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Air University Catalog 

Air Force Institute for Advanced Distributed Learning  
Col Gary L. Albaugh, Commander  

Mission: Promote, deliver, and manage advanced distributed learning for our aerospace forces.

The Air Force Institute for Advanced Distributed Learning (AFIADL), located at Maxwell Air Force Base-Gunter Annex, formally came into being on 1 February 2000. The institute resulted from an Air Force initiative to consolidate all of its advanced distributed learning (ADL) efforts. The institute was established by the merger of two distinct organizations: the Air Force Distance Learning Office (AFDLO) and the Extension Course Institute (ECI). AFDLO was established 7 November 1995 to serve as the focal point for all Air Force distance learning (DL) efforts. ECI was established in 1950 as one of Air University's professional specialized schools. As the Air Force's only correspondence school, ECI's original mission was to provide voluntary nonresident courses for both active duty and reserve Air Force personnel. Today AFIADL supports formal training and educational programs of the Air Force, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve Command by providing career-broadening courses to people throughout the Department of Defense (DOD) and to civil service employees of all federal agencies.

Distance learning (also known as distributed learning and distance education) is structured learning that takes place without the physical presence of the instructor. DL media include interactive video teletraining (IVT), interactive multimedia instruction (IMI), Internet-based instruction (IBI), paper-based instruction, and other instructional technologies. Advanced distributed learning (ADL) includes all DL legacy media. In the future distance learning will consist of instructional modules comprised of "sharable content objects" delivered though several technologies.

The ADL initiative (ADLI) is a structured, adaptive, and collaborative effort between the public and private sectors to develop the standards, tools, and learning content to provide "anytime, anywhere" instruction to US forces. AETC is the lead command for ADL within the Air Force. AFIADL serves as the single manager and executive staff agent on these efforts under the guidance of AETC's directorate of education.

AFIADL promotes, delivers, and manages advanced distributed learning for our aerospace forces. Over the years, the mission has undergone several major changes. In 1963, when ECI started providing self-study materials for the specialty knowledge portion of the Air Force's official upgrade training program, the institute became an essential and mandatory part of the dual-channel concept for the enlisted training program. In 1969 ECI was given the additional mission of providing study reference materials to Air Force enlisted personnel to use in preparing for specialty knowledge testing under the weighted airman promotion system (WAPS).

AFIADL operates in a fully automated environment. Course development, production, distribution, and student administration functions are managed on a sophisticated system of personal computers and a mini-mainframe. These computers are dispersed worldwide to include AFIADL, ACSC, SOS, SNCOA, course authors, education service offices, and unit/base level training sections. To profit from rapidly growing technological capabilities, AFIADL has departed from an entirely paper-based curriculum to include interactive television and computer-based courseware. AFIADL is, with the rest of DOD, exploring the standards required for Internet delivery and management of courses. In the print-based curriculum, AFIADL has enhanced its efficiency and productivity by moving to a print-on-demand process for course examinations and is working it for courseware delivery.

AFIADL delivers many of its courses on the Air Technology Network (ATN), an interactive television (ITV) network. ATN reaches classrooms at 76 Air Force bases within the US (including Alaska and Hawaii) and 10 locations in Europe, with education and training programs broadcast from uplinks at Wright-Patterson (the first uplink on ATN), Maxwell, Sheppard, and Keesler AFBs. The connection to Europe is being made through the Joint Broadcast Service with a gateway uplink at the Pentagon. Since its development in 1991, ATN has been used to provide continuing education and training to over 32,000 students.

The Air Force Institute for Advanced Distributed Learning conducts a one-week Course for Authors to provide new writers of CDCs with the basic knowledge and experience needed to produce effective extension course materials. The course, which is offered three times a year, is a practicum in the use of instructional systems development to write and revise CDCs. During the week, new writers work under the tutelage of institute educators and gain hands-on experience in every phase of course development: writing topical statements, developing tests and text, and processing and evaluating a course. New writers also become familiar with AFIADL's procedures and become acquainted with staff members with whom they will be working.

The Air Force Institute for Advanced Distributed Learning distributes more than 450 courses. They fall into three categories-professional military education courses, specialized courses, and career development courses.

Professional Military Education Courses

PME courses are taken by both commissioned and noncommissioned officers. These courses teach leadership, management principles, and techniques of effective communication, problem solving, analysis of professional reading materials, international relations, national decision making, and defense management. They also cover the psychology of learning, individual differences, and the techniques of teaching. The courses give students the broad skills and knowledge needed to be effective at various stages in their careers.

AFIADL distributes nonresident professional military education through distance learning products ranging from paper-based through CD-ROM. PME is also available by seminar or in residence through the schools. The institute distributes the following nonresident programs:

Specialized Courses

These courses provide valuable information and career broadening knowledge to individuals. The AFIADL offers specialized courses in several career fields.

Career Development Courses

Career development courses constitute the largest portion of AFIADL's curricula. These self-study courses help airmen complete the specialty knowledge portion of the dual-channel concept for the enlisted training program. Airmen must complete career development courses successfully at various stages to advance in their careers. Career development courses are also available on a voluntary basis for career broadening. The institute offers career development courses in the following career fields:

Air Force members can obtain further information about the institute's courses and enrollment through their base education or training office. The AFIADL Catalog provides up-to-date information on courses, programs, and policy and procedures. You can access the catalog on-line at: The institute's web page provides information about career development courses (CDC) required by Air Force specialty codes (AFSC), available test control facilities, names and phone numbers of staff members to assist with student inquiries, and other useful information available to students all over the world. The catalog also provides information on academic credit recommendations for these courses. A list of credit recommendations for AFIADL courses also can be found in the current Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. AFIADL also publishes Curriculum Update as a forum to discuss updates in the area of curriculum development.

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