Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Luke M. Cornelius, Ph.D., J.D. Chair

Second Advisor

Terence Cavanaugh, Ph.D., Committee Member

Third Advisor

Gaylord Candler, Ph.D., Committee Member

Fourth Advisor

David Forde, Ph.D., Committee Member

Department Chair

Elizabeth A. Gregg, Ph.D., Chair

College Dean

Diane Yendol-Hoppey, Ph.D., Dean


Online distance learning is an essential element in the continuing education of law enforcement officers across the nation. However, little research has been conducted into the use of learning management systems by law enforcement agencies as a tool for professional development. This study attempts to assess the attitudes, preferences, and influences that impact distance learning for professional development work for state law enforcement officers and their agencies. Law enforcement agencies and law enforcement training centers have failed to utilize or embrace distance-learning technologies, or they have adopted distance-learning technology without knowing the effectiveness of the training or learning. For adult learning to be active, the learner must embrace the subject and the training delivery method. The law enforcement profession has historically used traditional classroom lectures for education and hands-on demonstration for training. This study focuses on the attitudes, preferences and other factors that influence the use of distance learning for professional development by state law enforcement officers.

This study incorporated an online survey of 496 Florida state law enforcement personnel employed by the Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Division of Law Enforcement. The survey consisted of 64 questions that were analyzed and results into categories of descriptive demographics, work-related, reading and writing skills, technology use, software use, self-belief, self-management, ease of use, and learning preference for a review of factors that influence the attitudes and perceptions of state law law enforcement personnel on the use of learning management systems for profession development learning.

This quantitative study revealed wireless connectivity variations between metropolitan and rural counties does not influence the perception or attitude of state law enforcement personnel on the use of a learning management system. The research also revealed the learning management system does not influence their perception of online, classroom or blended learning for professional development. This research also revealed little correlation to age, race or national origin, sex, and years of experience to the preference for a learning management system for distance learning. The research suggests that level of education does not influence the attitude or perception of users on the use of a learning management system but personnel who are certified instructors do have a stronger preference towards the use of a learning management system for professional development learning. The duty assignment of patrol, investigations, supervisory and administrative, or other duties does not influence the attitude or perception of users of a learning management system.