Online Military Training: Using a Social Cognitive 
View of Motivation and Self-Reflection to Understand
Students Satisfaction, Perceived Learning, and 
Choice. 

As a veteran who faced challenges going back to school, I am very interested how active duty personnel handle online schooling.

The author (also a veteran) sent an online survey to 475 U.S. Navy sailors and 204 responded. The particular difference in “online learning” for the sailors is that their systems aren’t fully connected to the internet, so their courses are self paced without any interaction with other students or instructors.The author refers this as self regulated skills “learning that occurs largely from the influence of students self generated thoughts, feelings, strategies and behavior (Artino).” I believe this ties in the cognivist learning theory because the learner experience is dependent upon his or her own motivation, experience and thinking.

The author wanted to investigate the relations between task value, self efficacy and prior experience affecting the satisfaction and probability of enrolling in future online courses. The beginning of the survey was self reflecting scale measurements of task value, self efficacy and satisfaction. I thought it was interesting how he chose to ask questions on voluntary courses and military mandatory courses. I personally don’t find it valuable measuring the self-efficacy of mandatory online training in relation to voluntary courses because as a veteran of a ship of 180 sailors, I know…NOBODY likes to do the online training. For example, one of the questions was to measure the likelihood of choice of future enrolling in another course and this is irrelevant in mandatory online training. It is no wonder this score was so low in table 1. Online military training is very outdated, slow, boring and mandatory every year/couple months.

In the conclusion, the author stated self efficacy was the strongest single predictor for links between motivation, prior experience and likelihood of future enrollment. Yes, studies like these could be valuable to the Department of Defense adapting their online courses, but using both (voluntary/mandatory) for measuring self efficacy is just not comparable. Adapting this online training could be of use to invest in the educational future of military personnel. It could evolve active duty attitudes towards online learning and prepare them for the civilian world if they choose to go back to school or take online courses in their spare time.

Other than the problem mentioned above, I believe this study definitely adds to body of knowledge revolving around military personnel and online courses. This research does add immense value for higher learning institutions to adapt to the increasing number of student veterans and active duty returning to school.

 

 

 

Artino, A. J. (2007). Online Military Training: Using a Social Cognitive View of Motivation and Self-Reflection to Understand Students Satisfaction, Perceived Learning, and Choice. Quarterly Review Of Distance Education, 8 (3),  191-202.