New ARPA RFP in Computer Aided Education

Robert S. Boyer (boyer@CLI.COM)
Tue, 29 Nov 94 12:26:50 CST

Commerce Business Daily
November 28 1994

POC Kirstie Bellman, Technical POC, ARPA/SISTO, Ed Brown, Administrative

The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) is soliciting proposals for
research in and development of advanced education and training
technologies in support of the goals of the ARPA Computer Aided
Education and Training Initiative (CAETI). Proposed research should
investigate innovative approaches and techniques that lead to or enable
revolutionary advances in the state-of-the-art. Specifically excluded is
research which primarily results in evolutionary improvement to the
existing state of practice or focuses on a specific system or hardware

The purpose of this program is to dramatically improve the learning
performance of students and increase the teaching productivity and
effectiveness of instructors by the developments and evaluation of
advanced computer based technology. The focus of this program's
applications will be the Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DODDS)
which serves children of military personnel serving overseas.

The CAETI program will provide enhanced educational capabilities by (1)
expanding and customizing intelligent access and integration of digital
educational resources, (2) supporting individualized learning through
the use of intelligent tutors, mentors, and associates, (3) supporting
learning that is learner-centered, collaborative, authentic, and
interactive regardless of a student's location, and (4) providing to
DODDS, capabilities and software architectures that are affordable, in
a scalable and easily maintainable system where both performance and
technical evaluation are a key part of the development process. From the
earliest phases of the program, DODDS students and personnel will
participate in the assessment of the products. In later phases, the
technology will be transitioned to meet the needs for adult education
and training of the active forces, the reserves and the National Guard.

The specific details of the CAETI program plan including descriptions of
selection criteria and instructions for proposal submission are
described in the Proposal Information Packet (PIP). Proposers should
consult the PIP for guidance before responding to the BAA. Note: The PIP
will not be published in the Commerce Business Daily (CBD). To obtain a
copy of the PIP see instruction listed under section ''PROPOSAL
PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION'' of this announcement. This announcement and
the PIP constitute the BAA as defined in FAR 6.102(d)(2), and is the
only information ARPA provides. Requests for additional information,
other than purely administrative questions or correspondence, will be
disregarded. No other solicitation regarding this announcement will be
issued. Requests for same will be disregarded.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION: The CAETI will develop and demonstrate affordable
and effective learning technologies that will significantly improve
learning productivity in the DODDS system. CAETI will follow a systems
development approach that begins with DODDS requirements and
systematically develops technology, integrates it with educational goals
and continually evaluates the results to ensure the products support
DODDS educational objectives. To achieve these goals, CAETI will (1)
adapt and advance technology that will alter the current educational
paradigm. This includes advances in simulation and synthetic
environments, data visualization, intelligent associates and agents, and
affordable simulation networks, (2) provide information navigation,
customization and integration tools to students and teachers that will
increase their effective use of networked digital resources, and (3)
apply advances in software engineering, languages, and architectures to
reduce the costs of technology use and support. The objectives of these
advances in educational technology are to improve student performance
and enhance their readiness for future education or employment by at
least 1 sigma and significantly decrease the amount of time teachers
spend performing administrative tasks and lesson preparation.

Proposals submitted under this BAA can be directed towards any
combination of the three technology themes or to the advanced system
engineering and evaluation technologies that will be used to create a
CAETI open systems architecture and evaluation framework. The three
CAETI themes, EAGIL, CAPER, and SNAIR, are explained in the PIP. The
system engineering process to be used in CAETI must allow the rapid and
iterative development of a scalable and open architecture that will
support both near term and long term inclusion of components developed
under CAETI. Also, the system engineering and evaluation technology
considered for this project must support the creation of an affordable
and maintainable system, one that minimizes the requirements on
maintenance personnel at DODDS sites. All selected proposals will be
expected to cooperate with the selected system engineering,
architecture, and evaluation efforts.

encouraged to submit an initial proposal abstract in advance of actual
proposals. Proposal abstracts are due under this solicitation by 4:00
PM, December 12, 1994. ARPA will attempt to respond to all proposal
abstracts by December 19, 1994. Proposals are due NLT 4:00 PM, January
9, 1995.

