Effectiveness of Distance Learning for the Battle Staff NCO Course
Final rept. Nov 1999-Nov 2000
PERSONNEL DECISIONS RESEARCH INST INC ARLINGTON VA
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This study compared graduates of a course taught through the Sergeants Major Academy by distance learning with graduates of the same course taught in residence, as usual. Unlike previous evaluations of distance learning, the measures used to compare groups were not students immediate reactions to the course nor their end-of-course test scores but measures delayed until the graduates were on the job 1 a written test of their job knowledge, and 2 job performance ratings by their supervisors. Special care was taken to insure these measures were reliable and valid the 42-item written test included only material covered in the course and the supervisors were motivated and trained on the technique of making accurate performance ratings. Knowledge test scores for a total of 172 NCOs and performance ratings for a total of 145 NCOs were collected from 8 sites. Results indicate that the different formats for the course, distance learning versus residence, had no reliable effect on either measure. NCOs received nearly the same knowledge test scores and supervisory ratings, on average, regardless of how the course was presented, supporting the conclusion that distance learning technology, as an alternative to residence-based training, does not involve a sacrifice of graduate quality.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations