17 Dec Bardic Systems, Inc. and the Access 4 Learning Community Release “Application Roster” Options
Washington, DC, 17 December 2015 – Bardic Systems, Inc. is proud to announce the release of a cross-walked comparison of the most common student roster data models used by educational institutions and educational technology software developers commissioned by the Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community.
In education, class rosters are one of the most ubiquitous data structures used by academic institutions. Typically, a class roster specifies the teacher and the list of students in a program, class, or section of an organization. Rosters are important because they enable teachers to manage and teach students as members of a group. For example, by giving privileges to a roster, then all students listed on the roster may automatically access the materials and assessments assigned to the class. The expanding ecosystem of educational services (devices, applications, and websites) that students must access on a daily basis requires a simplified roster exchange solution. In practice, class rosters have many similarities, but across organizations, the specific ways that data structures, data content, and data values are defined do not adhere to a single standard, thus making seamless transfer of roster information still far from a reality.
This Comparing Roster Data Models white paper, and companion Roster Comparison Workbook documents represent the results of the study of most common marketplace roster solutions. The value of this document is to help educators, data model providers, and vendors to review the roster data models and participate in planning for improvements in roster development.
“The Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community is thrilled to support this extensive work done by Bardic Systems, Inc. on this important topic”, states Jennifer Schmidt, Director of Student Services at Meta Solutions, an Ohio Educational Service Agency, and Co-Lead of the A4L North American Management Board. “The new A4L Community is focused on solutions – no matter where they originate. This draft is an example of the A4L Community listening to its global community members made up of educational policymakers, marketplace product and service providers and the customers they serve, collaborating daily to address real word learning information and resource issues.”
“Ideally, this comparison of roster data models will be the first step toward a unified roster schema,” said Alex Jackl, CEO of Bardic Systems and Chair of the A4L North American Technical Board. “A concerted effort among the SIF, IMS Global, Ed-Fi, and CEDS groups could vastly simplify data exchange efforts for educators and help commercial vendors expand their offerings.”
Both the white paper and spreadsheet complement the SIF xPress Roster API which is currently in use by NY BOCES and in planning for implementation in West Virginia and other states. The SIF xPress Roster Technical Handbook and Data Guidance, released by the A4L Community can be found at https://www.a4l.org/Simple/Pages/.
About Bardic Systems, Inc.
Bardic Systems supports the vision that technology can empower schools to prepare students for success in college and the workplace. Our team combines expertise in education systems technology with knowledge of legislation, standards, and issues of national concern such as Student Data Privacy. For more information, visit http://www.bardicsystems.com
About the Access 4 Learning Community
The Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community, previously the SIF Association, is a unique, non-profit collaboration composed of schools, districts, local authorities, states, US and International Ministries of Education, software vendors and consultants who collectively address all aspects of learning information management and access to support learning. The A4L Community is “Powered by SIF” Specifications as its major technical tool to allow for this management and access simply, securely and in a scalable, standard way regardless of the platform hosting those applications. The Access 4 Learning Community has united these education technology end users and providers in an unprecedented effort to give teachers more time to do what they do best: teach. For further information, visit http://www.A4L.org