An assessment of the effectiveness of computer-based training for newly commissioned Surface Warfare Division officers
Bowman, William R.
Crawford, Alice M.
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The goal of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of the new SWOS-at-Sea training for newly commissioned surface warfare officers that was introduced in 2003. The new regime combined self-paced computer-based training (CBT) with on-the-job training (OJT) on-board an officer's ship. The study relied on a variety of analytical techniques, including a literature review of CBT and OJT training, interviews and focus groups with junior and senior surface warfare officers, and statistical analysis of test scores at the Surface Officer Division Officer Course (SWOSDOC). The literature review pointed out that no previous studies had analyzed a learning course that involved CBT when the student was also performing a full-time job. Nonetheless, the literature review noted that structured OJT is preferred to unstructured OJT, as in SWOS-at-Sea. Interviews also indicated that division officers prefer face-to-face learning and they felt they were trying to perform as division officers without the requisite skills. The statistical analysis of test scores at the SWOSDOC 'leveling' course found significant differences in performance between ship type, ship home port location, commissioning source, undergraduate major, and gender. The results highlighted significant differences in the learning environments aboard ships and suggested the need for additional research on training opportunities offered aboard ships.
Approved for public release; distribution unlimited.
NPS Report NumberNPS-GSBPP-09-025
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