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U -- eMentoring Support and Data connectivity

Notice Date
Notice Type
611630 — Language Schools
Contracting Office
Department of the Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, Maxwell AFB Contracting Squadron, 50 LeMay Plaza South, Bldg 804, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, 36112-6334
ZIP Code
Solicitation Number
Point of Contact
Patrick J Kennerson Sr, Phone: 334-953-6569, Anthony R. Love, Phone: 334-953-6317
E-Mail Address
patrick.kennerson@maxwell.af.mil, Anthony.Love@maxwell.af.mil
(patrick.kennerson@maxwell.af.mil, Anthony.Love@maxwell.af.mil)
Small Business Set-Aside
THIS NOTICE IS NOT A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP). The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to gather information from industry for a potential Government acquisition to provide mentoring support and data connectivity in a distance learning environment to help Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) participants maintain and improve their foreign language skill proficiency. The Government considers information on market capabilities, common industry standards, latest technological advances, commercial terms and conditions, timelines for adaptation and integration, estimated pricing and possible suppliers and sources to be helpful. All feedback and information received may be used to determine the appropriate acquisition strategy for a possible future acquisition. This notice is issued solely for market research and planning purposes and does not constitute a request for proposal, request for quote, or invitation for bid, nor does its issuance in any way restrict the Government as to its ultimate acquisition approach. No award will be made from this RFI and the Government will not pay for any effort expended in responding to this notice. Responses: This RFI is prepared for planning purposes only and is not restricted to small business. If the Government decides to pursue an RFP, portions of your RFI response may be incorporated into the Performance Work Statement (PWS). Sources are discouraged from submitting any information deemed competition-sensitive or proprietary. However, if sources elect to submit competition-sensitive or proprietary information, sources bear sole responsibility for marking said information as such to ensure appropriate safeguarding by the Government. The Government shall not be held liable for any damages incurred if proprietary information is not properly identified. All submissions become Government property and will not be returned. Correspondences related to the RFI should be submitted electronically via e-mail to anthony.love @maxwell.af.mil and to patrick.kennerson@maxwell.af.mil. 1. Background: 2. General Description. The Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) provides language, regional, and cultural (LRC) training for Airmen across all Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSCs), in locations throughout the world, for the duration of their Air Force career. Participants require training to sustain and enhance language skills and, in some cases, retrain into another language. It is expensive and overly burdensome to follow a traditional language training method of sending members away from their home station for extended sustainment training on a frequent basis and difficult to arrange training for thousands of participants at various locations with various schedules. Therefore, LEAP has piloted an "eMentor" program in which LEAP student participants are provided live, online, instructor-facilitated language training in a distance learning environment. LEAP participants are assigned to an internet-based language cohort, varying in size but no more than 6 students, who are guided by a qualified language instructor in a "virtual" classroom setting. In addition to qualified distance learning instructors, LEAP requires an internet data connectivity platform that will be able to place LEAP students and eMentors in a simultaneous on-line classroom environment. 3. Scope. 3.1 The contractor will provide mentoring support and data connectivity in a distance learning environment to help LEAP participants maintain and improve their foreign language skill proficiency. 3.2 The Government expectation is for the contractor to have all aspects of the requirement fully operational and ready to execute upon award of a contract; there would be no time for "development" or "creation" of a program. The Government anticipates, up to 400 LEAP participants to be actively engaged in eMentor training in at least two dozen languages. The number of participants is expected to grow to 700, 1000, 1300, 1600, and 1900 students in the following five years respectively. The number of languages expected to be taught will likely number over 100 within the next five years. 3.3 The technology should provide a Resource Library that allows for uploading, viewing and downloading by students and instructors. The Resource Library should also provide a powerful search capability so that users can use full text search to locate any resource material. 4. Performance Requirements. 