Frontpage > ADL Conference 2017 > Speakers > Confirmed speakers

Ms Siren Hole
Project Manager Transform

Siren HoleSiren Elise Frøytlog Hole has years of experience in design and development of online learning/courses and a background in digital marketing. She holds a BA in Culture and society, an MA in English literature and an MA in Science and technology studies. Hole is now a project manager and scriptwriter at Transform AS, where she works in close collaboration with NoDUC/ADL office, engaging in the production of e-learning courses from the beginning of the process until completion.

Examples of increased use of blended learning designs

How to support the teacher in the transition to online learning


Mr Lars Sander
Senior Training Developer Siemens Wind Power

LarsSander.jpgSenior training developer at Siemens Wind Power. Responsible for developing training for technicians installing and servicing wind turbines. Mostly working with digital learning objects. Educational background as Teacher and Master of ICT and Learning. Working with development of learning objects for the last 30 years.

Examples of increased use of blended learning designs

Simulator for single blade installation on offshore wind turbines

Lessons learned from the development of a single blade installation simulator for installing B75 (75 meters long) as part of a blended learning process involving the complete installation of a offshore wind turbine.

Siemens identified a need for training of yoke operators for offshore installation of wind turbines.
The training process is a blended learning approach. When installing a wind turbine a sequence of actions must be performed. The installation of tower and nacelles are trained as "on the job" training on the vessel. The installing of the blades on the offshore wind turbine is trained in the simulator and completed with an element of "on the job" training on the vessel. The blades to be installed are 75 meters long weighing 25 to 27 metric tons.
The development process of the blade installation simulator has been split into a number of elements to be integrated in the presentation.

  • Idea and first layout of the simulator
  • Development of requirement specification for simulator
  • Proposals and the choice between suppliers
  • Definition of "Statement of work" based on the proposal
  • Define and prepare collaboration between stakeholders
  • Alignment between training content and simulator possibilities
  • Course differentiation and training experiences.

The presentation will focus on two important lessons learned during this development.
One focus will be on the blended learning approach integrating "on the job" and simulator training to achieve the best possible outcome of the training. The simulator allows the trainee to be trained in situations you would not like to create in real life.
Another focus will be on the importance of the stakeholder management. The process had focus on ensuring a collaborative approach creating ownership from all involved parties in the development process. The idea has been to take out the supplier – customer relations and replace them by the collaborative approach.


Ms Tanja Geiss, Mr Gigi Roman
NATO School Oberammergau

Tanja GeissMs Tanja Geiss is the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Chair at NATO School, Oberammergau, Germany. Her roles include the management of NATO School’s online course programme, establishing and fostering NATO School’s strategic engagement with its major eLearning Partners within NATO and PfP. She was also involved in the conceptual development of the NATO School eLearning Course, which provides participants with the skills to develop evaluate and implement eLearning solutions in support of NATO E&IT requirements. Now Ms Geiss is also one of the course directors for this course (the M7-126 course) which is conducted twice a year at NATO School Oberammergau, and is lecturing regularly at other NATO School courses.

Additionally Ms Geiss published various articles on ADL and eLearning in Germany, Poland, Romania, Ukraine and USA. Currently she is working together with the Education Development Working Group and the Security Sector Working Group on a Manual on "Teaching Gender to the Military". Ms Geiss is regularly invited to speak on international conferences about ADL and eLearning, and best practices on using new technologies for education and training. She has been also engaged in the PfP Consortium ADL Working Group and the Education Development Working Group for many years. She lectures on “Combating Human Trafficking”, “Gender”, “Equal Opportunities” and “Terrorism”.

Gigi RomanGigi Roman is one of the Course Directors for the NATO eLearning Design Development and Deploy course and the Advanced Distributed Learning (eLearning) Coordinator responsible for NATO School's online education, training and online content management, including new product design and strategic relationships for the organization learning management system, authoring tools and collaboration solutions.
In previous roles with NATO School and PfP community, he has overseen the development of web-based knowledge management systems and the re purposing of instructional materials for online delivery.

Examples of increased use of blended learning designs

Implementing Gender Awareness at NATO School Oberammergau through blended learning

The Alliance's need for training as well as the amount of topics is increasing each year. However, education and training budgets as well as the scheduled time for professional development is increasing. The need for a time and cost effective solution is obvious, and in the "age of video tutorials, open content, and social media"[1] it is just logic that also NATO is moving to combine more and more formal and informal learning. When eLearning was established it was seen as a fast and cost effective solution to train more people at the same time. Now training and education institutions see the pedagogical benefit of using a blended approach to address topics, not only for course preparation, but also to enhance the learning experience and allow more student centric teaching methods such as the flipped classroom.

Especially the so called "soft topics" such as gender awareness were often cut off. In 2015, NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) found itself in the problematic situation to recognize the Alliances' training need on gender awareness on the one hand and the lack of time on the other hand. To use the ADL Course, ADL 169: Gender Awareness, developed by ACT and partners[2] was the logical solution. What started as a solution to solve a training need, turned into a success story for the blended learning approach at NATO School. From the course participants feedback resulted the ADL 169 online course is not only interesting, but also helped them to solve their syndicate tasks better and more efficient respecting the different aspects of a problem situation.

