This DoD Instruction also formally assigns responsibility to the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative and Defense Advanced Distributed Learning Advisory Committee (DADLAC) for maintaining the Instruction’s “fungible references.” These define future guidelines and technical guidance across the DoD, which is likely to change on a routine basis—too frequently to include in the base of the Instruction.
This guide is the official reference and support resource for Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 1322.26. This reference contains the most recent technical information available and will be updated as the ADL Initiative and the DADLAC identify new information or recommend changes to standards, specifications, conformance, testing, acquisition, and other DL topic areas. Readers are encouraged to visit this reference guide frequently for the latest available technical information and guidelines.
This document is divided into the following sections
Distributed Learning (DL): DL is defined in DoD 1322.26 as any type of learning mediated with technology and accessed through a network or experienced via portable media. Additional terms are defined in the glossary appended at the end of this reference guide.
Training and Education Infrastructure Systems are applications such as Learning Management Systems (LMSs), Learning Content Management Systems (LCMSs), or Learner Record Stores (LRSs) intended to support sophisticated learning and training capabilities leveraging DL content. As part of any acquisition of new DL Systems, DoD Components should consider the following:
For most DL system needs, there will be a mix of LMSs, LCMSs, and/or LRSs readily available. DoDI 1322.26 establishes baseline scenarios for the interplay of Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM®) and Experience API (xAPI) across DL systems. The ADL Initiative will update this reference as best practices emerge from those baseline scenarios and/or alternative practices are deemed to be preferable for DL among DoD Components.
The considerations referenced above include adopting existing standards, as well as evolving profile specifications, to support current and future interoperability requirements of DL systems. DL Components should implement ADL-approved standards and specifications using one of the following methods:
Before creating or acquiring new or modifying existing DL content, DoD components must conduct an analysis to identify and analyze performance gaps and determine the best solutions to address the gaps. If DL content is identified as an appropriate solution, DoD Components should establish project goals including performance tracking requirements, integration with other training/education solutions, and expected outcomes.
Federal regulations mandate electronic and information technology resources be made accessible to people with disabilities (e.g., “508-compliant”). Access and experience shall be comparable to that available to non-disabled individuals in compliance with the requirements, applicability, and alternatives provided in Procedures for Ensuring the Accessibility of Electronic and Information Technology (E&IT) Procured by DoD Organizations. Current specific standards and methods for development and testing are provided at the Section 508 website.
The Adobe Flash™ plug-in is a browser-based technology that has commonly been used to support the development of web-based courseware and content. Due to ease of use and popularity in DL authoring tools, use of this technology in DoD DL content is rampant. In the year 2020, Adobe Flash ™ will no longer be supported by its owner or any of the commonly available Internet Browsers allowed for use within DoD environments. As a result, DoD Components:
The ADL Initiative oversees the process of DL conformance testing for SCORM® and xAPI. The conformance tests for xAPI are focused on LRS conformance and are being developed. Improving the conformance testing landscape for xAPI is a top priority for the ADL Initiative. Certification opportunities for SCORM® and xAPI will also be announced soon.
Security: DoDI 1322.26 does not specifically address cybersecurity considerations, although the ADL Initiative recognizes that such considerations are imperative for DL implementations. Recommendations, such as the deprecation of Adobe Flash™, may be made as a result of a combination of provisions, including security.
Technical Publications: When specifically acquiring or developing Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals, consider the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) or S1000D specifications.
DL standards are published technical specification documents that are designed to ensure interoperability of learning technology products, services, and data. Standards help establish consistent protocols that can be universally understood and adopted to simplify the development process. Standards also make it easier to understand and compare competing products and systems. It is only through the application of such standards that new DL products can be tested and verified for conformance.
The ADL Initiative is the principal steward of the SCORM® and the xAPI. The affordances of these two standards and various types of DL they support underpin the DoDI 1322.26 policy.
SCORM®: For more information on SCORM®, the DoD standard for self-paced, asynchronous DL that is specifically delivered in a desktop/laptop browser, please read the DoDI SCORM® Reference.
xAPI: For more information on xAPI, the new standard for tracking all other types of learning activities that can be delivered on any device or platform, read the DoDI xAPI Reference.