T&D World Magazine

SOS International Offers Multi-Modal Learning

SOS Intl provides energy professionals, teams and companies with training and consulting services to build reliability in the bulk electric system.

SOS Intl's training is based on a scientific approach to adult learning. The company uses the ADDIE model (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation) for course development, which conforms with NERC’s requirement that training be based on the Systematic Approach to Training (SAT). Consequently, the course development process uses a dynamic, flexible approach for building effective training and performance support tools.

Multi-Modal Learning
At the first level is the Multi-Modal learning model. Learning “modes” in this model are distinguished by the relative levels of student versus instructor activity.

At the first level students read and learn from the documents their companies have already produced. This is both low student activity and low instructor activity. SOS Intl’s Consulting Services can help your company organize your documents and design a review and testing process to ensure the documents are current and employees are familiar with their contents.

Students can then progress to Instructor Lead Training, which is high instructor, but low student activity. SOS Intl has an extensive calendar of Classroom-based instruction to provide high-touch teaching and guidance.

When students are ready and sufficiently motivated they can embark on a course of independent study, which involves low instructor and high student activity. SOS Intl’s extensive offering of Online Courses fulfills this requirement for many System Operators.

At the highest learning level, On the Job Training involves high activity on the part of both the instructor and the student. On-the-job training can be conveniently documented and tracked using SOS Intl’s Training Management System.

The multi-modal approach, combining self-study, online, classroom, and on-the-job training, ensures that students not only gain knowledge, they understand what they have learned.

Simulation-Based Training
In SOS Intl’s classroom-based and online courses, computer-based simulation exercises play an integral part in the learning process. Using PowerSimulator, the same EPRI OTS power system model used in the world’s most sophisticated control centers, all system operators can benefit from highly realistic simulation training on desktop PCs, laptops and over the internet.

The goal is to encourage all operators, engineers and students to use simulators to improve their knowledge, experience and performance about how power systems operate under normal, alert, emergency and restoration conditions.

For years, military training has used simulated scenarios to assure “battle readiness”. Senior officers throw fractured communications and other contingencies on these teams in the heat of exercises. Debriefing often involves weaving stories from real experiences into what just transpired in the simulated exercises creating some of the most effective forms of knowledge transfer.

With PowerSimulator any electric system can be training on today’s leading-edge simulators.

Individual, Team and Organizational Learning
The final component in our training philosophy embraces the idea that learning must take place at three levels – the individual, the team and the organization. SOS Intl’s integrated and graduated training, simulation and consulting programs begin by training the individual, then move on to teams and then entire organizations.

In the earliest phases, students have low levels of knowledge and experience. They can, however, use what they know to solve problems. They learn to operate individually to identify, recognize, and distinguish problems by self-guided study of company documents and completing SOS Intl Online course work.

As they progress, students learn by observing a master, often in the form of an instructor in an SOS Intl Classroom program. Through observation and guided discovery they learn to recognize and explain conditions, discriminate between problems and become more effective at situational response involving other team members.

As they gain mastery, both students and teams gain the ability to comprehend, analyze and apply what they have learned. Through guided Simulation using models of extended systems, students and groups experience the implications and consequences of working or failing to work together as a team.

At the highest levels students have evolved their outlooks to become integrated members of an extended team, managing a complex system. Through Custom Simulation and Black Start drills, organizations adapt to their own systems while strategizing and preventing system collapse.

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