Evaluating the effectiveness of a distance learning training course for the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter 67T-20 level military occupational specialty
Kenneth Wayne Barnard, Oklahoma State University, United States
Oklahoma State University . Awarded
Scope and method of study. The purpose was to evaluate and compare distance learning delivered training outcomes and costs that involved hands-on skill performance factors to that of a resident delivered course while maintaining U.S. Army course standards. Participants in the distance delivered training included 11 students from the Kansas Army National Guard, and six students from the Iowa Army National Guard at distance locations in Salina, Kansas, and Boone, Iowa, respectively. There were two Kansas students that did not complete the training, one for academic reasons, and one for a change in civilian employment that required an immediate out of state move. A total of 15 soldiers completed the distance learning course. There were 33 participants at the resident school site in the U.S. Army Aviation Logistic School, Fort Eustis, Virginia. All resident students completed the course. Both classes maintained course standards in hours of instruction (310), assistant instructor to student (1:4) and equipment to student (1:6) ratios. The distance learning course was delivered on seven weekends via two-way audiovisual equipment and two-15 day Annual Training resident (face to face with the primary instructors) periods at Salina, Kansas, for a total course length, of nine months. The resident course was conducted over a continuous ten week period. T-tests were used to test a null hypothesis of no significant difference in mean test score results between the distance learning and resident students.
Findings and conclusions. The course standards were met. The five objective exams' mean scores for the course subjects were 93% for the distance class and 98% for the resident class. The t-test showed there was a statistically significant difference between the distance learning and resident groups' scores, P(T<=t) two tail 0.000107. However, both distance learning and resident students exceeded the 70% minimum U.S. Army academic standard for course graduation. The travel and per diem expenses to attend the resident course were $7401 higher (per soldier) than the actual costs to deliver the distance learning course. None of the participating distance learning students could attend training in residence. Therefore, the distance learning delivered course retained 15 experienced soldiers in a critical aviation field who would not have otherwise been retained in their National Guard units.
Barnard, K.W. Evaluating the effectiveness of a distance learning training course for the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter 67T-20 level military occupational specialty. Ph.D. thesis, Oklahoma State University.
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