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CASE Network FAQ

CASE® Network of Competencies and Academic Standards

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 
The CASE Network of Competencies and Academic Standards provides a single, verifiable, trusted source of learning standards and workforce competencies in digital format, making it easier to support aligned instruction.
 
  1. What is CASE Network?

  2. How does CASE work?

  3. What content is in CASE Network right now?

  4. What do the different standards designations mean in CASE Network?

  5. Why would standards authors such as states use CASE Network to publish and distribute their official learning standards?

  6. Why aren’t official PDFs good enough?

  7. How is CASE Network funded?

  8. What if a state isn’t ready to publish in CASE Network?

  9. Why should school districts publish their own official learning standards through CASE Network?

  10. Why should educational institutions want CASE Network?

  11. What if my state or district already publishes standards in CASE format?

  12. What steps do educational institutions take to start using the standards found in CASE Network?

  13. How can my agency mirror frameworks in CASE Network?

  14. How is CASE Network different than the commercial alignment services?

  15. Is registration and log-in required?

  16. What access is available with a registered login?

  17. How do I get my login credentials to be able to download frameworks?

  18. How do I access the secure API?

  19. How do I reset my password? What do I do if I forget my password?

  20. How does the security framework work for accessing the API?

  21. What if I can’t find an answer to my question?


  1. What is CASE Network?

On behalf of the IMS Global community, IMS Global operates the CASE Network to provide a single, verifiable, trusted source of learning standards and workforce competencies in digital format, making it easier to support aligned instruction. In a sense, CASE Network is the software that allows state agencies and other standards bodies to author and publish their standards, course codes, and workforce competencies in CASE format, verify those frameworks for accuracy, and distribute those frameworks ubiquitous, much the way they would publish a website. The service is available to State Education Agencies, school districts, universities, corporations, and edtech suppliers to publish, distribute, discover, and consume learning standards.

     2. How does CASE work?

Competency & Academic Standards Exchange® (CASE) is a data standard designed specifically for issuing official learning standards and workforce competencies in an interchangeable, digital format that works seamlessly across the various district data systems. By using software to create official learning standards in CASE format, Districts can generate a unique number, known as a Global Unique Identifier (GUID), for each framework and each standard within a given framework that is uniquely their own. These GUIDs make easier for various systems to share standards specific to the district, aligns resources to those standards, deliver assessments based on those frameworks, and report results without the human manipulation, i.e., the re-keying and “cutting-and-pasting,” that currently occurs.

Framework

Illinois Learning Standards (ILS) in Math

4th Grade Standard (Text)

4.MD.A Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit.

Unique Identifier (GUID)

 

https://api.standards.isbe.net/server/api/v1/ISBOE/ims/case/v1p0/CFItems/609f94f1-d7cc-11e8-824f-0242ac16000

Visit the CASE specification page for more information.

    3. What content is in CASE Network right now?

To get CASE Network started, IMS Global has verified and published the K-12 English Language Arts and Mathematics standards for the 50 U.S. states and started working directly with states to publish more of their standards. In 2020, these states and organizations currently include:
  • Alabama Dept. of Education
  • Florida CPALMS
  • Georgia Dept. of Education 
  • Illinois State Board of Education 
  • Kentucky Dept. of Education
  • Montana Office of Public Instr.
  • North Dakota Dept. of Education
  • Texas Education Agency
  • South Carolina Dept. of Education
 
IMS is committed to building out full sets of state standards and adding other official standards frameworks.
 
Please visit the CASE Network to see all of the frameworks available.

