ERIC Number: ED483249
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jul
Military Education: DOD Needs To Develop Performance Goals and Metrics for Advanced Distributed Learning in Professional Military Education. Report to the Ranking Minority Member Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives. GAO-04-873
US Government Accountability Office
As part of its transformation to prepare the armed forces to meet current and future challenges, the Department of Defense (DOD) is expanding its use of advanced distributed learning (ADL) techniques in senior- and intermediate-level officer professional military education (PME).To determine whether DOD uses a systematic process for evaluating the results of ADL application, this study examined DOD?s metrics for assessing program effectiveness, compared DOD?s criteria for converting courses to ADL with those of private sector institutions, and identified challenges to ADL implementation. Researchers reviewed and assessed policies and guidance of several DOD offices responsible for overseeing PME activities, studied experience in the private education sector and other parts of the government in measuring the effectiveness of education programs, and surveyed 437 current students and graduates of senior- and intermediate-level PME programs regarding their PME experience. Overall, DOD does not have specific performance goals and metrics with which to assess ADL effectiveness in PME. Although there are established frameworks for assessing program effectiveness by focusing on metrics for learning outcomes, DOD?s oversight focuses on educational inputs such as facilities, student to faculty ratios, and student body composition. Criteria for converting PME courses and curricula to ADL vary by school and military service, are based on subjective choices as to which content is suited for online delivery, and are focused solely on nonresident programs. DOD?s implementation of ADL programs for PME compares favorably with private-sector institutions. Cultural, technological, and resource challenges affect ADL implementation. Five appendixes present study scope and methodology; methodology for the survey of nonresident PME students and graduates; survey responses; ADL applications and additional features of nonresident programs; and comments from DOD. Contains five appenhree tables.
Descriptors: Military Training, Military Personnel, Teaching Methods, Program Effectiveness, Student Attitudes, Surveys, Evaluation Methods
U.S. Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street NW, Room LM, Washington, D.C., 20548. Tel: 202-512-6000; Fax: 202-512-6061.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.