Foreign Service Institute (FSI) – Multimedia Labs (MML)
The Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI) is the Federal Government’s primary training institution for officers and support personnel of the U.S. foreign affairs community. FSI prepares American diplomats and other professionals to advance U.S. foreign affairs interests overseas and in Washington. FSI provides more than 600 courses—including some 70 foreign languages—to more than 100,000 enrollees a year from the State Department and more than 40 other government agencies and the military service branches.
FSI’s programs include training for the professional development of Foreign Service administrative, consular, economic/commercial, political, and public diplomacy officers; for specialists in the fields of information management, office management, security, and medical practitioners and nurses; for Foreign Service Nationals who work at U.S. posts around the world; and for Civil Service employees of the State Department and other agencies. Ranging in length from one day to two years, courses are designed to promote successful performance in each professional assignment, to ease the adjustment to other countries and cultures, and to enhance the leadership and management capabilities of the U.S. foreign affairs community.
Scope of Work
The Department of State awarded a multi-year contract to Ventura to provide Training and IT Support Services for the The Instructional Support Division (ISD) of FSI. Under this contract, Ventura is responsible for the administration, maintenance and technical support of the ISD Development network and four FSI Multimedia Laboratories, providing training and customer support services to thousands of users. Among the most important tasks Ventura performs under this contract are the following:
- Provide hands-on support to language instructors to develop, organize, update and access teaching resources.
- Monitor lab use and application utilization; interact with students and instructors on a daily basis.
- Monitor individual computer use and access, providing real time hands-on support and analysis of resource use, guiding students to the appropriate available resource for effective language learning.
- Use of emergent social media platforms for language learning, including but not limited to use of QR codes for interactivity, Rapid Rote flashcards, and Virtuoso/Soloist lab technology software.
- Classroom and blending learning sessions to train on Activity Builder, a proprietary authoring tool for the development of language resources.
- Training sessions on ISD and lab services and resources such as media duplication, curriculum tracking, and access to the FSI Network (FSI NET).
- Effective use of social media tools and applications such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikis and Blogs to provide supplemental learning opportunities for external self-study.
- Instruction on the use of surveys and analysis of feedback to update and improve resource content and deployment.
- Sessions on the creation, management and deployment of pedagogically-sound multimedia resources for language learning, utilizing standardized applications such as Rapid Rote and Hot Potatoes.
- “Train the Trainer” sessions on the use of Sony Virtuoso/Soloist Digital Lab hardware and software application systems, enabling instructors to perform critical monitoring, training and assessment for up to 37 students at one time.
- Daily operation of hardware and software functions.
- Server administration and maintenance, including daily and weekly backups configured and monitored to meet archival and SOP requirements.
- Software and hardware installations and log reports to provide a systematic and cost-effective approach to licensing, application usage, version control, and access.
- Provide customer service support to FSI development staff and front office personnel, including but not limited to troubleshooting of IT issues, updating software and hardware, and testing equipment components.
- Maintain, update, and test ISD’s IT Contingency Plan documentation.
Ventura’s lab trainers and computer specialists conduct hundreds of workshops, demonstrations, and seminars per year. Our trainers reach an annual audience of over 1,200 instructors, representing 70 languages – including Arabic, Russian, Dari, Chinese, Urdu, and Spanish. Our trainers are highly proficient in the latest technologies and social media trends, which provides diplomats with the knowledge and skills required to accomplish their mission overseas more effectively.
This project operates, and has been assessed at CMMI Maturity Level 2, which certifies the consistency, discipline and commitment of the Ventura team to well defined and managed processes that have met or exceeded our customer’s expectations.
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