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Distributed learning (DL) is a key element of the Army's training strategy, and the Army has ambitious goals for expanding the future use of DL and for changing how it is developed and delivered. Program-level evaluation of DL can play an essential role in accomplishing those goals and in identifying strategic directions for the overall program. This report describes a series of studies designed to develop and test new tools and metrics to assess training and to document the impact of Army DL courses at the program level. More specifically, the studies examined soldiers' experiences in DL and knowledge retention of DL material in training that had both DL and resident phases. The project also assessed the capabilities of Army information systems to support efficient data collection for DL evaluation. Results provide information about the current state of Army DL and point to the need for changes in policies and procedures to improve its effectiveness. These studies also demonstrate the feasibility of evaluating DL within the Army and suggest that a more comprehensive program of assessment, better supported by the Army's information systems, could provide major benefits to The Army DL Program.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Surveys of Students' Experiences in DL

  • Chapter Three

    Knowledge Retention of DL Material in the Phased Approach to Training

  • Chapter Four

    Feasibility of Using Army Information Systems to Collect Training Evaluation Data

  • Chapter Five

    Conclusion

  • Appendix A

    Nongraduate Survey

  • Appendix B

    Training Circumstances for Nongraduates

  • Appendix C

    Graduate Survey

  • Appendix D

    Graduate Survey Participant Characteristics

  • Appendix E

    DL Training Circumstances for Graduates

  • Appendix F

    Revised Nongraduate Survey

  • Appendix G

    Revised Graduate Survey

  • Appendix H

    Scoring Procedures for Student Surveys

  • Appendix I

    Questions for Semi-Structured Interviews with SMEs About Army Information Systems

  • Appendix J

    Service-Oriented Architecture

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by RAND Arroyo Center.

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