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Developing Army Leaders: Lessons for Teaching Critical Thinking in Distributed, Resident, and Mixed-Delivery Venues

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Research rept.

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The Command and General Staff School CGSS within the Command and General Staff College provides the Command and General Staff Officer Course CGSOC formerly called Intermediate Level Education, which is a key component of the U.S. Armys system for developing these and other critical knowledge, skills, and abilities in its officer corps. The Common Core, which is the first phase of CGSOC, is taught in three venues a resident course taught at Fort Leavenworth and at satellite campuses The Army School System TASS, primarily for Reserve Component officers, taught by the U.S. Army Reserve Commands 97th Brigade and its three subordinate battalions and Advanced Distributed Learning ADL, a web-based, self-paced course that uses interactive multimedia instruction. CGSOC consists of nine blocks of instruction taught as stand-alone modules in the resident course and organized into three phases in TASS and ADL. In response to the interests of Army leadership, this study sought to answer the following questions about the Common Core, focusing on the 2009-2010 academic year 1 Based on current methods of evaluation, how effective is the Common Core, and to what extent are there differences among delivery venues 2 Based on current measures, how can course delivery be improved and 3 How well do current methods of evaluation gauge course success and point to needed improvements To answer these questions, we analyzed available data from CGSS, including responses to student surveys, grades on assignments, and student characteristics. In addition, we conducted a quasi-experimental study to assess consistency in grading among faculty members.

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  • Humanities and History
  • Psychology
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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