Confirmed speakers

How to add motivational design in your e-learning

Commander Geir Isaksen
Norwegian Defence University College

Geir.jpgCommander (CDR) Geir Isaksen has more than twelve years in the field of Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) and has been responsible for more than twenty e-learning projects, and different R&D projects in the field of e-learning, m-learning, online learning, standardization and emerging technologies. CDR Isaksen has a master’s degree in information computer technology & learning from the University of Aalborg (2014) and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, from Vestfold University College (1998).

In addition, he has completed several university courses in pedagogies, learning styles and crew resource management. CDR Isaksen holds the position as an ADL Staff Officer at the Norwegian Defense University College (NoDUC)/ADL office, where he is responsible for leading and coordinating procurement, development and implementation of ADL projects. 

His military background is from the Navy, serving on submarines for six years as an electro engineer. CDR Isaksen spent two years as the head instructor in the technical simulator at the Royal Norwegian Submarine School before he started to work at the ADL office in 2002. 

He was a member of the NATO Training Group Task Group IT/ED from 2005 to 2012, where he was the ADL subgroup chairman until May 2011. As the Norwegian ADL Partnership executive director and a member of the NORDEFCO ADL forum of experts, he works closely with international partners.

How to add motivational design in your e-learning

Student motivation is an essential component of all educational and learning processes. Without motivation, students lack cognitive presence resulting in little, if any, learning. In the traditional classroom setting, it’s up to the teacher to facilitate and maintain student motivation. In an e-learning course however, there is less teacher or facilitator presence and the learner is left alone to interact with the instruction mostly alone. E-learning designers and developers must integrate appropriate motivational elements to ensure the learner sustains his/her motivation throughout the entire instruction to maximize the learning outcome. Over the past few years the Norwegian Armed Forces (NoAF) has incorporated motivational design elements focused on promoting and sustaining motivation into our e-learning courses based on John Keller's ARCS Model of Motivational Design. This paper outlines the rationale, methodology, and resulting implementation.

ADL and sustainability

Lt Col Damien Plant
British Army

Damien.jpgBritish Army officer specialising in education and training but with a breadth of operational, command and management experiences in other areas, worldwide. Staff college graduate with a number of academic qualifications, my most recent role was as the training advisor in the UK's 2* Army Training HQ.

ADL and sustainability 

1. The author recently completed The Post-Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business, a premier qualification from the globally renowned Cambridge University Institute for Sustainability Leadership [1].  Whilst academically strong, it aims to equip professionals and managers with the relevant skill sets to integrate sustainability thinking into business actions and to influence change.  A competitive application process required individuals to be academically credible, personally committed to sustainability and in a position to apply learning in their own organization. 

2. Prior to this course the author had completed an MBA, the final project of which explored how to introduce sustainable development to Army Training. Both learning experiences were ultimately sponsored by the Director-General of Army Training. 

3. These studies concluded that the UK MoD has only a nascent approach to sustainability.  This compares unfavourably to best practice in the private sector (e.g. Unilever [2] who recognize the short and long-term benefits to the business of a sustainable mindset.  Of note however is that the head of sustainability for the MoD has an agenda focused on “how sustainability can support Defence business and what will make a sustainable MoD.  It is about getting away from perceptions that sustainability is tree-hugging stuff”. The British Army has now established a 2* Steering Group to provide strategic direction. 

4. The generic benefits to ARTD, the Army and UK Defence are the growing of a new capability, the opportunity to exploit as yet unconsidered opportunities and innovations, short-term bottom line savings and longer term preparation for a shifting environment in which costs for key resources (e.g. energy, transportation) can be anticipated.  Reputational, social and organizational benefits (such as recruiting, retention, employee satisfaction, cultural growth) are also all possible; in a values-based organization adopting a sustainable business approach is basic good sense. 

5. The reason this subject may be of interest to the upcoming ADL conference is because during the Cambridge course the author studied the sustainability benefits of increased use of ADL, coming to some clear conclusions of interest to the ADL community.  These conclusions could benefit attendees in further refining their rationale for ADL in their home-countries and may also act as a stimulant to thought and debate.  The author would be delighted to both present and facilitate a seminar group if required. The author presented at the last ADL Conference in Norway.

6. It must be stressed that that author would be presenting ideas gleaned from academic study and would not be presenting official MoD policy.


