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Distributed Learning Capability Maturity Mode (DL-CMM)

DL-CMM banner artwork

A multi-dimensional development model used for measuring the degree of maturity of an organization’s distributed learning processes.

The Challenge

Distributed Learning (DL) has become increasingly important to DoD, government, and coalition learning organizations. To help these organizations implement DL most effectively, it’s important to have a rubric and roadmap for evaluating and modernizing DL systems.

The Solution

A Distributed Learning Capability Maturity Model (DL-CMM) to determine an organization’s DL maturity and make recommendations for specific policies, practices, and technologies needed to take its DL to a higher level of operational impact.

About the Project

The purpose of the DL-CMM project is to develop a rubric to appraise an organization’s DL capabilities. By obtaining a “total view” of the organization’s current DL status, strategic future planning measures can be taken to advance its performance.

Originally conceived in the 1980s as a tool for DoD software development, CMMs define a multi-level and multi-dimensional path of increasingly organized and systematically more mature processes. “Maturity” refers to the degree of process formality and optimization employed by an organization, from ad hoc practices, to formally defined steps, to managed result metrics, to active optimization of processes. Assigning a maturity level to an organization’s DL processes helps characterize the organization’s capabilities, understand its challenges, and inform plans for improvement.

The DL-CMM project was originally undertaken by the ADL Initiative due to its role as a U.S. Delegate to NATO’s Training Group Task Group for Individual Training and Education Developments. The project is now part of the ADL Initiative’s broader mission to promote and facilitate DL capabilities throughout the DoD and beyond. This project aims to support both domestic and international stakeholder organizations, including active efforts of the NATO Training Group where it originated.

The DL-CMM is derived from extensive literature reviews and contributions from a team of subject matter experts as part of an iterative design/development process. It identifies the current status of an organization’s DL adoption according to five categories: 1) Commitment, 2) Design, 3) Human Infrastructure, 4) Technological Infrastructure, and 5) Data Infrastructure. After determining the current level of DL use within these categories, organizations can then use the DL-CMM to determine what resources, expertise, and capabilities are required to optimize their DL operations.

Each category includes multiple “key process areas” (37 among the five categories) and five levels of maturity (from 0-4) that can be achieved. For example, the “Technological Infrastructure” category’s “Learner Identity Management” key process area is described in the table below. A low-maturity DL organization (Level 0) might require only device-level sign-on and credentialing for each user, while a high-maturity (Level 4) organization would use federated single-sign-on for users accessing devices and networks distributed across the enterprise.

Process Area Level 0 Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
Learner Identity Management (How pervasive is the learning identity solution?) Local sign-on credentials are required per application or computer/device. Local sign-on credentials are required per organization. A secure token-Single Sign-On (SSO), like a Common Access Card, is used only within the closed Government infrastructure. A secure token SSO, like ID.ME, is used within the closed Government and private infrastructure. Federated SSO is required across disintermediated enclaves.
Process Area Level 0 Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
Process Area
Learner Identity Management (How pervasive is the learning identity solution?)
Level 0
Local sign-on credentials are required per application or computer/device.
Level 1
Local sign-on credentials are required per organization.
Level 2
A secure token-Single Sign-On (SSO), like a Common Access Card, is used only within the closed Government infrastructure.
Level 3
A secure token SSO, like ID.ME, is used within the closed Government and private infrastructure.
Level 4
Federated SSO is required across disintermediated enclaves.

Publication

Advanced Distributed Learning: Capability Maturity Model - Technical Report
Malone, N.; Hernandez, M.; Reardon, A.; Liu, Y.
2020


News

Project Details

Period of Performance

FY19- FY20