Learning Information Services Project Group


LIS Benefits

  • Increases flexibility, sharing and reuse: simplifies the process of managing distributed information about people, courses and outcomes
  • Simplifies system deployment: significantly reduces the time integrate and deploy new ;earning information systems with those systems already operational;
  • Improves system performance: provides real-time and batch information exchange so that an institutions systems can use accurate information without constraining the performance of their other network-based systems.

 

Factors for Success

  • Based on ten years of experience in learning system interoperability (the original data models were released in August 1999);
  • Based on the most widely used standards for learning information system interoperability and using established information models;
  • Supported by the leading learning information system providers, particularly for Higher Education;
  • Provides an extensive set of services that can be tailored to meet specific system-to-system exchange requirements without compromising broader interoperability needs.

 

Interoperability using Learning Information Services

The Learning Information Services (LIS) specification is the definition of how systems manage the exchange of information that describes people, groups, memberships, courses and outcomes within the context of learning.  The specification is based upon the concepts of:

  • Interoperability – LIS focuses on the exchange of information between learning information systems e.g. student information system, learning management system, etc.  There are no assumptions in the specification on how the data is managed internally within a learning information system;
  • Service-oriented – LIS defines the exchange of information in terms of the services being supplied by the collaboration of the systems;
  • Component-based – the LIS are composed of the Person Management Service (PMS), Group Management Service (GMS), Membership Management Services (MMS), Course Management Service (CMS), Outcomes Management Service (OMS) and the Bulk Data Exchange Management Service (BDEMS);
  • Behaviors and data models – the LIS are defined in terms of their behaviors and data models.  The behaviors cause changes in the state of the data model and the state of the data model will only be altered as a result of a clearly defined behaviour;
  • Multiple Bindings – the LIS information model is to be defined so that a range of different bindings can be made available.  The bindings of immediate importance are to the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) and the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).

The LIS specification is the means by which learning management systems exchange relevant information i.e. it defines system interoperability through a set of identified services.
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The typical scenarios for use are:

Management and Manipulate Information about People

 

People undertake learning and as such attend, or are members of, courses, undertake assessment and obtain grades, and undertake other groups of activities.  The specific set of operational needs is:

  • Initialize Person, Organization Structure, Enrolment Data;
  • Synchronize Person, Organization Structure, Enrolment Data;
  • Create Person;
  • Change Person Information;
  • Update Authentication Credentials for a Person;
  • Update Authentication Credentials for all Persons;
  • Get All New Persons;
  • Get Updated Person Information;
  • Get Deleted Persons.

 

Management and Manipulate Enrolment of People on Courses

The specific set of operational needs is:

  • Enroll a Person in a Course Template, Course Offering and Course Section;
  • Un-enroll a Person in a Course Template, Course Offering and Course Section;
  • Change the Role of a Person in a Course Template, Course Offering and Course Section;
  • Get All Enrollment Information for a Person;
  • Get All Enrollment Information for All Persons.

 

Management and Manipulate Organizational Structures

The specific set of operational needs is:

  • Create a Parent/Child Relationship in an Organizational Structure;
  • Delete a Parent/Child Relationship in an Organizational Structure;
  • Get All Persons Enrolled in an Organizational Structure Entity;
  • Get All Enrollment Information for an Organizational Structure Entity;
  • Use a Learning Context for Several Administrative Contexts;
  • Use Differing Kinds of Learning Context for Differing Administrative Contexts.

 

Management and Manipulate Course Structure Information

The specific set of operational needs is:

  • Create a Course Template, Course Offering and Course Section;
  • Update Course Template, Course Offering and Course Section information;
  • Update Status of Course Template, Course Offering and Course Section;
  • Roll-over a Course Template, Course Offering and Course Section;
  • Delete a Course Template, Course Offering and Course Section;
  • Get Information for a Course Offering;
  • Get All Course Offerings for a Semester;
  • Get All Active Course Offerings under a Given Organization Structure Entity;
  • Get Course Offerings for an Instructor;
  • Get Equivalent Course Templates and Course Offerings;
  • Get All Enrollment information for a Semester;
  • Search for a Course Template or Offering.

Management and Manipulate of Grade Book Information

The specific set of operational needs is:

  • Get Grade Book Information for All Persons Enrolled in a Course Offering;
  • Get Grade Book Information for a Person<;
  • Get Grade Book Information for All Persons Enrolled in a Course Offering;
  • Get Grade Book Information for a Person;
  • Get All Final Grade for All Persons Enrolled in a Course Offering;
  • Get the Final Grade for All Active Course Offerings for a Given Person.

Batch Processing

There are operational points when the service consumer (a Synchronization Agent) needs to be bulk synchronized or initialized with the service provider (a Reference Agent).  The synchronization/initialization point is typically declared as changes from a particular reference point.  Specific synchronization/initialisation needs are:

  • Batch Initialization and Synchronization of all Person objects;
  • Batch Initialization and Synchronization of all Group objects;
  • Batch Initialization and Synchronization of all Membership objects;
  • Batch Initialization and Synchronization of all Course Template objects;
  • Batch Initialization and Synchronization of all Course Offering objects;
  • Batch Initialization and Synchronization of all Course Section objects;
  • Batch Initialization and Synchronization of all Grade-book objects;
  • Batch Initialization of everything.

The Set of Services

The LIS consists of six services that can either be used individually or in various combinations.
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The six services are:

  • Person Management Service Information Model (PMS) – to manage and manipulate information about People ­by exchange data about the people who are participating in learning;
  • Group Management Service Information Model (GMS) – to manage and manipulate organizational structures, and other Group structures, by exchanging information about those structures;
  • Membership Management Service Information Model (MMS) – to manage and manipulate enrolment of People on Courses, and other Group activities, by exchanging information about those memberships;
  • Course Management Service Information Model (CMS) – to manage and manipulate Course structure information by exchanging data for about taught courses;
  • Outcomes Management Service Information Model (OMS) – to manage and manipulate results information, used in Grade books etc, by exchanging data for outcomes information;
  • Bulk Data Exchange Management Services Information Model (BDEMS) – to provide initialization and synchronization transfer of very large amounts of data.  This includes support for the data models from each of the other five services.

 

The Higher Education Profiles

 

The Higher Education (HE) Profiles identify the minimal subset of the functionality that must be supported by systems developed for deployment in HE.  These Profiles (there is a Core plus several Additions) define the set of operations and data models that must be supported by the systems supporting the set of services within the LIS.   A system can support greater functionality but there is no guarantee of interoperability for those extra features.  Interoperability is only guaranteed for the functionality described in the HE Profiles.
The Core Profile consists of:

  • The createPerson, deletePerson, readPerson, readPersons and replacePerson operations for the Person Management Service;
  • The createMembership, deleteMembership, readMembership, readMemberships and replaceMembership operations for the Membership Management Service;
  • The createCourseSection, deleteCourseSection, readCourseSection, readCourseSections and replaceCourseSection operations for the Course Management Service;
  • The readResult and readResultIdsForLineItemWithLineItemType operations for the Outcomes Management Service;
  • The announceBulkDataExchange and the reportBulkDataExchange operations for the Bulk Data Exchange Management Service.

The four Addition Profiles are:

  • Group – provides support for the management of Groups using the Group Management Service;
  • Grade – provides support for the management of grades and grade books using the Outcomes Management Service;
  • Combined Sections – provides support for the management of SectionAssociations using the Course Management Service;
  • Full Course Hierarchy – provides support for the management of the full course structure (templates, offerings, sections and section associations) using the Course Management Service.