[2] Unilever’s share-value has increased by 40% since introducing ‘The Sustainable Living Plan ‘ in 2010 (source: The Economist, 9 Aug, 14)


Is Technology Changing Our Brains?

Dr. Thomas Archibald
Intelligent Decision Systems, Inc 

Archibald.jpgDr. Tom Archibald possesses extensive national and international experience and expertise in human performance technology, instructional systems design, and educational psychology within academia, government, and industry.Dr. Archibald’s areas of interest include creativity and human performance, competency-based learning, sports psychology, distributed cognition, and agile project management. Dr. Archibald is currently the Technical Director at Intelligent Decision Systems, Inc (IDSI).

Is Technology Changing Our Brains?

What affects (negative or positive) do emerging technologies have on our cognitive processes, motivation, or memory? Do such changes augment or hinder our learning? What hidden or subtle cultural implications are we missing? What practical implications should we consider in our designs to leverage these potential changes?
This presentation explores each of the questions above in an effort to help spur new designs leveraging these insights within our current technological environments.

Marine engineer through distance learning in a group organized setup

Hesselund.jpgAssociate Professor Per Hessellund
Aarhus School of Marine and Technical Engineering 

  • Smith
  • Marine Engineer
  • Master in ICT and Learning
  • Taught for 20 years
  • Has been responsible for VLE (Moodle) the last 10 years
  • Developed and is the coordinator of our distance learning program

Marine engineer through distance learning in a group organized setup

Marine engineer through distance learning.

Over the past six years, we have taught Marine engineer students via distance learning on the three years Bachelor degree. We have managed to create a distance learning environment that gives greater satisfaction among students than among similar students in attendance study. Our distance learning program distinguishes itself by being directed against teams where participants act in groups and in which teachers engage in close dialogue with the students.

I will through the presentation show:

  • Building a case- / scenario-based group organized course
  • Learning processes based on a social constructivist point
  • The study viewed from two student's point of view. These will participate via for example Skype or Adobe Connect.

FDF 1-2-3: A Moodle-based MOOC about the Finnish Defence Forces

Lieutenant (Reserve) Kalle Huhtala
Edita Publishing Oy 

Kalle.jpgKalle 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:

FDF 1-2-3: A Moodle-based MOOC about the Finnish Defence Forces

Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) is developing a MOOC-style self-study course aimed at FDF personnel, the reserves and new conscripts. In this presentation we describe the production process of this video-based course. The process is compared to the production process presented in the NATO ADL Guidelines document.

The course comprises 15 modules that cover different aspects of the FDF, but also update the learners' understanding of the current state of the global and European security environment surrounding Finland. The course will be available to FDF personnel and the reserve army in FDF's PVMOODLE learning environment. An important target group are the reservists, some 20 000 of which are annually called for training. They can use the course to update their knowledge before training. The course can also be organized as a scheduled MOOC with peer-reviewed online exercises. Passing the course will equal one refresh training day.

The course modules are designed to take 15-30 minutes each. A module consists of an interactive video lecture, exercises, learning material, test and links to additional media related to the current topic. Both custom made and existing material is used in the course. Moodle UI is customized for the course.

In the presentation we will discuss the methods, tools and challenges in organizing the production of a large video-based MOOC course.

Government Shared Learning Services

Director Paul Jesukiewicz
Office of Personnel Management (OPM) USALearning

Paul-Jesukiewicz.jpgMr. Jesukiewicz has specialized expertise in the field of learning technologies with over 30 years of experience working in government, industry, and academia. Paul served as a senior advisor on advanced learning technologies for U.S. DoD and was Director of the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative. 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.

Government Shared Learning Services

Shared Learning Services across Government:

My presentation will focus on the lessons learned and best practices within the field "multi-platform delivery of courseware" across the U.S. DoD and Federal Government. I will specifically talk about shared learning services through our USALearning program.

USALearning is the official learning and development site for the United States federal government. USALearning is a government entity within the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that is a Human Resource Line of Business "Preferred Provider" for all e-learning products and services government-wide. USALearning supports the development of the federal workforce and advances the accomplishment of agency missions through simplified and one-stop access to high quality e-learning products, information, and services. Some of our offerings include the development and delivery of customized Learning Management Systems (LMS) - including Open Source, Government, and Commercial solutions, Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) and associated services, e-learning and online assessment platforms, communities of practice, and other customized content and collaboration platforms. These include object and document repositories, web-based and blended learning courseware development, and innovative software engineering services to support the development of custom applications.

