Plenary Speakers
 Plenary 1

Mr. Julian Stodd

Sea Salt Learning, United Kingdom

IMG_9397.jpegResearcher, Writer, Illustrator, Explorer of the Social Age. My work explores leadership and learning at the intersection of formal and social systems.

Getting Lost to Learn: disorientation and imperfection in learning

Part of learning is learning how to win: how to pass tests and meet certain criteria. But this can push us into a perspective where we hold one narrow and codified view of success. We learn to win, but within narrowly defined systems that may be abstract of the challenges we face in the real world. There are contexts where uniformity, or monocultural thought, leave us weak or blind. Where we would be stronger if we could discover a broader space of learning. In this session we will consider two aspects of learning that serve this need: being lost, disorientated, and seeking imperfection. It’s remarkably hard to willingly become lost: we hold onto our sense of place, much as we hold onto old ideas when presented with new challenges. So in this first section we will consider what it means to be lost, and how we may prepare for it, and what we can gain from it. In the second section, we will consider whether a sharper view is always a better one: are there benefits to imperfection, to blurring the boundaries of our view. We consider what happens at boundaries, where ideas, stories, experience, can bleed across. Finally, we will consider this from the perspective of learning design: how can we create leadership programmes that incorporate disorientation and imperfection, and what would that cost us and give us.

Learning science

 Plenary 2

Mr. Henrik Jönsson

Divine Robot, Sweden

Henrik_Jonsson.jpegHenrik Jönsson is an entrepreneur, YouTuber & professional speaker – he´s an expert in IT, leadership, and trend spotting. He has built several successful IT companies, published books about culture and runs a YouTube channel with more than half a million views each month.

Ready for Reality with Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) has become one of the most exciting and rapidly evolving technologies in recent years. From healthcare and education to industry, construction and tourism, VR is being used in an ever-increasing number of industries, revolutionizing the way we experience the world around us. Join Henrik Jönsson to understand how to benefit from Virtual Reality in military applications such as decision training or shooting training where VR technology enable digital learning and several benefits compared to traditional training. You will learn to:

  • save money and time in introducing VR in training and education
  • measure progress and success in adopting VR in training and education
  • make education interactive and provide a safe environment for training and education

Henrik Jönsson will also give you a glance into the future of VR within the coming 5-10 years.

Practical use of (emerging) learning technologies

 Plenary 3

Dr. Gro Frølund

Royal Danish Defence College, Denmark

Louise_Gro_Frolund_foto_til_ID.jpgGro Frølund is a senior lecturer (English) at the Royal Danish Defence College. She has a PhD from the University of Sydney, Australia, and has been an educator at universities, in the private sector and in the Armed Forces for 18 years.

AI-based learning opportunities and challenges from the perspective of learning science

The proliferation of AI technologies creates exciting opportunities for learning; however, a growing body of research suggests that these technologies also create significant barriers to it. AI tools such as ChatGPT can optimize task completion, but how do we use it to support us in our learning instead of our output production? And how do we ensure that AI-based learning activities align with sound learning science? This paper will claim that part of the answer lies in our approach to AI literacy and 21st century skills such as critical thinking and meta-cognitive skills. Moreover, it will claim that teaching our cadets such skills is essential if we are to succeed in integrating AI-based activities into our learning processes in a responsible way. Drawing on learning theory, practical examples from the field of foreign language learning will be explored in order to throw light on the necessary role of 21st century skills in learning today.

