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Frequently Asked Questions


Who will use CASS?

CASS is infrastructure intended to be used by other software systems. CASS will have end-user tools that instructional designers, human resource personnel, eLearning professionals and others can use to define competency models, align resources with competencies, and manage competency-based learning profiles.

What are the use cases?

See the Use Cases Page. Please feel free to comment on them and to contribute others.

How do I contribute use cases?

Community members can become approved to contribute use cases by Requesting Additional Access to the Google Drive folder. To do this, visit the Use Cases Drive folder, click the Share button -> Request Additional Access -> request access from Kevin Havas. Please include basic information with your request including your name, and organization.

How do I get my data into CASS?

Competency frameworks can be entered manually or imported. Currently, the primary import mechanism is via a comma-separated value (csv) file. The CASS importer asks you to map columns to CASS data model fields and then does the import. There are also importers for Medbiquitous, Achievement Standards Network (ASN), and for CASS-to-CASS imports.

The profile manager CASS is not yet complete. When it is, there will be mechanisms for collaborating systems to report competency assertions, for authorized individuals to assert competencies, and for competency assertions to be derived from competency-based credentials. Note: "Assertions" mean assertions that a specified individual holds a competency at a specified level with a specified degree of confidence and associated evidence (and optionally an associated duration and "decay function").

How do I get my data out of CASS?

(Huh? You want to get data OUT of a database?) Seriously ... CASS currently has a csv export and will have exporters to standardized framework formats. Profile data and framework data will be readable by authorized systems via web services.


What data format will be used to exchange competency framework data?

Data will be in JSON-LD format and will follow Linked Data principles.

How will competency frameworks from diverse sources be accessed?

We are implementing an Open Data Architecture in which all data is accessible via URLs. These URLs act as URIs for the data. Access controls may apply.

How do I know what data schemata are being used?

All schemata will be openly defined and accessible through URLs in a machine-readable format (JSON-LD @schema). All schema are validated by JSON-LD Playground.

How are competencies mapped to other competencies?

In CASS it is possible to relate any competency to any other competency, whether or not the competencies are in the same framework. As currently designed, this mapping will be done manually. Eventually we expect there to be an API endpoint that can be used to plug in automated mapping services.

What is "evidence processing?"

"Evidence processing" refers to the mechanisms by which CASS collates and draws conclusions from multiple competency assertions. This includes deducing competencies from related competencies, resolving multiple (potentially conflicting) statements, and combining assertions about more granular or lower level competencies into assertions about less granular or higher level competencies.

Security and Privacy

How will data be secured?

We are working with the XAPI Security group to develop common approaches for securing both data-in-transit and data-at-rest. This research is ongoing and will be reflected in a Data Security Manual. CASS supports the following security principles:

  • All data is encrypted in transit.
  • Permissions to access data are assigned by the creator/owner of the data. They can be assigned differently to individual data fields.
  • Requests for privileged data must be signed with private keys. The system will not respond to a request if the identity of the requestor cannot be verified or the response is not authorized.

What about Personally Identifiable Information (PII)?

We are working with a privacy expert to develop applicable policies and protections. We take privacy protection very seriously. The base policy is that an individual or organization must explicitly grant access to their information.