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DER May 1 2001 Pentagon Parmentier

DER May 1 2001 Pentagon Parmentier

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Published by Steven Donahue
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Published by: Steven Donahue on Jun 12, 2007
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R        E         P          O        R        T         
ISTANCE EDUCATION
 W 
hat do a computerized firing range for tanks, a mock aircraft maneuvering over a simulated battlefield, andlearning a language at a distance have in common?“An amazing amount, in a world that is more complex, with tools that are more complex,” says Michael Parmentier,the Pentagon’s top trainer, who is the Director of Readinessand Training in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He was the featured speaker at the spring 2001 SimulationInteroperability Standards Organization (SISO) workshopin Orlando. The workshop provided a rarefied peek at theblueprint that will drive the web-based learning industry over the next few years.Modeling and simulation are tools used to learn andpractice military skills, such as qualifying on a firing range, with the virtual reality power of computers. The savings onsimulated training compared to traditional methods can beconsiderable. The SISO convention is the first time thatthe worlds of distance education and simulation have for-mally come together. Common standards are being sought,that will allow distributed learning and distributed simula-tion objects to interact through the Department of Defense’s Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initia-tive, and other venues in a digital world. Such standardscreate common ground that will allow the interchange of SCORM-conformant content over the Internet. (SCORMis the ADL’s “Sharable Content Object Reference Model”— the basis for establishing international distance educa-tion conventions.)Parmentier thinks that, in many cases, today’s learnersand soldiers, “The Nintendo generation,” learn best wheninteracting with rich multimedia and simulation. Along withmany other vanguards in the field, he feels that “text and sta-tic pages are often not the first choice for this generation.Instead of going to the library, they prefer to use Internetsearch engines such as ‘Ask Jeeves’.”
 Jump-starting the New Economy 
“2000 was the year when the ‘C’ in SCORM was changedto reflect Content; 2001 is the year when that content willbegin to be put in standardized repositories, somewhere incyberspace,” Parmentier says.
Volume 5, Number 9May 1, 2001
Defense Modeling and Simulation Technology 
.............1
Editorial: MIT Giveaway ............................................2In the Field: Taking A School Online...........................3In the News: Post-Napster Bandwidth Jam...................4Course in Point: Bringing Statistics to Life...................5Global Village: Brain Oxygen for Latin America...........6Resources: Syllabus 2001 Conference............................7 Technology Briefing: New WebCT Platform.......................8
IN THIS ISSUE
 That’s important, according to Parmentier because, “It’sin the national interest to create a business model that workson the Net, particularly for distributed education.”Parmentier and others feel that the days when everything was free on the Net must change for there to be valuable androbust learning online.Dr. Jerry West, the technical director of the Washington,D.C. ADL Co-Lab, who led the SCORM workshop said,“Before SCORM, the business model was to never sharecode; now content is sharable across conformant platforms.”Dr. West predicted, “By May, 2001, online content will becertified by the ADL initiative, and this could be the fuelthat may help jump-start the New Economy as it tries toemerge from its current downturn.”
Unprecedented Cooperation
Parmentier marvels at “the unprecedented level of coop-eration that is apparent in pursuing the goals of distributedlearning. Industry, academia, and government are all coa-lescing around a central goal.” As the Pentagon’s “trainingguy,” Parmentier currently sits at the center of that effort.“At the Washington, D.C. ADL Co-Lab, in a single day, you can see the National Guard, Marines, Navy, Army,industry providers, other federal agencies (like Departmentof Labor), and academics pass through its doors,” he says.
continued on page 
2
Defense Technology Fuels Distance Learning: Talking to the Pentagon’s E-trainer 
By Steven Donahue 
 
