Guard, U.K. make e-learning pact
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- Apr 08, 2002
The National Guard Bureau and the Defense Department's Advanced Distributed
Learning (ADL) initiative last week announced the first-ever e-learning
partnership laboratory with an international partner.
Maureen Lischke, the Guard's chief information officer and program executive
officer for information systems, said a working agreement has been reached
between the United States and the United Kingdom to establish a co-laboratory
at the University of Wolverhampton in England.
A co-lab is an open, collaborative test bed environment for sharing
learning technology research, development and assessments.
U.S. officials first began discussing the co-lab agreement with their
U.K. counterparts in August 2001, said Lischke, who also heads the bureau's
Distributive Training and Technology Project. By the end of this month,
she said officials will sign the formal memorandum of understanding, which
will spell out the focus areas for the distance-learning research.
She added that the partnership is no cost to the National Guard. Lischke
and Nancy Teich, ADL's program integrator, said one of the goals of the
agreement is to promote the development and acceptance of global e-learning
standards. With such standards, international groups will be able to share
content, courseware modules and lessons learned on technology implementation.
The foundation of that collaboration will be the Sharable Content Object
Reference Model (SCORM), a software specification that sets guidelines for
developing online course material and makes Web-based training materials
interoperable and easily shared.
SCORM is the basis for ADL's vision of reliable, affordable, Internet-accessible
and reusable training courseware, Teich said, adding that it is gaining
acceptance in the U.K. as well as other NATO Partnership for Peace nations.
The Office of the Secretary of Defense, which oversees the ADL program
(www.adlnet.org), and the National Guard jointly
established varied e-learning initiatives for the Wolverhampton lab to work
* Establishing a "plug fest" in the U.K. similar to those at domestic
ADL co-labs that will enable vendors and European governments to test
their products in a SCORM environment.
* Extending distance-learning offerings to the warfighter through wireless
The National Guard has more than 450,000 personnel at 3,500 sites in
54 states and territories, making global, enhanced e-learning capabilities
a critical addition to traditional training methods, Lischke said.
In 1999, the Office of the Secretary of Defense established the ADL
co-laboratory and encouraged government agencies, industry and academia
to collaborate in the research, development and testing of standards and
guidelines to support distributive learning.
Later that year, the Wisconsin Technical College System and the University
of Wisconsin established an agreement with DOD to establish an academic
ADL co-lab in Madison, Wis., to tap the academic leadership and knowledge
resources available in the nation's universities and colleges. The ADL co-lab
has more than 250 partners, including Carnegie Mellon University, the University
of California-Berkeley, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
NASA, Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.
In addition to the Wisconsin facility, the National Guard Bureau, along
with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Office of Naval Research
and the Labor Department also support co-labs in Alexandria, Va., and Orlando,
Fla., by providing staffing, equipment and other resources, Lischke said.