DoD Education Arm Looking for Cloud-Based Learning Management System

In support of the Department of Defense’s broader mission, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) is tasked with providing PK-12 instruction to roughly 68,500 dependents of military and civilian employees.

In a move to modernize learning, DoDEA is looking for a secure contractor-hosted, scalable, cloud solution that can accommodate approximately 64,750 K-12 students and 12,500 employees, according to an Oct. 20 solicitation on Beta.Sam.Gov.

As part of its mission, DoDEA operates 50 schools in seven states, Puerto Rico, and Cuba; 64 schools in Germany, England, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Turkey, Bahrain, and Italy; and 45 schools located in Korea, Japan, and Guam. DoDEA’s curriculum, resources, and standardized assessments generally follow along with comparable U.S. public school systems. In addition to in-person schools, DoDEA also operates Virtual High School with teaching hubs in each DoDEA region: Americas, Europe, and Pacific.

For its cloud-based LMS, DoDEA says it needs: “(1) an intuitive interface for the creation, delivery and tracking of web-based curricular content and instructional/assessment activities and (2) collaboration tools to both replicate and extend modalities found in a traditional PK-12 classroom environment.” Additionally, due to the “wide range of cognitive and fine motor skills of the K-12 student population,” the LMS interface also needs to be “easy to navigate and efficient and judicious in its display of visual, contextually relevant information in order to avoid confusion and impede instructional flow.”

DoDEA breaks up its LMS requirements into four main categories: system-level functions and features; course-level functions and features; content- and assessment-level functions and features; user-level functions and features; and administrator-level functions, features and resources for high-level administrative and mid-level “super users.”

For content- and assessment-level functions and features, DoDEA is looking for its LMS to have:

  • Inline content creation;
  • Course role and group management;
  • Surveys and polling;
  • Reporting and tracking such as date/time stamp for when content is created, deleted, inserted, and copied, as well as grade changes such as entries and deletions;
  • Course notifications and alerts such as forums, announcements, updates, messages, due date notifications, calendar notifications;
  • Internal social interactions such as live chat, blog, wiki, discussions, and web conferencing; and
  • A grade book.

The contractor selected will also be required to provide training to both system administrators and DoDEA staff. Additionally, they will provide the migration plan and technical support and maintenance where they will be required to “provide live responses to all issues within one business day.”

Offers are due by Nov. 9, 2020. At the end of the solicitation period, DoDEA anticipates awarding one firm-fixed price contract for a five-year base period and five option years for a total of ten years.

This solicitation is part of a broader move to modernize DoDEA infrastructure. In June, DoDEA issued a request for information for a cloud-based, vender-hosted solution to manage student activity funds at 64 of its schools around the world.

The eventual solution will include a website that generates reports on bank reconciliation, outstanding checks, and audit review of the funds. The search engine indexed platform will provide sequential records of the accounts payable, vendor transactions, and other activity transfers. The vendor will also provide product training to DoDEA employees and technical support throughout the life of the contract.

Kate Polit
About Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs