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140923ed forum-400The Eighth Annual e-Learning Forum held at the Virginia Modelling and Simulation Centre, Suffolk, Virginia, opened September 23, 2014, with a key note address from Dr. Badrul Khan who is a world renowned academic leader, publisher and mentor in the world of e-Learning.

Khan outlined and re-enforced the challenges of developing e-Learning for distributed education and training along with the considerations and structure that must be followed for success.

"Supplying online courses is not the final objective," said Khan. "Supplying online courses that meet all the objectives, fit the purpose and are instructionally sound as well as fully relevant to the student are."

The 2014 forum is a NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) led event. The event brings together developers, academics and users of e-Learning to discuss and develop new ideas for continuing the development of quality, efficient, relevant, and cost effective online education and training.

In his opening remarks, Latvian Army Brigadier General Dzintars Roga, Assistant Chief Of Staff for Joint Education, Training & Exercises emphasised the NATO Connected Forces Initiative (CFI) and how better use of technology is both a requirement for CFI as well as a tool to achieve the other objectives with increased use of exercises for troop preparation and enhanced education and training.

"This year, we have over 75 participants from NATO, NATO partner nations as well as a balance of industry and academic participation," stated Paul Thurkettle who runs NATO's e-Learning programme for ACT. "The goal is to give the opportunity for the attendees to think of other angles to help them in their requirements, or the opportunity to meet others with the same challenges or already developed solutions."

The three-day forum will run until September 25, 2014, and cover all aspects of e-Learning; from planning an e-learning programme, academic instructional design to delivering an online capability.

The NATO e-learning Programme is run by ACT's Joint Force Trainer division and courses are available from https://jadl.act.nato.int