Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Charles S. Hausman

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


The development of advanced training technologies such as Web Based Training (WBT), coupled with the proliferation of computer and Internet availability, has increased training opportunities for rural communities. This advancement is critical to meeting the training needs of emergency response personnel in rural communities who routinely face the challenge of providing continuous services to their community with limited resources. Despite the perceived convenience of WBT for emergency responders, little research has been conducted in homeland security on the knowledge acquisition of those who are trained using an electronic medium as compared to those in a traditional, Instructor-Led Training (ILT) delivery.

For purposes of this study, data from two U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) courses (each offering both a WBT and ILT version) were analyzed. Through the participant data from these nationally delivered awareness and management level courses, a comparative analysis was conducted to determine if significant differences existed between the delivery modalities. Results indicate that while ILT provided greater learner outcomes on course examinations, each modality was effective in increasing both gain scores and producing satisfactory scores on the course posttest. The findings can be used to further plan and develop strategies for training this nation's rural responders, especially in light of budget and human resource deficits.