Week 6: Training

Training has the potential to be very very useful, and it also has the potential to be a complete waste of time. This perspective is determined after looking at a few things. For one, is the training realistic? Is it practical and applicable? Was it well organized? All of these questions are crucial to making a training curriculum that is relevant, applicable, and engaging.

An example of effective training I was a part of was a course on counter-IED detection at Field Training. The course was well laid out, detailed, applicable, practiced, and engaging. This training, while complex and detailed, was applicable to me, was engaging, and was relevant to my future role. There were established directives and goals for us to hit and while not perfect, did try to replicate working conditions. It applied both academic sections and hands-on training to complement each other. We learn things in the classroom and then apply them in the field with hands-on simulations. Couple this with the effective creation of a learning environment, this was one of if not the best trainings I have been to.

On the other hand, there are a few trainings I have been a part of that I felt were less than adequate. The most recent being a refresher course on land navigation. Land Nav is something that is best learned and practiced in a hands-on environment and actually plotting points and shooting an azimuth in the real world. Unfortunately, the training was rushed, didn’t have an established learning environment, and the training objectives were not clear. On top of this, the worst part of the training was the lack of hands-on practice. It was all academics in the classroom with no interactions with compasses, maps, or protractors. Having someone tell you how to read a Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) protractor and map is very different from actually reading them. The same goes for the compass. It’s one thing to have someone tell you how to use it and to actually use it yourself. In contrast to the first example, I received almost nothing from that training and since it wasn’t engaging at all, I have retained almost none of it.


Week 6 Modules: Lecture 1: Developing Training Programs (W6 Lecture 1 – Training.pptx