NSA, NETg partner on e-learning

The National Security Agency and NETg, an electronic learning company, have

formed the first-ever industry/government partnership to develop technology-based

training.

NSA and NETg on Tuesday finalized a five-year cooperative research and development

agreement (CRADA), under which they will share personnel, physical resources

and funds to further develop learning technologies based on NETg's Learning

Object product.

"We've been talking about Learning Object and using it as a standard for

industry as well as government for about a year," an NSA spokesman said.

"Last month, we signed the CRADA and we've been trying to get our facilities

and their facilities to start collaborating on...how it should migrate and

be compatible across systems."

Learning Object, which has been used in many state, local and educational

institutions, has a three-part format: a training objective, a training

activity and a learner assessment.

"We want to get other courseware providers involved in the future because

it's only a standard if other people use it, and that's what we're trying

to do," said the NSA spokesman.

The federal government awards CRADAs to private-sector institutions that

possess unique capabilities or knowledge within their industry for the purpose

of broadening the government's technology base through joint research.

The agreement was applauded on Capitol Hill. "The NETg/NSA cooperative agreement

will help federal government personnel learn new software efficiently,"

said Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.). "These programs will also be available

for use by schools, colleges and businesses. The agreement is a great example

of how public/private partnerships can help meet the social and economic

challenge of broad-based access to leading-edge technology."

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