Interoperability Standards Project Groups

 

Active specification development groups chartered to define standards for learning technology interoperability.

AccessForAll, Accessible Portable Item Protocol, Caliper Analytics, Common Cartridge, Learning Information Services, Learning Tools Interoperability, Learning Object Discovery and Exchange,Question & Test

AccessForAll (AFA)

Brief description Standards for accessibility, inclusive design, and personalization of online learning resources to meet the needs of all users/learners
Applicable to All systems that access or supply digital content and learner information - such as learning platforms (LMS, CMS, VLE, IMS), digital content, content management/repository systems, student systems , mobile technology, authoring tools, assessment systems.
Project Group link (Member Access) http://members.imsglobal.org/forum/ims/dispatch.cgi/w.accessibili/
Public link http://www.imsglobal.org/accessibility.html
Specifications http://www.imsglobal.org/accessibility/index.html
QTI2/APIP Alliance http://www.imsglobal.org/apip/jointheapipqtialliance.cfm
Important things to know about AccessForAll

 

  • Embedding accessibility into interoperability specifications enriches the user experience by optimizing the interaction style and display characteristics for all learners and improves learning technology by providing equal access to all users.
  • IMS GLC accessibility specifications enable developers to support their customers who must comply with legal obligations such as US Section 508 and 504, the UK EQUALITY Act, and others around the globe that include compliance WCAG 2.0. However, the approach also enables personalization of content to a wide range of user preferences and devices.
  • The project group is developing the Access for All v3.0 specifications that implement a simpler and more precise data model than earlier versions to ease the path for adopting organisations and implementers.
  • The IMS Access for All project group maintains active liaisons with ISO/IEC JTC1 SC36, various W3C groups and the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (http://gpii.net). AccessForAll v1.0 contributed substantially to ISO/IEC 24751: “Individualized Adaptability and Accessibility in e-Learning, Education and Training,” under an agreement between IMS GLC and ISO/IEC.

Accessible Portable Item Protocol (APIP)

 

Brief description Standards for the development and exchange of test items to meet the needs of test candidates with diverse accessibility requirements
Applicable to All systems that access or supply digital test items or tests - such as learning platforms (LMS, CMS, VLE, IMS), digital content, content management/repository systems, test item banking systems, mobile technology, authoring tools, assessment systems, data analytics systems.
Project Group link (Member Access) http://members.imsglobal.org/forum/ims/dispatch.cgi/APIP/
Public link http://www.imsglobal.org/apip.html
Specifications Public Draft v1.0
Public Forums http://www.imsglobal.org/community/forum/categories.cfm?catid=110&flcache=9946287&entercat=y
Important things to know about APIP

 

  • The APIP Standard builds on the IMS GLC Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) specification (which also makes use of the IMS Content Packaging (CP) v1.2 specification), and the Access for All Personal Needs and Preferences (AfA PNP) specifications.
  • APIP is limited to exchanging question Items only


Caliper Analytics

Brief description Standards for consistently capturing and presenting measures of learning activity, which will enable more efficient development of learning analytics features in learning environments
Applicable to All learning applications or systems that may need to be launched from or exchange data with user portals or systems acting as a portal  - such as learning platforms (LMS, CMS, VLE, IMS), web-served content, assessment systems, authoring tools, learning portals, group collaboration systems, adaptive tutors, simulations, gaming systems, social networking systems, virtual tutoring systems, plagiarism systems, search systems, ePortfolio systems, classroom capture and management systems, and a variety of ancillary tools (grade books, calendars, etc).
Project Group link (Member Access) http://members.imsglobal.org/forum/ims/dispatch.cgi/w.learningana
Public link

http://www.imsglobal.org/caliper/index.html

 

Important things to know about the Caliper Framework

 

  • creates IMS Learning Metric Profiles to establish a basic, and extensible, common format for presenting learning activity data gathered from learner activity across multiple learning environments. Metric Profiles provide a common language for describing student activity. By establishing a set of common labels for learning activity data, the metric profiles greatly simplify exchange of this data across multiple platforms. While Metric Profiles provide a standard, they do not in and of themselves provide a product or specify how to provide a product. Many different products can be created using the same labels established by the standard.
  • creates the IMS Learning Sensor API to define basic learning events and to standardize and simplify the gathering of learning metrics across learning environments. 
  • leverages and extends the IMS LTI™/LIS/QTI™ standards thus enhancing and integrating granular, standardized learning measurement with tools interoperability and the underlying learning information models, inclusive of course, learner, outcomes and other critical associated context.

