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The Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative

Eric Shepherd iFest Presentation

How competency standards are key to advanced distributed learning

Eric Shepherd

Competencies are pervasive in education, training, and workforce development. They are used to describe learning objectives, a learner’s current state of progress, the relevance of learning materials, job requirements, and so on. Standardized digital competency data are needed by smart apps such as personal assistants, adaptive learning environments, and intelligent tutoring systems as well as for competency- based credentialing, staffing, and talent management applications. In this session, distinguished panelists representing leading standards development organizations will discuss their perspectives and how their standards relate to personized learning, learning analytics, lifelong transcripts, and workforce transition. After the panel discussion, Dr. Jim Belanich of the Institute for Defense Analyses will facilitate a discussion with the attendees about competencies in the DoD.


Eric Shepherd is one of the authorities on assessing knowledge, skills and abilities. Eric serves on the board of HR Open Standards to provide an perspective from data security/privacy/protection and assessing competencies. As CEO of Questionmark, he leads the organization in producing groundbreaking software authoring, delivering securely and reporting on exams, tests, quizzes and surveys. Questionmark OnDemand, enables users to write questions, arrange them into assessments, set security parameters, define delivery methods, and report on results. In addition to his work with HR Open Standards Board and Questionmark Eric has served on the board of the Association of Test Publishers and was instrumental in the development of the IMS Learning Consortium’s Question and Test Interoperability standard. Eric has advised many corporations, government departments, universities, and schools on the deployment of computerized assessments.


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