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FLEXO Magazine : November 2008
FTA TODAY TEST TIMELINE Spring 2007 FTA decides to update its educational processes and tools August 2007 Ron & Katherine Harper be- come found- ing spon- sors of the initiative November 2007 Joe Tuccitto joins FTA, TEST is born January 2008 FTA teams with LEARN.com to build an LMS April 2008 Courses are made avail- able through the Virtual Campus May 2008 Melinda Schroepfer hired as man- ager of cur- riculum dev. & accreditation June 2008 Level I, II & III flexo skills exams updated and aligned with FIRST September 2008 Groundwork laid for FIRST certification October 2008 Full Virtual Campus cata- logue available online (see page 73) Safety Courses; and General Education Courses. An exciting milestone for the Virtual Campus came in April at the Annual Forum when Tuccitto announced that Flexo Skills Certification Levels I and II, as well as numerous Environmental Health and Safety and General Education courses, were up and running in the Virtual Campus. TEST is pleased to report that, since the announcement in April, more than 150 industry members and press op- The complete Virtual Campus course catalogue went live online last month. erators have successfully participated in a variety of these courses with the number of inquiries about this style of training increasing every week. And, although TEST is excited that learners are currently able to locate, register for, and access these courses through the FTA Store website, we are looking forward to making this process easier for all industry members by mak- ing the Virtual Campus interface public in the next few months. Once the finishing touches have been placed on the interface, we will be inviting all industry members to take a tour of our campus to see for themselves the end result of a year’s worth of behind-the- scenes work. Look for an- nouncements regarding TEST Virtual Campus tours in the coming months. FIRST PRIORITIES While it might seem like the entire fo- cus of TEST’s efforts during this past year was placed only on the Virtual Campus, we should point out that the reason the Education, Training, and Curriculum category was placed high on the priority list for TEST tasks was that even though the Virtual Campus was shaping up quite nicely, TEST knew no matter how well designed the Virtual Campus was, if the quality of the courses offered within it was poor, the creation of the Virtual Campus itself was wasted effort. TEST’s dedication to providing solid education and training resulted in a series of major accomplish- ments in the Education, Training and Curriculum category over the past year. The first milestone in this category came on May 5, 2008 when Melinda R. Schroepfer was hired as the TEST man- ager of curriculum development and accreditation. With an experienced cur- riculum designer on board, TEST was now able to take a hard look at its existing 1 2 F LEXO NOVEMB E R 20 0 8 www. f l e x o g r a p h y. o r g curricula to determine its current viability and future upgrade requirements. Since Tuccitto and Schroepfer knew that TEST’s goal was to provide the most current edu- cational offerings, the most logical place to begin was with FIRST (Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications and Tolerances). Using FIRST as the parent document ensures that all TEST-designed curricu- lum will be based on outcomes pulled from the handbook’s four categories (Communication and Implementation, Design, Prepress, and Print) and that all curriculum upgrades will be aligned to any revisions in FIRST. The next major step for TEST was to organize the current curriculum into easily manageable modules, each with its own clearly defined set of competencies. Each of these modules was authored into the LEARN.com LMS and will be housed there to give easy access and valuable flexibility to the curriculum upgrade and mainte- nance process. While parts of this process are still in progress, a new milestone was met in June when modules for Skills Levels I, II, and III were updated with new, defined competencies that were, in turn, directly aligned with specific FIRST outcomes. As this process continues, TEST will gain more flexibility in its ability to deliver education and training in a variety of modes including in-person sessions, online courses, or CD-ROM recordings based on online offerings. NOT DONE YET… While the curriculum upgrades and alignments were taking place, yet another step was made in moving TEST toward its goal. In June, FFTA Co-Sponsored Events and Seminars (including all regional work- shops) were placed under TEST’s jurisdic- tion to ensure that all of the education and