Microworld Simulations: A New Dimension in Training Army Logistics Management Skills
Jan 1, 2004
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This report summarizes and extends RAND research on process-oriented training for Army combat service support (CSS) command and control (C2). RAND developed and piloted an approach to CSS C2 training involving new training structure, content, and methods. The goals of the training were to emphasize a proactive approach to materiel distribution, enable trainees to understand the dynamic complexity of distribution management, and use teaching methods that enable transfer of knowledge and skills to field operations. To achieve these goals, the authors used microworld models, which give trainees the opportunity to formulate courses of action and understand how their actions affect the operation and related system components. The authors summarize the results of research that investigated the effectiveness of microworld training. In brief, the results show that while content knowledge improved after training, the gains appeared to be modest. The observed increment in performance could have been due to the content and structure of the test, which may not have captured learners' knowledge. The authors therefore offer recommendations to assess learning outcomes based on a model that uses a multidimensional, objective approach to measuring learning and includes cognitive, skill-based, and affective measures at multiple points in time. In addition to offering a comprehensive set of evaluation measures, this approach can pinpoint specific aspects of the training that are problematic. The authors also propose changing the mode of training and test administration to personal computer, which will enhance efficiency, facilitate training at a distance, and enable learning on demand. Finally, the authors recommend providing incentives for the CSS centers and schools with responsibility for a function to assist the field units in developing training and assessing training effectiveness.
Assessing Learning from Training
Mode of Administration
Training and Assessment Development
Sample Multiple Choice Knowledge Test Items
Self-Assessment of Knowledge
Motivation to Learn
The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and performed within the RAND Arroyo Center.
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