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IMS Global Learning Consortium and 1EdTech Foundation Lead the Wellspring Project to Accelerate the Education-to-Employment Ecosystem

With Funding from the Charles Koch Foundation and Walmart, Wellspring Connects Institutions and Industry Using Digital Credentials to Advance Individual Opportunity and Talent Acquisition

 

LAKE MARY, Florida, 10 December 2020 — IMS Global Learning Consortium, the leading non-profit edtech innovation collaboration, and its affiliate charitable organization, the 1EdTech Foundation, announced progress on a multi-phase project bringing together educators and employers to meet the demands of a skills-based global economy.

The Wellspring Project aims to create a scalable and sustainable talent ecosystem through standards-based, interoperable technology, and verifiable digital credentials. As more innovative learning models emerge that focus on educational equity, learner agency, and skills mastery, digital credentials become valuable assets for institutions, individuals, and employers—to capture all learning experiences and achievements and translate them into more accurately matched education and job opportunities. Wellspring brings together educational institutions, employers, and industry associations to build an infrastructure for leveraging digital credentials to improve individuals' job opportunities and employers' hiring practices.

The first phase of the Wellspring Project, led by IMS and funded by the Charles Koch Foundation, explored the feasibility of dynamic, shared competency frameworks for curriculum aligned to workforce needs. Partnering with Education Design Lab and the Council for Adult and Continuing Education (CAEL), IMS organized cohorts of education providers and employers by common disciplines and related skills. Using learning tools that leverage the IMS Competencies and Academic Standards Exchange® (CASE®) standard, the cohorts mapped co-developed frameworks, digitally linking the data to connect educational program offerings with employer talent needs.

A comprehensive report summarizing Wellspring Phase I and its findings is available at https://www.imsglobal.org/about/wellspring/reports/phase1.

Support from the Charles Koch Foundation and Walmart ushers in the next phase of the project from January through June 2021. Wellspring Phase II expands the work on competency frameworks. Participants will develop reference software to demonstrate the creation, management, and sharing of skills-aligned digital credentials using the IMS Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) standard. This phase of the project also includes intensive primary research on the adoption of digital credentials and skills frameworks in over 700 employers.

"The Wellspring Project represents a tremendous opportunity to elevate and expand the use of interoperable digital credentials across education and business to enable career and life success," said Dr. Rob Abel, chief executive officer, IMS Global Learning Consortium. "Thanks to the support from the Charles Koch Foundation, Walmart, and other partners, IMS will continue to lead the breakthrough work and collaboration needed to bridge the gap between education and employment."

"We're inspired by IMS Global's commitment to lifelong learners and excited to continue supporting this important project," said Charles Koch Foundation Executive Director Ryan Stowers. "Through an innovative approach to digital credentialing, students can seamlessly connect to learning opportunities that help them discover their aptitudes and fulfill their potential, while also aligning with community needs and industry opportunities. That's an outcome that will benefit learners in a rapidly changing society."

"We are very excited to see the progress made towards building a talent ecosystem with verifiable skills," said Sean Murphy, Walmart.org. "We are pleased to support Phase II of the Wellspring project to accelerate the adoption and implementation of skill-based credentials for working learners to enable faster mobility through a skills-based system."

Wellspring will be front-and-center at the IMS Digital Credentials Summit, March 1-4, 2021, an annual cross-sector leadership event focusing on new learning models and ecosystem development to accelerate the talent continuum.

 

About 1EdTech Foundation
1EdTech Foundation facilitates cooperative investment, catalyzing a connected ecosystem of innovative educational products and digital credentials that, together, accelerate teaching and learning innovation, enabling every individual to achieve without limits.
 
About IMS Global Learning Consortium
IMS Global Learning Consortium is a non-profit organization that advances technology to scale and improve educational participation and attainment affordably. IMS members are leading suppliers, higher education institutions, K-12 districts and schools, and government organizations that enable better teaching and learning by collaborating on interoperability and adoption initiatives. IMS sponsors the annual Learning Impact program to recognize the impact of innovative technology on educational access, affordability, and quality while developing the leadership and ideas to help shape the future of educational technology.

 

 

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