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Future Educational Landscape Discussed During TLC’s Latest Open Forum

Drs. Sae Schatz, left, and Jennifer Vogel-Walcutt, right, discuss how extensive data and advanced learning science shape educational programs during the latest Teaching and Learning Commons (TLC) Open Forum, Nov. 8, engaging the NPS community on ways to achieve the TLC’s vision of forward-thinking innovation in teaching and learning.

Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) students, faculty and staff attended the latest Teaching and Learning Commons (TLC) Open Forum, Nov. 8, to learn how big data could potentially be used to shape educational programs for NPS students. The TLC Open Forum series of campus discussions is designed to engage the NPS community on ways to achieve the TLC’s vision of unifying teams across campus in support of quality, forward-thinking, and innovation in teaching and learning.

“The main goal for the TLC is to expand resources supporting teaching innovation that engage the students and empower faculty to provide relevant and unique, advanced graduate education,” said Dr. Ralucca Gera, Associate Provost of Graduate Education.

Guest speakers Drs. Sae Schatz and Jennifer Vogel-Walcutt, both with the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative, discussed their perspectives on the educational landscape required to capitalize on future distributed learning initiatives.

“The educational ecosystem is a theory that in the future, learning is going to be radically different,” said Schatz. “It will be technology enabled. It will be ubiquitous, meaning that it will be all around us all the time and will fade into the background so that we don’t even notice it. It’ll be a continuum of lifelong learning.”

Schatz and Vogel-Walcutt stressed the importance of developing a new learning architecture that emphasizes a more integrated and personalized learning experience.

“As we go into a much more chaotic environment where the world is significantly more complex, we have to become more efficient in the way that we educate and train our military personnel,” said Vogel-Walcutt. “We have to be able to think with higher-level agility. We have to understand more complex structures. We have to use higher-order cognitive skills. In order to do that, we’re going to have to change the way that we train and educate.”

After concluding their lecture, Schatz and Vogel-Walcutt took questions from the audience, and encouraged NPS faculty to consider working alongside the ADL on a shared vision of the future educational landscape.

The ADL Initiative is a government program reporting to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Education and Training. Their initiatives are focused on increasing readiness, saving resources, and facilitating inter-organizational collaboration between defense and other federal agencies.

The TLC is one of multiple action areas identified in the Naval Postgraduate School’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, providing a road map for NPS to maximize the impact of its world-class education and research programs to U.S. Navy and Marine Corps officers, and their U.S. and international partners.

“Hopefully, we can have these TLC forums driven more by students and faculty, and the types of information they want delivered to them,” stressed Gera. “The TLC is here to streamline resources, information and access ... Join us and give us your feedback so we may better serve you.”

Students and faculty can connect with the TLC via e-mail at, or via the website at The next Teaching and Learning Commons Open Forum will be held on Thursday, Dec. 6, and will look at collaborative ways to make online synchronous classes more effective and engaging.

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