AC/C TECH’s “Instructional Delivery and Recourses” include the following areas:
Training Platform & Resources
In alignment with our mission and goals, AC/C TECH’s training platform is 100% web-based, easy to use, easy to understand, and easy to navigate. This allows us to provide quality online training that will help students develop the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary for performing building maintenance, and diagnosing and repairing equipment pursuant to regulatory codes. In addition, it allows us to provide training that will help students understand the upkeep and maintenance required at a property in order to maintain its curb appeal, and to ensure that all vacant apartment units are restored to a “market ready” condition in a timely manner.
The online training platform contains four key modules:  Web-Based Classroom,  Online Technical Support,  Virtual Coffee House, and  Q&A Bulletin Board.
- The Web-Based Classroom houses our interactive distance education courses and workshops. All courses are highly technical and include attention-grabbing graphics, photos, videos, and sound effects aimed at simplifying complex topics. The lessons include exciting special effects and transitions in an effort to keep each student engaged. All lessons are voice narrated so that students can focus on the topic and develop the knowledge, skills, and competencies listed in the course description and outcomes. After completing a course, the student will be able to recognize the components and understand how the equipment functions in sequence of operation. Emphasis is placed on diagnosing failures and making repairs pursuant to current building codes. Students will learn what can fail, why it failed, and how the failure can be prevented. Understanding these principles will allow students to diagnose and repair more complex problems, reduce maintenance expenditures, and develop professionalism.
- The Online Technical Support is an automated database that guides students through a variety of diagnostic and repair procedures. It includes step-by-step repair tips for appliances, electrical wiring, heating and air conditioning equipment, interior/exterior building maintenance, outdoor amenities, grounds, plumbing, and swimming pool maintenance. It also includes energy saving tips, planned maintenance activities, information about indoor air quality, lead-based paint, mold, and radon gas. The database is setup like a tree diagram that identifies root causes and list possible corrective actions. Based on the failure (or problem), students will learn the structure of multiple causes and possible corrective actions. This tool is used to break down broad categories into finer and finer levels of detail. It can map levels of diagnostic procedures that are required to accomplish a repair or task. Developing this type of thinking allows students to move past generalities into specific troubleshooting actions.
- The Virtual Coffee House contains articles related to building and equipment maintenance, laws affecting the industry, advancements in technology, outstanding achievers, employment opportunities, and more. It also includes themes that are designed to foster creativity, develop a culture of teamwork, improve the maintenance operations, or simply help apartment communities achieve certain benchmarks and financial gains.
- The Q&A Bulletin Board contains questions and answers about building science and equipment maintenance. Students can read questions posted by peers and they can post new questions to get answers from multiple experts.
AC/C TECH utilizes other technologies to optimize interaction between the institution and students. We use zoom.com software to host web-meetings, live web classes, and proctored examinations. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we conduct web-meetings to demonstrate how to diagnose equipment and make repairs, and to illustrate other maintenance activities. It’s important for students to attend because employers attend, and it allows students to showcase their skills and secure a job. We also use text messaging, email, and phone calls to provide instructional and administrative support.
Since our training is 100% web-based… we can deliver instructional lessons via the internet anytime (24/7); the lessons can be completed by using any desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet, or smart phone; the lessons can be stopped and re-started based on the students desires, the lessons can be repeated three times, the lessons can be tweaked to convey any unique maintenance activity, and lastly, the number of attendees can be unlimited.
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AC/C TECH’s curriculum is guided by program outcomes that a normal apartment maintenance technician will experience on the job. As examples, students will learn diagnostic and repair procedures for HVAC equipment, plumbing fixtures, electrical devices, interior/exterior building components, appliances, swimming pool maintenance, and more. Also, students will learn details about planned maintenance activities, job task standards, and uniform physical inspections.
The curriculum for each course involves:
- Taking a pre-assessment
- Reading assigned books and analyzing handout materials
- Viewing online lectures
- Taking quizzes and final examinations via the internet
- Having an option of repeating quizzes and the final examination to improve scores
- Watching reference videos
- Doing lab assignments
- Participating in web-meetings
- Documenting 15 hours of OJT assignments
More specifically, each course includes a course syllabus, handouts, copyright information, a pre-assessment, 9 lectures, 9 quizzes, 9 reference videos, 9 lab assignments, a final examination, student verification, 15-hours of OJT assignments, end-of-course evaluation, and thank you acknowledgement for the student’s participation.