2May 1, 2001Distance Education Report
R        E         P          O        R        T         
ISTANCE EDUCATION
Distance Education Report 
(ISSN 1094-320X) is published semimonthly by Magna Publications Inc., 2718 Dryden Drive, Madison, WI 53704.Phone: 800-433-0499. Copyright © 2001. One-year (24 issues) subscription: $399.Periodicals postage paid at Madison, WI POSTMASTER:Send change of addressto:
Distance Education Report 
, 2718 Dryden Drive, Madison, WI 53704.E-mail: custserv@magnapubs.com; Web Site: www.magnapubs.com
 Vice President:
 Jody Glynn Patrick 
Publisher:
Deborah H. Harville (dharvill@magnapubs.com)
Managing Editor:
Rob Kelly (robkelly@magnapubs.com)
Marketing Manager:
 Thomas Bajek (tombajek@magnapubs.com)
Graphics/Production:
Susan Hayes
Customer Service:
Mark Beyer
Editorial Advisory Board:
Donald P. Ely, Associate Director, ERIC Clearinghouse onInformation & Technology; Chere Gibson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of  Wisconsin-Madison; David Giltrow, Independent Consultant, Educational Technology & Communication, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Darcy W. Hardy, Ph.D., Director forDistance Education, Center for Instructional Technologies, University of Texas atAustin; Joseph Holland, University of Wisconsin-Stout; Marge Jeffers, WTCNDistance Education Network, Fox Valley Technical College; Marina Stock McIssac,Educational Media and Computers, Arizona State University; Karen L. Murphy, Ed.D.,Associate Professor, Texas A&M University; Don Olcott, Jr., VCampus Corporation;Christine Olgren, Ph.D., Chair, Distance Teaching and Learning Conference,University of Wisconsin-Madison; Todd Price, Ph.D., Executive Director, WYOUCommunity Television, Madison, WI; Rick Shearer, MA, MBA, InstructionalDesigner, World Campus, Pennsylvania State University; John Witherspoon,ProfessorEmeritus, San Diego State University; Linda L. Wolcott, Ph.D., Department of Instructional Technology, Utah State University. To order back issues, call Customer Service at 800-433-0499. Back issues cost $17.00each ($390 for the previous year’s complete collection), free shipping and handling inthe US. You can pay with MasterCard, VISA, Discover, or American Express. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard tothe subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is notengaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice orother expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should besought. Authorization to photocopy for internal or personal use, or the internal or per-sonal use of specific clients, is granted by 
Distance Education Report 
for users registered withthe Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) Transactional Reporting Service, provided that10 cents per page is paid directly to CCC, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923;Phone: 978-750-8400; www.copyright.com. For those organizations granted a license by CCC, a separate system of payment has been arranged.
Defense Technology
… from page 1
Part of Parmentier’s job is to advise Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and his senior staff on all policies, pro-grams, and budgets for the department’s education andtraining activities. He sets the policy guidelines that impacteverything from the Defense Language Institutes toPartner for Peace nations, and our allies. He says,“Essentially, when it comes to learning technologies, weare seen by all parties as an honest broker, a neutral venue,and a keeper of the flame for SCORM software.”Parmentier describes the military as “a historic learninginstitution capable of taking in raw recruits and training andupgrading their skills.” As an extension of that historicmission, Parmentier’s office now supplies the guidelines(like SCORM) that, among other things, will help shape suchkey programs as the $600 million Army University Onlineinitiative. The service hopes to boost retention by helpingactive-duty Army personnel (90% of the enlisted do not havea baccalaureate degree) complete college degrees at a distance.Parmentier suggests that there have been three learningrevolutions: writing, printing, and digitization. SinceSCORM is a “living document,” no one can know whatthe next 10 or 20 years will bring, “but it will be a learningenvironment where even the architects will be astounded athow quickly the change occurred.”
Steven Donahue teaches English as a Second Language and Pronunciation Online at Broward Community College in SouthFlorida. He can be reached at <sdonahue@broward.cc.fl.us.>
G
A
s institutions try to figure out how to generate revenuefrom distance education, the Massachusetts Institute of  Technology has decided to post nearly all of its course mate-rials on the Internet, free of charge.Although MIT’s initiative is not direct competition fordistance education — the plan does not offer courses forcredit or any interaction with instructors — it may help shapethe future of distance education. The plan, known as MIT OpenCourseWare, will makeavailable the core teaching materials used in its courses, suchas lecture notes, course outlines, reading lists, assignments,and perhaps, videotaped lectures.Over the next ten years MIT will make available the mate-rials for some 2,000 courses at a cost of $7.5 million to $10million per year during the initial phase of the project.MIT will not offer these courses for credit. Rather, it willmake available the course materials worldwide for non-com-mercial purposes such as research and education.According to MIT, this will help faculty at institutionsaround the world develop new curricula and courses, partic-ularly in developing countries that are trying to expand theireducation systems.Other benefits include serving as a resource for individ-ual learners, serving as a model for other institutions tomake similar content available, and stimulating theexchange of ideas about innovative ways to use theresources in teaching and learning. The biggest benefit of MIT OCW is the message it sendsto other institutions and potential students: While thesematerials are an integral part of the education process, theinteraction between and among instructors and students is what makes education.Hopefully this move will raise the bar for educators toshow them that lecture notes and links to resources shouldnot pass for education. Education, whether it is online or faceto face, only works through an active exchange of ideasbetween people. If your program doesn’t provide that, youmay as well give it away.
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It’s the Interaction, Stupid!
EDITORIAL
 
