By Master Sgt. Joshua Strang, Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs
/ Published August 09, 2017
The Continuum of Learning initiative is a shift to better focus how Airmen learn by integrating education, training and experience in ways that allow them to learn anytime, anywhere throughout their careers. The end goal is to create a culture of lifelong learning. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Staff Sgt. Chip Pons)
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson (center), commander of Air Education and Training Command, sits with Maj. Gen. Mark Brown (left), AETC deputy commander and Chief Master Sgt. Juliet Gudgel, AETC command chief during the Continuum of Learning Summit Aug. 1-2, 2017 at Joint Base San Antonio – Randolph, Texas. This event officially kicked off the redesigned Continuum of Learning, an initiative focusing on improving how Airmen learn by integrating education, training and experience in ways that allow them to learn anytime, anywhere throughout their careers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joel Martinez)
The effort officially kicked off with a leadership summit last week, in which AETC senior leaders, wing commanders, command chiefs and superintendents conducted a deep dive into the CoL redesign.
The CoL initiative is a shift to better focus how Airmen learn by integrating education, training and experience in ways that allow them to learn anytime, anywhere throughout their careers. The end goal is to create a culture of lifelong learning.
“What the new Continuum of Learning does is transform our industrial-age pipeline production system into a more modern-age, learner-centric model,” said Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, commander of Air Education and Training Command. “We’ve done really well at the training and education pieces, but what we haven’t done well is tying the experiences piece to those two in a deliberate way. This is what we are going to do.”
Chief Master Sgt. Juliet Gudgel, AETC command chief, said the redesigned CoL is a cultural change.
“The Continuum of Learning is a lifelong learning model that will capture the education, experience and training all together and will be something our Airmen haven’t experienced previously,” said Gudgel. “As Air Education and Training Command, we are going to have to change our thinking and our culture to understand the different learning styles of our Airmen. We are going to dig deep into competency-based learning, basing it more on performance instead of the industrial, schoolhouse model we have been using for so many years.”
Key concepts included in this learning paradigm shift are modularized learning, blended learning, on-command and on-demand learning, competency-based learning, and the Airman’s learning record.
While senior leaders will introduce these CoL concepts in the coming weeks and months, the redesigned learning approach is intended to give Airmen more flexibility in reaching their learning goals.
“With on-demand learning, these are the courses Airmen want to do,” said Gudgel. “These are the courses we want our Airmen to go and seek out. They are going to have choices on additional learning that they have not had in the past.”
The shift is currently underway as courses at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, and Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, have changed how material is presented and how instructors approach the learning environment. Currently the cyber transport course, science on a sphere, and squadron officer school are training under reimagined curricula.
Gudgel said although this is a new process, the redesigned CoL will benefit all Airmen.