Over the years the Range Master Instructors have taught classes in a wide variety of facilities, some of which were perfectly suited to the seminar, others left some things to be desired. NROI requests feedback from students after each seminar to improve course content and delivery. Occasionally when the class was held in a less than ideal facility we hear about it, which is good feedback in and of itself, but it probably needs to be directed at the course organizer that picked the facility.
Some of the common complaints include:
- Room was too hot/cold
- Room was too small for the size of the class
- Screen or TV was too small
- External noise was distracting during the class
- Chairs were uncomfortable
- The range exercise was conducted outdoors in bad weather
The main thing to consider when it comes down to selecting a facility is whether or not it provides an atmosphere conducive to learning. Participants are giving up a weekend to attend the seminar, sometimes incurring travel expenses to be there. As such, it behooves everyone to provide a setting that does not detract from the learning environment.
Let’s look at some of the basic requirements:
- Room size: How big of a room depends on the size of the class. The room needs to be big enough for each student to be seated at a table with sufficient room to take notes and organize their class materials. Having an open space for the instructor and students to demonstrate RO techniques is extremely helpful. A 500 square foot room should be considered the minimum size for a 20 person class.
- Audio-Visual: The classroom portion of NROI seminars are largely based on PowerPoint presentations with embedded videos and exercises. Instructors bring a laptop, projector, and speaker but rely on the host club to provide a screen. In some instances the classroom is equipped with a flat screen TV. A good rule of thumb for a 20 person class is at least a 6’ x 6’ screen or a 60” TV. Size does matter in this instance. Instructors have also run into problems using the classroom’s computer that is connected to the room’s audiovisual equipment. Some of the seminar videos may not display properly depending on the computer’s operating system or AV equipment.
- Noise and other distractions: In the past, classes have been held at facilities where external noise can cause distractions or difficulty to hear the instructor. Examples include buildings on the range that are not insulated from noise coming from the shooting bays, highway or road noise, or even noise from the other part of the building such as the backroom of a sports bar. Large windows without sufficient shades to block the sun can also degrade the quality of the seminar.
- Range Facilities: It is important to remember that the learning environment extends to the range exercise in addition to the classroom. Having a high volume of shooting going on in adjacent bays or bad weather are things that make learning difficult. Relying on an outdoor range for the range exercise in the winter in a northern state is usually a plan based on hope. If the weather is iffy you may want to make arrangements to use an indoor range in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.