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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How E-Learning is Changing the Nature of Combat


A Patriot Breeze by Dr. M. Abel

Technology is here to stay while the development of higher levels of skill to effectively handle that technology is important.  A paper by Eparu & Atanasiu (2014) discusses the need to raise technological abilities through online training by encouraging higher levels of military systems development. The human ability to develop strategy and make political decisions is enhanced through proper systems and technological knowledge that allow for a more collaborative response to threats. 

The nature of the battlefield has changed. Data and information can be drawn from thousands of data points to understand the situation and the potential for threat. Understanding how data can lead to better conclusions of current and future activities is important for improved performance. 

The far majority of militaries are simply not prepared to measure, collect and properly use new information effectively. Misinterpretations of the data, improper measurements, and a lack of capabilities to act decisively on that information appear prevalent. 

Officers have some difficulty in understanding this macro data or solve problems using that data in unique ways. More complexity requires a different way of handling competing information, weighing and balancing options, and coming to conclusions in difficult situations. 

Those decisions also impact the specific use of technology on the ground level. There is a natural chain-reaction throughout the battlefield as new data is decided on and those decisions are spread quickly to change specific activities. Individual soldiers will need to use technology based equipment to respond quickly and effectively to emerging threats. 

You can see this example in enemy troop movements that are not yet completely formulated but are nevertheless represented sparsely in the data. Officers will need to interpret the change of events, make a decision that counters risks and raises opportunities, and then send their decisions to multiple battlefield components that use their individual tools to respond. 

The author’s conclusion is that all modern militaries update knowledge using e-learning methods. The development of higher functioning ranges through the use of verbal, decision-making, information gathering, analysis and a whole host of contributing skills that can be taught online. Game simulation is only one of the skills needed to accomplish military goals. E-learning programs can be more effective through developing learning policy, measuring performance, applying learning resources, maintaining learning standards, and satisfying users. 

Eparu, D. & Atanasiu, M. (April 24-25,2014) New training for successful military action. The 10th International Scientific Conference eLearning and Software for Education

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