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An Exploration of Advanced Distributed Learning Service Success Measures for Social Policy

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Abstract

Since the turn of the century, the military has leveraged computer networks and online media to modernize its training capabilities. Goals of this effort have been to create interoperable reusable learning content, promote widespread collaboration, lower development costs, and provide the ability to deliver efficient and effective high-quality learning anytime, anywhere. The Air Force has used its web-based online training system, the Advanced Distributed Learning Service (ADLS), to train and track a number of social policy topics such as the Law of Armed Conflict, ethics training, violence prevention, etc. This research attempts to provide an overall assessment of whether ADLS is efficient and effective with regard to social policy training goals. Research uncovered that while authority mandates are being met, Air Force ADLS implementation is probably hampering social policy learning. Currently, social policy is marginalized by an organizational focus on technology and management efficiencies over effective learning outcomes. Other problems include disorganized presentation, strategic leadership deficiencies, and organizational culture barriers. On a positive note, recent Air Education and Training Command objectives appear to trend toward an increased emphasis on the learner's perspective. This research presents two paradigms, the Social Policy Kill Chain and the Learner in the Loop, to help identify and balance Air Force organizational and learner perspectives and needs. Practical recommendations for social policy training process improvement and further research are provided.

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