This paper describes an experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of the U.S. Army’s Aircrew Coordination Training Enhancement (ACTE) program delivered by distance learning. A large-scale experiment was designed and executed using three groups of aircrews that received either electronic classroom-based instruction with instructor facilitation on site, distance learning training using the unit’s local Digital Training Facility with the primary instructor off site, or no training. Aircrews with varying levels of experience recently returning from combat were evaluated using event-based scenarios performed in the Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (AVCATT). Measures were developed within Kirkpatrick’s (1998) framework. Execution of the experiment was hampered by a variety of factors. One factor was intermittent weather related power outages which made individual crew stations unavailable for short periods of time. This challenge was addressed within a mission contingency framework. A second factor was the participating aircrews’ limited experience with the AVCATT trainer which was installed at the aircrew’s home station during the units’ deployment to combat. Another factor was crew turbulence related to the supporting units’ deployment status. Workarounds for administrative and procedural challenges were devised to maintain the integrity of the experiment to the maximum extent possible; however, the evaluation goals of the experiment were not achieved. Results of this experiment are discussed from the perspective of lessons-learned from conducting field research using operational units in wartime.
& Kline, K.
(2005). Collective Training Research Utilizing Returning Combat Aircrews, Lessons Learned. 2005 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 379-387.