Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership

Major Professor

Janet Richards, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Howard Johnston, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Johanna Lasonen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Randy Borum, Ph.D.


adult learning, andragogy, leadership, organizational


The purpose of this exploratory case study was to understand the individual and organizational training needs of a military training organization (MTO), which trains battle staffs to inform professional development program design. The study findings might lead to an improved trainer professional development program design, which fully supports the organization’s and trainers’ efforts to deliver effective adult training. The exploratory questions used in this study were: (a) in what ways do participants in MTO perceive trainer and professional development experiences throughout their military and professional careers; (b) what are participants’ perceptions of training needs in MTO; (c) what are participants’ ideas for developing and implementing a trainer professional development program to meet these needs. The theoretical frameworks for this research were based on Knowles’s adult learning principles (2015), Lawler and King’s (2002) Adult Learning Model for Faculty Development, and the U.S. military’s Instructional Systems Design (ISD or ADDIE) model.

The data in this study were documents and artifacts, semi-structured interviews, and a researcher reflection journal. The exploratory case study revealed six major themes: (a) trainer experiences, (b) professional development experiences, (c) organizational issues, (d) training issues, (e) organizational solutions, and (f) professional development approaches and activities. MTO participants’ revealed perceptions of organizational issues related to leadership, mission and purpose, standards, personnel, and resistance to change which affected training performance. They also identified training performance issues in material development, delivery, and evaluation due to knowledge and skills deficiencies in instructional design and adult learning principles. MTO participants suggested various professional development approaches and activities for the organizational and training issues needs identified. The study’s results suggested the professional development recommendations and implications might inform changes to MTO’s existing professional development program and generate organizational inertia to further explore and address the organizational and training issues identified. The results also add to the body of literature on adult training, professional development, and training needs analysis.