Step One: Functional Requirements Development

A Dublin Core Application Profile (DCAP) outlines the process for defining metadata records in the context of RDF that meet specific application needs while providing semantic interoperability with other applications on the basis of globally defined vocabularies and models such as Schema.org, Dublin Core element set and terms, IEEE LOM, ISO Metadata for Learning Resources (MLR), and the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) to name but a few. A DCAP promotes the sharing and linking of data within and between communities. The resulting metadata integrates with a Semantic Web of Linked Data and provides the structure relied on by today's Web search engines.

Step 1: Functional Requirements Development

The initial requirement of a DCAP is the articulation of what is intended and can be expected from data. Functional requirements guide the development of the application profile by providing goals and boundaries and are an essential component of a successful development process. Use cases and scenarios frequently help elicit functional requirements that might otherwise be overlooked. The use cases and functional requirements of a Credential Transparency Application Profile (CT-AP) will form the basis of evaluating the CT-AP being developed for internal consistency and for giving guidance on the appropriateness of the application profile for the defined uses.

The Credential Engine Project has a three-fold focus impacting Step 1:

  1. development of a Semantic Web-based metadata infrastructure for describing the entities of interest in the credential ecosystem;
  2. development of an open Credential Registry to manage and provide access to the descriptions created; and
  3. development of a set of four applications to provide support for learners, employers, job seekers and other stakeholders accessing the Credential registry:
    • Credential Directory (CD) Application
    • Employer Signaling and Talent Pipeline Management Application (ES)
    • Credential Transfer Value Application (CTV)
    • Competency Authoring Application (CA)

The Credential Engine Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) will review, refine and expand the functional requirements and use cases for the four major applications, and work with the Credential Engine Technical Team to develop more detailed and tailored requirements and use cases for specific properties including the competencies. For example, one major use case for the Directory Application is finding and comparing information about credentials to make career and education decisions by a student and job-seeker.

The mechanisms for development of the use cases and functional requirements that will drive subsequent stages of development are two-fold: (1) already identified functional requirements and use cases for competency data based on the four applications the Credential Engine will be developing in this and subsequent project cycles; and (2) through open solicitation for input of use cases and functional requirements from stakeholders in the current credential ecosystem.

General analysis of existing needs in the credential ecosystem by the Credential Engine project include the following seven broad areas of use and functionality that support the functions of the four applications to be developed and improve the transparency of the competency ecosystem and the capacity of all stakeholders to fully understand the meaning of the competency requirements:

  1. Search and Discovery - Search for and find credentials with similar competencies within a particular scope of application (e.g., similar degree level, occupational cluster).
  2. Equivalence - Determine the equivalence between competency requirements among credentials or some other comparison source (e.g., job profile, learning resource, competency framework, quality assurance requirement, military training record, work history portfolio).
  3. Gap Analysis - Determine the gap between two different competency requirements such as an employer competency requirement and the credential requirement or the credential holder portfolio of one or more credentials.
  4. Translation/Map - Translate equivalent or similar competency requirements written in one language (e.g., format, types of information, grammar, vocabulary) into another language.
  5. Connection - Identify education and career paths or progressions between: (a) credentials and the degree of transfer value; (b) potential to stack and build on other credentials; and (c) how to progress in learning sequences (e.g. learning maps).
  6. Accessibility - Improve the ability of competency requirements to be assessed through assessment approaches that are widely accepted by major stakeholders in the credentialing marketplace.
  7. Data Analytics - Analyze and measure the degree of transparency, portability, and value in the credentialing marketplace and provide useful paradata on the access and use of the credential data and the original and derived claims of credential registry users.

The Credential Engine Competency Subcommittee will start with a set of functional requirements and use cases for competency data based on the four applications already identified. All four applications require the use of competency data by major stakeholders including employers, job-seekers/students, credentialing organizations, assessment and learning resource providers, quality assurance organizations, and government agencies.

Your Ideas are Welcomed!

To begin this process, ideas that we can format as use cases are being sought. Use the online form to submit your ideas. As ideas are submitted, they're being transcribed into a Use Case format. To view the ideas and use cases submitted so far, browse the Directory below. You can then follow the link to submit a new idea.