Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 43

NCO 2020 Facilitator dashboard tracks student progress. Team A Home station Pretest All student graduates Self-paced or tiered instruction Course enrollment Individual tablet issued Team B Team C Exit exam NCOES* graduation Team D *NCOES—Noncommissioned Officer Education System File management NCOES Self-Paced Learning Model course. Group learning and interaction, live or virtual, remain key features within SPL courses because social learning still has tremendous power to impart both explicit and tacit knowledge through interactions among learners. More important, learning is, fundamentally, a human endeavor, so course design remains an important role for the course facilitator, who guides the learners’ experiences through positive and constructive feedback. Finally, all learners should take an exit exam or participate in a capstone activity at the end of a course as a summative assessment of learning and skill development before attending a completion ceremony. The figure above provides a rudimentary conceptual illustration of the flow of activities within a self-paced NCOES course. Conclusion In NCOES, SPL is an effective way to apply the learner-centric and adaptive learning principles associated with the Army Learning Concept 2015. As the Army looks to better manage training resources, SPL can provide some cost efficiencies, streamline courses, and ensure higher-quality educational experiences for all NCOs. Courses using SPL can tailor and adapt instruction to fit the needs of students while making better use of classroom time for meaningful discussion, exercises, and peer-to-peer interactions based on course objectives and learning goals. In addition, SPL can yield higher levels of satisfaction among NCOs by providing the appropriate level of challenge and dynamism that are characteristic of a learner-centric educational environment. NOTES 1. Blaise Cornell-d’Echert, “Beyond Training: New Ideas for Military Forces Operating Beyond War,” New Directions for Adult & Continuing Education, 2012(136)(Winter 2012), 17-27. The author argues that the military training (and education) system of the last 60 years did little to promote enhanced thinking skills. 2. Milton H. Maier and C. Dennis Fink, Army Research Institute research memorandum, Analysis of a Self-Paced Instructional Program in the Clerical Field, March 1975, http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/ MILITARY REVIEW  September-October 2014 fulltext/u2/a076780.pdf. 3. Robert D. Baldwin, Robert E. Cliborn, and Robert J. Foskett, U.S. Army Research Institute technical report, The Acquisition of Aircraft Visual Recognition Skills, 1976, http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/ fulltext/u2/a035863.pdf. Lower aptitude men learned more under lock-step training, while higher aptitude trainees learned more with self-paced instruction on training tasks. 41