We have probably all heard the adage that “the only constant is change.” Undoubtedly, this phrase rings true for those of us in today’s military space. Over the past several years, the military has seen vast changes in everything from the challenges it faces to the technology it uses. With soldiers stationed and deployed throughout the world, a new generation of young, tech-savvy recruits, and ever-tightening budgets, the military must remain agile enough to evolve with these changes.
With these factors in mind, how can military trainers best adapt to current trends while preparing for what lies ahead? Here are my thoughts on best practices for modern military training:
- Use time wisely: Effectively engaging military learners is easier said than done especially when you consider the extraordinary demands placed on their time. Instead of spending critical training time teaching young, tech-savvy soldiers how to use technology they are already familiar with, including learning management systems (LMS) and smartphones, focus on instructing them on how to leverage these tools on the ground.
- Foster collaboration: The military prepares soldiers to work together as a team, so why should their classroom training be any different? Use collaboration tools that combine formal instruction with informal learning and structured social interaction to help learners share knowledge with one another so they will be best prepared to succeed as a unit.
- Move to continuous learning: Event-driven training often leaves learners feeling like they are drinking from a fire hose. By moving to a continuous learning model, learners can access training on their own time and at the point of need, increasing retention and relevance of the material at hand. Information can be shared, real-world experiences discussed and relationships between instructors and other learners and alumni develop
- Save your travel budget: Today’s tightening budgets mean that military leaders must balance travel and other expenses with mission-critical needs. One way to save is to implement virtual training and teleconferencing, which can be just as effective as face-to-face meetings, instead of sending personnel off site.
- Consider Impact on Mission: The military is rapidly recognizing the relationship between learning activities and Impact on Mission (IOM). Finding ways to move beyond the limited capabilities of your legacy learning management system (LMS) means offering instruction that’s directly related to battlefield requirements, not outdated theories or strategies of little practical use
At Blackboard, we are proud to serve our military by offering training solutions that can engage today’s learners to help shape them into tomorrow’s leaders. If you are interested in learning more about Blackboard for Military, visit our website or contact us here.