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An important component of The Army Distributed Learning Program's (TADLP's) performance is the quality of its courses, which consist primarily of asynchronous interactive multimedia instruction (IMI). However, there are no current efforts to assess course quality at the program level. This report outlines a comprehensive approach to evaluating the quality of IMI within TADLP. In addition, it describes how a program-level evaluation program developed at RAND might be implemented within the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). RAND assessed the quality of the learning experience in a sample of recently fielded IMI courses, using criteria based on standards in the training development community. The analysis identifies strengths and deficiencies in technical, production quality, and pedagogical aspects of IMI courseware. This research demonstrates a feasible method for evaluation that can supply TRADOC with metrics concerning IMI quality, points to directions for needed improvements, and provides a basis for assessing improvement initiatives. The authors recommend adoption of this approach, as well as further development of other components of a comprehensive program of IMI training evaluation.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Quality-Evaluation Approaches and Their Usage in TADLP

  • Chapter Three

    RAND's Approach to IMI Evaluation

  • Chapter Four

    IMI Evaluation Findings

  • Chapter Five

    Conclusions and Implications for TADLP's Assessment of IMI

  • Appendix A

    Courseware Evaluation Criteria

  • Appendix B

    Summary of Specific Changes for Improving the Quality of IMI Courseware

Research conducted by

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

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