Increasingly, TEEX divisions and instructors are turning to the Knowledge Engineering Center (KEC) to help them reach their customers via the Web, to help them develop online courses or “virtual” classrooms, or even to help develop traditional curriculum.
Based in the TEEX Technology and Economic Development Division, KEC offers a variety of information technology (IT) products and services for training and workforce development.
KEC was established in 1999 to work within the Texas A&M University System to do IT projects, says J.J. Lerond, program manager of KEC. “Our customers are TEEX, members of The Texas A&M University System, federal and state agencies, as well as our historical customers through TMAC and MCTTC and our electronics training program.”
“Basically, anything you want online, we can do it,” Lerond said. “If you have curriculum you want to put online, we can help with developing online lesson plans, graphics, interactivity, etc.”
In addition to developing online courses, KEC develops database-driven dynamic Web sites, she added. Some of the customized Web sites recently developed include ones for the Division of Emergency Management and for the Teacher Technology Training Camp.
Software add-ons available through KEC include a discussion tool to allow customers to host discussions on their online campus or Web site, E-commerce capability, and secured/restricted Web sites or intranet capability.
In addition, Lerond said online courses can incorporate KEC’s “Dynamic Evaluation Tool,” which presents scenarios to students and allows for their feedback. The user submits a solution to a scenario and then reads the answer given by the instructor. The online student also sees the responses of other users, so that the lesson is similar to a classroom discussion environment.
Online courses KEC worked on recently include Traffic Occupant Protection Strategies (TOPS) and Drug Impairment Training for Educational Professionals (DITEP) for the TEEX Law Enforcement and Security Training Division. KEC has also delivered products and services to the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center (NERRTC), Career Advancement and Applied Technology Training Division, and Emergency Services Training Institute.
Current KEC projects include working with NERRTC to generate online and traditional curriculum for a Department of Justice project involving training for management, maintenance and movement of equipment pods used to defend against Weapons of Mass Destruction. Also KEC is working with NERRTC to revise the curriculum for the Threat and Risk Assessment Course and to create the curriculum for the Emergency Operations Plan-Terrorism Incident Annex.
Employees in KEC include J.J. Lerond, Diann Strom, Marcia Bastian, Bill Smith, Vince Riggins and Charles Schreier.