If you haven't visited the Navy E-Learning Web site lately, you're missing out on exciting new opportunities to further your education and enhance your professional development. Navy E-Learning, the Navy's single official distance learning system, launches, tracks, and manages more than 1,400 E-Learning courses, at no cost to the user, for approximately 1.2 million active duty Sailors, Marines, Department of the Navy civilians, reservists, retirees, and family members enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Since its debut in May 2001, more than 100,000 registered users have signed on to the site, which is averaging 7,500 new users each month. It is now one of the largest E-Learning systems in the world.
In short, Navy E-Learning provides on demand access to Web-delivered courses, libraries of schoolhouse courses, and links to education and training information. Navy E-Learning now offers more than 950 Information Technology (IT) courses, 477 soft skill courses - such as financial, management and communications, and 51 military courses via the Internet.
"We want to develop the whole person," remarked Chief of Naval Education and Training (CNET) Vice Adm. Alfred G. Harms Jr. "Providing Sailors, Marines and our civilian workforce with the necessary tools and opportunities to learn, grow, and lead, not only helps the individual, but strengthens the Department of the Navy. And, at the same time, we offer this service to other members of our Navy family, including our retirees and eligible family members."
On Navy E-Learning, students may search education, training, and professional development references and links. Users can search the Navy E-Learning catalog by identifying skills or occupations of interest. They can identify personal skills they want to improve, assess their level of proficiency, track improvements and identify courses aimed at developing their selected skills. Navy E-Learning also records course usage and completions, and logs this information into a Sailor's electronic training jacket (EJT) -- available on the Navy Training Management Planning System (NTMPS) Web site. Navy E-Learning also serves as a conduit for easy access to other resources, such as the Navy College Program (NCP), which streamlines and enhances a Sailor's opportunity to earn a college degree. The NCP and the Navy Advancement Center can be directly accessed through Navy E-Learning.
"The Navy's ultimate goal is for every Sailor to be able to access education and training information, and their transcript, anywhere, anytime to support the individual and operational readiness," said Peg David, the CNET Learning Systems Program Manager. "Education, training, and professional development opportunities are key factors for retention. Navy E-Learning provides content and information at a Sailor's fingertips, allowing them to harness the power of the Internet."
Navy E-Learning is also a helpful tool for Navy personnel managers and career counselors. Through E-Learning and learning management technology, Navy managers have instant access to information regarding who has taken what training and when, helping them to analyze individual and service-wide readiness. "The Learning Strategies staff at CNET headquarters in Pensacola, Fla., is continually improving the Web site to give users greater access to cutting-edge training, education, and professional development information," said David. The expanded capabilities of the Navy E-Learning Web site include access to Navy and Department of Defense training, education and video tele-training course catalogs, links to other education, training, and professional development information. And, more is on the way.
In the future, users registering for a course will find curriculum already recommended for them by the Navy, based on their pay grade, rating, designator, and Navy Enlisted Classification Code. Initiatives are also underway to provide access to Web courses and other online resources to shipboard personnel, those at remote duty stations without continuous Internet access, and a mirrored site on the Navy's secure network (SIPRNET). These services are being phased in this year and next. According to David, each new phase of the Navy E-Learning project will offer greater capabilities, a wider variety of Navy- and industry-developed courses, and improved course and student administrative functions available to local commands.
"Technology is going to do wonderful things for us by making some material that's difficult to grasp come alive," said Harms. "We're absolutely sure that it will help us reduce time to train, increase comprehension, better maintain currency, and provide the training we need, around the clock and around the globe."
(Technical note: The Navy E-Learning Website is best viewed with the display resolution set to 800 by 600 or higher and more than 256 colors. Windows NT and 2000 users should have 128 RAM. Windows 95, 98, and Microsoft Explorer users should have 64 RAM for best performance. Cookies and JAVA need to be enabled in your browser and the browser needs to be 128 bit encryption. Detailed, technical information is available in the "Getting Started" section on the sites.)