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What people are saying about Common Cartridge
"The cross platform compatibility offered by the Common Cartridge can energize the digital learning content market. The technology makes it viable to both extend coverage across the curriculum while simultaneously enriching the learner experience with access to specialized tools, simulations and assessments, all seamlessly integrated with the core content. Pearson Education has participated in the development of this specification and the trials to prove the technology and its application. We are now preparing titles for release in this format and anticipate its adoption by both a broad range of publishers and by institutions for in-house content development".– David O'Connor, Senior Vice President of Core Technology Product Development, Pearson Education

"The Common Cartridge initiative is poised to be the most well-coordinated collaboration between the publishing industry and the LMS industry to date. Educational providers and their learners alike will benefit tremendously from this initiative as the quantity and quality of online educational resources will grow exponentially in the very near future. We are proud to be amongst the earliest adapters of the Common Cartridge specification and have already worked it into our next generation platforms built for the Apple iPhone as well as the desktop via Adobe's Integrated Runtime."– Edward B. Mansouri, CEO,, Inc.

"The business need for the CommonCartridge is quite simple. If our industry can reduce obstacles for content interoperability investment in producing very basic online courses can shift towards designing courses that support the vision of personalized instruction around learning outcomes. Without a well established open standard for content and support from key educational technology players, we'll languish. Our strategy at ANGEL is to provoke this positive change by our commitment to shipping support for CommonCartridge. We challenge other industry players to match our pace for the good of the industry."– Ray Henderson, Chief Products Officer, ANGEL Learning

"Common Cartridge is a standard whose time has come! Common Cartridge enables publishers to focus their valuable resources on delivering enhanced learning content depth and breadth, and less on packaging for compatibilities sake across many LMS solutions. It eliminates redundancy and allows for new innovations that will help accelerate and fully engage today's digital savvy, experientially-focused students."– Curt Allen, President and CEO, Agilix Labs

"Cengage Learning is working to evolve the way that students learn by partnering with instructors to provide a wide range of digital content and services. The "common cartridge" extends the Cengage Learning focus to create, protect, and deliver quality content consistently across learning management systems for instructors and students. Cengage Learning has partnered to develop engaging products for this emerging standard and is actively testing our titles to prove compatibility. We are pleased to continue our support of the common cartridge standard."– Jonathan Stowe, Senior Vice President, Academic and Professional Group, Cengage Learning

"Course management systems have become mission-critical applications in support of academic programs at universities. Common Cartridge will help enrich course sites and provide students with digital textbooks and supplementary materials for learning and assessment. The emerging Common Cartridge standard, by providing easy access and inter-operable tools, should increase student time-on-task, the factor most closely correlated with improved learning."– Charles F. Leonhardt, Principal Technologist, Georgetown University

Common Cartridge & Learning Tools Interoperability™ Alliance


IMS Alliances are for the purpose of ensuring interoperability in practice and keeping implementing organizations current on the evolution of a specific set of IMS standards. Alliances were established at the request of the IMS members.  The IMS members wanted support to make reliable interoperability a reality and wanted to avoid the need for every implementing organization to reinvest in the tools, processes, and interactions to integrate with every platform. In the Alliance IMS provides this support at a fraction of the cost and, most importantly, steps in on an ongoing basis to resolve issues that arise.

Under the Alliances, IMS provides extensive support to implement conformant products. When testing is completed, IMS issues a conformance mark that IMS stands behind. What this means is that IMS will get involved directly in any issues that arise and work across organizations to resolve. 

Joining in the Alliance and working through the process in the only way to achieve official IMS conformance. Conformance seals are only issued to and maintained with current IMS Alliance, Affiliate and Contributing Members. IMS does this in order to deliver on interoperability in practice on an ongoing basis. This benefits large and small organizations alike in creating and maintaining a vital, innovative, and open marketplace for educational technology products! Noteflight

The Common Cartridge & Learning Tools Interoperability™ Alliance has been created as a high value community for those involved in implementing Common Cartridge and Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) through a primarily online engagement with experts from the IMS member organizations, IMS staff, and a large variety of resources shared by the participants.  End-user organizations are also heavily involved in the Common Cartridge & Learning Tools Interoperability Alliance because IMS staff facilitate collaborative projects among institutions, school districts, and suppliers that are looking to scale the effective use of digital resources and applications.

Joining the Common Cartridge & Learning Tools Interoperability Alliance provides tremendous leverage because it is extremely low cost and the resources made available through the alliance are 98% subsidized by the IMS Contributing Member organizations. Joining the alliance is a great way to show your support for the work of IMS without a large expenditure of money or resources. In fact, the return on investment from the provided resources and support is large.

