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Adaptive Lifelong Learning: Working Groups

Adaptive Lifelong Learning for an Inclusive Knowledge Economy

In August 2020, we will be launching a series of working groups with learners, educators and  professionals across sectors (K-12, Higher Education, Industry, etc.). Organized around specific themes, these groups will explore, critique and evolve the recommendations of this report. We envision working groups as opportunities for participatory assessment of the report as well as bridges to form partnerships for actionable items such as grant funded pilot programs and new education modules, tools and platforms. Although working groups will begin virtually, we anticipate the possibility of holding in-person workshops in the Spring 2021. The insights gained from these events will be analyzed and incorporated into a digital book on Inclusive and Integrative Point of Need Learning to be published by Virginia Tech Publications in the second half of 2021.

Participation in working groups is open through application.  Participants lists given below are therefore continuously updated.  If you are interested in participating please contact the Calhoun Center at

Proposed working groups include: 

  1. From School, to Manufacturing Employment, to Lifelong Learning (with a focus on pathways in advanced manufacturing)
    Coordinator: Amy Arnold
    Current Participants: Dave Hare, Kristin Wingfeld, Chip Blankenship, Robert Smith 

    This working group will leverage knowledge from a number of initiatives mentioned in Chapter III to i) bring together people and entities that have successful experiences in these types of learning pathways, ii) leverage ongoing work in places like the Academies of Louisville and FAME for developing adaptive pathways in high school curricula that can lead directly to successful employment in advanced manufacturing (AM) for learners from various backgrounds, iii) begin to define a Point-of-Need approach for lifelong learning in AM that can provide upskilling and career development opportunities to all levels of workers.  This group will synergize with the Future Talent Council Advisory Boards on the Future of Talent in Manufacturing and Employer & Educator Relationships.

  2. Adaptive and Integrative Learning in Global Academia - International Academic Forum (IAFOR), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and Future Talent Council (FTC)
    Coordinators: Joseph Haldane, Shari Garmise,  John Flato, Jared Keyel
    Current Participants: Daniel Kjellsson, Paul Heilker, Dale Whitaker, Juliet Greenwood, Rebecca Clark-Stallkamp

    This working group will engage a wide group of educators and scholars from around the world with a focus on the IAFOR, APLU and FTC networks. The group will gather emerging practices in developing adaptive and integrative professional and personal development curricula across the globe and form partnerships for exchange of lessons learned and/or coordination of efforts across institutions. The group will also look in faculty and staff development issues as well as technology adaptation and development issues for delivering adaptive lifelong learning. The group will focus on the enabling technologies discussed in Chapter III and the combinations of gradual and transformative change discussed in Chapters III and  IV. 

  3.  Adaptive and Integrative K-12 Preparation in Underserved Areas - Trusting the Young Learner 
    Coordinators: Owen Cardwell, Chrystal Harris, Chris Glover, Scott Bess, Karen Eley Sanders, Amy Arnold 
    Current participants: TBD

    This working group will bring together people and entities that have successful experiences in implementing adaptive and integrative learning in K-12 with a focus on underserved areas. The goal is to make recommendations and build partnerships for scaling this work. The group is also planning a workshop on collaborative self-discovery exercises that can expose young learners to an adaptive learning framework, help them discover their strengths and allow them to have some ownership of the adaptive learning process by connecting these strengths to future aspirations through customized pathways. This working group would bring together two focus groups of fifty, 10th grade students from Newport News and Lynchburg. 

  4. Cross-sector Summit on Adaptive Learning for an Inclusive Workforce at the Intersection of Humans and Technology
    Coordinators: Renee Schlechta, Michael Richey, Jay Chance, Shahab Shagheb, Amy Arnold, Catherine Amelink
    Participants: By invitation

    In manufacturing and engineering industries, several key technologies are impacting the workforces’ knowledge development. These include: robotics and automation; industrial internet of things and advanced sensing; digital twins (corresponding data packages for each design and part); cyber security for production systems; augmented and virtual reality, e.g. for inspection tasks; and additive manufacturing (AM) technologies; among others. Taken in total, these technologies are posed to transform the manufacturing capabilities, enabling greater operational flexibility (in the forms of reconfigurable production assets) and strategic flexibility (in the form of granular, data-driven business intelligence) and advanced knowledge management (in the form of knowledge graph and data lakes). 

