An analysis of return on investment options for the USMC Distance Learning Program
Clark, Jamie E.
Haga, William J.
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A study was conducted to examine various aspects of Distance Learning (DL) applications currently under review by the Marine Corps, and determine whether these programs, if initiated, provide a positive Return on Investment (ROI). The objective was to determine how DL applications may be applied in the most advantageous manner, to increase the overall efficiency of current training programs from both a monetary and quality perspective. Specifically, DL applications were evaluated for pertinence to the four categories of learners found within the organizational hierarchy. To accomplish this objective, information was collected from the DL Branch, Training and Education Division, HQMC, as well as from faculty and staff at the Marine Corps Communications and Electronics Course, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, 29 Palms, CA. Results were favorable with a positive ROI being determined from the stated assumptions. Other findings included that the most beneficial application of DL technology should be primarily toward advanced level training with possible considerations for Marines awaiting training, and that due to increased instructional requirements, the timesavings attributed to advances in training technology should not automatically result in reductions in formal course curricula. Simply stated, DL technologies provide great value added potential to enhance knowledge transfer in today's dynamic and fluid training environment, but should be viewed primarily as a complement to, rather than replacement for, traditional instructional methods.
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