Starting and Sustaining the FOLE Initiative (DAU)

Starting and Sustaining the FOLE Initiative (DAU)

From 2004-2008, I provided strategic planning services to assist Defense Acquisition University (DAU) with the start-up and implementation of its Facilitated Online Learning Environments (FOLE) initiative. DAU had successfully developed a huge inventory of self-paced distance learning courses, but the development and implementation of facilitated online courses was new territory for them. The work over a four-year period included a wide variety of tasks, including:

  • Determine needed development, delivery, and interface features to best support FOLE courses
  • Examine existing courses and make recommendations for improvement re utilization of the FOLE approach
  • Develop ideas for how DAU could move to world-class/best-in-class practitioner training/learning and program implementation using the FOLE approach
  • Identify, describe and make recommendations on key issues, including building business cases, faculty acceptance, workloading faculty, et al.
  • Develop a multi-pronged DAU approach for best developing FOLE-type instruction
  • Review Faculty Professional Development program courses and provide recommendations for improvement

Among the more notable project accomplishments were the successful implementation of several DAU Faculty Professional Development (FPD) program courses in FOLE format, the review and improvement of various DAU program courses in FOLE format, development of a "FOLE Mentor Pack" for course managers, a rubric for developing and evaluating FOLE courses, and a published paper on issues related to successful implementation of asynchronous facilitated courses.

Comments from satisfied clients:

"... I would describe your contribution as invaluable in terms of the uniquely professional level of knowledge and expertise you brought to the project. Before you arrived, virtually no one at DAU had a clue as to what asynchronous learning was about, how to design it, how to facilitate it or, how to evaluate it. Almost exclusively you introduced a whole new mode of learning...If you had not been involved in the project it would never have ever been implemented; your knowledge and skills helped bring the initiative into focus...

On balance, the success of your contribution to the DAU was enormous by virtue of your ability to persevere through varying levels of bureaucratic chaos to actually facilitate "a new generation of courses" for online learning... I learned so much from you in such a short amount of time. Moreover, you really got me (and selected others) excited about the possibilities, and not the limitations, associated with asynchronous learning."

-- Dr. Robert Hawkins, Director of Faculty Professional Development, DAU (retired)

"Your thought leadership and expertise gave us the good ideas and solid foundations to show how our organization could employ a facilitated online learning approach and use existing resources in a more efficient manner."

-- Dr. Bob Ainsley, Director of the e-Learning and Technologies Center, DAU (retired)