Acquisition and Retention of Soldiering Skills
Final rept. Jan 1983-Sep 1984
AMERICAN INSTITUTES FOR RESEARCH WASHINGTON DC
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This report provides effective training within fixed time and resource constraints, unit commanders and trainers must have reliable information on which soldiers need training, on which tasks should be trained, and on when training should be scheduled. The key to providing such information is a method that generates estimates of unit retention of proficiency in individual tasks during intervals of no practice. With such a method, unit commanders and trainers should be able to organize training schedules that optimize unit readiness. The goal of this project has been to develop such a method. The Users Decision Aid UDA allows the trainer to estimate task proficiency levels at a particular time and project the rate of proficiency loss over a 12-month interval. The UDA was developed from, and validated against, actual retention data collected from soldiers serving in several Military Occupational Specialties 63N, 11B, 13B, and performing many different tasks. The UDA requires the user to answer a series of questions about the characteristics of tasks that have been shown to be related to their retention. Following the completion of the ratings, the user calculates a summary score which is converted to a unit proficiency estimate via a table look-up procedure. The UDA exists in both a paper-and-pencil and a computerized version, with the latter version suitable for implementation on an Apple microcomputer. This report reviews the 3 years of the project, with particular attention to the Year III examination of acquisition and retention data collected from soldiers in MOS 13B.
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