The Alliance recently made several software releases as well as posted an update to the Ed-Fi Technology Roadmap.
Join In The Conversation
The most important reason for discussing roadmap changes in forums like this one is not to inform you of the changes, but to encourage your feedback on them.
Items make it on the roadmap as a result of community need and prioritization discussions. We generally try to use an 80/20 rule in such planning: we are 80% confident that the release and substance of the release on the roadmap is something that is a priority for the Alliance and its community, and that we can collectively deliver within the time frame supplied.
But we don’t get these things right all the time, and therefore want to hear from community members. The normal feedback mechanisms are always welcome (Slack, Tracker, governance group meetings – requires login), but of special note this year is the return of the Ed-Fi Summit.
Alliance staff and key community members will be at the Summit, and there will be a session dedicated to the roadmap, as well as a Tech Town Hall for open discussions of new ideas and prioritization of older ones. We hope you can join us there.
Looking Back: Recent Releases
First a few recent releases from the roadmap…
Back in late July, three new starter kits were delivered. Two of these were focused on equity measurement and analysis. The Equity Starter Kit v1.0 — which provides school-district visualizations focused on identifying equity gaps in areas like student program participation and discipline, while the Teacher Preparation Data Model Program Persistence and Diversity Starter Kit v1.0 looks at retention for diverse teacher candidates. In addition to these, a Teacher Preparation Data Model Clinical Experience and Performance Starter Kit v1.0 provides visualizations of the clinical experience for teacher preparation programs to use to improve their outcomes.
In October the Engage Online Learners Starter Kit v1.0 was released, which provides visualizations that incorporate both student information system (SIS) and learning management system (LMS) data.
This follows the release of the LMS Toolkit v1.1 in September, a set of utilities that extract data from the three priority learning management systems, as identified by the Ed-Fi community. This starter kit and the LMS Toolkit represent significant early progress in driving usage of LMS data into the Ed-Fi platform and community.
Behind these releases also stands a release of the Analytics Middle Tier v2.6, which produces the analytics-friendly data model that drives the visualizations of the starter kit.
Looking Forward: Roadmap Updates
A large part of the technical roadmap in 2021 was focused on Starter Kits, and roadmap updates project those into calendar 2022. These updates will enhance features by incorporating feedback received from field usage, but also add support for the latest version of the Ed-Fi ODS platform.
Speaking of the platform, the roadmap updates also projects ODS API platform and data model updates into 2022. There is still a November 2021 release to come, which largely retains its main feature set, including incorporation of a number of TPDM data model elements into the core model. Beyond that features of the platform for 2022 are still to-be-debated (see the note above about attending the Ed-Fi Summit or otherwise joining the conversation to help with this).
On the data model side, we anticipate changes to the Gradebook domain model, following on the 2021 work on integration of learning management systems data (LMS Toolkit) and general community interest in incorporating grade and gradebook data deeper into their analytics.
Some items also upcoming were given more precise dates; these include
- Data Import (November) – support for .NET core, unlocking installation via Docker
- Learning Standards Sync (December) – adds support for local standards import, among other improvements
- LMS Toolkit (January) – the plan is to add PostgreSQL support and make performance enhancements
Many thanks to the community members and governance groups who provided input so crucial to the roadmap process.