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Andrew M. Estes Jr.

Syracuse University IDD&E Graduate Student Techniques in Education Evaluation

Formative Evaluation Report

Introduction: The Noncommissioned Officer Leadership Center of Excellence (NCOLCoE), Sergeants Major Academy (SGM-A) is a yearlong service academy to prepare the Army’s senior enlisted leaders to thrive in challenging assignments throughout the joint force. The school consists of five departments: Command Leadership, Army Operations, Joint (includes interagency, international, and multinational) Operations, Professional studies, and Force Management. Each department has three major writing assignments.


Some students have had little education or experience with academic writing and struggle on many of the writing assignments that require mode advanced thinking and writing skills like analysis and synthesis. Vast amounts of time and effort is spent on grammar and syntax and less time spent on learning content because of the gap between competent performance (students who can perform academic writing) and actual performance (students who cannot effectively use grammar and syntax to communicate via the written word).


Recently the Sergeants Major Academy set out to restructure the International Military Students Pre-Course (IMSPC) to provide a Basic English writing instruction block that will prepare them to meet the SGM-A professional writing requirements. This pre-course will serve as a refresher for those U.S. military students identified as academic writing skills deficient. This evaluation will focus on the U.S. students. The curriculum consists of one (1) lesson, five (5) modules, and eight (8) learning steps/activities and takes 120 hours to finish.


The evaluation team consists of three Syracuse Graduates students in the IDD&E program: Mike Wahl, Andy Estes, and Alex Rosasolis. The purpose of this evaluation is to determine if the instruction is likely to close the performance gap as previously described. The team conducted a review of the instructional materials, the front-end analysis, and instructional goals before creating the evaluation tools for expert and one-to-one evaluations. Finally, the team used the Smith & Ragan third edition of Instructional Design to guide their evaluation.

Team Members:

Michael Wahl

Alejandro Rosasolis

Andrew Estes

Formative Evaluation Report: International Military Students Pre-Course

Project Summary:

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