The example of the ADL 169 and the implantation throughout NSO courses, proves course participants are ready for studying beyond the setting of a classroom, it is the question of learning opportunities which has to be created by the educators. In the following years, NSO will look more into options to address more topics within the framework of a one week class by using the blended learning approach. This might be done either by self-studies and stand-alone courses, or by instructor led online sessions, where students will get the possibility to discuss content with experts and classmates online prior attending the resident week. The limits are so far only our imagination, and examples from Universities show that the blended learning approach is a proven concept. 

Dr Gro Frølund
Royal Danish Defence College

Gro FrølundGro is senior lecturer in English at the Royal Danish Defence College, Copenhagen. She has 13 years' experience in education from the Defence College, universities and the private sector.

Blending formal and informal learning

Collaboration in armed forces digital learning environments

The aim of this paper is to explore the possibilities collaboration offers in the virtual learning environments of the armed forces. I will argue that for reasons of culture and structure in the armed forces, the opportunities created by collaborative learning activities in e-learning and blended learning are especially fruitful here.

Collaboration is a pervasive, foundational form of activity in our armies, air forces and navies. It expresses itself in cultural traits such as never leaving a soldier behind, taking your share and being someone you can count on, to name a few. Moreover, most armed forces activities are structured forms of collaboration; staff work, tactical planning, active duty and so forth are all day-to-day examples. Collaborative activities in virtual learning spaces tap into that culture.

However, and perhaps confusingly, a study I conducted last year at the Royal Danish Defence College (RDDC) revealed that resistance to online courses with collaborative activities is common.

Through learning theory, motivational theory and practical examples, this paper will explore how we can succeed in tapping into the existing culture of collaboration. A deeper understanding of this issue will lead to improved online learning course design as well as increased long-term learning for our cadets and officers.

Dr Paul Pivec
Cranberry Blue R&D Limited

Paul PivecGame developer for over 35 years, University lecturer for over 12. Paul has a wealth of experience in the design and development of online training platforms, especially game based scenarios. Currently developing training games for fortune 500 companies and now based in Europe, Paul regularly speaks at conferences, has done several keynotes, has been contracted to the EC as a consultant, and is highly entertaining.

Re-designing learning spaces

Compliance 3D - Redefining mandatory learning

Now in it's third year, our Compliance and Ethics Game "Ethica", reaches over 30,000 employees in 7 languages. We developed the game in Unity and using a staged rollout, we expect to train over 200,000 staff in 26 languages within the next two years, and as such, the product has been scaled to cope with the increase in load using an online delivery.

Ethica has evolved from a first person 3D dialog based game, to a third person adventure game with random scenarios teaching compliance, ethics, and company values. Based on a virtual Mediterranean island, the game can be described as Tomb Raider without the guns, and provides the player with many customizable options. However, although compliance training is mandatory in many American corporations, staff will always have the option of traditional paper based learning.

The game is accessible through two corporate Learning Management Systems (LMS) using a SCORM interface. Compliance trainers and management are able to monitor player progress and view a complete audit trail via the built in analytics either online or via an iPad app, and all records are recorded on an encrypted database via a secure remote server for post training analysis.

The product is deemed to be highly successful, however it has not all been smooth sailing. This presentation will provide an insight into the perils of developing 3D game based training for corporate businesses. Issues with the LMS, the company firewalls, browser versions and differences, and of course the wide variation in player expertise will be discussed. The original roadmap of development will be shown, and how and why it evolved into what it is today.

It is hoped that the audience will learn what to do and what to avoid when planning and designing game based training for online delivery.

Ms Triinu Soomere
Baltic Defence College

Triinu SoomereTriinu Soomere is lecturer in Critical Thinking and Communication at the Baltic Defence College. She has worked in Foundation Innove as the chief specialist and was responsible for the national examination in English. She was also a lecturer of English and the Head of the Language Centre in the Estonian National Defence College. She has a background in foreign language teaching, conference interpretation and educational leadership.

Personalizing learning

Use of Smart Devices for Learning: Experience, Perceptions and Proposals of the Basic Course cadets of the Estonian National Defence College

Digital competence and the use of innovative technological tools in education has become an integral part of today’s educational policy in the European Union, including Estonia. At the same time, the results of earlier research in the Estonian Defence Forces are sparse and controversial, suggesting a complete ban of mobile devices in the classroom. Therefore, the aim of the research was to determine the Junior Officer Course cadets’ experience and perceptions and their proposals for using smart devices for learning in the Estonian National Defence College (ENDC). Qualitative research method was used. Semi-structured interviews with 10 ENDC Basic Course cadets were conducted for data collection. Result indicated that cadets had most experience with using smart devices for learning in connection to formal education and generally described their experience as positive. They had different perceptions about learning with smart devices: some considered these useful, while others deemed them impractical or having a negative effect on the study process. Generally, cadets perceived that that smart devices were more suitable for younger and self-directed students. Several task or function based proposals for the use of smart devices for learning in the ENDC were made.

