Traditional interactive multimedia instruction has become tired, predictable and unengaging. In many cases, presentation was linear with a forced sequencing through the content. Today’s Soldier is interested in new technology and its use in instruction. They expect content that is realistic and engages the senses. They expect content to adapt to their learning preferences and experience level. The Army Virtual Learning Environment (AVLE) provides this experience for today’s Soldiers and Leaders.
A CENTRALIZED DISTRIBUTED LEARNING CONTRACT VEHICLE FOR THE FUTURE
AVLE (Army Virtual Learning Environment) is the fourth centralized distributed learning contract vehicle for U.S. Army training and education distributed learning. Combined Arms Products for Distributed Learning (CAPDL) was the third TRADOC distributed learning contract vehicle. The AVLE was awarded in 2018 and expands upon the capability of previous contract vehicles. Proposals from six Prime contractors qualifying as Small Business, 8 (a) set-aside business, were accepted and comprise the resources at our disposal to execute the DDL mission, each selected for expertise areas of modeling, simulations, gaming, and high quality education products.
A COMPARISON: CAPDL VS. AVLE
AVLE emphasizes high quality learner controlled media that supports multiple delivery types and deemphasizes linear courseware presentation. AVLE enables five levels of interactivity (0-4) that uses delivery types not used before in Distributed Learning (DL). These delivery models include synthetic tutors, gaming engines, and virtual reality googles which engage all human senses.
AVLE DELIVERY MODALITY AND METHODOLGIES
Augmented reality also called mediated reality, offers a view of reality is modified by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. Artificial Intelligence using computers and computer software that perceives the environment and takes actions to maximize success. Used in matching humans against machines to engage critical thinking and problem solving.
NEW STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS
Next Generation SCORM, experience API, Gaming system specifications, Modeling standards. This contract provides a new way of thinking about Army Distributed Learning (DL), a new way of thinking about “courseware” and clicking the “NEXT” button. While courseware is certainly one of the products available under this contract it is not the focus of the contract. With AVLE you can order learning content at the object level, an animation, a video, a simulation, or a serious game. Each learning content object (LCO) can be used and reused in multiple ways and in multiple modalities.
BEST VALUE / TRADEOFF
This new contract vehicle will award based on best value/tradeoff. Best Value is the expected outcome of an acquisition that, in the Government’s estimation, provides the greatest overall benefit in response to the requirement. This results from a tradeoff between non-cost factors and cost/price which allows the Government to accept other than the lowest priced proposal or other than the highest technically rated proposal to achieve a best value contract award. Determination of best value – tradeoff does require additional steps for the team to consider but the outcome will more than justify those steps.
AVLE SUPPORTS THE ARMY LEARNING MODEL
This new contract supports the Army Learning Model, a learner-centric environment, and provides Army agencies the flexibility to use changing and emerging technology to meet their distributed learning (DL) training development objectives and requirements. Army agencies can procure a broad range of content, multimedia elements and targeted training and educational products using this contract. Proponents can request content, animations, or 3D modeling, for example, to complement any in-house production. Products supporting mobile technology can also be requested through the AVLE.
AVLE REQUIRES SPECIFIC REPORTS AND SURVEILLANCE
The AVLE is a service contract requiring specific reporting and surveillance requirements. Proponents will appoint an On Site Contracting Officer Representative (OS-COR) or Quality Assurance Evaluator (QAE) to perform oversight of each AVLE Task Order. A requirement of a service contract is to develop a Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan (QASP). Properly managed, a QASP will hold the contractor accountable for quality control and will encourage the contractor to take appropriate steps to improve quality. The OS-CORs or QAEs will report to the DDL CORs who will evaluate the reporting and performance and authorize payments to the appropriate contractor. The COR will develop a monthly schedule of surveillance activities based on the Performance Standards as outlined in the Performance Requirements Summary of each Task Order.
The AVLE became available 2nd QTR FY18. This vehicle requires a level of oversight at the DDL level and at the proponent level. That oversight is required by the conditions of the contract and is a necessary requirement for anyone using the AVLE. The AVLE is the vehicle to empower proponents to build DL content specific to their individual requirements.