IMS Global Learning Consortium and the European Union Commission ASPECT Project Announce Partnership

Memorandum of Understanding promises to enhance the cooperation in establishing best practice network for Common Cartridge and Learning Object Discovery and Exchange for the K-12 Schools segment

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Long Beach, California, Lake Mary, Florida, USA and Brussels, Belgium – 12 February 2009 – The nonprofit IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC) and European Schoolnet, on behalf of the European Union Commission ASPECT project, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the IMS GLC Special Summit on Next-Generation Digital Learning & Content.

The Adopting Standards and Specifications for Educational Content (ASPECT) project (http://aspect-project.org/), is a Best Practice Network coordinated by European Schoolnet and supported by the European Commission's eContentplus Programme that involves 22 partners from 15 countries, including 9 Ministries of Education (MoE), aiming to improve the adoption of learning technology standards and specifications in Europe. The MOU specifies cooperative activities between IMS GLC and ASPECT in several areas. First, the parties will cooperate on the dissemination and best practice in implementing the IMS Common Cartridge standard for distributed digital learning content and assessments in a collaborative learning context. Second, the MOU specifies cooperation in developing region-specific application profiles of the IMS specifications and developing conformance tests according to the processes established by the IMS Common Cartridge Alliance (http://www.imsglobal.org/cc/alliance.html). Third, the MOU specifies collaboration with the ASPECT community on the IMS Learning Object Discovery and Exchange (LODE) project (http://www.imsglobal.org/lode.html).

“We are extremely pleased to see such a strong interest in the IMS Common Cartridge and LODE projects from across the European Community,” remarked Dr. Rob Abel, Chief Executive of IMS Global Learning. “The goal of our work is to enable increased creativity and innovation in supporting and enhancing digital learning, an area in which Europe excels.”

“The ASPECT Best Practice Network is a key channel in Europe for disseminating information and best practice related to the implementation of the IMS Common Cartridge standard,” says Dr. David Massart, from European Schoolnet, the ASPECT Project Manager. “Both public and private sector partners in ASPECT are particularly eager to see how this new IMS standard can enhance the pan-European interoperability of educational resources in European Schoolnet’s new Learning Resource Exchange (LRE) service for schools.  We welcome this MOU also as an opportunity to feed European experience into the future work on global technical standards in eLearning.”

IMS Global Contributing Member European Schoolnet is providing leadership for the ASPECT project and the IMS LODE activity. IMS Global Contributing Member Icodeon is providing and supporting the Icodeon Common Cartridge Player and providing support for the IMS SCORM® (SCORM is a Registered Trademark of the United States Department of Defense) to Common Cartridge conversion tool, which was sponsored by Microsoft, to the ASPECT project. IMS Global Contributing Member Open University UK is participating in ASPECT as a leading provider of Common Cartridge materials. IMS Contributing Member and Global Academic Affiliate University Koblenz-Landau is providing expertise in using the IMS Profiling and Test Tools.

About IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC)
IMS Global Learning is a global, nonprofit, member organization that strives to enable the growth and impact of learning technology in the education and corporate learning sectors worldwide. IMS GLC members provide leadership in shaping and growing the learning industry through community development of interoperability and adoption practice standards and recognition of the return on investment from learning and educational technology. For more information, including the world's most comprehensive set of learning technology interoperability standards, information on the annual Learning Impact conference and awards program, and free community resources for learning technology leaders, visit http://www.imsglobal.org.

About European Schoolnet (EUN)
European Schoolnet (EUN) is a not-for-profit organization supported by 31 Ministries of Education in Europe dedicated to supporting schools in the best use of technology in learning, promoting the European dimension in schools and education and improving and raising the quality of education in Europe. Created in 1997, it has coordinated a series of major projects over the last seven years concerned with the technical and semantic interoperability of educational repositories and content. For more information, visit http://www.eun.org and http://aspect-project.org