying Training Wing and Sheppard NCO Academy where discussion ranged from pilot to maintenance training and everything in between.

AETC defines the CoL as the deliberate process of combining education, training and experience to produce the right expertise and competence to meet the Air Force's operational needs.

Though the concept may seem simple, producing life-long learners and steering the training culture away from traditional practices is no easy task.

“How we conducted training 30 years ago simply isn’t the way to be most effective today,” said Rasti. “Our adversaries have the same teaching technology that we do but how we apply the principle of training will allow us to become more agile.”

The CoL was introduced in March 2017 and changes have already been made throughout AETC, including at Sheppard AFB.

The 82nd TRW has led the charge on a variety of virtual reality projects to introduce a video game-style of learning to aircraft maintenance and civil engineer technical training.  

Other CoL inspired upgrades include revamping the 364th Training Squadron’s aircraft hydraulics systems course and acquiring a new simulator to allow the 82nd Security Forces Squadron to train the way they fight.

As the initiative begins to take shape across the Air Force, some Airmen still have difficulty understanding exactly what to expect from the CoL.

One of the CoL’s five initiatives, the Airman’s Learning Record, is planned to roll out in upcoming months. The purpose of the ALR is to consolidate an Airman’s entire training background in one online system.

“By putting everything under one umbrella, commanders will be able to access the ALR to review how an individual gravitates towards learning in order to judge the best way to convey information to them.”

The idea is to accommodate the quick-thinking, often multi-tasking minds of today’s Airmen and tap into the processes that allow them to learn most effectively. 

Rasti explained a hypothetical scenario where an instructor might issue a student pilot what the Air Force has deemed 40 hours’ worth of study material, but a certain individual may be able to consume the knowledge and demonstrate their competence after only 5 hours of studying. To make the individual sit and wait to move on to the next bit of training, he said, would be a waste of time.

By embracing the notion that everyone learns in different ways at a varying pace, the Air Force aims to produce highly-trained Airmen more efficiently.

“Instead of traditional instruction, if you can demonstrate your competency in certain areas you’ll be given credit for that and we will let you drive forward.”

To learn more about the CoL and stay up-to-date on latest news, visit