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Provider Spotlight – PABCO Gypsum

When designing courses as an AIA CES Provider, instructional design and relevant course content are key factors in providing successful education for AIA members. Yet, collecting feedback from students and performing additional research about adult learner preferences can improve the overall effectiveness of your courses. Gathering course evaluations from students is beneficial as it can pinpoint learning needs and encourage excellence in education. Instructors become accountable for their courses and feedback can help refine course topics.

This month, AIA CES asked PABCO Gypsum, a product manufacturer based in California, to highlight their best practices in administering courses to architects as part of the AIA Continuing Education System. Steven Jones, PE, CSI, a Sales Manager with PABCO Gypsum shared his commitment to educating AIA members and the importance of providing high quality courses with cutting-edge industry research. In his courses, Jones considers the continuing education needs of architects and tailors his courses to highlighting information about PABCO Gypsum’s products that is applicable to an architect’s practice. He refines courses based on course evaluations to address issues as they arise and validate improvements in the learning process.

In an interview, Jones provided AIA CES with valuable insight about PABCO Gypsum’s enthusiastic and thoughtful approach to continuing education for AIA members.

In what ways does the PABCO Gypsum contribute to continuing education and the AIA CES Provider network?

PABCO Gypsum, as part of the Pacific Coast Building Products family of companies, contributes via our "AIA CES" registered courses.  We are pleased to have the opportunity to present industry-specific topics to the architectural community, topics which allow them to better understand how gypsum wallboard products are continually evolving to better meet specific goals. For example, mold and mildew resistant products, impact and abuse resistant gypsum wallboard products are playing an increasingly more important role in building design. We assist the AIA and its members in keeping them up to date with the latest industry technology and product developments.

What techniques do you employ when teaching a class to adult learners?

During the non-AIA CES portion of the presentation, we provide actual PABCO Gypsum product samples, PABCO technical and marketing literature, such as our recent CONSTRUCTION GUIDE listing numerous fire-resistive assemblies listed by hour ratings and STC (Sound Transmission Class) values. 

Following up the presentation, we ask the participants to complete an instructor and course evaluation. This effort provides us with valuable feedback to ascertain how we are doing, and what we can do to continually improve our course content and delivery. 

Does PABCO Gypsum offer a variety of course formats to appeal to different learning styles?

We conduct two types of courses. A typical forum is at the architect’s offices, and the other is at our state-of-the-art manufacturing plant outside of Las Vegas, Nevada whereby we offer an AIA CES accredited course on how gypsum board products are manufactured, from the quarry, to the truck or rail car.

What are your practices with course development? How do you refine/change your courses based on new research or technology?

Our course development is mainly driven by the needs of the architect. In other words, what topics/courses can we develop to best assist the architectural community in better understanding the technical and application aspects related to the various products we manufacture. Examples include the ever-evolving dynamics of fire-resistive assemblies, changes in mold resistive and impact resistance products, to name but a few.

Our courses are continually being refined within the parameters of the AIA CES rules for modifying existing courses.  We review courses to maintain an up to date informative presentation with the latest in ASTM, ICC, IgCC, GA (Gypsum Association), etc. specifications, as well as the latest industry trends in product development.

We consult with our extensive distributor and contractor network to identify and keep abreast of current trends and issues. We ask them about their concerns, challenges, and questions they have during the planning, designing, bidding or construction of a project. Thus, we use this input and information to keep our AIA CES programs current with up to date relevant topics, thereby benefiting the architectural community. 

We participate in industry specific groups and attend trade shows to discuss and become aware of new trends in our industry, and get feedback on their specific concerns and needs. 

Thank you to PABCO Gypsum’s Steven Jones, PE, CSI for contributing to this piece.

We will be featuring a column devoted to AIA CES Providers each month. We are looking for Providers with a story or secret to share regarding course development, marketing, etc. Email to participate!


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