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iFEST 2021 Call for Ideas

January 15, 2021

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iFEST 2021

iFEST is the premier conference on Distributed Learning, bringing together thought leaders, innovators, and senior officials from government, industry, and academia to collaborate and share the latest challenges and innovations in the field. iFEST 2021 is being planned as an online conference with opportunities for some in-person sessions, 31 August – 02 September 2021.


Each year, iFEST focuses on five common lines of effort plus an annual timely topic. For the 2021 conference, the following topics are recommended:

  • Learning Technology – Digital learning systems, including new platforms or new ways to use learning platforms. Example topics include e-learning and mobile systems, multimedia learning platforms, learning experience platforms, digital assessment systems, and enabling applications such as content repositories, course catalogs, competencies, and qualification systems.
  • Technology Interoperability – Interoperability within systems or applications, including specifications, interface and data standards, and technical considerations for implementing a modern continuum of learning. Example topics include metadata standards for courseware, learning performance standards, xAPI Profiles for DoD, interoperable learner records, data architectures, and other learning ecosystem considerations.
  • Learning Data – Data within the context of learning systems to include improved measurement, storage, handling, analysis, visualization, and use. Example topics include data-driven learning, real-time adaptations, learner profiles in practice, competency and credentialing management, stealth assessment, and privacy, identity, and security of learner data.
  • Digital Learning Science – Effective application of learning science, particularly for technology-enabled learning and learning ecosystem contexts. Example topics include learning science for the future, learning strategies and tactics for new training or education platforms, learning theory related to data-driven learning, and lifelong learning principles.
  • Policy – Policy, process, and governance considerations relevant for the distributed learning community. This includes topics such as government regulations, industry guidelines, oversight structures, formal law and policy considerations, and organizational dynamics.
  • Annual Timely Topic – Learning and Thriving in the New Normal – The pandemic required organizations to pivot online from in-person workplaces, classes, and events. What lessons have been learned to adapt to this “New Normal”? How are organizations building and improving on past practices to create new and better ways of doing things?


  • Presentations – Presentations are recommended to be 10 - 20 minutes in length. Presentations should be self-recorded in MP4 format with a video quality range from 720-1080p, and a file size that does not exceed 1 GB. Presenters are requested to be available for a virtual Q&A session during the event.
  • Tutorials – Tutorials are 60 minutes in length (including Q&A) and “How To” in nature. Tutorials should be self-recorded in MP4 format with a video quality range from 720-1080p, and a file size that does not exceed 3 GB. Tutorial presenters are requested to be available for a virtual Q&A session during the event.
  • Digital Posters – Posters should be in PDF file format with a file size that does not exceed 50 MB. In addition, a 5-minute video presentation explaining the poster Idea should be self-recorded following the presentation guidelines above. Poster Presenters are requested to be available for a virtual Q&A session during the event.
  • Activities – New this year! Activities are moderated, interactive, and guided. Activities are scheduled to be 45 minutes and an online room will be provided. Trainers should provide all necessary resources for the activity. Examples of Activities:
    • Challenge Workshop. A current challenge confronting the community is presented to a group for discussion and development of strategies for meeting the challenge.
    • Learning by Doing Breakout. A new or novel task, technology, etc. is demonstrated, followed by coaching to the group to perform the task or use the technology.
    • Deep Dive Collaboration. A topic is presented for detailed discussion identifying areas of the topic that would benefit from follow-up collaborative relationships after the conference.

Submitting an Idea is a professional commitment. If the Idea is accepted, the Author commits to attend the event or submit prerecorded presentations and other required materials on time. Presentations, Posters, and Activities will be available for attendees to view on demand throughout iFEST 2021.

Authors are responsible for obtaining the appropriate public release for their presentations. Approved Primary Presenters will receive a discount code that will allow them to register at a discounted rate for iFEST 2021.

iFEST 2021 is being planned as an online conference but there may be opportunities for in-person/live sessions (subject to health mandates). When submitting your Idea, please let us know if you are open to presenting in-person or if you prefer to present online only.

Submit Your Idea

For questions regarding the Call for Ideas, please contact Julie Lowndes at

iFEST is brought to you by:

NTSA - National Training and Simulation Association ADL - Advanced Distributed Learning