   4. What do the different standards designations mean in CASE Network?

CASE Network manages the distribution of academic standards and workforce competencies for states, higher ed institutions, workforce agencies, and other national and international standards authors. To properly reflect the status of the standards and competency frameworks, CASE Network uses the following adoption statuses for designating the accuracy of all materials issued through CASE Network:
  • Official. A standards organization, such as a State Education Agency, can designate its own organization’s materials as “official” after the materials have been issued, reviewed, and verified by the organization's staff and/or approving body. When an agency, such as the Georgia Department of Education, uses its own CASE service to publish their standards as “Adopted” (see below), CASE Network can mirror those standards into CASE Network as “official.” 
    • Adopted. The CASE specification allows for “adopted” as the final or permanent document designation or status. The “Adopted” designation limits the ability to substantially change after the document is designated “adopted” by the standards author. To avoid confusion, CASE Network uses the “Official” designation and not “Adopted.” 
  • Verified. IMS Global designates official materials that it publishes on behalf of our community as “verified” when the materials have been assigned to the appropriate organization and the review and verification by IMS Global staff. When mirroring is in place, an official framework in CASE Network is marked “Verified” when the mirrored service designates the document as “Public Draft” (see below).
    • Public Draft. The CASE specification provides for the publication of draft documents for public consumption, referred to as Public Draft. Public Draft documents are subject to substantive changes. To avoid confusion, CASE Network does not use the Public Draft designation.
  • Private Draft. IMS designates materials, i.e., academic standards, frameworks, and other documentation, in CASE Network as “Private Draft” when the materials have been published and assigned to the appropriate organization, but the verification process by IMS staff has not been completed. These standards are not yet accessible to the public and are used by standards authors that are using CASE Network for authoring and distribution of official standards.
  • Retired.  IMS Global or Issuer designates materials as “retired” when the verified materials are no longer the most current version of the official materials of the standards organization.
  • Deprecated. This status or designation is used on frameworks that are no longer current, but standards authors maintain the CASE frameworks to allow crosswalks or associations between older and new frameworks. 

     5. Why would standards authors such as states use CASE Network to publish and distribute their official learning standards?

The CASE Network Registry software can create digital versions of state standards in CASE format and help states avoid the cost of operating their own software for this purpose. IMS Global is committed to helping every state publish its standards in CASE format. The CASE Network Registry is the no-cost publishing option for states and other official standards authors.

        PDF (Not Efficient)                                                            CASE Network (Efficient)

 

 

     6. Why aren’t official PDFs good enough?

Suppliers who provide content in Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI®) and Common Cartridge® formats and suppliers who provide LMS, LOR, Assessment, and Gradebook systems cannot use a PDF to tag content and provide the “Metadata” needed to enable search, discovery, and reporting of skill-based alignments. PDFs, while trustworthy, are not interoperable and create “copy-and-paste” challenges when sharing standards across the different systems making up a digital learning ecosystem. This is terribly inefficient and fraught with error for districts trying to manage teaching and learning digitally.

The CASE Network uses the CASE specification from IMS Global, which makes academic outcomes/competencies machine-readable, exchangeable between systems, and interoperable. PDFs no longer have to be the main source of truth; using CASE instead - and the CASE Network - reduces time, the opportunity for error, and increases accuracy. 

     7. How is CASE Network Funded?

CASE Network is generously supported by IMS Global and through a CASE Network sponsorship program by a number of edtech suppliers that are committed to making official learning standards open and free for use. Current sponsors include ACT, McGraw-Hill, and SchoolCity powered by Illuminate Education.

     8. What if a state (or other organization) isn’t ready to publish in CASE Network?

State standards authors have a lot of work on their plate in terms of managing the standards adoption process from start to PDF on the State Education Agency website. IMS Global understands this and we are committed to assisting every state through this progress. That is why we have already verified and published the English Language Arts and Mathematics standards for all 50 states through CASE Network. IMS will work with states to build out full sets of state standards for every state in the months ahead, making it even easier for states to publish their official standards through CASE Network. Reach out to casenetwork@imsglobal.org for more information.

     9. Why should school districts publish their own official learning standards through CASE Network?

Here are a few reasons:
 
(1) By publishing a district set of official standards, even if they are a 100 percent “match” of their state standards, a unique set of identifiers are created and the “derivative” relationship between state standard and district framework is established. In this way, districts control their learning targets, but maintain a relationship with their state standards.
 

Framework

 

Illinois Learning Standards in Math (2010)

4th Grade Standard (Text)

 

4.NF.A Extend understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering.

Unique Identifier (GUID)

 

https://casenetwork.imsglobal.org/uri/
609f9d13-d7cc-11e8-824f-0242ac160002

Chicago Public Schools: Illinois Mathematics Standards (2010)

4.NF.A Extend understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering.

https://casenetwork.imsglobal.org/uri/
476f151a-6830-11e9-9126-0242ac1f0003

Exact Match Of:

https://casenetwork.imsglobal.org/uri/
609f9d13-d7cc-11e8-824f-0242ac160002

 
(2) The digital transformation process can take longer for certain organizations than for others. In many cases, school districts feel the pain of misaligned resources and misreported results more acutely than state organizations. Districts that publish their own set of official standards can mark their standards as “official,” thereby enhancing the validity and stability of their identifiers by their edtech suppliers.
 
When requested, suppliers can produce a list of district unique identifiers to demonstrate that they are in fact aligned to the official standards.
 
IMS Global is developing a CASE Network certification that would provide districts with the means of certifying that their suppliers are using official district standards.
 
