The Marine Corps Home-based And Real-time Distance Learning project was a research and development project with the purpose of developing design and requirements to support a virtual collaborative platform for real-time language training of Marine Corps personnel. More specifically, the research and development focused on using PECs collaborative virtual learning expertise to support an efficient and low-cost language training options for pre-deployment Marine Corpsmen who are located in geographically dispersed and distant locations.
During the course of the MCHARD project, multiple tangible and intangible resources were utilized and provided by PEC throughout including software and hardware; an integrated network; ,manpower for operations, support and management, and student assessments. So not only was the virtual classroom provided for example, but equipment was also provided to participants, PEC Helpdesk support was always available as was attendance tracking and policy implementation.
As part of this project, PEC implemented two 18 week Pashto language classes for twelve reservists who were heading on deployment. These classes served to assess all of the processes developed as part of the MCHARD design. Ultimately, the MCHARD platform was successful based on its ability to successfully train personnel to develop language proficiency in accordance with Marine Corps requirements. To test the proficiency development of the students according to Marine Corp requirements, PEC oversaw the development of two assessment and the student participated in three final assessments. The results of all of these assessments were extremely positive and point to the success of the platform. Through the investment in research and development of the MCHARD platform and successful testing in prototype classes, the capabilities of virtual language training has proven success and a low-cost, efficient option for language training of military personnel over dispersed geographies.