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US National Park Service Common Learning Portal

What is a Learning Portal? What are the benefits, and how does it differ from a Learning Management System? How does it support a very decentralized and often disconnected & remote workforce like the NPS, whose employee may only have access to information through a smartphone? The US National Park Service has recently launched its "Common Learning Portal" (CLP) after 4 years in development and testing. A single "one-stop shopping experience" for all NPS learning, it combines a formal learning e-catalog, an informal "Knowledge Park" of curated information, and a social learning environment, known as "The Commons", that connects learners with each other and with experts. By using the WordPress open-source web-authoring platform, the system provides a modern look and feel, and is easy for non-programmers to create and post learning information. To date, we have over 90 content teams that actively input and update learning information in the CLP on a regular basis. In addition to serving our workforce, the CLP also allows access to our many public volunteers and partners.

The NPS Distance Learning Group will be providing a presentation and virtual tour of the Common Learning Portal. We will show course catalog links, Knowledge Park learning resources, and social learning discussions, access to experts feature, badging, a personal learning journal, and a Learning Activity Builder that uses xAPI for tracking that is connected to WordPress learning record store plug-in that we created. As part of the tour, our team will be sharing tips and lessons learned about managing social learning in a government environment, curating content and strategies for engagement of busy adult learners. We will also give you a peek into the data that the CLP generates and valuable information that it provides.

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