Proposers must follow the guidance provided by Proposal Information
Packet (PIP), ''BAA 95-10 Proposal Information Packet.'' The PIP
describes the process of proposal submission and evaluation, the format
for submission, and contains other pertinent guidelines. The packet may
be obtained by electronic mail, fax, or mail using the contact addresses
included in this announcement. Additional information concerning DODDS
may be obtained by sending an E-mail request to Copies
of relevant materials will be sent to you by mail so you must include
your postal address with your request for DODDS information.

SELECTION PROCESS: Sources for research will be selected by a scientific
review process using criteria set forth below. Individual proposal
evaluations will be based on acceptability or unacceptability without
regard to other proposals submitted under the announcement, however, all
selected proposals may not be funded due to budgetary or programmatic
constraints. The Government reserves the right to select for award all,
some, or none of the proposals received in response to this
announcement. All responsible sources capable of satisfying the
Government's needs may submit a proposal which shall be considered by
ARPA. Full proposals may be reviewed and acted on as they arrive.

Evaluation of proposals will be performed using the following criteria.
The first PRIORITY is equal in importance to the other two combined. The
second and third PRIORITIES are of equal importance. The criteria within
each PRIORITY are listed in descending order of relative importance.

1. FIRST PRIORITY: - Quality. Overall scientific, technical and
socioeconomic merit of the proposal.- Relevance. Potential contributions
of the effort to the agency's specific mission, including military
relevance and contribution to the national technology base. This
includes the offerors' plans and capability to appropriately transition
the technology to the research and industrial communities, in such a way
that U.S. defense and industrial capabilities are enhanced. - Personnel.
The qualifications, capabilities, and experience of the proposed
principal investigator, team leader, and key personnel who are critical
in achieving the proposal objective.

2. SECOND PRIORITY: - Related Experience. The offerors' qualifications,
capabilities, and experience in related technical areas. - Capability.
The offeror's facilities and demonstrated ability for achieving the
proposal objectives. For proposal involving prototype development this
will include availability (either in-house, through subcontract, or
through industrial affiliates) of design and manufacturing tools
appropriate to the proposed prototype.

3.THIRD PRIORITY:- Cost. Realism and amount of the proposed cost, and
cost sharing. Note: (1) cost realism will only be significant in
proposals which have significantly under or over estimated the cost to
complete their effort, and (2) proposals deemed non- competitive will
not be reviewed further.

ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES: Proposals may range from small-scale efforts that
are primarily theoretical in nature, to medium-scale experimental and
prototyping efforts of hardware and/or software, to larger-scale
integrated systems efforts. Proposed efforts may involve single
organizations, multiple research groups, collaboration with ongoing
projects, and/or industrial cooperation and cost sharing. While
collaborative efforts and teaming to increase the strength of research
or to fill technical or manpower gaps are strongly encouraged, teaming
per se does not increase the selectability of a proposed effort. No
portion of this BAA will be set aside for Historically Black Colleges
and Universities (HBCU) and Minority Institution (MI) participation due
to the impracticality of reserving discrete or severable areas of
research. However, such institutions are encouraged to submit proposals
or to join others in submitting proposals.

Subject to technical acceptability, it is anticipated that the
approximate number of contracts to be awarded could be 15-20. ARPA
expects some additional team formation once proposals are selected and
team synergies become apparent. Total funding for the CAETI is not
available at this time. Restrictive notices notwithstanding, proposals
will be handled for administrative purposes by a support contractor, and
FFRDC employees may participate in the review process.

CONTACT ADDRESSES: Electronic mail: FAX: (703)
522-6367 (Addressed to: BAA 95-10)Mail: ATTN: BAA 95-10, ARPA/SISTO,
3701 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203-1714. For additional DODDS
Information: (Notes: Electronic mail and fax are
preferred for administrative questions and correspondence. PROPOSALS
electronic mail and fax preferentially for correspondence regarding BAA
95-10.) (0326)

Sponsor:Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), Contracts Management
Office (CMO), 3701 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203-1714