Mr Paul Jesukiewicz
Director U.S. Office of Personnel Managment

Paul JesukiewiczMr. Jesukiewicz has specialized expertise in the field of learning technologies with over 30 years of experience working in government, industry, and academia. He is currently Director of OPM's USALearning Knowledge Portal supporting advanced learning technology solutions across all of government. Prior to OPM Paul served as Vice President of Carney Labs and as a Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton where he led learning technologies and innovation across the learning team. Prior to that Paul served as a senior advisor on advanced learning technologies for Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Personnel and Readiness (P&R) and was Director of the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative. Prior to that he worked with OSD, Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) and Navy (Naval Air Systems Command) as a Program Manager on various training, education, modeling and simulation programs. He has a solid reputation as a thought leader in learning technologies, known both nationally and internationally. He was inducted into the Federal Government Distance Learning Association (FGDLA) Hall of Fame in 2012 as recognition for significant career accomplishments in promoting and developing distance learning in the Federal Government.

Measuring learning and tracking learning activities (xAPI)

xAPI and USALearning Record Store

Currently U.S. government training records are not all centralized and do not contain the rich set of learning activities that people are engaging in including: Informal Learning, Mobile access, Virtual Worlds, Games, Simulations, Performance Support, Team-based participation, Intelligent Tutoring Systems, HR Systems, and Digital Badges. Learn how the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's USALearning is building a government-wide, open source, centralized learning record store (LRS) using Experience API (xAPI). Every individual will have access to their own life-long learning record. xAPI will record all user activities to include formal and informal learning and will incorporate learning analytics, personal learning dashboards, and digital badging.


Professor Vasile Rus
The University of Memphis

Vasile RusDr. Vasile Rus has been recently promoted to Full Professor at The University of Memphis where he holds a joint appointment in the Department of Computer Science and Institute for Intelligent Systems. Starting this Fall, he was awarded a William Dunavant Professorship. He is also the Director of the new Data Science Center at The University of Memphis. His research interests lie at the intersection of artificial intelligence and cognitive science with an emphasis on developing interactive intelligent systems based on strong theoretical findings that address critical challenges such as automatically answering natural language questions (similar to IBM's Watson Question Answering system), furthering the effectiveness of educational technologies such as intelligent tutoring systems, and developing interactive systems that optimize the effectiveness of substance abuse treatments.

Personalizing learning

Conversational Educational Technologies

Tutoring is reportedly one of the most effective forms of instruction that often yields superior learning gains compared to other forms of instruction such as reading a textbook or traditional classroom instruction. A key ingredient of tutoring is the focus on one student at a time leading to highly personalized instruction.

Encouraged by the effectiveness of one-on-one human tutoring, computer tutors that mimic human tutors have been successfully built with the hope that a computer tutor could be afforded by every child or adult learner with access to a computer. Nevertheless, building a computer tutor that mimics the human tutoring process is challenging. We will present our work on developing dialogue-based intelligent tutoring systems as well as results from large scale, after-school experiments with high-school students that showed that our tutoring systems are as effective as average human tutors.

We will also argue that conversational educational technologies will play a dominant role in the future learning ecosystem as the human computer interaction is rapidly changing towards dialogue-based interfaces as proven by the myriad of intelligent personal assistants like Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, Google's Now, or Amazon's Alexa. While the multi-billion industry of intelligent personal assistants can only handle micro-dialogues, dialogue-based intelligent tutoring system focus on lengthy dialogues that could last up to one hour. Scaling up the human-computer interaction to lengthy conversations is challenging and lessons can be learned from our work.

Mr Ulf Jinnestrand
Viking 18 Planning Team

Practical use of (emerging) learning technologies

Implementation of ADL in multinational exercises (Viking 18)

Mr Janne Hietala
CCO Chief Commercial Officer Arcusys Ltd.

Measuring learning and tracking learning activities (xAPI)

How to concretely benefit from xAPI in military training

Lt (res) Kalle Huhtala
Edita Publishing Ltd.

Kalle HuhtalaKalle HuhtalaKalle Huhtala is Director of Development at Edita Publishing Ltd. His main areas at work are the development of advanced digital learning materials, the concept of learning at work and the use of gamification. Kalle has a long history with the Finnish Defence Forces, working in many extensive multimedia-based eLearning courses. His video biography can be found here:

Blending formal and informal learning

Gamification in eLearning: Design Principles and Tools

Simulations have been used in military training more than in any other field. Games are a form of simulation. Building a good game is risky and difficult. Yet games are designed on a set of concepts, rules and conventions that we can use to make topics such as training and routines more motivating and engaging. This is called gamification.

In this presentation I will introduce the concept of gamification with examples. I will present two theoretical gamification frameworks, by professor Kevin Werbach and gamification guru Yu-kai Chou. I will describe practical applications of these methods in eLearning content design.

I will also give examples of common LMS (e.g. Moodle) and content production tools with gamification support. The presentation concludes with thoughts on what designing gamification requires from the content designers.