USALearning is primarily focused on supporting Federal Government and DoD organizations (National and International). USALearning assists organizations to effectively and efficiently achieve agency missions and enable high quality, just-in-time learning and performance support for government employees.

A new engaging E-learning course in Submarine Safety


Commander/ Lieutenant Commander
Leif Ivar Wahlund / Roar Gabrielsen
Norwegian Armed Forces - Submarine Service


A new engaging E-learning course in Submarine Safety

How to use Google street view to walk around in the submarine. Captain give orders and task to the students. 

Breakthrough in learning effectiveness and analytics with Phenomenon-Based Learning and Experience API

Advisor of Online Learning Ville Tuominen
North Karelia municipal education and training consortium (PKKY)

Ville.jpgVille Tuominen is responsible for vocational eLearning unit of North Karelia eCollege at PKKY (North Karelia municipal education and training consortium). Unit provides online studies for vocational students and leads the development of eLearning environments at PKKY. Ville has also been the PKKY lead in the NASA's Epic Challenge program. Ville has been working in educational ITC projects and been leader of eCollege since 2009. Before PKKY and eCollege he has been working as a head teacher of humanistic studies and also as a mathematics, physics and ITC teacher. Ville has also been working in Finland’s national curriculum project for national board of education in 2005 - 2007. His special field of experiments and own research is on pedagogical models, intelligent information systems and measuring learning through learning environments.

Breakthrough in learning effectiveness and analytics with Phenomenon-Based Learning and Experience API

Phenomenon-based learning is one of the learning pedagogies that has recently raised a lot of discussion around the world. The idea behind it is to learn in a form of phenomena and bring learning and teaching closer to actual practice, rather than focusing on single, disconnected subjects that do not relate to everyday life or to each other, at all. Phenomenon-based learning improves for example effectiveness, problem-solving skills, and interaction between learners.

North Karelia municipal education and training consortium (PKKY) replaced their existing LMS with Valamis - Learning Experience Platform, which offers technologies for phenomenon-based learning in online learning and implements it into a modular and flexible environment using Experience API (xAPI) and Learning Record Store (LRS). The learners approach learning in a form of a story, which is related to real life scenarios. While going through the story, the learners themselves do not necessarily recognize which subject each topic of the story is covering. They can e.g. cover subjects such as physics, mathematics and finance within a form of a story where students see all subjects related to the specific phenomenon.

New platform was officially launched to PKKY students in fall 2015. If we compare the study results of PKKY students from fall 2014 to fall 2015, the results are extremely positive and encouraging. After the adoption of phenomenon-based learning pedagogy, students have for example managed to complete their online studies much faster and with better grades. In fall 2014, a total of 81 percent of those who passed their courses gained level T1 (satisfactory) in their studies. In fall 2015, the increase in grades was notable as 78 percent of students gained either level H2 (good) or K3 (excellent). Furthermore, in fall 2014 the pass through rate in online was 49 percent when in fall 2015 the corresponding number was 59 percent. In January 2016, the pass through rate of online studies was already over 70 percent.

According to the feedback from teachers, the quality of essay answers has improved after the adoption of the new platform. Students are now able to connect the topics studied with real life, which also increases the role of personal reflection in their answers. Also, in the new learning environment, following learners' study progress is easier for online teachers, learners as well as for local instructors. The Learning Record Store (LRS) together with Experience API enable detailed follow-up of the study progress and with the help of a visual concept map teachers can easily locate those parts of the studies that appear to be the most challenging for learners. Moreover, in the new learning environment learners can follow their own study progress and give and receive feedback of their studies.

Enhancing Training Effectiveness of Legacy Training Products for Millennials

Business Development Manager Jenna Tuck 
AEgis Technologies Group 

Jenna.jpgJenna Tuck is the Business Development and Sales Manager for The AEgis Technologies Group, Inc. in Orlando, Florida. Her background includes 10 years of experience in the Simulation and Training Industry, with experience in a broad range of positions in Research & Development, Engineering, Production Management, and Business Development.  Jenna has held positions as Project Manager, Assistant Design Engineer, Production Manager, Business and Development Manager, and others during her 10 years in the industry. Jenna has a BSE from the University of Central Florida, and currently serves on the board of AUSA, Central Florida Navy League, and is the Vice President of the AUSA Young Professionals organization for Central Florida. 