 

Common Cartridge (CC)


Brief description Standards for organization, publishing, distribution, delivery, search and authorization of a wide variety of collections of digital learning content, applications, and associated online discussion forums used as the basis for or in support of online learning of any type.
Applicable to All systems that access or supply digital content for learning - such as learning platforms (LMS, CMS, VLE, IMS), digital content, web-served content, content management/repository systems, mobile technology, authoring tools, learning portals.
Project Group link (Member Access) http://members.imsglobal.org/forum/ims/dispatch.cgi/CommonCartridge
Public link http://www.imsglobal.org/commoncartridge.html
Alliance http://www.imsglobal.org/cc/alliance.html
Frequently Asked Questions http://www.imsglobal.org/cc/ccfaqs.html
Digital Learning Services http://www.imsglobal.org/digitallearningservices.html
Specification http://www.imsglobal.org/cc/index.html
Important things to know about Common Cartridge
  • IMS Common Cartridge enables learning content and web application interoperability for rich, interactive digital content, including assessments, collaboration, confederations of learning applications, with web-based authorization to all included resources.
  • Common Cartridge includes application profiles of some of the most widely used IMS standards, including Content Packaging, Question and Test Interoperability, and Learning Tools Interoperability.
  • Common Cartridge enables collections of learning resources of various types and sources.
  • Common Cartridge establishes course cartridge native formats endorsed by educational publishers, and supports a wide variety of established content formats, eliminating platform lock-in.
  • Common Cartridge explicitly supports the most widely used standards for exchanging and tracking assessment items (IMS QTI) providing a standard scoring and tracking alternative that does not require the complexity or overhead of a CBT-like runtime interaction. 
  • Common Cartridge fits within the educational context of enabling instructors to assemble lesson plans of various resources and publish those as reusable and changeable packages that are easy to create, share, and improve.
  • Common Cartridge is based on an application profile of IMS Content Packaging v1.2, Common Cartridge manifests support "virtual content" organizations through URL references, thus reducing the size of cartridges while increasing flexibility.
  • Common Cartridge Includes an exchange standard for online discussion forums.
  • Common Cartridge has been designed to allow future incorporation of IMS Learning Tools Interoperability to enable web service launch and data exchange of distributing learning applications and systems from within Common Cartridges.
  • Cartridges or portions of cartridges can be protected through a standard open authorization protocol.
  • Common Cartridge allows straightforward migration from SCORM 2004: Common Cartridge and SCORM 2004 are both based on IMS Content Packaging allowing use of tools to convert from SCORM to the advantages of Common Cartridge.
  • The Common Cartridge & Learning Tools Interoperability Alliance provides open source and community source tools for automated conformance testing of cartridges, testing of learning platforms, a reference implementation of the authorization service, future incorporation of LTI, and much more. http://www.imsglobal.org/cc/alliance.html

 

Learning Information Services (LIS)


Brief description Standards to support interactions and data exchange between learning systems and administrative, student, or human resource systems, including exchange of course rosters, learner profiles, competencies/learning objectives and learning outcomes.
Applicable to All learning systems that provide access to online course materials in cooperation with an enterprise administrative system and administrative systems that exchange administrative data and learning outcomes with learning platforms  - such as learning platforms (LMS, CMS, VLE, IMS), web-served content, assessment systems, learning portals, group collaboration systems, adaptive tutors, simulations, gaming systems, ePortfolio systems, classroom capture and management systems, student systems, data analytics systems, talent management systems.
Project Group link (Member Access) http://members.imsglobal.org/forum/ims/dispatch.cgi/w.enterprise
Public link http://www.imsglobal.org/lis.html
Digital Learning Services http://www.imsglobal.org/digitallearningservices.html
Important things to know about Learning Information Services
  • IMS Learning Information Services (LIS) defines standards for complex hierarchical organizational relationships among courses, sections, groups, roles, and so forth.
  • IMS Learning Information Services defines a standard for a course management information model.
  • IMS Learning Information Services defines standards for mapping multiple sections to a single course site.
  • IMS Learning Information Services defines an expanded person to align with IMS Learner Information Profile (LIP) and includes an LDAP binding.
  • IMS Learning Information Services v2.0 revises the Enterprise Services v1.0 specification to extend the set of service behaviors, define new services, fully support the IMS General Web Services v1.0 specification, and enhance the data model, based on over five years of deployment.
  • A LIS Alliance user community will be launched after there are additional prototypes and pilots, providing conformance profiles and open source/community tools.

 

Learning Object Discovery and Exchange (LODE)