 The Alliance focuses on the Common Cartridge (CC) and Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) specifications, along with the IMS broader family of 'content' specifications; namely, Content Packaging (CP), Question & Test Interoperability (QTI) and Learning Design (LD).

See who is implmenting Common Cartridge and Basic Learning Tools Interoperability.

Common Cartridge and Learning Tools Interoperability Conformance


Membership in the Common Cartridge & Learning Tools Interoperability Alliance is the only way to achieve official conformance to the Common Cartridge (CC) and Learning Tools Interoperability standards. Digital content or learning platforms must exhibit the marks shown here, signifying achievement of the official conformance process, to be compliant to IMS Common Cartridge. Products without these marks are not considered to be compliant by IMS GLC.

Conformance Mark


IMS Conformance LogoThose products which have passed conformance tests and received IMS issued registration numbers are eligible to display the IMS Certified Logo. Visit the current registrations page to determine the exact certification.

Conformance tests are available for: Common Cartridge, Learning Tools Interoperability, Learning Information Services, and Interactive White Board/ Common File Format.

You can browse the available products and see which have been awarded a conformance mark in the Common Cartridge/ Learning Tools Inteorperability Conformance Directory. Learn about Conformance. Read the Primer on Common Cartridge Conformance for End-User Institutions, Faculty, and Buyers of Educational Content and Learning Platforms

Alliance Activities

In addition to notices issued by IMS Global Learning Consortium (e.g. press releases or the IMS monthly Dispatch), the Alliance exploits these communication channels:

  • CC & LTI Alliance Forums: These are where much of the exciting work among IMS member organizations takes place. The forums are actively supported by IMS staff. Current topics in the forums include:
  1. Announcements & discussion of alliance activities
  2. Discussion of implementation and testing issues relating to achieving compliance
  3. Discussion area for all things relating to QTI
  4. Discussion and resources for the Digital Learning Connection project
  5. Discussion and resources for use of Common Cartridge & LTI to implement tagging with Curriculum Standards (K-12)
  6. Discussion around including Basic LTI in a Common Cartridge (version 1.1)
  7. IMS Content Packaging as an area of continued evolution
  8. Learn about the IMS Product Directory, how to find products, add your product, and locate conformance
  9. CEO’s corner – updates from Rob Abel
  • CC & LTI Alliance website: this has a public area offering access to the specification and the CC cartridge test tool, as well as introductory information on CC and the conformance program. The participants area provides access to (a) a wider range of CC tools (e.g. SCORM2CC), test data and sample cartridges, (b) a corresponding area dedicated to the QTI specification, and (c) details of the conformance program.
  • Member-only Webinars & Workshops: Hands-on and informational update sessions, both virtual and at IMS scheduled meetings throughout the year.
  • Testfest: These events are co-located with the IMS quarterly meetings and the annual Learning Impact conference. Testfests are often open to the public, offering an opportunity for newcomers to get a taste of the Alliance activities and meet other participants. The meetings provide a platform for demonstrating new implementations of CC, conducting ad-hoc interoperability testing and discussing common issues.
  • CC News Update: An occasional publication distributed to Contributing Members, Affiliate Members, Alliance participants and the IMS Community, offering news on events, new tools available and adoption activities.

The Common Cartridge (CC) standard distils state-of-the-art practice in online education and training into an easy-to-implement format for creating and sharing digital content. It defines an integrated approach to exchanging content exploiting:
A consistent model for packaging content.
Metadata (based on simple Dublin Core).
Assessment (harnessing a commonly used set of question types).
Additional features such as discussion topics and authorization for protected content.
Version 1.1 of Common Cartridge introduces support for LTI, a subset of the functionality offered by the Learning Tools Interoperability specification.

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI)
IMS LTI complements the Common Cartridge standard with access to rich, web-based applications or Tools embedded into cartridges with active, authenticated links back to the centrally hosted content. High stakes or premium content can be integrated into specific learning contexts and support the retrieval of results, making the value of eBooks and online content a reality. For more information on LTI visit: Learning Tools Interoperability Video Overview Download the Learning Tools Interoperability specification, and alliance members can check out the LTI certification test.

Question & Test Interoperability (QTI)
QTI is widely implemented as the basis for a whole range of assessment applications, test content, and services around the world. As a key component of Common Cartridge, access to QTI information and resources (including development tools, QTI players, and code libraries), as well as forthcoming profiling and conformance resources for the v2.1 specification are availalbe to the CC & LTI Alliance. For more information about QTI and its current status as a developing specification visit: the QTI page.