Enhancing Training Effectiveness of Legacy Training Products for Millennials

The culture of learning has seen exponential rates of change over the last decade – in large part due to the differences in training requirements needed to engage the income generation of “Millennials” (the generation born between 1976 and 2001.) The Millennials are the first group of incoming trainees that are full digital natives, and as such training these young adults with legacy training products presents several challenges. The tech-savvy, multi-tasking nature of this generation does not respond to traditional PowerPoint based lectures, classroom based instruction, and may not even fully engage when presented with some forms of Interactive Multimedia Instruction (Computer Based Training.) In order to fully engage the new trainees, it is essential to find ways to integrate new emerging technologies, and customized game-based training solutions to meet and sustain legacy training requirements.

The AEgis Technologies Group, Inc. (AEgis) is working with the U.S. Army’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorates (NVESD) in an effort that includes modifying the core functionality of an interactive, on-the-move training game (AEgis’ “Combat ID” game) with NVESD’s Recognition of Combatants – Vehicle (ROC-V) and Recognition of Combatants - Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Targeting and Acquisition (ROC-RSTA) training programs.  The idea is to approach legacy combat identification (friend or foe) training requirements in a manner that is more appealing to Millennial soldiers. The presentation will follow the evolution of the fundamental (legacy) training requirement of tactical vehicle identification to show how we’ve arrived at this concept.

The presentation will discuss the early beginnings of training delivery through index cards, and PowerPoint presentations – and the first evolution of this requirement into a high fidelity, interactive, application-based, serious game called COMBAT ID. Subsequently the presentation will cover the current iteration of integration into emerging training technologies through the ROC-V game, and partnership with NVESD. The presentation will describe how this game-based training solution satisfies five key learning-theory prerequisites that are critical to training students of any generation, but particularly for Millennials.

The presentation will also describe how the training architecture is customized to provide performance feedback, select appropriate instructional strategies, and tailor learning content to focus on the individual needs of each user. The presentation describes the performance measures established for the user evaluations being conducted, to assess the training effectiveness of the serious game enhancement for the legacy training product, and the results of the user assessments. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of future plans to improve training effectiveness based on the results of the user evaluations, and integration into newly released technologies for ongoing training efficiency. 

E-learning at the Royal Danish Defence College: Emerging Practices

Senior lecturer, Dr Gro Frølund
Royal Danish Defence College

Gro.jpgDr. Frølund holds a PhD in English from University of Sydney, Australia, and is senior lecturer at the Royal Danish Defence College. She has 12 years’ experience as an educator in the public and private sectors. She develops e-learning materials and modules for officer cadets studying English for Special Purposes and is a contributor to the College’s emerging policy on pedagogy.

E-learning at the Royal Danish Defence College: Emerging Practices

Globally, in both the public and private sectors, a growing proportion of educational activity takes place in virtual learning environments; armed forces education and training is no exception. Yet when evaluating the strategies, methods and media we employ to teach in these new learning spaces: how much do we know about their effects on students and cadets? What are the factors that create increased learning benefit? Which combinations of technology and didactics increase student motivation?

Researchers have made significant headway in this field of research and meta-analyses from the US suggest that the integration of technology into learning spaces has the potential for increased benefit for learners compared with traditional instruction. However, there are two issues with the largest studies presently available. Firstly, they conclude that learning in a virtual environment has potential; but due to their quantitative approach, they are unable to explore the pedagogical and didactic mechanisms that create this potential. Secondly, such studies have not been orientated towards military institutions.

Hence, we need a deeper understanding of how e-learning, blended learning and other forms of virtual or networked learning affect students – especially in a military context.
For this reason, the current study has mapped the learning experiences of cadets and students from the Royal Danish Defence College through a series of qualitative interviews. The data suggests that to a profound extent student perception of their learning experience is linked to – and hence dependent on – experiences of organisational change, job security, working conditions and home life. As a result, the didactics behind virtual learning environments at the Royal Danish Defence College, and other armed forces institutions like it, need to be especially context-sensitive when it comes to teaching methods and strategies. This study discusses a range of such methods and strategies and makes recommendations for course design.

By shifting the focus from quantifiable test score improvement to the qualitative mapping of the experiences of learners, this study has produced new data with direct applicability for instructional design and pedagogical development within the field of technology and education. The study will be of particular relevance for academies and universities offering armed forces officer training.