Brief description Learning Object Discovery & Exchange (LODE) aims to facilitate the discovery and retrieval of learning content stored in repositories, such as Common Cartridges, online library resources, and so forth by leveraging combinations and profiles of existing standards in use.
Applicable to All systems that search, access and supply digital content for learning from repositories or standards-based content management systems - such as learning platforms (LMS, CMS, VLE, IMS), content management/repository/document management systems, mobile technology, authoring tools, learning portals, search systems, assessment systems.
Project Group link (Member Access) http://members.imsglobal.org/forum/ims/dispatch.cgi/FedArch
Public link http://www.imsglobal.org/lode.html
Important things to know about Learning Object Discovery and Exchange
  • Learning Object Discovery & Exchange provides educators will an easier way to discover learning content that addresses the needs of their students, making their jobs easier, and maximizing re-use and minimizing the cost of re-invention of materials.
  • Learning Object Discovery & Exchange provides students with access to the highest-quality learning resources available, making a significant impact on the quality of their learning experience and their learning outcomes.
  • Learning Object Discovery & Exchange support content providers to be able to advertise their products by making them globally discoverable.
  • Learning Object Discovery & Exchange supports system with a limited set of specifications to support to make their systems compliant with major federations of learning resources.
  • Learning Object Discovery & Exchange supports federation builders through securing their investment by developing infrastructures based on standard specifications.
  • Learning Object Discovery & Exchange will examine, select, and adapt specifications that are being applied to digital libraries, generic repositories, and learning repositories.
  • A key objective of Learning Object Discovery & Exchange will be the support of harvesting, search and discovery of Common Cartridges and Learning Tools Interoperability compliant applications.

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI)™

Brief description Standards to support interactions, namely launching and data exchange, between learning systems or related applications, either in the enterprise or web-based, enabling incorporation of learning tools, applications, mash-ups, and software as a service within the context of a learning portal or other learning environment.
Applicable to All learning applications or systems that may need to be launched from or exchange data with user portals or systems acting as a portal  - such as learning platforms (LMS, CMS, VLE, IMS), web-served content, assessment systems, authoring tools, learning portals, group collaboration systems, adaptive tutors, simulations, gaming systems, social networking systems, virtual tutoring systems, plagiarism systems, search systems, ePortfolio systems, classroom capture and management systems, and a variety of ancillary tools (grade books, calendars, etc).
Project Group link (Member Access) http://members.imsglobal.org/forum/ims/dispatch.cgi/Media
Public link http://www.imsglobal.org/toolsinteroperability2.cfm
Specifications http://www.imsglobal.org/lti/index.html
Important things to know about Learning Tools Interoperability
  • Learning Tools Interoperability aims to improve interaction between external tools/applications/systems, whether enterprise or web-based, and learning/course management systems.
  • Learning Tools Interoperability extends the Tools Interoperability v1.0 Guidelines to address tool configuration, presentation, accessibility, and access to LMS data such as calendar, grade book, and content.
  • Learning Tools Interoperability enables software as a service (SaaS), which are becoming more prevalent in all segments of the market.
  • Learning Tools Interoperability enables mash-ups of applications within the learning system or portal.
  • Learning Tools Interoperability enables configuration of tools, applications, and systems into the single sign-on environment of choice.
  • Learning Tools Interoperability enables one learning platform to be launched from and contained within another learning platform. This enables enterprise to utilize a number of learning platforms.
  • Learning Tools Interoperability enables “content-less tracking” because one system can launch another that runs content of arbitrary complexity. The launched system returns results to the launching system. This eliminates the need to port content to a standard format, such as SCORM, which often results in a dumbing down of the original system features and a significantly reduced learning experience.
  • Learning Tools Interoperability enables definition and registration of outcome/results schemas that are application dependent.
  • The CC-LTI Alliance user community offers conformance profiles and open source/community tools available to Alliance members.
  • LTI will be an important component of the IMS Common Cartridge standard

Question and Test Interoperability (QTI)


Brief description Standards for constructing, processing, and exchanging online assessment information, test items, tests, and the reporting of test results.
Applicable to All systems that access or supply digital test items or tests - such as learning platforms (LMS, CMS, VLE, IMS), digital content, content management/repository systems, test item banking systems, mobile technology, authoring tools, assessment systems, data analytics systems.
Project Group link (Member Access) http://members.imsglobal.org/forum/ims/dispatch.cgi/w.assessment
Public link http://www.imsglobal.org/QTI.html
Specifications http://www.imsglobal.org/question/index.html
Alliance http://www.imsglobal.org/cc/alliance.html
Public forum http://www.imsglobal.org/community/forum/index.cfm?forumid=6
Important things to know about Question and Test Interoperability
  • Question and Test Interoperability provides formats for constructing, processing, and exchanging assessment information and addresses the aggregation of items into tests and the reporting of test results.
  • QTI is the leading open standard for defining test assessment questions, test, and results.
  • QTI provides “tracking” of test results without requiring complex APIs or runtimes as the question and test information can be natively understood by the host learning system.
  • The latest v2.1 specification provides numerous enhancements to support interaction with dynamic/adaptive content, sophisticated control of feedback, cloning using item templates, distribution using IMS content packaging, and collection of item statistics.
  • V2.1 also describes a method for using QTI with Learning Design, Simple Sequencing, and the CMI data model.
  • Conformance and development of accredited profiles of IMS Question and Test Interoperability, is offered solely under the auspices of the Common Cartridge & Learning Tools Interoperability Alliance: http://www.imsglobal.org/cc/alliance.html