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Dynamic learning platform: An agile approach to learning

In August 2014, spurred in part by end-user challenges experienced with healthcare.gov, the U.S. Digital Service (USDS) was launched to solicit new ideas, solutions, and talent to improve the way the U.S. government builds and buys digital services—ultimately to overhaul the level of service provided to U.S. citizens and businesses. Working with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), USDS began accepting proposals for solutions that would strengthen government’s digital services acquisition expertise, reduce the risk of failed acquisitions and systems, and save taxpayer dollars. ICF was on a winning proposal that directly addressed these challenges. As part of its solution, ICF deployed its Dynamic Learning Platform. This platform is built on the open source edX platform and includes customized learning paths along with a combination of instructional strategies that move participants from theoretical knowledge and understanding to demonstrated learning, advocacy, and on-the-job application. The program uses an Agile approach to learning that serves as a signal for the software development methodology its graduates need to understand. The highly successful pilot program concluded on March 31, 2016, with 28 participants successfully completing it. ICF is currently implementing the second iteration of the program with 30 participants from across various government agencies.

This ICF Dynamic Learning Platform offers a rigorous assessment process, continuous feedback, and learner analytics that drive dynamic and relevant content design. This approach to customized learning helps ensure adaptability to participant needs and allows for flexibility through iterative releases to ensure engagement and relevance. The approach also assists in scalability and sustainability, which in turn helps reduce the need for costly course revisions—a key budget-planning factor for resource-strapped organizations. The solution then serves as a signal for behavior change with the same innovative, flexible design principles used in the digital services that participants will procure for future U.S. government digital initiatives.

The Dynamic Learning Platform is helping transform how the U.S. Government delivers services to citizens and businesses and leverages an Agile approach for complex digital training needs.