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The Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative

ADL Initiative's Top 4 highlights from I/ITSEC 2016

The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) 2016 is the world's largest modeling, simulation, and training event held in Orlando, Florida. Those interested in the fields of modeling and simulation (M&S), training, education, analysis, and related disciplines attend this annual meeting to learn, experience and connect themselves or their businesses to the industry. This year, Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative was proud to participate and showcase research and development on emerging learning science and technologies. In the show, we played an important role in promoting methods of interoperability and best practices for using distributed learning. Our objective was to share our vision for the future of Learning Science and Technology. Also, our goal was to encourage collaboration and information exchange across Defense, Federal government, international partners, industry, and academia regarding distributed learning.

So, what did ADL Initiative do during the week of the I/ITSEC conference to meet these goals? How did we participate? Before we start to look forward to next year's conference, here is our wrap-up from I/ITSEC 2016. Below are the top four (4) highlights from the conference.

1. ADL Initiative released the Experience API (xAPI) Learning Record Store (LRS) Test Suite.

ADL Initiative announced the candidate release of the xAPI LRS Test Suite during the week of the I/ITSEC conference. The LRS is part of the xAPI specification; it's the data warehouse that receives, stores, and provides access to xAPI statements. The LRS Test Suite provides a way to verify whether a software system conforms with xAPI requirements. This test suite evaluates whether an LRS correctly implements all of the mandatory server-side requirements in the xAPI specification, and it serves as a central registry for conformant LRS products.

Note: If you haven't already, sign up and begin testing your LRS. We will incorporate your feedback in the final release.

2. ADL Initiative conducted paper presentations and tutorials.

With technology becoming ever more central to teaching and training, we had much to share about ADL emerging perspectives and technologies, Department of Defense (DoD) education requirements and next generation learning. Many of the ADL Initiative team members, external performers, and our Global Partnership Network (GPN) directors were speakers at the conference. Below are the topics that they discussed during the week of I/ITSEC. Click on the links for more information.

| Presenter/Speaker | Topic |
| --- | --- | | Dr. Sae Schatz / ADL GPN Directors | Advanced Distributed Learning: A Global Perspective |
| Dr. Shane Gallagher | Assessing Performance in an Innovative Cybersecurity Pilot Course |
| Dr. Elaine Raybourn | Transmedia Learning in the Wild: Supporting Military Training Through Story-driven Engagement |
| Jonathan Poltrack | Experience API (xAPI) – What is it and What Can it Do for Me? |
| Andy Johnson | Education and Training Technology Requirements for DoD Distributed Learning |
| Dr. JT Folsom-Kovarik

(ADL External Performer)

Total Learning Architecture Enables Next-generation Learning via Meta-adaption Total Learning Architecture Robby Robson

(ADL External Performer)

What are Competencies and Why Should You Care? Competency-based Training and Credentialing Ion Roceanu

(ADL GPN Director)

Changing the Fabric of Learning Content through the Atomic Learning Approach CDR Geir Isaksen

(ADL GPN Director)

E-Learning Instructor Development How to Evaluate Student Motivation & Engagement in E-Learning

In the show, Dr. Elaine Raybourn received an award for being nominated for Best Tutorial. Raybourn's tutorial, "Transmedia Learning in the Wild: Supporting Military Training Through Story-driven Engagement," focused on transmedia learning design specifically for informal learning. Transmedia learning is story-driven, unfolds across multiple media, and is designed to promote self-directed engagement. The tutorial offered open source software strategies to unobtrusively track learner progress.


Some of the presenters from the ADL Initiative team (Image Credit: National Training and Simulation Association)

3. ADL Initiative discussed the 'Future of Learning Ecosystem.'

During the conference, Dr. Sae Schatz lead an academic and commercial professional community round table discussion. The panel had conversations about the future of learning ecosystems and the challenges of 'learning human experience design.' These ecosystems provide a combination of technologies and support assets to assist individual learning. Our vision for the future of learning was shared in the Show daily. Feedback from leading experts in the academic community included (1) concentrating on a system that places the individual learner in control of their own learning and (2) developing standardized methods of implementation for increasing motivation and improving learner performance tracking.


IMAGE: Panel discussion and media coverage pertaining to ADL Initiative's Learning Ecosystem.

4. ADL Initiative connected with technology partners, application developers, industry leaders, and real-world users.

ADL Initiative welcomed a variety of visitors, including Congressional leaders and representatives, current and prospective customers, and media. Congressman Bobby Scott and Mayor Teresa Jacobs were some of the many individuals that offered insights and feedback for perusing system-wide approaches to modernize and optimize learning. During the conference, we also met with the directors of our Global Partnership Network (GPN) to exchange information on requirements, projects, emerging science and technologies, and relevant opportunities. National and international government agencies, military research labs, and academic institutions from around the world discussed working towards a shared strategy for global distributed learning techniques, technologies, and best practices.

Some key takeaways from I/ITSEC booth discussions were the following:

We look forward to continuing collaboration efforts and information sharing to improve implementation guidance and technical specifications for DoD distributed learning. Please share some of your thoughts about current trends and future implications for distributed learning. What have you discovered?


IMAGE: Networking, collaborating, and information sharing with the distributed learning community.

(Top Left and Center Image Credit: National Training and Simulation Association).