The Learning Marketplace
The learning marketplace is used to facilitate professional development in the workplace. From a single environment, an employee may select and access learning resources from any of a number of learning providers. The marketplace provides the employee with a customized and dynamic selection of learning resources and coordinates access, billing and accreditation.
Learning providers - which may include colleges or universities, private agencies or even the employer - provide current information in standardized metadata files on their own servers. A metadata file follows a standard format (for example, IMS protocol) and contains all relevant information about a learning opportunity: title, level of difficulty, pre-requisites, cost, availability, format, and more. The learning marketplace system retrieves these files and stores the information in a dynamic learning database.
Learning providers or learning resources may be certified by an accrediting or certification agency. Such an agency would provide independent records verifying the quality of certain resources or certain providers. This information would be retrieved at the same time metadata for a particular resource is retrieved.
An employee - or Learner - creates an account with the learning marketplace and defines a set of options. These options, along with parameters supplied by the employer, are used by the learning marketplace to generate customized services for the employee. An employee may specify topics of interest, timeframes, formats or difficulty levels. An employer might identify specific providers, cost restrictions, or required certifications. Such services include a personalized menu of learning opportunities, email updates and notifications, and search services. From these points of information, an employee may choose to access a learning resource in the form of a learning object.
Upon selecting a learning resource, the employee accesses the material directly from the learning provider. As the employee completes the material, information about both billing and accreditation is sent from the learning object both to the employer and to the learning provider.
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