4.1 Language Instruction through eMentors. The contractor must provide language instruction that includes the development of communicative competence in speaking, listening, reading and writing through curriculum that is aligned with guidelines provided by the LEAP Program Office. Training is student centered and tailored to the student's needs. For LEAP, language instructors are referred to as eMentors. The contractor is to provide eMentors for all languages as specified by the LEAP Program Office. Currently, LEAP participants speak the languages found in the following table. New participants are nominally selected into LEAP twice a year. New languages to be supported will not be known until after selections have been completed and will vary based on the needs of the Air Force. LEAP LANGUAGES AS OF APRIL 2012 Afrikaans Albanian Amharic Arabic (MSA) Bengali Bulgarian Cambodian Chinese-Amoy Chinese-Cantonese Chinese-Mandarin Czech Dari Danish Dutch Farsi Finnish French German Gujarati Haitian Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Indonesian Igbo Italian Japanese Korean Mongolian Lao Norwegian Polish Portuguese-Continental Portuguese-Brazilian Punjabi Romanian Russian Serbo-Croatian Spanish Swahili Swedish Tagalog Thai Tigrinya Turkish Ukrainian Urdu Uzbek Vietnamese-Central Vietnamese-Hanoi Yoruba Zulu The eMentors will be expected to work closely/collaborate with the LEAP Program Office to create/develop specific curriculum as well as translation of materials provided by the LEAP Program Office. 4.2 Cohort size. eMentor cohorts will vary in size from 1 to 6 students, depending on the specific foreign language. Students will be assigned to cohorts based on many criteria, but primarily based on the specific foreign language, the student's proficiency within that language (with students of similar proficiency being grouped together) and job-related skills within the Air Force. It is anticipated that most language cohorts will meet a total of between 3-5 hours each week in a virtual classroom setting, with each on-line classroom session lasting between 60 and 90 minutes. 4.3 Specified eMentor Duties. The contractor should be able to adjust curricula relative to the specific language(s) and needs of the specific cohort, administer the curricula, schedule participant activities, provide one-on-one coaching, facilitate group exercises/activities, monitor participant progress through qualitative and quantitative assessments developed in conjunction with the LEAP Program Office, and account for participant activity/participation in a distance learning environment. The contractor is to provide all classroom materials necessary for conducting classes to include textbooks, workbooks, dictionaries, audio files, video files, etc. The overarching goal for eMentors is to assist LEAP participants to attain and maintain a DLPT Score of at least "2+" in listening, "2+" in reading, and attain an OPI level "2" in speaking, as defined by the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) standard definitions of language proficiency levels as identified below. Ideally, LEAP participants should be able to attain higher levels of proficiency beyond these minimums. See http://www.dliflc.edu/. eMentoring support is expected to be available whenever necessary to connect with LEAP participants stationed worldwide. Since participants may be in any time zone, the contractor must ensure that eMentors are scheduled as necessary to support their assigned participants, based on the participants' time zone and work schedules. 4.4 eMentor Language Qualifications. The contractor must provide eMentors who are native speakers of their respective language or have a near-native foreign language capability in speaking, listening, reading and writing equivalent to or above an ILR proficiency level of 4/4/4 or an American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency assessment of "Superior" in speaking and writing. 4.4.1 The Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) is a loosely coordinated network of federal, academic, and non-governmental organizations that share a common goal of improving the nation's capacity to learn, teach, and effectively use foreign languages in the national interests. See http://www.govtilr.org. The ILR language skill-level descriptions are descriptions of different levels of proficiency for four different language skills: speaking, reading, listening, and writing. The scale used to describe each skill has six base levels, ranging from 0 (no functional proficiency) to 5 (functionally equivalent to a highly educated native speaker/reader). Level 4 is defined as "Advanced Professional Proficiency." Thus, a proficiency level of 4/4/4 indicates a level 4 in speaking, level 4 in reading, and level 4 in listening. This acquisition does not specify any required proficiency level for writing.. 4.4.2 The American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) is a national organization of more than 9,000 foreign language educators and administrators from elementary through graduate education, as well as Government and industry, dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction. See http://www.actfl.org. Proficiency levels for speaking and writing are based in large part on the language skill-level descriptions used by the ILR, but have been refined to incorporate a non-numerical scale representing the ILR levels 3 - 5. A proficiency level of "Superior" is roughly equivalent to an ILR level 4. 