The CC & LTI Alliance is an online community of vendors, user institutions and practitioners committed to advancing the use of the IMS family of content-related specifications encompassing:

Common Cartridge (CC).
Content Packaging (CP).
Question & Test Interoperability (QTI).
Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI).


  • Encourage supply of CC, CP, LTI & QTI compatible products and services in the marketplace
  • Facilitate adoption of CC, CP, LTI & QTI products by a worldwide community of education and training organizations
  • Provide tools and content to enable interested organizations to develop CC/CP/LTI/QTI-enabled products that meet the conformance requirements set out by the IMS GLC membership

Benefits of Alliance Membership

  • Promotion of compliant products and services in the online product & services catalog for organizations who join the Alliance.
  • Use of an approved product mark for appropriately tested products.
  • Attendance at testfest events.
  • CC news updates and discussion forum.
  • Listing of support on IMS GLC web site.
  • Ability to use relevant IMS trademarked terms on your web site and marketing materials in accordance with IMS guidelines
  • Notifications of new test cases and changes.
  • Opportunity to participate in CC & LTI Alliance presence at conferences and exhibitions.
  • Discounted registration fees for Learning Impact Conference.
  • Support for end-user organizations in including requirements for open standards in writing RFPs, tenders, and procurements.
  • Technical support for end-user organizations implementing standards from IMS staff and other IMS members via online forums.
  • Support to resolve integration and interoperability problems encountered with compliant products.

Current Resources available for community members

Free-to-use CC Test System
Valid cartridge test data set
Tools, test harnesses and sample code
CC & LTI Alliance logo and marketing materials
Access to unreleased draft specifications
Open content example cartridges


Join the CC & LTI Alliance
Join the Common Cartridge & Learning Tools Interoperability Alliance and begin taking advantage of the benefits described above. Sign up now online.


CC & LTI Alliance Members
See the list of CC & LTI Alliance members and the growing community of educational institutions and vendors committed to proliferating the CC standard.


Common Cartridge Testing
The CCv1.0, CCv1.1 and CC v1.2 test system is available free-of-charge at for you to test cartridges. Conformance is only granted to Members, Affiliates and Alliance members.


Learning Tools Interoperability Testing
The LTI v1.0 test system is made available to CC/LTI Alliance members. The test system generates a comprehensive report of any non-conformance issues detected. Alliance Members can access the tool.


Common Cartridge Information

  • About Common Cartridge
  • Common Cartridge Demonstration Video - Video showing CC creation from SoftChalk authoring tool and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publisher content playing in ANGEL and Blackboard.
  • Common Cartridge Demonstration Video - CC demonstration for publisher provided content  distributed to various LMS, including Moodle, Blackboard, Angel, and Desire2Learn.
  • Common Cartridge Demonstration Video - See how LCTCSonline is leveraging CC and custom courses for the system elearning initiatives.
  • Common Cartridge Demonstration Video - Check out an LMS Authoring and Content Mashup
  • Common Cartridge Demonstration Video - Leveraging Common Cartridge-compliant Systems to Customize Learning Materials
  • Common Cartridge Demonstration Video - See Common Cartridges Exported

  • Run Course Content Anywhere - August 24, 2010 - View Recording
    A persistent challenge, for the creators of course content, learning platform administrators, and instructors, has been that different learning platforms have needed different course content packaging.  The way you had to assemble materials for one learning management system (LMS) was not necessarily going to work on another LMS.  The IMS Global Learning Consortium has been working with a critical mass of content suppliers and LMS vendors on a standard called Common Cartridge.  Come hear how this packaging convention has been implemented widely and how the promise of a universal solution is at hand.
  • Teachers’ use of IMS Common Cartridge- July 13, 2010 View the Recording

    Presenters: Dr. Agueda Gras-Velazquez (European Schoolnet) and Kati Clements (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)
    During a Summer School organized by the ASPECT project, 40 mathematics and science teachers from Portugal, Lithuania, Romania and Portugal were asked to work with different content packaging standards. The teachers were very enthusiastic about Common Cartridge content packaging. After importing a CC package into Moodle, the teachers could remove parts that they did not need, edit the content and change the order of different resources. Many teachers requested instructions on how to adapt Moodle to use Common Cartridge packages and some teachers expressed an interest in using Common Cartridge to package their own content in order to share it with other teachers.



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