Military Review English Edition November-December 2015 - Page 120

the operational environments where they deploy. With feedback from monitoring, the leadership can then make changes to the curriculum, learning environment, and instructional approach to ensure mission accomplishment. As mentioned earlier, the program had been receiving generally positive feedback from students about the critical thinking classes but generally disappointing feedback from the supported commanders about the team members’ performance on the job. The training and education directorate’s leadership came to realize that although monitoring students’ reactions to their classes was important, they needed to have a more robust assessment process that would help guide effective change. Therefore, the training staff created an assessment (Photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Hughes, Task Force Wolverine PAO) process based on Donald L. Malal Loynab, a human terrain analyst with Combined Joint Task Force 101, teaches an Afghan child English during a literacy program 28 October 2010 at the Egyptian Field Hospital on Kirkpatrick’s model for evalBagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The program, which Loynab helped start, was facilitated by uating training programs. In members of the CJTF-101 Human Terrain Analysis Team to educate children who visited the hospital for Women and Children’s Day twice a week. addition to the four levels of assessment included in the and likely for all Army leaders, these skills are essential. Kirkpatrick model, they added a “level 0.”15 The training designers therefore ensured that exercises Training assessment level 0: preexisting knowlincluded some aspect of execution. Finally, to add to the edge and skills. The program needed to identify challenge, they added an ethical dilemma to the critical incoming students’ individual and collective strengths thinking task by introducing disconfirming information and weaknesses with regard to critical thinking. This after the commander had been briefed and had fully information would help instructors avoid wasting endorsed the students’ initial conclusions. time on topics for which students were not ready or were already proficient. Every class needed to achieve A Comprehensive Assessment maximum effectiveness and seek ways to accelerate Program to Facilitate learning in every way possible because the training Organizational Agility was limited to ten weeks. The fifth and final key to teaching critical thinking The program designers adopted a critical thinkskills is to use a comprehensive assessment program ing pretest administered as part of student orienthat enables the leadership to continuously monitor tation. They used a modified version of the HCTA the students in class, the graduates in the field, and that focused on the three high-priority critical 114 November-December 2015  MILITARY REVIEW