Academic ADL Co-Lab Web site
MADISON — In order to surpass its original goal for life-long learning “from K to gray,” the Madison-based Academic Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Co-Laboratory has plans to move from University Research Park to the downtown area.
The Academic ADL Co-Lab will make the move Sept. 1, a bit behind schedule, according to Judy Brown, director of the Academic Co-Lab. While delays in the approval processes are to blame for the later moving date, Brown is looking forward to increased collaboration with local businesses and making life a little easier for the six graduate students who work there.
“One of the biggest things for us is being close to campus because of the graduate students,” Brown said. “So they could get here very easily.”
Brown also said the Co-Lab is looking forward to utilizing the high-tech space of the Network 222 building, the Co-Lab’s new home. Increased bandwidth as well as Internet 2 capabilities will prove important for some of the Co-Lab’s projects, especially simulations and multi-player games, Brown said.
“We’re working out a year or two with what we’re doing,” Brown said. “Most of what we do is future. Everything we do is based upon technology and digital content.”
The Co-Lab held an open house at their soon-to-be-open facility Aug. 4.
“I can’t think of any other state that has committed itself as passionately as ours to expanding the reach of higher learning to every corner of the state and now, far beyond,” said U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, at the opening. “And I can’t think of any other facility that better embodies the Wisconsin Idea than the Academic ADL Co-Lab. This endeavor is truly a partnership—of the public and private sectors, of our university and technical college systems, of academics and entrepreneurs, of research and application, of science and art, of work and play.”
Using competency-based content modules that can be stored in repositories and that are easily located and accessed via computer, the Academic ADL Co-Lab is allowing learning to take place anytime and anywhere—with or without the presence of an instructor, Brown said.
The Co-Lab’s achievements are largely due to the development of SCORM (sharable content object reference model). SCORM created a global marketplace for quality learning content by defining interrelationships between course components, data models and protocols. Also, SCORM allows the sharing of content across systems that conform to the same model and the coordination of emerging technologies with commercial and public implementations.
The Co-Lab’s SCOurse (online course conforming to SCORM) about ADL and SCORM has been widely adopted throughout the world. To date, program content is being translated into 11 languages by countries other than the United States.
The Academic ADL Co-Lab, formed through an agreement between the U.S. Department of Defense, the University of Wisconsin System and the Wisconsin Technical College System in January 2000, is part if the nation’s overall Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative.
“ADL is a truly unique collaboration that impacts the present and future learning environments not only in the United States but also worldwide,” Brown said.
The Academic ADL Co-Lab is one of three independently supported Co-Labs in the world and the only one addressing academia. The main Co-Lab (hub) in Alexandria, Va., serves as the operational lead; the JOINT ADL Co-Lab in Orlando, Fla. supports ADL cooperation and implementation for the military services.
“Our responsibility is the channeling of the knowledge resources of the nation’s universities and colleges into ADL’s global learning repositories,” Brown added.
Having met its original goals, the Academic ADL Co-Lab is now focusing on training modules for trafficking in persons (TIP) and NATO, games for public health workers and mobile/wireless learning modules.