function regarding everything else we’ve discussed during this interview. As the combat developer, we must actively listen to our key stakeholders, adapt, and execute smartly. MS&T: Has that been a collaborative effort to include the rest of DoD? HR: Yes, we are working with the Advanced Distributed CollaborativeLaboratory under the direction of the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Readiness) in testing content and assisting with the revision of the DoD instruction for distributed learning. We also participate in the DL Coordinating Council, which is the primary advisory body to the Military Education Coordination Council. And we continue working with the Joint/Interagency community to share best practices and establish collaborative partnerships to ensure we are supporting the Joint Force as we move the program forward. MS&T: What are some of the program’s accomplishments you expect the Army learning community to see in the next year or so? HR: A domain where learning content is easily discoverable, accessible, playable, and trackable. Our intent within TADLP is to establish a technology-enabled learning domain. This domain will support the rapid creation and delivery of rigorous digitized learning content and enable knowledge sharing and collaboration among learners. The domain will also facilitate interagency and intergovernmental training, education, research and communication. Without one the program falls short of its objective to empower the tactical edge. MS&T: Is there anything else you would like to add? HR: There is one important issue that we haven’t discussed and that’s the quality of life for our soldiers. The Army DL program supports the Total Force [active, reserve, and national guard]. We must ensure that our learners have relevant training and education available at the point of need that is easily accessible and playable via multiple delivery platforms. This will enable soldiers and leaders to spend more time with their families at home station versus long-term TDY to schools. This efficient use of training time will provide a critical quality of life balance needed by our soldiers given the current and future demands of the operational environment. ms&t
ing delivery and reliability of our content delivery capability. MS&T: We’re also hearing more about the Army’s Integrated Training Environment. HR: Yes, as mentioned, the Army has an effort underway to create and establish an Integrated Training Environment. It’s a concept that has tremendous potential of blending training domains and leveraging the common framework of scenarios. Implementing the technology behind the effort is a challenge. What I mean by that is pushing virtual worlds or virtual environments across the web. The gaming industry solved that issue long ago with massively multiplayer online gaming sites; however, pushing serious [learning] games across the Army network remains complex. MS&T: Your help wanted list of support you need from industry and academia to further advance TADLP? HR: The Army must develop content that is platform agnostic. However, developing content to run properly on different operating systems is problematic – establishing interoperable standards is an area that industry partners can assist to ensure playability of content. Classroom technology has advanced considerably in the past few years; however, we need to continue looking at integrating learning technologies into future smart classrooms. We’re also interested in how cognitive neuroscience research is transforming learning and how technology has changed the way the new generation acquires knowledge and skills. Social learning is another area we are looking into – academia could further advance us in this area by researching the integration of social learning into curriculums of study. MS&T: And we’re observing a huge increase in the use of apps in DL training – in medicine, aviation and other sectors. HR: There certainly is. The Army is leveraging the use of this technology within the Medical Department Center and School; the Army Aviation Center of Excellence, as well as Intelligence and Fires Centers of Excellence all of which are building technology rich curriculums. MS&T: Tell us about any accomplishments from the last six months the TADLP program can point to. HR: The most productive accomplishment is the new governance and oversight for the program. This is the forcing
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Dempsey [former TRADOC Commander; Army Chief of Staff; and current Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff] chartered me as the TRADOC Capability Manager for TADLP, he said that the program needed to be modernized. He stated, “...the Army’s DL program doesn’t need more evolutionary change; it requires revolutionary change.” MS&T: That solidifies our opinion of General Dempsey as being a proponent of learning technology and leading change in this area. HR: Absolutely, he was and continues to be an advocate. This also explains why our office conducted a Lean-Six Sigma initiative to drive innovation and lead change in modernizing TADLP. MS&T: You’ve also talked about resources. So what is the Army’s commitment to fund this significant course change in distributed learning? HR: A great question. This past fiscal year, we were successful in raising the awareness and significant importance of TADLP’s contributions to Army readiness through supporting the Army’s learning domains [institution, unit, self]. This led to an increase in our resourcing category at the Department level – we remain in competition for decreasing resources; however, we are now at an elevated level of probable funding. MS&T: For a training program, that calls for congratulations. HR: Thank you. The Army’s commitment on resourcing this program has increased—it’s an investment in innovation and technologies that will lead to resource savings. The new Army Learning Model challenges us to create more blended learning strategies. General Cone [Commander, TRADOC], continues this initiative under Army 2020 by expanding the use of synchronous and asynchronous virtual, constructive simulation, and gaming strategies into the integrated training environment. We also continue to support research into the use of intelligent tutoring systems as synthetic peers, facilitators, and mentors. The Army is similarly employing the latest technology in delivering learning content to the edge. We’re currently conducting a pilot, through the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), to provide learning content to the total force via GIG Content Delivery Service (GCDS) technology. The GCDS is already exhibiting improvements in accelerat-
Military Simulation & Training Magazine - The International Defence Training Journal.