Incorporating CTEA as a screening tool to enhance the process of obtaining training effectiveness estimates

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Virginia Tech

With the complex nature of many current systems and with the limited time and resources available, more than ever, the emphasis is placed on making sure the training program being developed and implemented is indeed effective. The training program must meets the intended training objectives and be acceptable in terms of cost and effectiveness. Thus, during the planning of training programs, all alternatives need to be explored and evaluated to assure the recommended choice is the preferred training program.

In the evaluation of alternatives to choose a cost-effective training program, the level of effectiveness of each training program needs to be estimated for comparison. The training program effectiveness estimate for each alternative is traditionally obtained by subjecting each alternative to a prototype test. This traditional process calls for all proposed alternatives to be subjected to the prototype testing with no performance of an initial "screening" analysis to identify only potentially effective alternatives for further prototype testing. As such, the current process is not cost-effective because, by lacking the initial screening analysis, it involves unnecessary added costs, labor, and time to try out alternatives that would have been judged ineffective if screening were initially done.

To address this problem and to make the current process more cost-effective (reducing cost while enhancing the process), an extra screening step needs to be added to the process. The screening is to be done before subjecting alternatives to the prototype testing. An analysis method called Cost and Training Effectiveness Analysis (CTEA) is proposed in this paper to be used as the screening method. CTEA will help training developers identify alternatives with great effectiveness potential which should be further subjected to the prototype testing. This analysis method, developed by the U.S. Army TRADOC, provides the training effectiveness estimate of training programs. CTEA also offers extended utilization of the resulting effectiveness indices such as the determination of the amount of training time required for an individual task and for an entire training program to guide training developers toward developing a cost-effective training program.