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|Satisfaction of Canadian Armed Forces Regular Force Members with their Distance Learning Experiences
|Moisey, Susan (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Centre for Distance Education)
|Ostashewski, Nathaniel (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Centre for Distance Education)
Heller, Bob (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology Department)
Scoppio, Grazia (RMCC, Dean of Continuing Studies)
|Doctor of Education (EdD) in Distance Education
|Centre for Distance Education
Canadian Armed Forces
|The use of distance learning (DL) as a training and education delivery method has been on the rise within the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as a way of optimizing funding to the training system while still maintaining a high standard. Since research has shown relationships between student satisfaction and various positive outcomes, such as training retention and readiness to transfer learning to the workplace, the satisfaction of CAF learners is an important area of inquiry. This research explored the satisfaction levels of CAF members with their DL experiences, how different variables related to that satisfaction, and how military-specific considerations affected members’ DL experiences. This mixed methods research involved a sample of CAF members who had completed, within approximately the past three years, one of seven CAF professional development courses/programs that were delivered via DL or in a blended DL and classroom format. The study used a two-phase mixed-methods research design that included data collection in the form of an online survey distributed to 1310 CAF Regular Force members, which yielded 368 usable questionnaires, followed by 12 follow-up interviews. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive and correlation analyses, as well as factor analyses and multiple regression. Qualitative data were analyzed using coding frequency analyses and thematic content analysis, which added depth concerning CAF members’ personal experiences. The findings showed a relatively high level of satisfaction, but that given the choice between delivery modes, a much higher percentage of members would choose classroom over DL. The exploration of demographic, course quality, support, and perception variables in relation to overall DL satisfaction shed some light on potential reasons for these findings. Recommendations were provided to encourage continuous improvement of CAF DL programs.
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