Individual learner records of DoD personnel are distributed across a variety of systems, owned by different organizations, and locked into proprietary data formats. This complicates the transport, control, management, governance, and ownership of these records—particularly across technological and organizational boundaries.
Current methods of learner record management are driven by traditional models of learning and do not consider recent technical advances. Over the span of a career, DoD military and civilian personnel participate in a growing variety of learning-related activities, including classroom instruction, online courses, simulated exercises, live training, and other forms of formal and informal learning.
These activities can generate valuable data about learning accomplishments, but much of the data is currently discarded and only an overall record of completion is documented within personnel files. In some cases, these records are still captured manually in local logbooks or paper/spreadsheet-based files.
The present lack of interoperability and data preservation leads to a loss of awareness into platform/system configuration changes and their impact on training materials, difficulty identifying and eliminating less efficacious learning activities, variances in learning outcomes, and difficultly adapting learning activities to specific learner needs.
A federated Enterprise Learner Record Repository (ELRR) providing the ability to look across many distributed learner records as if they were from a single source, and enabling the sharing of local and global learner data across the DoD. This learner data will be pulled from authoritative sources for publishing, customizing, and harmonizing individual profiles, performance records, and training records. Once launched, personnel can access their training records throughout their learning journey at DoD and use this information to ensure they have the skills and credentials required for their career path.
About the Project
In July 2018, DoD’s Reform Management Group issued a decision memo instructing the Department to (1) consolidate contracting and management of education and training, (2) develop a common catalog of education and training courses, and (3) develop a common repository for learner records. These three lines of effort are being implemented under the Enterprise Digital Learning Modernization (EDLM) reform. The ELRR project implements the third element of the EDLM reform.
The ELRR will ensure globally relevant data about individual learners is available to any command, learning system, or activity across the DoD. These data may be used to support individualized, adaptive instruction or be mined to improve decision-making for individual or team learning progress. Personnel actions, quota determinations, reviews of curricula effectiveness and credentialing standards, and curricular/media concurrency will benefit from the ELRR.
Each learner record includes a global registration of all places holding subordinate data about the learner, including the digitally-signed records of credentials and evidence used to confer the credentials or make other assertions of competency. These data facilitate longitudinal analyses of learning efficacy, resource utilization, performance, or systemic readiness. The ELRR will be deployed as a defense-wide data fabric underpinned by commercial data standards, software-driven microservices, and an API to enable secure use of learner data.
In September 2020, a one-year contract to develop an ELRR functional prototype was awarded. The prototype builds upon software services and tools developed to support the ADL Initiative’s Total Learning Architecture (TLA) project, and the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) MyNavy Learning (MNL) project. These include technologies and methods for connecting different authoritative data sources – each of which store fragments of an individual’s lifelong learning data – into a continuous system of systems. This structure supports the shift from an outdated “conveyer belt” approach to individual development, to a more effective career/lifelong learning and development approach.
The prototype system will demonstrate a minimum viable product (MVP) integrated into a TLA Sandbox and MNL’s DevSecOps environment. It will be connected to replicated stakeholder systems and configured to use simulated learner data to drive the data flow across the ELRR data fabric. The functional prototype will support additional testing, evaluation, and hardening to protect the privacy and security of learner data.
Ultimately, the ELRR capability will increase DoD-wide education and training interoperability and improve learning efficiency by enabling more granular insights into learning.
DoD Reform Effort Puts Digital Learning Systems at the Forefront
September 25, 2020