Learning science

 Plenary 4

Dr. Viktoriya Fedorchak

PhD, Lecturer in War Studies, Sweden

DSC_0770_Cajt.jpgDr Fedorchak is a lecturer in War Studies, Air Operations Division, at the Swedish Defence University. Previously, she taught in Norway, Ireland and the UK. Dr Fedorchak taught and coordinated multiple courses in Air Power, Security and Strategic Studies, International Relations and European Studies. Dr Fedorchak received her PhD from the University of Hull, exploring the subject of ‘The Development of RAF Air Power Doctrine, 1999-2013.’ She has widely published on air power and security studies, and multi-domain aspects of the Russia-Ukraine war. Her books are the monograph ‘British Air Power: The Doctrinal Path to Jointery’ (2018), and the textbook ‘Understanding Contemporary Air power’ (2020). Her upcoming monograph, ‘The Russia-Ukraine War: towards Resilient Fighting Power’ is to be published in Spring 2024. Her current research interests include air power, Nordic aerial cooperation, and Sweden’s NATO membership.

Improving Formative Feedback in Student Learning During Wargaming

Wargaming has become one of the most prominent teaching techniques in military education, combining theoretical frameworks, military doctrines and practical skills. Various studies focus on the setups of wargaming and the extent of the empiricism in developing the desired skills and their sequential progressions across multiple levels of wargaming within the teaching programmes. Another segment in exploring wargaming is associated with the pedagogical aspects of the learning process. In this regard, various teaching techniques can be tested against the best practice in stimulating and strengthening student learning in different learning environments (digital, physical and hybrid).

The purpose of the offered presentation is to present findings of the ongoing research on the topic of formative feedback on student learning during wargaming. The research project aims to identify best practices for providing formative feedback for this type of learning activity. In the context of wargaming, formative feedback can refer to any discussion of students’ performance during one wargaming before the beginning of the next. So, this refers to reflecting upon student actions to shape and improve their performance during the next stage of wargaming. The presented case is based on the survey findings from the wargaming at the air division at the Swedish Defence University. The preliminary findings indicate when the formative feedback should be provided and in which format, timeframe and sequence. The research findings are discussed within the existing best practices in the Nordic countries and relevant professional literature in the field of wargaming.

Key words: wargaming, formative feedback, learning methods, student performance.

Learning methodology

 Plenary 5

Dr Jeela Jones 

Canada Advanced Distributed Learning Centre (C-ADLC)

IMG_5272_2.jpgDr. Jeela Jones is a specialist in Technology Enabled Learning (TEL). She is the Manager of the Project Management and Innovation Office (PMIO) with the Canadian Advanced Distributed Learning Centre (C-ADLC). She holds a PhD in Education specializing in teaching, learning, and evaluation and a Masters in Education specializing in adult education and human resources. Dr. Jones serves on the NATO Learning Interoperability Working Group and the Five Eyes (FVEY) Technology Cooperation Program (TTCP) HUM 23 Working Group.

On the precipice of change: How eLearning continues to survive, and even thrive as it harnesses the principles of learning engineering and the power of Generative Artificial Intelligence

Standing at the precipice of a revolutionary shift, eLearning is undergoing a remarkable transformation. As a learning strategy, eLearning has remained relevant with mobile learning, gamification, and micro-learning. As eLearning ventures into the realm of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI), the next phase will be marked by the integration of personalized and adaptive learning, informed by the principles of learning engineering and propelled by the formidable power of artificial intelligence. Learning engineering, the combined use of science, technology, and pedagogy, enables evidence-based learning experiences. GAI possesses the capability to not only analyze learner data but also generate dynamic and contextually relevant content that is co-created by the learner and GAI. Combined, learning engineering and GAI enable dynamic content creation that ensures a more personalized and adaptive educational experience, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of individual learners, that achieves measurable results. This presentation will discuss C-ADLC initiatives that incorporate these strategies and emerging projects that harness learning engineering and GAI.

