Q: What is ISR University?
A: ISR University offers affordable, on-demand intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) training either online or in-residence to students from around the world. We aim to revolutionize ISR training and raise global standards of excellence for ISR professionals. We envision diverse classrooms filled with people from all walks of life–Air Force targeteers, US border patrol agents, Central American police officers, NATO intelligence analysts, Hollywood video game developers–all of whom bring unique perspectives that elevate course discussions and broaden the way we think about ISR collection, analysis, and utility.
Q: Why should I enroll in ISR University?
A: The goal of ISR University is to transform training through the innovative use of technology and online resources to deliver agile, student-centric, and customer-focused courseware anywhere, at any time. We use learning management systems (LMS), government and industry-compliant software, a “bring your own device” delivery capability, and certified instructors to rapidly build and deliver developmental opportunities to each learner. ISR University leverages decades of operational, in-classroom, and individualized training experience to maximize student-based learning and knowledge-sharing in a virtual setting. We optimize the same instructional best practices that have made us thought leaders and expert practitioners in C4ISR in-person training adapted to the online learning ecosystem. These allow us to engage students on a higher level, delve deeper into concepts, and achieve a mid-level Analyst II or comprehension (3C) level.
Q: What precautions are you taking due to the coronavirus pandemic?
A: To ensure the health and safety of our students and instructors, we have transitioned to online-only courses. Our students receive live virtual instruction of up to two hours per module over our video conferencing system. We also use targeted readings, discussion boards, and practical application exercises to aid discovery and deeper exploration of concepts.
Q: What qualifications do your instructors have?
A: All ISR University instructors have decades of experience and are considered Subject Matter Experts in their given fields. They have been certified as instructors by the US military (or equivalent). Our instructors have also been certified in active-learning, universal course design, and learning disabilities awareness and accommodations to create a meaningful, student-centric learning environment.
Q: How are your courses taught?
A: We employ a variety of synchronous and asynchronous learning techniques to maximize facilitator to student interaction and increase retention, including:
• Live-Virtual Instruction: Our expert instructors actively teach students using videoconferencing for up to two hours per module.
• Micro-Learning: Each module has micro-lessons that break down difficult or overarching topics into smaller chunks.
• Gamification: We leverage embedded games to help students retain information. Their scores are recorded on a class leader board, spurring their desire to repeat the game until they get a high score.
• Practical Application Exercises: We use meaningful practical exercises and assessment devices designed to translate into higher order capabilities of application, evaluation, synthesis, and analysis.
Q: How long are your courses?
A: Instead of defining success in our course by hours in the classroom, we focus on the outcome – the impartation of knowledge. Each course has a number of anticipated active learning hours (LVC, readings, discussion posts, etc.) that must be completed over a set period of time but allows maximum flexibility for varying student schedules and organizational ops tempo. The course structure also allows motivated students to accelerate completion by dedicating more focused time on the material and demonstrating mastery of the concepts more quickly.
Q: What do I get at the end of the course?
A: Because all of ISR University’s courses are tied to customer and industry-standard requirements, we provide meaningful, documentable outcomes that can be easily transferred into your system of record. Students receive certificates that capture learned competencies, skills, or knowledge that meets your learning requirements. For the Air Force, and the DoD writ large, our courses are mapped to training line items at the appropriate developmental level.
Q: How are students graded?
A: Students are graded using our Integrity ISR Critical Thinking Rubric – each rubric is tailored to the specific course. It complements our approach of student-centered learning and meaningful, in-depth performance- based assessments designed to increase retention and demonstrate critical thinking and analysis.
Q: Can attendance be taken or monitored?
A: Yes, both. Because our courses use SCORM files on the LMS, we can monitor students’ hours spent on the LMS and attendance is taken during live virtual instruction settings. We can also require multi-factor authentication if desired to ensure student identity for assessments.
Q: If I am having trouble in a course, how do I contact the instructor?
A: There are multiple ways to contact your instructors. Students can email instructors, “visit” them during office hours using our video conferencing system, or even call them. Additionally, if students are having problems with our learning management system, a help desk is available around the clock via phone or chat.
Q: Can I retake a module?
A: Absolutely. Our structure makes it easy for a student to re-take a module to increase knowledge and allow a student to address areas requiring more focus. Our modules are designed to also offer immediate feedback if a student struggles on a particular section in order to advance their understanding of the concepts.
Q: What is universal design?
A: Universal design is a proactive approach to remove environmental barriers to learning. It recognizes that all students learn differently and provides multiple tools to enhance concept comprehension and multiple methods to demonstrate knowledge. We offer on-demand videos of our instructors, transcripts, text-to-speech/speech-to-text technologies, micro-lessons, and even oral presentations. These tools and accommodations are frequently only available to students with an identified learning disability. We believe that all students benefit from their availability and may be used in different ways to enhance learning.
Q: Can I access the material on my mobile device?
A: All our Learning Management System platforms can be accessed on computers, tablets, or even smart phones, meeting our students where they are and when they need it (on command/on demand). This enables a learning “anywhere, anytime” environment while relieving pressure on overtaxed .gov and VPN- required networks.
Q: Does your LMS provide adequate security to meet DoD requirements?
A: We use the exact same LMS that Air University does. Canvas provides DoD-compliant security and privacy protocols and HTTPS for all communication to encrypt inbound and outbound traffic. Canvas user data is stored in highly stable, secure, and geographically dispersed Amazon Web Services data centers using industry-standard OAuth2 protocols to secure underlying data and manage secure access.
Q: Are your files SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) compliant?
A: All ISR University files and courseware are loaded onto our LMS with an authoring tool that is SCORM compliant. This creates an interoperable learning ecosystem that is interactive, reliable, higher quality, and provides meaningful metrics on student progress and performance. SCORM file compliance also enables ISR University to rapidly move files across multiple LMS platforms to meet user needs.
Q: I have a learning disability. What accommodations do you offer?
Our accommodations include (but are not limited to):
• All students benefit: we use the principals of universal design for all courses, which ensures that the accommodations offered to students with learning disabilities are available to all learners.
• Students with learning disabilities often require extra time to complete tasks and require frequent breaks. Online learning allows them to work at their own pace.
• We record all live virtual instruction sessions, so students can access the instruction as many times as needed to fully understand the materials.
• Our live virtual platform provides closed captioning, so students, particularly those with auditory processing issues, can both read and hear the materials.
• Transcripts are also available after the live virtual sessions.
• All materials are provided in platforms that allow text-to-speech or speech-to-text translation.
• Our course assessments provide multiple ways for students to demonstrate concept mastery, including oral presentations.
• Our instructors have office hours for one-on-one tutoring and can tailor accommodations to student needs.