Small Business Innovation Research Project
Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative
Office of the Secretary of Defense
The Office of the Secretary of Defense's Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative involves collaboration with industry and academia to develop tools, specifications, policies, and guidelines for learning at remote locations using computers. The intent of developed e-learning is to create accessible, adaptable, affordable, durable, interoperable, and reusable chunks of material, called sharable content objects (SCOs). For these to be reusable, instructional designers need templates. But most are too general or too specific and are often written for engineers, using vocabulary foreign to instructional specialists.
Under a Small Business Innovative Research Grant, Axiom's Didactics division developed a tool incorporating flexible instructional design templates that communicate effectively with practicing designers on the types of learning that are difficult to achieve, such as tactical decision-making under stress, or collaborative decision-making. The templates guide instructional designers through a theory-based process, while allowing them to incorporate their individual style of teaching and communicating. Designers answer a series of questions on such topics as learning environment, students, and type of material to be taught. By answering these questions, the designer is guided to the appropriate theoretical orientation for developing the material.
While the impact of the proposed model cannot be measured until it has been put into use, the potential is enormous. It would give designers guidance relevant to their situation, be reusable, incorporate assessment in instruction, and ensure that instructional design is grounded in learning theory, making it more effective.