Army Distance Learning: Potential for Reducing Shortages in Army Enlisted Occupations

By Michael G. Shanley; Henry A. Leonard et al. | Go to book overview
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Chapter One
INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND

The Army has established The Army Distance Learning Program (TADLP) under the auspices of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). The intent of this program is to capitalize on the capabilities of distance learning (DL) technology to replace resident instruction with DL in those cases where the technique is suitable to teach the material. In effect, this means dividing existing courses into resident learning (RL) and DL phases or modules. Thus, TADLP will significantly change how individual training is conducted—how leaders and soldiers are developed—both in institutions and in the field.

The Army's investment in distance learning amounts to about $630 million, covering infrastructure, expenses involved in developing courseware, fielding costs, and the management costs tied to program development and implementation. These costs have been estimated through the year 2015, but most of them ($440 million) are in the early and middle stages of that period.1 The infrastructure investment will provide networks and hardware (e.g., classrooms,

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1
The source for these figures is TADLP's Economic Analysis, published by the Program Management Office, TADLP, September 2000. In addition, the Army National Guard's Distributed Training Program had about $220 million in investment and operating costs through FY00 that are not included in these figures. The Army also has other programs, currently outside the purview of TADLP, that are using or will be able to capitalize on DL technologies. These include computer-based training, DL support for the Army's Continuing Education Program, and Army University Access Online, the new initiative to provide greater access to college courses.

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