MERIDIAN, Miss. - With a goal of continuing to provide access to training anytime, anyplace, the Navy began a phased rollout of the modernized Learning Management System (LMS) platform Feb.22 at the Naval Technical Training Center (NTTC) Meridian, Miss.
The new system was developed under a modernization effort called the Enterprise Training Management Delivery System (ETMDS) and uses AtlasPro as the replacement technology for the current LMS that is at end-of-life. The LMS is the technology backbone of Navy e-Learning (NEL), enabling the delivery, administration, documentation, tracking, and reporting of online educational courses and training programs. The Navy is implementing the AtlasPro LMS in a phased rollout throughout shore-based training facilities only. The afloat Navy eLearning capability currently deployed to ships and submarines will not be replaced as part of this rollout.
Since 2001, Sailors afloat and ashore have been depending on Navy e-Learning (NeL) to help advance their careers and stay current with training requirements. Courses range from Information Assurance Awareness (IAA) training – required of all Sailors, Marines, civilians, and contractors – to hull-specific training for individual afloat units. Trainees using NeL complete between four and five million online courses annually from an offering of 8,000 courses. The Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) relies on NeL for use in schoolhouses for individual skills and skill refresher training.
"Given that NeL is one of the world’s largest distance learning environments, LMS flexibility and efficiency are paramount to meeting the 21st century training needs of Sailors and Marines," said Hank Reeves, NeL project director. "AtlasPro, a Government Off-the-Shelf (GOTS) application, was selected under the Enterprise Training Management Delivery System (ETMDS) acquisition project to modernize NeL information technology (IT) capabilities."
According to Roger White, the assistant program manager for training and education, Sea Warrior Program (PEO EIS PMW 240), ETMDS is focused on ensuring that Navy e-Learning can meet future training demand and content delivery growth.
"The AtlasPro LMS provides a more viable, scalable and responsive technical architecture that can readily adapt to changes in today’s IT and learning environments. In addition, the AtlasPro solution improves efficiency through a smaller IT footprint, data standardization, and a common approach for authoring and content development tools," said White.
Transitioning NeL to use the AtlasPro LMS will be accomplished via a six-phase deployment and will involve shore-based delivery only. Shipboard delivery of Navy e-Learning courses, via the Afloat Integrated Learning Environment (AILE) on the Navy Information Application Product Suite (NIAPS), will remain unchanged. The current phased transition schedule encompasses the Non-classified Internet Protocol (IP Router Network (NIPRNET)) environment only. The secure or SIPRNET transition will commence once NIPRNET is complete. All Common Access Card (CAC) users will be authenticated to the AtlasPro LMS. Non-CAC users can access the AtlasPro LMS via Navy Knowledge Online (NKO).
The six-phased ashore transition will be accomplished by geographical regions. Once successfully transitioned to AtlasPro at NTTC Meridian and operational acceptance criteria have been met, the transition will continue in the Pacific Northwest, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest (Great Lakes), Southeast, overseas, and any remaining users, respectively.
Online courses that are underway but not completed during the LMS transition will not be migrated to AtlasPro. To manage the transition of these completions, a deadline date will be established and communicated to users, along with steps and guidance relevant to their training plans.
For general learners, transitioning to AtlasPro will be relatively transparent. Users taking online courses will not see any change in functionality, courseware, or transcripts. However, because the new AtlasPro LMS is a role-based design, the user interface has a modernized look and feel. Using tabs and gadgets to navigate within the application, learners will be able to see all their tailored options at a glance. A tab is a set of related functionality presented to the user that contains one or more gadgets. A gadget is a snapshot of the most commonly used information and actions grouped by functionality.
The AtlasPro LMS presents the most change for those who manage content delivery to the final user. This includes LMS administrators, content sponsors, instructors, and content developers. These changes are the result of improved LMS facilities to support course and assessment development, as well as deployment of content. Some examples include assigning courses via organization instead of job code, locating and launching courses for review, and using an expanded reporting capability to assist with training management.
"We’re committed to ensuring that whatever Sailors and Marines do and wherever they go, they get the best training available," said Virgil Hart, from NETC’s Learning and Development Department and the command’s functional lead for ETMDS. "The modernized LMS will let Navy organizations more easily and rapidly create, share, store, and retrieve digital learning content based upon their users’ needs. Sharing training courseware across the Navy and leveraging industry leading distributed learning standards will significantly reduce our courseware development and migration costs."
To assist users and schoolhouse staff in the transition, a series of role-based Job Performance Aids (JPAs) will be available via a link within the LMS application. The JPAs will address training administration functions such as steps for set-up, delivery and tracking of training. In addition, support will be available from the NeL content team to help users navigate the modernized LMS features and functions. Finally, Defense Connect Online (DCO) training sessions will be scheduled for instructors and training coordinators to assist with fulfillment of their duties. Content developers will see minimal changes in using the modernized LMS.
For more information on the AtlasPro LMS and ETMDS, visit https://ile-help.nko.navy.mil/ile/index.aspx. A CAC is required for access.
For more information about NETC visit http://www.netc.navy.mil/.