Learning technology

 Plenary 6

Dr Sae Schatz

the Knowledge Forge, USA

Schatz_2021_sq.pngSae Schatz, Ph.D., works at the intersection of human cognition and learning, technology, and data. From 2015 to 2022, she served as the director of the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative, a government program for research, development, and policy stewardship. Under her leadership, the program grew its impact across the US and international defense sectors, and she sparked the community’s pursuit of the “future learning ecosystem.” Before joining the civil service, Sae worked as an applied human–systems scientist in both business and academia. She formerly held an assistant professorship with the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Simulation and Training, and she was an instructor in the UCF Digital Media Department. Sae is a prolific writer and professional presenter as well as a graphic designer who often uses those skills to enhance books,

AI for Military Learning

This seminar looks at AI tools and instructional tactics. It starts with a brief overview of AI and learning (to level set), followed by an interactive exploration of the promise and perils of AI for our classrooms. After that, we’ll have an interactive demonstration and discussion of some tools and techniques that can be used today. The seminar closes with a brief overview of learning engineering and the future of lifelong learning. This interactive, engaging session is geared towards both AI enthusiasts and skeptics; no prior knowledge of AI is required.

Learning technology

 Plenary 7

LTC Romano Dell'Aere

Italian Defence General Staff

foto_rom.jpgAir Defence Officer, Flight Weapon Controller Instructor on NATO AWACS, ACT Staff Officer Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate, Italian Defence General Staff Policy Education Officer.

Proposed functionalities and architecture of the SFIDA2 system for the Italian Armed Forces

Emerging trends in economic, social, military, geopolitical, environmental and especially technological dimensions define challenges on the horizon that presume a multi-domain approach. Added to this is the digital transformation that by its pervasiveness and scale makes the speed of change exponential. This scenario, as a whole, presupposes adaptation and, in some cases, a radical redefinition of staff knowledge and skills. Among these, the first and most important of all consists of learning to learn and being able to learn continuously, Education, therefore, must become continuous (life-long learning). This perspective requires, first and foremost, that the individual considers it as an imperative personal responsibility to oversee his or her own level of training. To achieve this goal, it is imperative that the DoD provide its members with Integrated Training Systems (to be used in presence and distance or totally at a distance), capable of responding rapidly to both the education&training needs of the Armed Forces (AF) and those of the individual.
The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents an opportunity to respond to the complex needs of the training sector, keeping both the learner and the trainer at the center, through the implementation of more efficient learning processes. Such solutions, once introduced in the DoD will be able to enable the development of educational projects in integrated, more agile and effective forms.
The S.F.I.D.A.2 project intends to create a learning ecosystem that integrates digitized training resources of various kinds (videos, documents, interactive APPs, etc.) and AI algorithms that will enable adequately trained trainers to create fully automated modules or Integrated Digital Training paths with both traditional and innovative methodologies in an agile and flexible manner to meet the continuing education and reskilling needs of Defence personnel, on subjects of Joint relevance and available to the Armed Forces for their own curricula.
The study of the SFIDA2 project starts with the mapping of key processes for their functional impact on the project, along with the data they manage. The processes thus identified, once rationalized, will be implemented and digitized and integrated into the SFIDA2 System.

The governance of the project is entrusted to a technical committee (TC), the Board "Military Education Policy" as defined in the Joint directive SMD-FORM-001 edition 2022. The TC-SFIDA2, is chaired by the Chief of the Training Office of the J1 Department and composed of representatives of Joint Staff and the AFs, representatives of centers/departments of excellence of the AFs for functional support.

This document is dedicated to the results of the first phase of the SFIDA2 project, aimed at studying the functional platforms already operational at the AF, in order to identify a possible integration of the same, so as to enhance the expertise already gained, foster economies and reduce overall project implementation time. It is intended, first, to investigate the availability of intellectual and architectural solutions already initiated within AF programs, evaluating the initial adoption of e-learning solutions in use and immediately usable, envisaging their subsequent expansion through the exploration of solutions focused on significant AI utilization.

This document contains a description of the proposed functionalities to be integrated within the SFIDA2 project for the Italian Defense General Staff, the result of what the team of researchers from the Milan Polytechnic has accrued as a result of the interviews conducted at the Army Building. The current AFs training system needs support from an ad-hoc platform in (1) systematizing existing content in a smooth and customized manner in line with officers' needs and (2) integrating new training content from external sources. The following proposals are aimed at the use of artificial intelligence tools to be integrated with the current training structure in use at the SMD. The architecture devised is intended both to support teaching, making contributions to the current tools for administering various courses, and to support decision-making regarding the training path of a person, of any rank or career level within the AFs.

