Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative Logo

The Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative

iFEST 2018 - The Future Learning Ecosystem


8/26/2018 - 8/29/2018


Hilton Alexandria Mark Center
5000 Seminary Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22311
Tel: 703-845-1010


The ADL Initiative is collaborating with the National Training and Simulation Association (NTSA) for iFEST, an innovation-, instruction-, and implementation- themed Federal eLearning Science and Technology (FEST) symposium. iFEST is open to military, government, industry, and academia professionals involved with distributed learning. This year’s theme focuses on the Future Learning Ecosystem.

General iFEST topics include:

  • The Total Learning Architecture (TLA)
  • Experience Application Program Interface (xAPI)
  • Learner profiles, technology, security, and privacy
  • Learning analytics and visualizations
  • Competencies and credentialing
  • Learning science for future learning ecosystems
  • DoD/Federal distributed learning policy

The format of the symposium involves:

  • Keynote speakers from DoD/Gov't, industry and academia
  • Facilitated discussions on Defense-relevant topics
  • Ignite! (5-minute) Talks
  • Poster sessions for selected abstracts
  • Panel discussions
  • Tutorials
  • Presentation sessions for selected abstracts
  • TLA "Hackathon" (hands-on workshop)

TLA Hackathon

The Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative will host a Total Learning Architecture (TLA) Hackathon as part of the 2018 iFEST symposium, at the ADL Initiative office (walking distance from the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center) 26 - 27 August. For those interested in participating, registration is required. Please click here.

The goal of this 24-hour event is to create an opportunity for a broad community of experts to explore the TLA. Hackathon participants will conduct hands-on exercises to investigate the potential of learning analytics, identify new ways to visualize collected data, and expose gaps in the practical use of xAPI across different types of media.

Participants will have the opportunity to network with experienced developers, educators, and data scientists, to learn best practices for implementing, structuring, storing, and processing xAPI data and other data generated by TLA components at scale. Participants will also gain valuable insight into different components of the TLA, its data structures, its roadmap, and the relevant technologies that are available for implementation today, and they will have the opportunity to provide feedback to the ADL Initiative on the TLA’s ongoing development.

The ADL Initiative will provide a large set of TLA data that participants can aggregate, analyze, and visualize. All participants will be required to use their own personal computers and software tools that they feel are best suited to work with this data.

The Hackathon will start at 1300 on Sunday, 26 August and conclude the next afternoon at 1300.

Awards will be presented to the best performers in four categories:

  • Best Use of the DataSet
  • Most Compelling Correlations
  • Best Visuals
  • Most Dynamic User Interface (UI)

There is no registration fee; however, registration is required for this event. Please click here.

Dinner (6/26) and Breakfast (6/27) and water throughout will be provided.
**Please plan to bring snacks and energy drinks as needed**

Keynote Speakers

A picture of Keynote Speaker Dr. Bror Saxberg, Vice President, Learning Science, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the iFEST logo.

Keynote Speaker
Bror Saxberg, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President, Learning Science, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI)

As Vice President, Learning Science, Dr. Bror Saxberg is responsible for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s thinking about how to expand and apply learning science results and good learning measurement practice at scale to real-world learning situations across the full span of learning – pre-K, K-16, and beyond.

Dr. Saxberg most recently served as Chief Learning Officer at Kaplan, Inc. where he was responsible for the research and application of innovative evidence-based learning strategies, technologies, and products across Kaplan’s full range of educational services, maintaining consistent learning standard’s for Kaplan’s products and services. Dr. Saxberg also served as senior vice president and chief learning officer at K12, Inc., where he was responsible for designing both online and offline learning environments and developing new student products and services. Dr. Saxberg has also held positions at Knowledge Universe, Dorling Kindersley, and McKinsey. Dr. Saxberg received an Honors B.Aa. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington, an M.A. in mathematics from Oxford University, a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

27-29 AUG 2018
Hilton Alexandria Mark Center
5000 Seminary Road
Alexandria, VA 22311

Stay tuned for the reveal of the second keynote speaker!


The iFEST agenda below is subject to change due to periodic updates leading up to the event. You will be provided with the official agenda when you arrive at iFEST.

View the iFEST 2018 Agenda.