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The Process of Curriculum Innovations in the Army
This report summarizes the major findings from a TRADOC-requested research project examining the implementation of the Army Learning Model (ALM) within the context of the Shot-in-the-Arm (SITA) project. As the ALM changes were viewed as innovations, the innovation literature was the conceptual foundation for the research. Ten Army courses were included: advanced individual training, noncommissioned officer professional development courses, and an officer basic course. Course managers, training developers, and instructors completed questionnaires and participated in focus groups. Graduates of one revised course also were tracked into their follow-on units. Courses differed in the final stage of progress from having implemented the course three times to never implementing the course, and the factors which facilitated and inhibited implementation were identified. The rate of implementation was positively affected by a quick feedback loop between training developers and instructors. The ALM concepts were viewed positively, although some ALM techniques were challenging (e.g., facilitation) and implementation was complicated by diversity of student knowledge. Key factors to sustaining changes such as instructor training also are discussed. Guidelines for curriculum developers within Army organizations are presented and stress the importance of decision-making and planning activities in which a plan to assess student performance is critical.
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