The Personalized eBook for Learning (PeBL) project is a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) contract aimed at advancing one of our top-level goals: Distributed Learning (DL) Modernization. The PeBL ebook is a research and development (R&D) reference implementation or “example” that demonstrates and tests Personal Assistant for Learning (PAL) specifications. PeBL can be thought of as a typical ebook but is adaptive to the learner, has collaborative capabilities with other PeBL learners, and can capture learner behavior (their performance) while working in the ebook.
We have been working closely with Eduworks, our PeBL BAA performer, to develop this ebook specification and to demonstrate it with a PeBL ebook application. We are in the second year of our contract with Eduworks, so more great development work is expected!
The Marine Corps learned of our PeBL work from several of our external events (e.g., iFEST, I/ITSEC), and our Principal Investigators (PI) meetings. Several of the Marine Corps Training Commands (7 Commands to be exact) expressed interest in transitioning PeBL into their classrooms. A feasibility test is needed to help determine how ready and stable the PeBL application is for transition.
The Feasibility test kicked off 30 JAN at Quantico, VA. We are testing with Instructional Designers, Instructors, and other stakeholders rather than Marine Corps students. They have a vested interest in making sure PeBL is ready for classroom use. Each Command received two iPads and five user accounts (sharing iPads). From 1-21 FEB, testers "played" with PeBL: testing and experimenting, independently and with each other. They will log their user interface (UI) experiences (e.g., bugs, suggestions for improvements, ideas for classroom use, and overall impressions).
Testers have been given the following:
We consider this test a "win-win-win" because:
Our testers are busy testing now. We will meet again at the end of February for a feedback forum and debrief, and to sort through feedback forms. Our report should be out shortly thereafter. Stay tuned for the results of our PeBL testing!
Karen Cooper, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, Naval Air Systems Command
Navy Liaison / LNO, ADL Initiative