IMS Global Learning Consortium Announces Public Review and Conformance Certification Alliance for Learning Information Services Standards
LIS standard provides open web services for flexible provisioning of learning cohorts and grade book exchange across learning platforms, and applications from the student system of record

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Lake Mary, Florida, USA – 17 May 2010 – The IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC) today announced the beginning of public review of the Learning Information Services (LIS) standards that provide open web services for provisioning of cohorts and grade book exchange between student systems and educational applications and learning management systems. LIS is an update of the IMS Enterprise specifications, in wide adoption across educational segments worldwide since 1999.

Release for public review indicates that IMS GLC has conducted extensive prototyping and testing among the industry leaders, developed open source code to aid implementation, and developed initial conformance testing support. IMS has also established a LIS Alliance for organizations desiring to achieve conformance certification – see http://www.imsglobal.org/lis/alliance.html .

The motivation for the LIS standard comes from the need to eliminate numerous one-to-one custom data integrations between the authoritative student system and the many applications that support learning, starting with the learning management system, but also including a wide variety of other applications such as ePortfolio, assessment, classroom management, bookstore, library, collaboration, and analytics systems. LIS provides standard web services for interchange of information about people, course enrollments, organizational structures, course templates, grade books, in real-time or batch modes.  LIS provides bindings to both WSDL and LDAP.

LIS will be widely available in 2010 from the leading providers of student systems and learning management systems.

Laura M. Patterson, University of Michigan’s chief information officer, shares one of the university’s goals is to deliver teaching and learning solutions faster and at the same time reduce costs. A critical strategy Michigan is using to accomplish this goal is the implementation of global standards, which enable predictable and reusable methods.  Patterson says, “Working with IMS on LIS is exciting because it supports interoperability between campus systems such as the Student Information System, Enterprise Directory and Learning Management System. It also simplifies integration with new vendor products that use the standards. Ultimately, we feel this will make us more responsive and provide a friendlier experience to our faculty and students, all for less cost.”

"As the first major vendor to adopt the LIS specification almost two years ago, Oracle is pleased to see the standards move to public review,” commented Mark Armstrong, Vice President, Oracle Higher Education. “Oracle shares IMS’ philosophy about the value in driving and supporting industry standards that reduce complexity, increase predictability and contain costs in the long-term for higher education institutions. Oracle continues its commitment to partner with and invest in IMS initiatives and the higher education community at large."

"SunGard Higher Education is keenly focused on improving the customer experience, which includes providing higher education institutions with more flexibility to shape how technology supports their evolving needs," said Fred Weiss, senior vice president, strategy and portfolio management.  "The LIS standards will help make it easier and less costly to integrate an institutions' choice of learning technologies, expand their capabilities, improve constituent service, and maximize the value of their digital campus.  Public review is an important milestone.  We look forward to continuing our work with IMS and others as we move toward our vision of the Open Digital Campus."

About IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC)
IMS Global Learning is a nonprofit member organization that strives to enable the growth and impact of learning technology in higher education, K-12, and corporate education worldwide. IMS GLC members are leading corporations, higher education institutions, school districts and government organizations worldwide that are enabling the future of education by collaborating on interoperability standards and major adoption projects for the digital support of education and learning.  IMS GLC also sponsors Learning Impact: a global awards program and conference that recognizes the impact of innovative technology on educational access, affordability, and quality. For more information, visit www.imsglobal.org. For inquiries about LIS, including advice for end-user institutions and school districts, use the web form here: http://www.imsglobal.org/contactus.cfm