The envisioned architecture of SFIDA2 appears as an external system that interacts with the individual platforms of all the Armed Forces. Each platform would provide data and information necessary for the training, tuning, and inference processes of the individual models, thus 'specializing' them in specific tasks of interest to each Armed Force. The individual Armed Forces would then have access to the various outputs of SFIDA2 on the platform in the specific format of the functionalities described in the next chapters. It is also anticipated that SFIDA2 will have a dedicated front-end interface for direct interaction with all members of the AFs using it, providing access to the system's outputs not only to teaching or administrative personnel but also to all learners. In fact, each user will be able to receive personalized notifications, documents, and memoranda, or access teaching support functionalities from personal devices in a completely autonomous manner.

These are the modules that will be developed and implemented in SFIDA2 and that will be discussed in the paper:

- Recommendation System
- Search engine
- Assistant
- Active Recall Optimization
- Evaluation
- Summarization
- Multi-Modality
- Quiz Generation

Learning tools

 Plenary 8

Mr Michael Wadley

UK Defence Academy, United Kingdom

MW.jpgI have been working in Defence for eight years, supporting Training and Education at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. In that time, I have managed and maintained our Defence Learning Management System, driven standardisation in Training Design and established an innovative methodology for the delivery of online learning content. Now, as Head of J7, I am responsible for Futures, Education Operations and Research, providing training and governance as well as strategic direction through an 80-strong team.

Standardising knowledge based modularised learning in UK PDSE

Project CODEX is a five-year delivery concept, which sets out to convert the Defence Academy’s knowledge-based content into online Whole Force learning through a new delivery model. A comprehensive review of digital learning content identified clear ways to improve delivery, which now underpins the scope and remit of Project CODEX. Project CODEX is an answer to questions about how best to design and develop content, incorporate learner feedback, manage procurement within an internal delivery structure and measure cost investment. This paper expands on each of these points and covers the way in which Project CODEX is fundamentally changing the way the Defence Academy understands and utilises digital learning content.

Developing blended learning courses

 Plenary 9

Dr. Susan Harrington

University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Profile_photo.jpgSusan Harrington is currently a postdoctoral researcher in IT and Learning at the University of Gothenburg's Department of Applied Information Technology. Her research focuses on simulator-based maritime education and training, including ongoing work on the design of scenario exercises. Research interests include instructional design and learning experience design, communities of practice, social learning, and transfer of knowledge. Susan achieved a PhD in Management Science at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK in 2022.

Navigating Knowledge Waters: A Systematic Approach to Scenario Design for Simulator-Based Training

Maritime education and training is a field in which simulator-based training is recognised as a powerful tool in providing learners with immersive opportunities to practice complex professional tasks in a controlled environment. In a high-risk operational environment where errors can have catastrophic consequences, the importance of providing learners with experiential training which focuses on good seamanship, rather than simply training individual skills, is evident, with strong emphasis on training competencies such as communication, collaboration, and reflexive decision-making. Current literature tends towards factors such as the fidelity of the simulator and the role of the instructor during the simulation, for example, but there is a noticeable gap relating to the design of the scenario exercises.

This study, forming part of a larger project on adaptive learning and intelligent learning systems for maritime education and training, explores this evident gap in understanding what constitutes a well-designed scenario, alongside the process involved in effective scenario design. Semi-structured interviews are conducted with experienced instructors from a range of successful maritime training institutions, with the aim of uncovering valuable insights into the process of scenario design, focusing on the key considerations contributing to the success of such training programs. While the initial aim of the study was to develop a systematic approach to scenario design, the findings also provide in-depth insight into the complexity of effective scenario design.

