MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Alabama (AFNS) —
Digital University (DU) added new course offerings and platform upgrades moving from AWS GovCloud to the more secure Cloud One environment.
The move to Cloud One, which aligns with Air Force guidelines, took place Jan. 20, according to UA director Capt. Michael Valentin.
DU lead designer Ron Stevens said the DU team, which consists of members from supplier partner Omni Federal and Business and Enterprise Systems Product Innovation (BESPIN), added new learning paths for data science, cloud engineering, and secure application development in DU. Students can enroll in multiple training courses at once and complete them at their own pace. The platform also includes the ability to withdraw with one click. However, students can re-enroll and pick up where they left off.
Using feedback from its pool of 15,822 active users, the DU development team has also incorporated the ability to search through all of the tutorials accessible through DU, provide those results, and then start lessons right on the DU website. Stevens said that users’ desire to find specific training they were interested in influenced the creation of this feature.
Prior to recent platform upgrades, the process began with users going to the provider’s site, Udemy, to search for courses they were interested in. Stevens said the DU team learned what users thought about the process of finding and starting training courses through user interviews and a quarterly user satisfaction form.
“The DU site was not originally designed to support this type of activity,” Stevens said. “But we heard that this was a use case our users wanted, so we designed this feature. Over the next few months, we plan to add additional vendors to our search so users can perform search the DU website and see course offerings from multiple providers at once and choose the course that best suits their needs, regardless of which provider owns the course.”
The DU team worked hard to improve the platform’s support experience after users requested improvements. Users are primarily asking for help with resetting passwords and resetting one-time password access. Users can now request help on the DU site by submitting a form. Additionally, the site is accessible using a common access card, another feature that was added, in part, due to user feedback.
The plan moving forward is to continue to identify and add learning paths, courses and upgrades that meet the needs of service members.
“DU democratizes digital learning and skills across the force,” Valentin said. “The capabilities provided by DU are essential to increasing the cybersecurity knowledge needed to fly, fight and win in the information age and on the modern battlefield. Continuing to evolve is imperative to maintaining the edge in high-end wrestling and leading the way in highly complex technical areas against strategic competitors. DU constantly scans the digital literacy landscape and listens to its users and the demands of organizations with full force.
With the potential to house the data required by senior leaders and commanders to make decisions about personnel movements and skills, the Digital University is poised to become the benchmark for e-learning in the Army. air and space force in order to reach the services of the Ministry of Defense and the federal government.