The Virtual Campus
for the National Emergency Training Center (NETC)

Dennis Hickethier
Chief, Distance Learning Branch, Training Division
United States Fire Administration
Emergency Management Institute

April 2, 2003

Transcript (HTML)
Transcript (MS Word)
Slides: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
About the Virtual Campus

Related Websites:
NETC Virtual Campus

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What is it? A learning management system (LMS) that houses online courses for the National Fire Academy and the Emergency Management Institute. Lotus Learning Space is the LMS being used to power the virtual campus.

How do I get to it? Go to: Select "NETC Virtual Campus" from left menu and follow instructions.

What does it offer? Online courses from the National Fire Academy and the Emergency Management Institute. Only a couple of EMI's 41 independent study courses are currently available on the virtual campus.

Can anyone take courses? Yes, but each course is intended for people with specific training needs.

Is there any cost? No

Are all the courses interactive? Not at this time. Some courses are simply the printed materials available in portable document format (PDF) files.

Why is the enrollment process different for the schools? The National Fire Academy (NFA) started with this system for offering their online courses. The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) has been using a different system and process for many years and is changing to the Virtual Campus. Eventually both schools will use the same process.

Why is EMI changing?

  1. EMI wants to offer randomly generated tests from a pool of questions.

  2. EMI wants to use shareable content objects in its courses and needs to use a learning management system to do so appropriately.

  3. EMI wants to eliminate a separate database for independent study enrollments and the Virtual Campus will interface directly with the new NETC Admission's System.

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Chief, Distance Learning Branch

Mr. Dennis Hickethier serves as Chief of the Distance Learning Branch of the Training Division, U.S. Fire Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The branch is responsible for managing the Emergency Management Institute Independent Study Program, all Internet training activities for the Training Division, and coordinating training activities with FEMA Regional Training Managers and State Training Officers, as well as conducting specific courses such as "Alternate Delivery Methods."

Previously, Mr. Hickethier served as an education specialist in the Office of the Superintendent of the Emergency Management Institute (EMI). In this capacity, he was the coordinator for FEMA's Master Trainer Program and project officer for EMI's Internet Web site. He also served as course manager and instructor for several training courses and was responsible for the development of the Senior Officials' Workshop on Domestic Preparedness. He was instrumental in the development of EMI's first computer-based multimedia exercise simulation, using video and audio formats, and EMI's first Web-based course. He also worked on special projects in support of training. Mr. Hickethier attended the U.S. Army War College, as FEMA's representative, graduating in 1995.

Before joining EMI, Mr. Hickethier worked 17 years for the Army Continuing Education System. He served as a guidance counselor, education services officer, and education specialist. During his career in Army education services, Mr. Hickethier was responsible for providing soldiers with quality education programs using a variety of delivery methods and time schedules. He also worked closely with Army training personnel to design and deliver training that was related to soldiers' job skills.

Mr. Hickethier earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin in 1971. He graduated with an M.A. in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1972, and has completed several graduate courses in management.