IEEE SRCM - Overview
The Simple Reusable Competency Map (IEEE SRCM), developed by the Learning Technology Standards Committee of the IEEE Computer Society, defines an information model for simple, reusable competency maps to be used for describing, referencing, and exchanging data about the relationships between competencies, primarily in the context of online and distributed learning. The information model allows the representation of relationships between competencies or complementary aspects of competency, such as they have often been captured in competency models. In this model, the word competency is used in a very general sense that includes skills, knowledge, attitude, and learning outcomes. This specification references the IEEE P1484.20.1 Reusable Competency Definition (IEEE RCD) standard. The IEEE RCD standard specifies how any arbitrary competency definition can be captured using standard data model. In this specification, the relationships between RCDs are represented as a map in which each node may reference a RCD. Simple "roll up" rules are specified to allow representation of how sub-competencies specified in the map can "roll up" to a broader competency.
IEEE SRCM specify the mandatory and optional data elements that constitute a Simple Reusable Competency Map as used in a Learning Management System, or referenced in a Competency Profile. This specification is intended to satisfy the following objectives:
- Provide a Standardized data model to represent the parent, child or sibling relation ships that may exist between Reusable Competency Definitions.
- Reconcile various existing and emerging data models into a widely acceptable model
- Provide a Standardized way to represent the result of grouping and decomposing competency information captured in Reusable Competency Definitions. Nodes that represent groupings or products of decompostion can be mapped to new or existing Reusable Competency Definitions.
- Provide a unique identifier as the means to unambiguously reference a Simple Reusable Competency Map, regardless of the setting in which this Competency Map is stored, found, retrieved, or used. For example, metadata that describe learning content may contain a reference to one or more Simple Reusable Competency Maps that provide the context for a classification of the learning objectives for the content.
- Provide a Standardized data model for additional information about a Simple Reusable Competency Map, such as a title, description, and source, compatible with other emerging learning asset metadata Standards.
- Given any Reusable Competency Definition and a Simple Reusable Competency Map that contains a reference to this Reusable Competency Definition, provide the data structure that allows the discovery of related competency definitions through the structure of the map.
- Provide a Standardized data model for additional information about relationships between groups of competencies represented by a Reusable Competency Map Definition, such as relative weights, rollup rules governing how component competencies can be considered to add up to higher level competencies, and proficiency levels required to assert mastery of a competency in the context of a hierarchy of competencies defined by the map.
- Provide a controlled vocabulary to express how Simple Reusable Competency Maps are semantically related in a list or hierarchical model.
|IEEE SRCM specifically does not cover:
IEEE SRCM specification
- A data format, bindings or coding, except as minimally required for the purpose of exchange between compliant implementations.
- Quality and accuracy in the data itself, although it will describe recommended best practices. For example, this Standard does not cover the quality or validation of the various component competencies that make up a higher level competency, or the relevance of the Reusable Competency Definitions referenced by a node in a Reusable Competency Map.
- The processes by which a SRCM is created, generated, maintained or published.
- How the relationships between competencies are stored in a database or learning management system.
- Any representation of relationships between competencies that requires a general graph rather than a list or directed acyclic graph.
- Mapping or references to data objects other than Reusable Competency Definitions or other Simple Reusable Competency Maps.
- Certification data models and how they may be referencing SRCMs.
- Individual competency records, as would be found in the competency profiles of individuals or groups, and how they may be referencing SRCMs.
- Confidence or trustworthiness of competency records; confidence in results of summation that includes rolling up proficiency for multiple competencies shown by a map to be related, where some competency records may vary in trustworthiness.
|IEEE SRCM specifies that the must be a directed acyclic graph. A related standards project may specify other map shapes, such as a general directed graph, in order to allow the representation of competency models of arbitrary complexity, but such graph shapes and representations are outside the scope of this standard. This standard enables interoperability among learning systems and competency management systems that deal with competency information by providing a means for them to refer to common competency definitions and to model the relationships between those common definitions through the use of interoperable maps.
This standard is not intended to define ontologies or to duplicate semantic mapping standards such as topic maps; however, it allows the representation of competency maps as directed acyclic graphs generated by processes that traverse ontologies or topic maps. Different communities of practice tend to use different models to represent the competencies required for tasks, readiness for a job, or mastery of a subject domain, but increasingly they often need to exchange and manage competency information with each other. The information model in this standard can be used to exchange these models between learning systems, human resource systems, learning content, competency or skills repositories, and other relevant systems. The SRCM that conform to the SRCM standard are intended for interchange by machines, just like the RCD that conform to the RCD Standard.
Reusable Competency Definitions (RCD), as defined on this specification, may used to capture a competency definition at any level of specificity, from the most precise to the most general. The more specific a RCD is, the less reusable it is. Often a less precise definition is very useful, especially when trying to compare competency data between different communities of practice. For example, as a tourist you are typically considered competent to drive a car in a foreign country, even though the details of the competency model for driving competency may be very different between countries. In that case, the gross competency definition is good enough and going into details would impair commerce when it comes to rending a car. In other cases, though, you do want to be able to reference a competency in the context of a specific model that corresponds to the expectations or requirements of a specific community of practice. Such a model can be represented by a competency map.
The standard specifies the shape of a SRCM as a directed acyclic graph (DAG). A DAG is a hierarchical collection of nodes that implies containment. If node A has children B and C, it implies that A contains B or C. In competency terms, this would imply that competency A may be decomposed into sub-competencies or competency facets B and C, or that B and C contribute to A. In reality, many so-called existing competency “taxonomies” are not true taxonomies, because the same competency components tend to appear more than once in the model hierarchy. The standard allows this to be represented in a DAG.
Some DAG topologies with different levels of complexity
|The data model contains the following mandatory elements:
- Identifier: A globally unique label that identifies the reusable competence profile. It uses the same data elements as the identifier defined in IEEE LOM.
- Title: A text label for the reusable competence profile. This is a short human readable name for the taxonomy.
The data model contains the following optional elements:
- Description: A human readable description of the competence profile as a text blob.
- Other information: Other information, including optional metadata.
- Graph: A structured collection of nodes. There is at least one node.
|Title: Proposed Draft Standard for Learning Technology — Simple Reusable Competency Map
Version: rev 4
Release Date: 22 February 2006
Editors: Claude Ostyn
Electronic version: Available in PDF format.