Education and training is moving forward quickly and changes just about every day. While we once used paper books we now use e-books. Where training was typically covered in face-to-face settings there has been increasing use of online training methods. Research has shown that the use of self-paced virtual training increased military effectiveness. It is also cost effective and helps in balancing budgets.
Research into the use of self-paced study with multimedia interactivity led to improved cost effective training (Wang & Egudo, 2018). When self-paced programs used sufficient technology, had parallel vs only sequential learning, and were developed well can teach military students the technical skills they need without as much cost as traditional methods.
As I see it there are three advantages which include:
This can be important in situations where troops are moving around a lot or need to update their skills while located out in the field. Portability means they can use learning devices, phones, etc... that allow them to continue to develop their skills while working. No matter where they go, the training can go with them.
Budgets are also a big concern for the public. As budgets become constrained and public stakeholders demand wise use of money, they will naturally want costs to decrease. Under this pressure it is beneficial to implement online training where it is feasible to do so. Much of the information that is used on the ground is learned in the classroom.
Online self-paced learning also offers opportunities for accountability. Not only accountability of the overseeing learning organization but also of the student that must show he/she has mastered certain skills before moving on. Online courses have developed powerful assessment tools to ensure some level of learning has occurred.
Today's world is different than yesterdays, and tomorrows will continue to change. Online self-paced learning is opening up new opportunities to create higher levels of portable learning that fits within government budgets and can encourage accountability. Face-to-face will continue to be an important part of military learning but by implementing new forms of education the military can save some of their budgets for other needed activities.
Wang, J. & Egudo, R. (2018). Introduce self-paced learning in military technical trades training. International Journal of Adult Vocational Education and Technology, 9 (4).