On-line Versus Face-to-Face Education: Utilizing Technology to Increase Effectiveness
Rept. for Jun 2011-May 2012
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
In 2001, the Command and General Staff College CGSC shifted away from a selection process for Army Majors to attend Intermediate Level Education ILE of Professional Military Education PME. Providing this education across the field invests in the future potential of Army mid-level leaders and equips the force with the requisite education to encourage operationally capable and adaptive leaders. However, operational requirements since the implementation of Universal ILE created backlogs in personnel waiting to attend ILE. The organizational culture focus on rewarding operational experience over education aided in building the backlog. Additionally, budget constraints on the horizon and guidance from Army leadership create an environment that mandates institutional change to confront the challenge of educating mid-grade officers. On-line education provides a potential answer to the backlog the Army has identified for ILE and provides flexibility for Field Grade Officer management. Several criteria are required to analyze the overall benefit gained from expanding on-line programs. First, adult education theory provides a multitude of philosophies for achieving learning outcomes. However, Andragogy and learner-centered education provided in on-line education present excellent results. Secondly, the cost of on-line education compared to face-to-face education must be evaluated. The ability to utilize existing distance education infrastructure, modeled after existing civilian programs, and save on traditional face-to-face education costs makes on-line education an attractive option. However, on-line education should only be pursued if it provides a similar quality education as face-to-face learning in its ability to produce officers capable of successfully leading at the operational level. Therefore, an analysis of the potential tradeoffs in overall course quality becomes necessary.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Computer Programming and Software
- Military Forces and Organizations