Established in 1992 and supplied with essential investments by Congress, the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) is an educational institution for the Department of Defense. It is controlled by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Defense Acquisition University: About us, n. d.). Its specialization is “providing practitioner training and consulting services to over 134,000 Department of Defense employees across fifteen career fields” (Kirkpatrick et al., 2006, p. 262). DAU is aimed to provide the customers with high-quality products, competent staff consultations, and effective learning solutions (Defense Acquisition University: About us, n. d.). In order to maintain the level of quality, there are special system and feedback mechanism for analyzing the outcomes of the products and services (Defense Acquisition University: About us, n. d.; Kirkpatrick et al., 2006). It should be marked that evaluation program presents an integral part of the DAU operation. It implemented a four-level model for the analysis of the learning products and services. Therefore, the purpose of the training is to review its impact on the organization.
As it has been mentioned above, DAU implemented Knowledge Advisors templates for all four levels, except for the second one. As for the first level, it is devoted to the reaction of the customers. DAU adheres to end-of-class surveys, which are conducted at all the courses: online, offline, and combined options. They are intended to receive feedback on a variety of aspects, such as equipment in the classroom, the content of classes, the outcomes of the course, business results, and the general atmosphere during the lessons. Furthermore, the questions are created in a way, which is beneficial for covering all the details of the courses. Such an approach allows DAU to make a rational decision and implement essential improvement in accordance with the received feedback.
The second level addresses multiple aspects regarding the learning process. As for all the certifications courses, the organization established diagnostics before the course and after it. Kirkpatrick et al. (2016) highlight: “Precourse diagnostics are used to tailor delivery to meet the learning needs of the students and to help determine the extent of learning when compared to the end-of-course tests” (p. 270). Moreover, in case of unsatisfactory results, DAU attempts to supply remediation as necessary (Kirkpatrick et al., 2016). The third level regards the behavior of students during their working process. In case a change in behavior occurred, and it may refer to the training program, a special investigation is also established.
The last level implies the evaluation of the results of the learning process. DAU administration highlights the fact that it is impossible to accept that all the progress is attributable to its products and services (Kirkpatrick et al., 2016). However, it is marked that the training program’s contribution to beneficial outcomes cannot be underestimated, as it occasionally plays a significant role in achieving high results (Kirkpatrick et al., 2016). The fact that the survey appears to be subjective should be taken into consideration. For this reason, DAU prefers to adhere to ROI data. In addition, the organization analyzes the quarter’s performance and progress.
As a result of the training, it is possible to implement a structure, which is helpful for conducting a comprehensive evaluation of all the products and services of the organization. Furthermore, each survey is intended to provide an in-depth insight into the strong and weak points of the courses. Therefore, this scheme is highly likely to be effective in the long run and supply the organization with beneficial outcomes.
Defense Acquisition University: About us. (n. d.). DAU.
Kirkpatrick, D. L., Kirkpatrick, J. D., & Kirkpatrick, J. D. (2016). Evaluating training programs: The four levels (3rd edition). Berrett-Koehler Publishers.