There has been widespread research by academics, corporations and scientists on the effectiveness of e-learning. The overarching result of all the recent studies has been that pure online learning is as efficient as pure face-to-face learning and can be better in some cases where the student has no time limitation. It has also been found that classroom learning enhanced by some online learning is the best approach to education. Last month I listed the seven how first responders learn and assimilate information. These seven guidelines further validate a study I conducted on the status and condition of on-line leaning in the fire service. The study included the independent evaluation of several common topics of study that are currently being offered for sale to the fire service by private courseware providers. Using a national group of fire service professionals active and retired, from large metro departments, volunteer departments, academia we audited and evaluated courses based on 14 predefined criteria.
Statement of Situation
Within the public safety sector, in-particular to this assessment, the blended learning requirements of theoretical and practical fire services training activities coupled with dramatic budget constraints are creating challenges to agencies nationwide. While distance education formats have been embraced, the breadth of offerings available, the lacking mechanisms to assess quality and value, along with burdensome subscriptions costs and disconnected Learning Management Systems were identified in the study.
The Intent of the Study
- Identify the macro trends of distance education and the associated market impacts to the public safety communities.
- Secure and evaluate common training course modules from leading content development companies.
- Define a course utilizing an established evaluation criterion assessment matrix and weighting system.
- Establish an independent evaluation panel from both academia and Training Directors from notable fire service agencies/organizations.
- Provide a summary of findings and recommendations.
Click on this link to read and download the full report. On-Line Courseware Trends and Evaluation Study, Fire Service Training