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CEDS Data Model - Introduction

The CEDS Data Model includes a hierarchical schema of non-technical domains and entities with each CEDS element in context, and a fully-normalized logical model.

The Domain Entity Schema (DES)

DES Tree

The DES provides a user friendly structure to easily identify elements organized by domain and entity. The domains for CEDS version 7 include:

  • Early Learning (abbreviated as EL)
  • Elementary and Secondary Education (abbreviated as K12)
  • Postsecondary Education (abbreviated as PS)
  • Adult Education (abbreviated as AE)
  • Career and Technical Education (abbreviated as CTE)
  • Workforce
  • Assessments
  • Learning Resources
  • Implementation Variables
  • Authentication and Authorization

Later releases of CEDS will expand the domains and add additional elements and content within the current domains.

Entities are commonly thought of as persons, places, events, objects, or concepts about which data can be collected. An entity provides context for a data element. Some examples of entities are Early Learning Child, K12 Student, K12 Staff, Postsecondary Student, Postsecondary Institution, etc. There are over 70 entities in the DES.

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NDS Model

The Normalized Data Schema (NDS)

CEDS supports standardizing educational organizations and their relationships with other organizations, people, and time. The Normalized Data Schema is a reference model for operational implementations aligned to the CEDS standards. The P-20W focus of CEDS is supporting a transition from siloed, domain-specific, or location-specific, data sets to data that is compatible across domains and geographic boundaries. In addition to existing state and federal reporting and for analysis and comparison of aggregate statistics, the standards support data that moves with a learner from an early learning program to K12 to postsecondary to adult education and workforce learning programs. The latest release of CEDS also focuses on use cases that support people’s relationship with learning processes — the inputs, process steps (work), and outputs of learning — beginning with learning standards and assessments.

The NDS is a 3rd normal form structure organized around the key concepts of organization, person, and role. The NDS was developed with the goal of supporting physical implementations that could function as an “operational data store” for integrated P-20W data providing the most current available view of each organization, person, and role.

The NDS starts with a flexible directory of organizations that may have multiple parent-child relationships with each other. People exist independently, but they do not have roles outside of their relationship to a specific organization for a specific date range. Each person shares common attributes, or data points, that allow us to represent all levels as ‘Persons.’ Each Person has one or more ‘roles.’ Roles are a time-aware association between a Person and an Organization

At the intersection of organizations, persons, and learning resources are key learning processes. CEDS includes learning resources and process data elements definitions, such as learning standards, learning goals, learner assignments, learner activity, and learner achievements. Also defined in CEDS are the data elements and relationships covering formative, summative, and benchmark assessment processes.

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Common Education Data Standards