Saturday, June 2, 2018

Australian Government Digital Learning Design Standards

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has issued nine draft Digital learning design standards for comment. The documents all start with a request for feedback form and an overview of the standards.

Exposure drafts for the learning design standard:
  1. User research
  2. Digital performance analysis
  3. Service design
  4. Agile delivery management
  5. Cyber security
  6. Digital foundations
  7. Product management
  8. Content design

Overview of Standards

Each standard contains a six page overview.  This covers the Digital Transformation Agency's Digital Service Standard, the idea of using a multidisciplinary team, their jobs, roles and skills. While useful, this duplicated material might be better placed in a separate overview document.

Pathways to cyber security

The Cyber security standard indicates that a pathway is an undergraduate IT degree followed by five or more years working in IT. What is not clear is if any specific qualifications, apart from an IT degree are required. Specialist qualification in this area are relatively recent, but the ANU has begun offering a Master of Cyber Security, Strategy and Risk Management from second semester 2018.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) recently released a national cyberwarfare deterrence policy paper (Painter, 2018), advocating unilateral reciprocity for cyber-attacks on Australia. Civilian cyber security specialists  working for the Australian Government may well find themselves involved in such operations. As part of the Masters the ANU offerers not only courses in Defensive Operations but also Offensive Security Operations.

Skills First Then Knowledge

One curious  aspect is that the standards have a section on mapping them to the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) (as used by the ACS). However the APSC doesn't seem keen on SFIA. The Cyber Security standard says says:
"... SFIA does not address knowledge, which is the main scope of this Learning Design Standard. However, the following SFIA skills are common to cyber security professionals who would be exercising the knowledge specified in this standard"
This is a curious criticism. I had no difficulty using SFIA in learning design. With top down design the skills come first and then the knowledge required for those skills. The APSC appear to trying to do things the wrong way around, with knowledge first.

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