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Evaluation of Officer Performance at the Air University

Frederiksen, Norman O.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
United States Air Force Human Resources Research Institute, Air University, Alabama, Course Evaluation, Military Training, Officer Personnel, Personnel Evaluation


The purpose of this study was to develop methods for evaluation of instruction of the Field Officer Course (FOC) at Air University. Through a series of interviews with instructors and school officials 500 behavioral objectives were collected and categorized into four general behavioral objectives to be evaluated: 1) efficient use of routines; 2) flexibility; 3) foresight; and 4) effective evaluation of data. An 8-hour in-basket test was then developed in which each candidate was required to play four roles--Commanding Officer of a Wing, Wing's Director of Personnel, Director of Operations and Director of Materiel. Each examinee is given an opportunity in advance of the test to look over considerable background material for this mythical, composite wing and to study a statement of its mission, its organization chart and other materials. The In-basket test was administered to a class of approximately 500 students in the Field Officer Course to investigate scoring reliability of the test, intercorrelations of parts of the test, relations of test scores to an ability measure, and relation of the scores to type and breadth of administrative experience. After the test, responses are categorized by type and scored according to ratings assigned for each type by Air Force experts. It was concluded that "the test appears to be suitable for training evaluation through comparison of group means--which is the purpose for which it is intended." It is also suggested that the in-basket test could be adapted to administrative jobs in business.

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