Academic journal article The Public Manager

Surface Warfare Officers School Emphasizes Performance Assessment

Academic journal article The Public Manager

Surface Warfare Officers School Emphasizes Performance Assessment

Article excerpt

A 2012 ASTD Excellence in Practice Award winner, the Naval Education and Training Command's Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) aims to provide quality instruction for each of its students. Its innovative ship handling, naval engineering, and combat systems tactical-virtual learning technologies have helped achieve this vision.

Recently SWOS discovered that its learning technologies were less than optimal in assessing student performance, so organizational leaders developed a strategy to improve its ability to provide properly trained officers to its primary customer, the U.S. Navy's Fleet. SWOS used rigorous assessment tools to measure students' skill levels and overall proficiency, and to provide student performance feedback and individually structured remediation.

The Public Manager asked three Navy leaders from SWOS: "How do you ensure performance improvement for students who attend the Surface Warfare Officers School?"

"Initially, SWOS functioned as a traditional schoolhouse with classroom sessions, PowerPoint presentations, and tests. Then we began using simulations for practical application. Shortly after we began using these simulations, we realized that we needed a way to better evaluate student progress and understanding, so we developed computer-based assessment tools that students must pass before they can leave the schoolhouse. The result: students now see the importance of focusing on each of the training stages, both the classroom piece and the simulations, and we've seen an improvement across the entire spectrum of learning. …

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