This research confirms fidelity and realism as crucial elements of simulator-based training, also revealing the nuanced balance at play. The instructor’s experience is invaluable and must be translated to a scenario exercise suitable for the learners’ level of knowledge. Scenarios must be both concrete enough to ensure the learning objectives are met, and flexible enough for instructors to adapt to individual learner needs. In addition to the specific skills being trained, the scenario must be designed in a way which further embeds the non-technical skills central to effective professional practice in a high-risk environment. How the instructors achieve this balance is of core interest. Through increasing the understanding of effective scenario design, this study aims to contribute to the existing body of knowledge on simulator-based training. The use of a recognised instructional design model, developed for training complex tasks, is recommended as complementing the existing approach taken by simulator instructors, formalising their current practice, and providing a much-needed resource in the form of a systematic approach that captures the nuances of the instructors’ experience, and caters to the needs of a complex operational environment. It is envisioned that this approach could prove invaluable to both new and experienced instructors, for example, when designing new scenarios or replicating existing scenarios for a new simulator, in the maritime field and beyond.

Learning methodology

 Plenary 10

LtCol Tero Solante

The Finnish Defence Forces, The Defence Command

Solante.jpgLtCol Tero Solante has a LSc degree from Finnish National Defence University and MSc from Tampere Technical University. At the moment Solante serves as a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) of the Finnish Defence Forces responsible of digital transformation development and execution for both administrative and operational defence systems. Prior to that, Solante has been e.g. as a Chief of C4ISR Division and Chief Technical Officer (CTO) in FDF DEFCOM J6.

The Finnish approach on Digital transformation towards Data centric and Network enabled capabilities

Chief Digital Officer (CDO) of the Finnish Defence Forces LtCol Tero Solante, as a responsible of digital transformation development and execution for both administrative and operational defence systems, describes The Finnish approach on Digital transformation towards Data centric and Network enabled capabilities and how the FDF is developing it’s education and training through Digitalization and Digital transformation towards Data centricity and AI in the long run.

Learning technology

 Plenary 11

Dr. Marie Leijon

PhD, Associate professor, Malmö university, Sweden

Bild_Marie.jpegDr Marie Leijon is an Associate Professor in Associate professor in Educational Science and a Senior lecturer in Educational development at the Center for Academic Development, Malmö University, Sweden. Her research focus is Learning spaces in HE, university teacher profession and forms of knowledge. She is guest professor at Umeå university, Sweden, leading a project on hybrid teaching in Learning labs. She is currently involved in a four year long research project  funded by the Swedish Research Council on “University teachers’ profession in post-pandemic hybrid higher education teaching and learning environment” with the aim to investigate what the rapid transformation into digitalized higher education means for university teachers’ sense of professional identity and professional practice. Marie has published several research articles on how learning spaces relates to interaction and learning in HE. She has also suggested a theoretical framework on how to support teachers didactical spatial competence (DisCo).

https://mau.se/en/persons/marie.leijon/

Hybrid teaching and learning – a hype or a hope?

Hybrid learning spaces has been suggested to be both a present solution and the future for teaching and learning. Hybrid options supports widening participation, serves as a solution in times of crises and provides students with a high degree of flexibility in that they could choose time and place for their studies. There is an optimistic discourse around hybrid – at the same time, critical voices states that hybrid teaching is very complex and challenging. Research tells us that teachers need much support to develop a communicative competence to teach in hybrid spaces. Furthermore, experiences from an ongoing research project on teaching in hybrid environments highlights teachers’ ability to think pedagogical perspectives in several layers - that is, to implement a pedagogical idea that will be carried out in different rooms, with different groups of students who communicate via different media forms. Teachers spend extensive time preparing and implementing hybrid teaching. It is a form that in no way saves time and teachers need expanded resources to create conditions for learning in this complex environment. So, is hybrid a hype or a hope?

This talk uncovers some of the challenges and opportunities associated with teaching in hybrid learning spaces.

