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This study looked at the potential effects of distance learning (DL) on the availability of soldiers and leaders to their assigned units, stability of assignments, and some aspects of institutional training costs. The authors examined the effects of DL in shortening both the residential and total training times of a number of the Army's professional development courses. They estimated the number of additional days students would be available to their units, comparing DL-supported course variants with current fully resident courses. Even after allowing for home-station study time (to complete DL requirements), DL can make a considerable contribution to soldier availability. Partial conversion of courses to DL will also unambiguously reduce the time that soldiers are away from their families, as well as the costs associated with temporary duty travel to resident courses. The study also offers insights into DL's potential to contribute to more general educational and professional development goals.

Table of Contents

  • Preface PDF

  • Figures PDF

  • Tables PDF

  • Summary PDF

  • Acknowledgements

    Acknowledgments PDF

  • Glossary PDF

  • Chapter One

    Introduction PDF

  • Chapter Two

    The Problem of Turbulence PDF

  • Chapter Three

    A DL Example: Captains Career Courses PDF

  • Chapter Four

    Extending the Analysis to TDY Courses PDF

  • Chapter Five

    Other Extensions of Distance Learning's Potential PDF

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusion PDF

  • References PDF

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This research was conducted within RAND's Arroyo Center.

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