Applying technology to Marine Corps distance learning
Broihier, Michael G.
Crawford, Alice M.
Bhargava, Hemant K.
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The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the application of technology to distance learning with the intention of recommending to the Marine Corps a feasible migration path away from its current correspondence program. Currently, the Marine Corps Institute (MCI) administers correspondence courses for both Occupational Skill Development (OSD) and Professional Military Education (PME). Automating and streamlining MCI processes is insufficient considering the pivotal importance distance learning plays in a Marine's career. Current application of technology to distance learning in education, business, and the military is discussed in light of information obtained through interviews, site visits, conferences, and the literature. A non exhaustive list of tangible and intangible costs and benefits related to various distance learning technologies is provided, as well as a template for a distance learning decision mailing process. The process can be used with decision support software to match requirements to technology and select appropriate migration paths through cost benefit analysis. This thesis recommends applying asynchronous methods to OSD courses and a combination of synchronous and asynchronous methods to PME courses. Finally, this thesis recommends changing the current structure and mission of MCI and consolidating its efforts with the College of Continuing Education under the Marine Corps University.
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