All courses are pre-planned and promote the development of critical thinking, ethical reasoning, social responsibility, and lifelong learning as applicable to online training. The organization and presentation of courses and instructional materials are designed using sound principles of interactive distance learning methodology. We measure student achievement based on curriculum mapping, i.e.: when key topics and projects are introduced, reinforced, and mastered. In addition, we measure student achievement based on using appropriate verbs as defined by Bloom’s Taxonomy. Specific action verbs are tied to relevant competencies to demonstrate successful attainment of the outcomes. More importantly, the outcomes were developed to align with employer expectations, industry standards, and governmental regulations. All outcomes are specific and technical in nature which leads to measurability.
All lectures, quizzes, reference videos, and lab assignments are developed in electronic format and optimized for use within the Inquisiq R5 LMS. When available, AC/C TECH provides students with the means to purchase electronic books, rather than a hard copy. More importantly, students have self-control over the lessons. The lessons can be stopped and started at will and repeated five times. All lessons include various media such as graphics, photos, videos, and sound effects to demonstrate and simplify complex topics. The lessons also include special effects and transitions to promote student engagement. All lessons include narration to aid auditory learners in developing the knowledge, skills, and competencies listed in the course syllabus.
Furthermore, all courses include auto-graded quizzes and final examinations. When students miss questions, they are provided the correct response after the assessment is completed, so they can best learn from their mistakes before attempting to retake the assessment. This makes the learning process interactive because the student will get instant feedback and can decide if redoing lessons/quizzes are necessary. So again, students have an option of repeating lessons and quizzes to improve scores, only the highest score will be displayed on transcripts. Quizzes can be retaken twice, final examinations just once. Quizzes and final examinations are generated from a large test bank of questions to assure that students who retake an assessment are not provided with the same set of questions.
Students are required to submit 15 hours of OJT (On-Job-Training) documentation per course. They can receive assistance from our instructional staff about completing these assignments via zoom.com software, allowing the student and instructor to see and hear the same parts/equipment when diagnosing failures, concerns, or questions. Plus, they get instant feedback from their supervisor when doing OJT assignments. Much in the same way the AC/C TECH instructional staff evaluate students academically, maintenance supervisors evaluate the students OJT performance. Students may be evaluated on completing work orders, special projects, safety skills, technical skills, customer relation skills, and documentation skills.
As noted previously, the instructional staff conducts web-meetings every Tuesday and Thursday to facilitate interaction with students, and to keep them engaged in the training. Normally, those meetings include key points from the previous meeting, policy changes if applicable, open discussion about the training materials, open discussion about lab assignment results, assignment due dates, and more.
In general, this training methodology allows both the instructional staff and maintenance supervisors to point out deficiencies, where applicable, and it helps students build competencies insofar as being able to do the work expected by the employer. Simply stated, the noted activities are designed to align with our mission and goals, curricula mapping, and outcomes assessment plan.
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Once more, AC/C TECH’s training is 100% online. That means we deliver instructional lessons via electronic technologies, such as the internet. Active engagement and interaction are required by the student to meet the course/program objectives and to achieve the intended learning outcomes.
More importantly, students have self-control over the lessons. The lessons can be stopped and started at will and repeated three times. All lessons include various media such as graphics, photos, videos, and sound effects to demonstrate and simplify complex topics. The lessons include special effects and transitions to promote student engagement. Furthermore, the lessons include auto-graded quizzes and final examinations which provide students’ instant feedback. When students miss questions, they are provided the correct answer after the assessment is completed, so they can best learn from their mistakes before attempting to retake the assessment. Quizzes can be retaken twice, final examinations just once. Quizzes and final examinations are generated from a large test bank to assure that students who retake an assessment are not provided with the same set of questions.
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All courses are setup as on-demand (meaning students can play lectures, attempt quizzes, watch reference videos, and do lab assignments anytime and from any location) and therefore the instructor-to-student ratio is unlimited. In fact, our ratio has been as high as 150 students to 1 instructor, and we have never experienced a problem. As of this date, AC/C TECH has not established a policy for student-to-instructor ratio, but it could be governed down the road.
When students are doing lab and OJT assignments, the maintenance supervisor-to-student ratio has never been greater than 3 students to 1 maintenance supervisor. However, that ratio is managed by the employer, not AC/C TECH. Our role is to recruit and train students based on employer workforce demands.
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