4.4.3 The contractor may use any standard testing methods available for use by instructors that are based on the ILR language skill-levels or ACTFL certification. 4.4.4 eMentor Regional/Cultural Qualifications. The eMentor must be deeply versed in the respective country and region's culture and customs. Ideally, the eMentor should have a bachelor's level degree in History, Political Science, International Relations, Anthropology, Archeology, or Cultural Geography with a specialty related to the language they will be teaching, or is a cultural practitioner who has acquired 5 years of embedded experiences in the specific country's culture. 4.5 Data Connectivity Requirement. The technology provided by the contractor must provide all the support needed for the LEAP Program Office in the deployment of virtual language training. This includes a plan to train the eMentors on the technology; synchronous and asynchronous delivery of language training to students at any location with sufficient bandwidth; and virtual administration assistance covering such management functions as registration of students, enrollment of students, system training, course management, eMentor management, participant management, and assessment delivery. 4.5.1 The technology must provide synchronous delivery of training including real time audio and video of instructor, students, and course matter with little-to-no lag time, delay or connection failure during class time at any location equipped with sufficient internet connection (non-DOD networks as well as Non-Secure Internet Protocol Router (NIPR) connections) 4.5.2 The technology must be available to support classes 24/7. 4.5.3 Technical support to troubleshoot and resolve any technical problems must be available 24/7. A tech support representative will actively observe and record every virtual classroom session for every eMentor cohort, making real-time adjustments as needed to correct any system problems or failures. A database will track every class, student attendance, downtime during class (as well as causes and actions taken), and any tutoring that is conducted. The system should be built for flexibility and correlate students' information with their respective cohort to identify trends such as attendance, behavior, tutoring, certification, etc. Weekly attendance will be made available to the LEAP Program Office. Monthly and other as-needed reports will be given to the LEAP Program Office so that the vendor's staff may take any necessary actions to maintain class operation and allow the LEAP Program Office to know how students and cohorts are progressing. 4.5.4 The desired technology should provide a fully collaborative environment that addresses the following requirements: • Light application - easy to install, easy to use • Compatible with Windows XP and later, MAC OS X 10.5 "Leopard" and greater • Multi-point video/audio for more than 15 concurrent participants • Optimized for standard, residential broadband Internet connections, but can be adjusted to work in lower-bandwidth connections, as well as NIPR connections • Supports any standard USB webcam and headset • Supports High-Definition Video, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and PDF document sharing • Fully collaborative whiteboard with on screen annotation • Supports international fonts and keyboard inputs (e.g. Chinese characters, etc) • Shared audio and video with ability for students/instructor to speak while shared media is playing • Shared web browser with ability to do live annotations on screen • Shared web browser with ability to share embedded audio and video (i.e. News videos, YouTube videos, etc) • Live annotation with any standard application, web browser or whiteboard • Chat support • Can support creation of more than 100 separate virtual classrooms immediately with the ability to expand as needed. Provide additional information the Government should consider in developing a potential acquisition strategy. Responses: There is no set format. Submissions should address all of the above and include any additional information which would assist the Government in formulating its acquisition strategy. All submissions become Government property and will not be returned. All questions and responses shall be submitted, via e-mail, to anthony.love@maxwell.af.mil and to patrick.kennerson@maxwell.af.mil. Information the Government releases related to this RFI will be made available on the Federal Business Opportunities site (www.fedbizops.gov). It is the potential offeror's responsibility to monitor this site for new information related to this RFI. If additional information is required to formulate your response to this RFI, request the information through the POC listed below. If the Government determines the request is meaningful to the RFI, the information will be posted on the Federal Business Opportunities site. Primary POC Alt POC Name SrA Anthony Love Patrick J. Kennerson Contracting Specialist Contracting Officer Phone # 334-953-6317 334-953-6569 Fax # 334-953-3227 334-953- 3227 E-mail address: anthony.love@maxwell.af.mil patrick.kennerson@maxwell.af.mil
Web Link
FBO.gov Permalink
Place of Performance
Address: Maxwell AFB, Alabama, 36112, United States
Zip Code: 36112
SN02730731-W 20120427/120425235242-37f97070410d40914079695949dd1800 (fbodaily.com)
FedBizOpps Link to This Notice
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