Thursday, April 12, 2018

1:00 PM  - 2:00 PM

Ed-Fi Certification Program
Las Palmas C
The Alliance currently offers API integration certifications for student information systems and assessment systems. Join a conversation on community needs and the the past, present and future of Ed-Fi certification.

These broad session notes attempt to capture the spirit of the discussion and should not be interpreted as a transcript. Although Ed-Fi Alliance staff were involved in capturing these observations, the notes below should not be construed as official, complete, or 100% accurate.

Key Questions for discussion

  • 3.0 Transition

    • Vendor and SEA burden

  • Levels / decompose certification to make it more domain-based

    • Could benefit and assist in SEA usage

    • A con is: that we complicate and confuse some of the market. Less usable than an overall (larger/global) type of certification?

    • By not being more granular, we may be blocking vendors who are niche vendors that districts want and if certification exceeds what the vendor does and uses.

    • Idea of streamlining the actual certification & testing processes was raised.

    • Idea of exposing a catalog of capabilities that aren’t certified was raised.

      • Challenge is how to establish and convey a level of quality in this approach.

      • This could surface the domains that are in use and being exchanged, and illuminate the direction that might make sense to focus on a more granular certification

    • Are there 3rd party verification options that would accelerate the onboarding/certification

    • An alternative would be granular certification per the domains of the data model

  • Non-standardizable stuff - how to handle

    • Things that are tough to test for, until you’re in a production environment

  • Global vs local contexts

    • This is a scale factor for vendors. If you have to manage the different option set / descriptors for each state’s environment, that limits the ability to scale widely

    • Maybe an approach is to test/certify your ability to manage/handle diverse descriptor sets

    • There is support coming for namespaces to accompany descriptors such that they could be decoupled

    • Is there a way to find what’s universal and common that can be used (e.g. such as a compilation of the Ed-Fi states’ descriptors so that you can find common ground and then just deal with the differences)

Summary notes

  1. Strong interest in domain-based certification by Ed-Fi Alliance

    1. Could make certification re-usable by SEAs

    2. Prevents unnatural forcing of vendors to cover non-operational domains

  2. Possibly incorporate a production environment test for certification (follow Nebraska model). There is a difference between test and production environments and data, and the best test of integration is a test on production data.

  3. General difficulties with customizable option sets. Which sets can be standardized and which are inevitably local?

    1. Asserting an Ed-Fi “standard” set makes sense to handle cases like rostering and provide a core model to work towards

    2. Problem for scaling Ed-Fi as a service