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IMS Global Announces Rapid Rise of IMS-Certified Applications and Learning Platforms Across K-20 Education

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IMS Global Announces Rapid Rise of IMS-Certified Applications and Learning Platforms Across K-20 Education

 

40 New Certifications Enabling Seamless, Agile and Information-Rich Integrations Achieved in the First 18 Weeks of 2013

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Lake Mary, Florida and San Diego, California, USA - 13 May 2013 - Can the worldwide educational community of school districts, universities, states and learning technology suppliers cooperate to achieve a 10-100x improvement in the effective use of technology in support of improved education experiences?  Yes, they can and they are by developing, implementing and certifying to open standards that enable an open innovation platform for digital education - a platform owned by no one and contributed to by all.

Products that have achieved IMS conformance certification are listed at imscert.org.  Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) platforms and tools that are certified are also listed here: http://developers.imsglobal.org/catalog.html

“Certification to IMS standards, while having some marketing benefit, is not primarily a marketing program,” said Dr. Rob Abel, Chief Executive of IMS Global.  “It is a program of commitment by suppliers enabling innovation in the education community by achieving a 10-100x improvement in integration - which can only occur through rigorous testing, development community participation, troubleshooting and ongoing improvement of the standards.”

Over the last seven years the IMS Global Learning Consortium has grown to over 210 member organizations that have revolutionized how previously siloed products, such as digital learning tools/content, learning platforms, assessment platforms and enterprise software can come together to meet the needs of faculty and students.

IMS Global is a member-funded non-profit. IMS Global growth, size and financial resources have now achieved parity with some of the most successful open standards initiatives outside the education segment. For more information on the growth of IMS Global, see the IMS annual report

The worldwide educational community has especially benefitted from the support of the IMS Contributing Members, who provide approximately 90% of the financial and resource support for IMS Global.

The following quotes of support for the IMS Global standards and certification process were received in conjunction with the IMS annual Learning Impact meetings held in San Diego, CA, USA May 13-16, 2013:


“Delivering Florida Virtual School Global courseware to our clients has significantly improved as a result of implementing LTI and Common Cartridge. Instead of deploying gigabytes of data, we deliver small, lightweight Common Cartridge packages with LTI links back to our servers. Not only does this improve our internal efficiency by reducing delivery time by 75%, it also enables us more time to focus on the things that matter such as innovating and bringing even more value to our customers.”
- Blaine Helmick, Technical Services Manager, Florida Virtual School Global


“IMS standards have been critical to the integration strategy we have been pursuing in the Teaching & Learning space at University of Michigan. Learning Tools Interoperability in particular has reduced associated effort levels and cost by at least an order of magnitude over custom solutions. We now have several standards-based integrations delivering important functionality into our Sakai 2.9 environment, including new solutions from Piazza and SCORMCloud.”
- Sean DeMonner, Director of Enterprise Teaching & Learning Applications, University of Michigan


Oracle higher education customers have realized significant benefits from our leadership role in the IMS standards community. Because Oracle was the first to be certified conformant with the new Learning Information Service 2.0 standard, our customers have already realized cost savings in implementing and integrating enrollment, class and grade information for students, thereby improving student satisfaction. Also, their faculty, advisors and administrative staff can now access student and class information faster—improving their ability to better manage student success.”
- Mark Armstrong, Vice President, Higher Education Product Development, Oracle, and member of Board of Directors for IMS Global Learning Consortium

LoudCloud’s LTI App Store has a diverse array of learning tools that come pre-wired on the platform. No more systems integration or administration. Get straight to what matters - authoring.”
- Dean Khialani, Director Products, LoudCloud Systems


“We’ve invested years building and supporting custom integrations for Blackboard, Sakai, Moodle, and other platforms.  It’s really important for us that ePortfolio is deeply embedded within the LMS.  Now, with IMS LTI, the ability for our customers to achieve seamless integration and gradebook integration helps us further improve ePortfolio integration and reduce our integration costs by an order of magnitude unimaginable in the past.”
- Geoff Irvine, CEO, Chalk & Wire


Jenzabar has been an evangelist for the IMS standards for over five years. Compliance with IMS Common Cartridge and Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) has enabled us to integrate successfully with course content and learning tool providers without the resource drain of building ad hoc interoperability for those external solutions,” said Rick Tomlinson, Manager of Academic Solutions at Jenzabar. “Jenzabar’s commitment to IMS standards has been embraced by both our customers and our partners. Several of our partners have recognized the value of LTI interoperability, and have moved away from their proprietary APIs.”

One of Jenzabar’s eLearning customers, Steve Kessinger, Director of Information Services and Technology at Bluefield College, stated that “Prior to LTI, integration meant our IT guys spending six months in a cave banging out code for each third-party solution. With the IMS Learning Tools Interoperability standard, we now have the ability to integrate a number of solutions that we once thought were beyond our capability. And it’s easy.”