Developing blended learning courses

 Plenary 12

Dr. Benjamin Goldberg

ben_pic.jpgSenior Scientist and Technical Lead for the Adaptive & Intelligent Training Systems Team at the U.S. Army’s DEVCOM – Soldier Center,USA

Dr. Benjamin Goldberg is a Senior Scientist and Technical Lead for the Adaptive & Intelligent Training Systems Team at the U.S. Army’s DEVCOM – Soldier Center. His research focuses on adaptive experiential learning with an emphasis on simulation-based environments and leveraging data and Artificial Intelligence to create personalized experiences that drive accelerated competency development. Dr. Goldberg holds a Ph.D. in Modeling & Simulation from the University of Central Florida and is well published across several high-impact journals and proceedings, including IEEE Transactions of Learning Technologies, the Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, and Computers in Human Behavior.

lntegrating Experiential Simulation and Multi-Modal Analytics into a Distributed Ecosystem

The U.S. Army's Synthetic Training Environment {STE) and supporting training and learning concepts define Artificial Intelligence {AI) as a functional necessity to optimize the use of simulation to support individual and team readiness requirements. In this presentation we will review a program of applied research centered on Competency-Based Experiential Learning {CBEL) and the role of data and learning engineering to optimize the use of simulation in meeting organizational training objectives and proficiency needs. The goal of the research is to establish and mature a scalable data strategy that leverages intelligent tutoring services and data interoperability standards in the context of active and experiential learning across an ecosystem of learning resources. This involves tracking performance and progress across multiple competency development phases, with each phase utilizing a mixture of distributed and active learning technologies to drive skill and competency acquisition. This has required an extension to the Total Learning Architecture paradigm, with a need to explore competency modeling informed by theories of skill acquisition that examine interacting parts across the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains.

To support this objective, an evidence-centered assessment approach is applied that combines cognitive task analysis and expert input to design and develop a framework for assessing learner competencies across multiple environments and scenarios that track experiential interaction. This involves collecting granular and objective assessments at the task definition level, and establishing assertions of competence based on characteristics of the performance observed and the event that performance was derived from {Robson et al., 2023). The STE Experiential Learning for Readiness {STEELR) project {Hernandez et al., 2022), which was presented at NORDEFCO ADL 2023, is serving as the baseline architecture in this program of research, and provides a robust approach to control the collection and translation of data across experiential events delivered in virtual and live simulations.

STEELR builds upon technologies that are open-source and open-standards compliant {Goldberg et al., 2021), with the eXperience Application Programming Interface {XAPI) serving as the core data standard. XAPI is used to enforce interoperability and evidence reporting across an ecosystem of complimentary resources, with STEELR accounting for simulation level metadata to assist in tracking context in performance. For this presentation, we'll discuss two facets of the work: {1) establishing digitized hierarchical competency frameworks defined at the task level that reference doctrine and subject matter expert inputs, and {2) establishing a data pipeline that enables capture of multi-modal data, building evidence-centered assessments around that data, reporting those assessments out in XAPI, and using assessments to stimulate an assertion creation process. This will include a focused use case that highlights these techniques applied in the medical domain. We will then conclude with a discussion of future work that tests and extends these methods into multi-national large-scale training events through the execution of STEELRx {STEELR in Exercises).

Goldberg, B., Owens, K., Gupton, K., Hellman, K., Robson, R., Blake-Plock, S., & Hoffman, M. {2021). Forging competency and proficiency through the synthetic training environment with an experiential learning for readiness strategy. In Proceedings of Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference {I/ITSEC), Orlando, FL.
 
Hernandez, M., Goldberg, B., Robson, R., Owens, K., Blake-Plock, S., Welch, T., & Ray, F. {2022). Enhancing the Total Learning Architecture for Experiential Learning. In Proceedings of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference {I/ITSEC), Orlando, FL.
Robson, R., Ray, F., Connell, G., Blake-Plock, S., Casey, C. & Goldberg, B. {2023). Digitizing Performance and Competencies. In Proceedings of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference {I/ITSEC), Orlando, FL.

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

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