Leveraging Emerging Learning Technologies at NATO School Oberammergau

Ms. Tanja Geiss and Mr. Gigi Roman
NATO School Oberammergau

Tanja.jpgMs 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.jpgGigi Roman is the Advanced Distributed Learning (eLearning) Coordinator responsible for NATO School's online education, training and online content management. He is also one of the Course Directors for NATO School’s eLearning Instructional Design course which provides participants the skills to develop, evaluate and implement eLearning solutions in support of NATO E&IT requirements.

His work involves new product design and strategic relationships for the organization learning management systems, authoring tools and collaboration solutions. In previous roles with NATO School and the PfP community, he has overseen the development of web-based knowledge management systems and the repurposing of instructional materials for online delivery. He is an active member of the Advanced Distributed Learning and the Education Development Working Groups of the PfP Consortium of Defence Academies and Security Studies Institutes.

Leveraging Emerging Learning Technologies at NATO School Oberammergau

In 2013 NATO School Oberammergau, celebrated its 60th Anniversary. Today NATO School has a teaching and training experience for over 63 years and is the global leader in multinational military education and individual training. In addition to the resident programme and the mobile training teams NATO School offers, the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Office developed for the last decade a solid online programme enhancing the NATO School’s academic curricula and supports NATO/PfP ADL efforts through online collaborative platforms and learning management systems (LMS). Currently NATO School has over 45 ADL courses online, which are supporting various resident courses.

The idea of online education started in 2005 offering NATO School students’ basic information about the course topic to allow them to inform themselves prior attending a NATO School course. ADL for pre-learning purposes, as used today at NATO School, can be a very useful tool in support of the resident courses. The blended learning approach at NATO School allows the course director and the lectures to presume certain knowledge on each course topic and address the audience on more detailed issues of the topic. In addition to that eLearning at NATO School is not be seen as a strict pre-learning tool, ADL offers a widespread possibility in individual training and learning, e.g. instructor lead course preparation, e-readings and the building of communities of practise. By using ADL in different ways the Course Directors can focus on the specials needs of his audience and tailor not only the ADL course, but especially the resident course to the needs and wishes of the students. Besides the pre-learning ADL courses, NATO School’s ADL Office produced also courses of broader interest, which give students supplementary information on current NATO topics, such as e.g. Defence Against Terrorism, Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Rules of Engagement, Procurement and Contracting.

Besides developing eLearning products the team is also actively engaged in education and training. Their efforts include among others, foster the understanding within the Alliance for the need to engage with emerging learning technologies within all fields of education, especially addressing broader topics such teaching gender to the military.

In addition to that the team successful implemented in 2014 NATO School the NATO eLearning Instructional Design Course to the NATO School curricula. The course is specially designed for those who will create e-learning products, as well as to implement and evaluate e-learning solutions in support of NATO E&IT requirements, and is offered twice a year.
With this course the NATO School ADL Office is closing the loop between online teaching and tutoring and classroom instruction. It is not only training new eLearning team members for the Alliance it also demonstrates how the idea of blended and learning and flipped classroom can be step by step implemented within a military training and education environment.

ADL at NATO School proved to be not only an additional learning tool which is offered to students it managed to prove that collaborative learning is possible within a NATO / PfP training and education environment. By linking the different efforts, the learner gets most out of the NATO School experience and gets best possibly prepared for the everyday tasks.
This article will discuss how NATO School’s ADL Team managed and establish the idea of collaborative learning at NATO School and how the curricula of an institution can be enhanced through various e-Learning technologies. The power of global collaboration, which finds it start at the ADL Office at NATO School Oberammergau, proves that within a world of rapid changing threats and challenges on different levels and through different acteurs time and place independent training and teaching is inevitable.

The idea of the knowledge community e-NATO, which has its beginnings in the ADL collaboration through the PfP Consortium of Defence Academies and Security Studies Institutes, will drive future developments within that area and will continue to enhance and drive the training, tailored to the needs of each individual soldier, seaman or airman.


Keynote speakers: 45 mins.
Speakers (Auditorium): 30 mins.
Parallel sessions: 40 mins.
Workshops: 2x40 mins. or
Workshop: 90 mins.


Exhibition in every break


Event Date
May 10th - 12th may 2016

Hotel Gustavelund
Tuusula, Finland

The conference fee 2016
(5520 NOK, 5570 SEK, 4475 DKK)

Price extra night 120€

Accomodation from Monday 9th to Thursday 12th.
Accomodation single room
All meals
Free coffe during all breaks
Free Wifi
Free parking
Free transport Airport/Hotel (Shuttle)