CourseSmart Analytics utilizes the rich set of LTI based data, which is available through the integration of our core product directly into an institution’s learning management system or online portal.  This allows students, faculty and administration to capitalize on both the eTextbook and Analytics Dashboards services within their existing institutional workflow.  IMS and LTI standards have been beneficial for CourseSmart as our services can be deployed across our present and prospective customer base with minimal effort, so everybody benefits.  CourseSmart will enthusiastically continue to participate in working groups and IMS activities to contribute to the improvement of future LTI standards.”
-Bryan Spaulding, Senior Vice President of Technology and Business Operations, CourseSmart LLC


“Prior to LTI, SoftChalk relied on SCORM to integrate our content with learning management systems.  It was clunky at best.  Because the LMS vendor developed and controlled the SCORM player in their platform, SoftChalk was not in control of the instructor or user experience when integrating SoftChalk content into the LMS platform. We were not able to offer many features that customers wanted.  We were often not able to directly resolve issues with the SCORM player functionality when problems arose.

With LTI, SoftChalk is able to fully control how our content interoperates with the LMS.  This means improved features and functions for customers, simplified interoperability, and a significant reduction in customer reported problems using SoftChalk content with their LMS.  We have more people than ever before who are using SoftChalk content with their LMS; We are able to support the use of SoftChalk content in more LMS platforms than ever before; And we have dramatically fewer customer reports of issues with LMS integration.  It’s been good for SoftChalk, good for the many LMS vendors that we now support, and especially great for the educators who can use our products more easily and with more LMS environments than ever before.  Thank you IMS for helping the industry make the leap forward into a new era of content and delivery platform interoperability!  It’s a wonderful, wonderful new world we live and work in!”
- Sue Polyson Evans, CEO/co-founder, SoftChalk LLC


“We’ve seen huge gains since adopting IMS standards.  Our initial e-textbook platform integrations took 6 months or more to complete with custom development on both sides.  Since implementing LTI we are now integrating new VitalSource Bookshelf® customers over a phone call, and this summer we anticipate users can perform their own integration in a self-service model. We are pleased to be helping IMS lead the way with LTI 2 which will enable even more seamless and data rich digital learning experiences for students and educators worldwide.”
- Kent Freeman, Chief Operating Officer, Vital Source Technologies, Inc., an Ingram Content Group company


“IMS leadership efforts and technical support have permitted Ellucian and some of its competitors to cooperate in the development of the LIS 2.0 standard for integrating learning management systems and learning information systems (also known as ERP systems). Today’s result is that Ellucian’s Banner system conforms to the LIS 2.0 standard, thereby benefitting Ellucian client institutions reliant on LIS 2.0 conformant learning management systems.”   
- Brian Knotts, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Ellucian


“By tapping into the amplifying leverage inherent in IMS standards, academic leaders can design and roll out innovations for scaling up educational opportunities while creating economies of scale for their institutions and students - and the governments that support them.  Ellucian is proud to help develop and adhere to the standards now empowering the IMS Open Digital Innovation Revolution.”
- Bill Graves, Senior Vice President for Academic Strategy, Ellucian


As a college president who was CIO for many years, I know that Lone Star College has benefited tremendously on many fronts due to our affiliation with IMS. We are benefiting from their leadership and support of our award-winning innovation called Education and Career Positioning System.  In the Spring of 2013, Lone Star College System began the process of transitioning to a new Learning Management System, Desire2Learn. Lone Star utilized the IMS RFP template in the selection process to ensure that our chosen vendor adheres to the IMS standards. Our implementation is currently utilizing Desire2Learn’s IPSIS v1.7.1 and Oracle’s SAIP v9.0 which are both LIS v2 certified. This IMS specification is saving Lone Star significant cost, time and resources, as we move toward a real time integration between our Student Information System and our Learning Management System. We are also utilizing the LTI 1.0 standard to integrate both third party tools and Lone Star custom-built tools.  This IMS standard has allowed us to easily develop and implement custom integrations as well as quickly integrate third party tools. This is reducing the amount of time allocated to integrations. 
- Shah Ardan, President, Lone Star College - University Park


“By building to IMS standards across our product lines, we are delivering on the promise of re-use across systems—from digital content integrations with leading publishers and faculty-created content, to powerful Cloud tools. Blackboard is proud to be a leader in the IMS community, partnering with IMS, clients, and developers across the globe to focus on innovation as opposed to devoting resources to re-developing different flavors of the same product.”
- Jessica Finnefrock, Senior Vice President of Product Development and Strategy, Blackboard

“Dozens of Learning Management System providers have approached SAS® Curriculum Pathways® to integrate our award-winning learning resources into their product offerings. But as a philanthropic project, we could not afford to design, develop, test, and maintain custom integrations and protocols for each partner. Instead, we needed a standardized implementation for launching resources with single sign-on, so we were thrilled to discover that the IMS LTI specification met that need perfectly. By adopting LTI we reduced a months-long process of technical negotiations, documentation, custom development, testing, and debugging, to a simple exchange of information and some database settings — easily a 100:1 savings in development time!”
- Tom Richards, Director of R&D, SAS Curriculum Pathways

About IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS Global)
IMS Global is a nonprofit organization that advances technology that can affordably scale and improve educational participation and attainment. IMS members are leading suppliers, institutions and government organizations that are enabling the future of education by collaborating on interoperability and adoption initiatives. IMS sponsors Learning Impact: A global awards program & conference to recognize the impact of innovative technology on educational access, affordability, and quality.

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