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National Training and Education Resource
SRI is developing the next generation of online learning tools to meet the needs of a changing workforce.
In today’s changing work environment, workers routinely face new regulations and increased job requirements. Employers must efficiently deliver new learning experiences for their employees that are accessible and trackable. A web-based learning management system can deliver effective training, course creation, evaluation, and results tracking.
SRI’s Center for Software Engineering is leading development of open-source architecture for the next generation of online learning and education. The National Training and Education Resource (NTER) platform, developed for the U.S. Department of Energy, uses the latest web-based technologies and virtual 3D environments to revolutionize how online training and education are delivered. NTER augments training through individualized study and by providing authentic challenges in interactive 3D worlds.
This open-source platform reduces the cost for organizations and agencies to distribute training and educational materials online. It also helps integrate the fractured education space by providing a peer-to-peer-like environment in which content can be found by students, instructors, and government agencies across domains.
Flexible architecture enables organizations to participate as content providers, content hosts, or certification authorities, either alone or with other organizations. Content can be shared or used in a standalone fashion, without connection to the outside world.
NTER courses cover a wide range of learning topics through a flexible, adaptive learning platform. With the built-in Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) editor developed by SRI, courses can be created or customized to meet individual needs. This tool also allows authors to reuse existing content (license permitting), further reducing the cost of developing new materials.
Now available for license, the platform provides a full set of tools, including:
- Course authoring
- 3D world builder
- A traditional learning and content management system
Support for multiple content types is included, including images, text, multimedia, and 3D visualization. All capabilities are accessible through the user’s web browser without special plugins.
The NTER platform initially served the training requirements of the DOE EERE Weatherization Assistance Program. That platform, the National Weatherization Training Platform, serves its community as well as other organizations within and outside of DOE. NTER is equally applicable to the training and collaboration needs of other government agencies, defense-related organizations, universities, community colleges, etc.
The NTER platform is being used throughout DOE and by several other U.S. government organizations, including the Departments of Labor and Defense and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. About 300 students at various weatherization centers around the country, including several associated with universities, are using the National Weatherization Training Platform.
In May 2011, NTER was included as part of the DOE Strategic Plan. In June 2011, NTER was included in the Presidential Announcement of the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative. As a result, it was endorsed by the Manufacturing Institute to train 500,000 manufacturing workers by 2016.