Jan 1, 2002
Distance learning techniques can improve the efficiency of the Army's processes for educating its officers and NCOs. This report summarizes the results of a project carried out by RAND Arroyo Center (documented in RAND reports MR-1317-A and MR-1318-A) that studied ways in which distance learning (DL) technologies could be employed to enhance Army personnel readiness. Distance learning technologies can be used, for example, to improve the efficiency of strategies designed to alleviate shortages of enlisted personnel in key military occupational specialties. DL can also enhance personnel stability and reduce the need for officers and noncommissioned officers to make frequent moves to complete their required training. The research concludes that the Army should make improving personnel readiness a primary goal of the DL program, and it recommends changes to the Army's investment plans to support this goal. For example, the Army should enhance investment in courseware relative to infrastructure, such as developing courseware for reclassifying active component soldiers from surplus to shortage military occupational specialties. The Army should also employ the most flexible DL training methods to support this goal, e.g., expand development of asynchronous courseware in officer and NCO professional development courses.
DL Can Enhance Existing Strategies for Alleviating Personnel Shortages
DL Can Enhance Leader Stability and Availability As Part of Army Professional Development Courses
Potential Benefits of DL Extend to Other Areas
Conclusion and Policy Implications