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The Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative


The ADL Initiative originated as a DoD-wide program, and Defense personnel have been–and remain–its core constituents. However, with the policy documents published in the late 1990s, the ADL Initiative received direction to also serve the entire Federal workforce as well as international partners, industry, and academia. In short, the ADL Initiative’s stakeholders include the US Defense and security sector, Federal government, coalition military partners, and other distributed learning professionals from industry, professional societies, and academic institutions.

Since its inception, the ADL Initiative has emphasized collaboration. The two primary program offices–in Alexandria, VA and Orlando, FL–were originally named “Collaboration Laboratories” (or Co-Labs, for short) to emphasize this cooperation, and they were explicitly designed as cooperative sandbox environments, where government, industry, and academia could come together to test commercial product offerings against learning requirements (Parmentier, 2000).