Defense Acquisition University (DAU) provides blueprint for delivering tremendous training at less cost

19th April, 2012 - Posted by Russ Colbert - 1 Comment

The ongoing economic downturn and the resulting budget deficits impacting the federal government have led to significant cost cutting and budget trimming across federal agencies. Many expenditures have come under close scrutiny and very few have managed to escape the scalpel as agencies look for any way possible to save money.

Unfortunately for many federal employees, these spending cuts have come in the way of something truly important for their personal and professional advancement: training.

Many government agencies require mandatory training for employees. These training classes are essential for government employees looking to move up the ranks. Unfortunately, the travel needed to attend classes outside of the agency has been restricted by travel budgets. In fact, the cost associated with training and classes from outside of the agency could make them impossible altogether in this difficult budget environment.

To help combat this issue, agencies have proactively moved many of the mandatory classes and much of the important training content to electronic learning methods that can be accessed from any location.

GovLoop, a social network for public sector professionals, recently asked its mostly-government membership base how they felt about training in their agencies when they posed the question, “Is government training tremendous or trivial?” Based on the responses, it’s apparent that many government employees find their agencies’ in person and online learning management systems lacking in interaction, participation and engaging content.

There is a solution that is available to government agencies today that can eliminate the extraneous costs associated with training courses and any requisite travel to attend them. These same solutions can also enable students to participate, provide feedback, interact and engage with their instructors. The solution is training via blended learning models that embrace advanced Unified Communications (UC) solutions, such as video teleconferencing (VTC).

Balanced, blended learning approaches are now endorsed and being implemented by many universities. They’re also starting to catch on within government departments and agencies. These blended learning models utilize traditional rooms, web conferencing, smart phones, tablets, learning management systems, whiteboards and VTC training rooms.

The DAU recently turned to a blended learning approach utilizing VTC to help them deliver engaging training classes to their highly distributed student body. The DAU embraced VTC to help create a more collaborative environment that brings students and instructors together.

The end result is a solution that enables instructors to interact and read the body language of their students, field questions and ensure that their students are comprehending and retaining the information. It also enables them to bring in VIPs and other senior guest lecturers that deliver previously unheard-of educational opportunities for students.

The following video illustrates the benefits that VTC has brought to the DAU:

Just because budgets are tight and agencies have to do far more with less doesn’t mean that agency employees need to sacrifice their personal and professional growth and see their professional advancement stall. By delivering training classes to federal employees via video, agencies can bring interactive and engaging learning opportunities to employees at a fraction of the cost and ensure that their employees have the knowledge they need to accomplish their mission.

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[…] DAU, which we took a closer look at in a previous post, also recently turned to a blended, distance learning environment. The DAU, which provides […]

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