    Development and implementation of these technologies within a systems context of the five Ps (People, Peace, Planet, Prosperity and Partnership) can facilitate much needed socio-economic sustainability.  This summit will focus on the structuring of partnerships that can coordinate the commitment of significant resources towards socio-technical systems approaches that increase manufacturing capability and flexibility while also advancing inclusive and equitable growth of human capital.  The summit will bring together experts from industry, academia, government and community to explore training and production systems that leverage cyber-human intelligence to tackle these complex goals. The summit will also explore the potential of cross sector Point-of-Need Learning Platforms (PNLP), as presented in this report, for educating, reskilling and upskill all related members of the current and future workforce to utilize and leverage these technologies. Since PNLPs advances targeted domain-specific skills while also leveraging and advancing diverse domain-general and life skills, they can become a key mechanism for enhancing the professional and personal development of human capital and driving the five Ps of Sustainable Development Goals.  The summit will be hosted at the Boeing Leadership Center in St Louis. 

  5.  Integrating IPPD Adaptive Learning in Current Higher Education Structures- Calhoun Discovery Program 
    Coordinators: Lisa McNair, Amy Arnold, Jared Keyel, Thanassis Rikakis, Shahab Sagheb, Mike Kretser, Alkan Soysal, Robert Smith, Chip Blankenship

    This working group will focus on a three year assessment of the Calhoun Discovery Program (CDP) as a pilot for an IPPD based adaptive learning curriculum within existing structures in higher education. 

  6. An Inclusive Workforce Development Workshop with Virginia Mayors - Focus on Industry 4.0
    Coordinators: Anne Khademian, Scott Weimer, Jared Keyel
    Current participants: TBD

    The overarching goal of this working group is to ask Mayors across cities of varied sizes and demographics to identify: i) current skills that exist in their community built through both formal training and life experiences, ii) current and future skills needed in their community, iii) training mechanisms (including learning mechanisms and support structures) that can leverage existing skills to train an inclusive workforce for the future in their city. The working group will focus on mapping diverse knowledge-in-action skills that exist in current cities to an Industry 4.0 workforce.

  7. Institutional Partnerships with Local Employers in Rural Settings
    Coordinator: Catherine Amelink
    Current participants: TBD

    Starting in summer 2020, this working group will explore how student internships with local employers in a rural setting coupled with project based classroom work provided by local employers can help provide opportunities for adaptive learning and further expansion of this model to other communities and learning contexts such as community colleges.

  8. Transdisciplinary Relational Knowledge for Integrative Development and Revaluing of Humanities and Arts
    Coordinators: Sylvester Johnson, Ico Bukvic, Catherine Amelink, Thanassis Rikakis, Roger Reynolds
    Current participants: TBD

    This working group will explore structured trans-sector, transdisciplinary discourse as a relational context for advancing inclusive definitions of knowledge and promoting adaptive and integrative learning. The working group will also explore how transdisciplinarity as a relational context for IPPD can bring forward and revalue humanities and arts as applied learning experiences that develop critical domain-general and life skills in tandem with inclusive collective intelligence.

  9. Towards a Point-of-Need Platform for Inclusive and Sustainable Industry 4.0
    Coordinators: Thanassis Rikakis, Sylvester Johnson, Jena Joo, Randy Swearer, Robert Smith, Mike Kretser, Anne Khademian, Kimberly Carlson, David Tegarden,  Michael Richey, Chip Blankenship, Andrew McCoy, Mukul Kumar, Ronan Mac Domhnaill, Tazio Grivetti, David Tinnaple, Jared Keyel, Amy Arnold
    Current participants: TBD

    This working group will leverage work in all other working groups to draft a model of a Point-of-Need Learning Platform that can advance an inclusive approach to workforce training and overall sustainable development for Industry 4.0. The group will address:
  • A systems approach that advances point of need learning that places technology development within the five Sustainable Development Goals of Industry 4.0
  • Dynamic cross-sector workforce analytics that explore domain specific, domain general and life skills involved in competencies for Industry 4.0 and Sustainable Development
  • Cross-sector development of modular, just-in-time training content that leverages knowledge mapping of existing integrative skills of all types of learners to emerging Industry 4.0 needs
  • An Industry 4.0 credentialing system that is owned by the learner and tracks and details all Industry 4.0 related experiences and knowledge of each learner from various activities in work, education, and community interaction
  • Technologies and computational tools for supporting a PNLP for Industry 4.0 with a focus on Industry 4.0 enabling technologies as discussed in Chapter III
  • Cross-sector collaborations to reduce cost and increase access
  • Applications of Industry 4.0 PNLP to smart construction/construction 4.0