Distance Education ReportMay 1, 20013
 T
he virtual teachers at the Art Institute Online (AIO)gather regularly in Pittsburgh to get real about deliver-ing AI content over the web. At their most recent meeting,it was apparent that the Art Institute Internet “war room”for distance education was taking no prisoners. Their mis-sion is nothing short of some day delivering every AI classin an online version that equals or exceeds the quality of theface-to-face class. The Art Institutes, Education Management Corpor-ation is among the largest providers of proprietary post-sec-ondary education in the United States. The Art Institutessystem includes 23 educational institutions located nation- wide. It has graduated over 125,000 students since it wasfounded in 1962, in fields like design, media arts, fashion,and the culinary industry. The Art Institute Online, formed in 1997 from its par-ent, offers a virtual learning platform for Internet-deliverededucation. It currently hosts online courses leading to abachelor of science degree in graphic design, an associate of science degree in graphic design, and a diploma program indigital design.
 The Virtual Team
Many of the the cutting-edge issues of distance educa-tion were discussed at the AIO get-together. Topics rangefrom online relationships with Duquesne University, a few blocks away, to interchangeable knowledge objects, to thelatest version of Flash, to the impact of the web-basedEducation Commission’s findings on accreditation andfinancial aid. The story at AIO is typical of a transformation that ishappening within many other traditional schools and cor-
INTHEFIELD
porations. Online education proponents at AIO have worked long and hard to make their case. They demon-strated the value of distance education in research and test-ing for the Art Institute Online launch. The school foundthat online faculty members develop closer relationships with students, and that student workloads are more intensethan in on-ground courses.George Pry, president of the Art Institute of Pittsburghsays, “It takes a self-motivated and committed student to besuccessful in online learning.” While research has made iteasier to argue that learning can in fact be accomplishedonline, other issues remain to be hammered out: changingtechnologies, glitches, and marketing angles. Jane McBride, assistant director of distance education, with wide experience in teaching English as a second lan-guage (ESL), is convinced that the future of mass educa-tion runs through the wires buried beneath cities likePittsburgh, and stretching into the world’s classrooms. “Inthe physical classroom, teachers are frequently tasked toteach pronunciation, without any explicit instructions — why can’t it be done better online?” she asks.
 Turning the Corner 
AIO’s five years in online learning has gradually paidoff. The investment has primarily been in the human capi-tal that was already within the Art Institute. The internaltraining has generated a small army of online instructors.AIO is holding steady in the uncertain economy.Enrollment at the Art Institute Online was up for thespring 2001 semester. Future plans include strategic part-nerships, reaching out to foreign clients, and continuing toadd core Art Institute courses online.
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 The Art Institutes: Taking A School Online
By Steven Donahue 
A
t last, some 900 community colleges across the country get what they have been campaigning long and hard for— use of the dot-edu domain. The ‘.edu’ suffix had previ-ously been limited to four-year colleges. On April 14, theUnited States Department of Commerce announced that it would transfer control of 
‘.
edu’ Internet addresses tononprofit EDUCAUSE to serve as the domain’s gatekeeper.EDUCAUSE has made it clear that they intend to expandthe use of the addresses to community colleges.EDU-CAUSE <www.educause.org> and the Department of Commerce will work out final details of the agreement overthe next few weeks. VeriSign, the for-profit company thathad run dot-edu, will continue to assign dot-com, dot-org,and dot-net addresses.
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Community College Campaign Pays Off in Dot-edu Designation

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