(3) By issuing their own version of state standards, districts can establish their own local “power standards” or  “learning targets.” with explicit crosswalks to the state. Districts can build in different organizational hierarchies, i.e., classes, courses, units, playlists, etc., modify the human number scheme and semantic text, add notes, exemplars, scoring rubrics, etc. to better communicate the district’s learning standards to students, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders.
 

10. Why should educational institutions want CASE Network?

State academic standards published in CASE format hold great potential to revolutionize educational technology by providing institutions and suppliers with one set of officially authored standards that can be shared across the digital learning ecosystem. Right now, those standards are copy-and-pasted and sold from a variety of sources with different codes (aka GUIDS) used to link resources, assessment items/results, etc. which creates an incoherent mess for the machines to figure out. CASE Network takes CASE-formatted standards to the next level, enabling institutions and suppliers to find the official standards through a single trusted source for free. 

     11. What if my state or district already publishes standards in CASE format?

Awesome! We’re happy to have you in the CASE Network. A great example of a state that issues standards in CASE is Montana. They mention these CASE standards on their state website (see right side of page).

12. What steps do educational institutions take to start using the standards found in CASE Network? 

First, watch this video to better understand CASE Network.

Second, check out the standards we already have in CASE Network by visiting https://casenetwork.imsglobal.org.

Third, register as a CASE Network Participant at https://site.imsglobal.org/user/register.

Fourth, start using these standards in CASE format via the API or digital download. That’s it!

 

     13. How can my agency mirror frameworks in CASE Network?

IMS is available to help. Some organizations - like the state educational agencies of Georgia and Texas - have a CASE provider application or service. If so, the CASE Network can mirror your framework. Please contact your service administrator to coordinate mirroring externally hosted CASE frameworks. By mirroring your frameworks, you can assure that vendors will be able to access and align to your standards with fidelity. If you’re not sure about your organization’s capabilities or want to learn more, please contact casenetwork@imsglobal.org for more information.

      14. How is CASE Network different than the commercial alignment services?

Lack of Transparency. Commercial alignment services have their place in providing expert resource alignments. What is often lacking is a transparent relationship with official standards organizations. CASE, as a standard, builds in that transparency in that each unique identifier is actually a public webpage that presents the content of the framework or item identified. CASE Network provides a public website for establishing that resolvability universally.
 
Limiting Licensing. IMS has focused on removing the barriers created by commercial licenses by seeking to preserve the unique identifiers for the issuing organization across their edtech suppliers. This is critically important for districts seeking to build digital ecosystems in terms of ensuring the efficiency and efficacy of their work.
 
Cost Savings. By providing a free service for issuers and suppliers, IMS seeks to remove the cost constraints inherent with relying on commercial services, especially as edtech moves into the Big Data / API economy when creating and storing vast amounts of data long-term, tagged commercial identifiers, is not financially feasible.
 
It should be noted that the commercial services are welcome to register and consume the CASE Network materials at no cost like any supplier.

     15. Is registration and log-in required?

An IMS website credential is required for login. Please see #15 below for more information.

     16. What access is available with a registered login?

CASE Network requires users to log in to gain access to both the download feature in both JSON and Excel formats and the authenticated API. Users can also request a key-and-secret for the authenticated API and one will be provided. IMS credentials serve as credentials for the CASE Network. CASE Network Participants are also able to certify to the CASE specification as a Consumer.  If you don’t have IMS credentials, you can register here:  https://site.imsglobal.org/user/register.

     17. How do I get my login credentials to be able to download frameworks?

  • Log into the IMS website with your credentials. 
  • Now, go to the CASE Network and log in (click button in upper right, and then button on next page if needed).
  • See download options available (after selecting a framework). 
  • Contact casenetwork@imsglobal.org if you experience any issues.

     18. How do I access the secure API?

Once logged into the CASE Network, see the menu item to Request an API. Complete the form. Once your registration is processed, IMS will provide you with the key and secret via email. IMS provides one set of credentials per organization. This is a manual process and could take up to two business days. If you do not receive your credentials or run into difficulty implementing it, please contact casenetwork@imsglobal.org

     19. How do I reset my password? What do I do if I forget my password?

As of December 2020, passwords for CASE Network are no longer needed. An IMS website login credential provides access to the CASE Network.

     20. How does the security framework work for accessing the API?

Accessing CASE Network data using the CASE API requires the implementation of the IMS Security Framework. Organizations can request a free access key and secret by contacting casenetwork@imsglobal.org or by request.

     21. What if I can’t find an answer to my question?

Send an email to casenetwork@imsglobal.org and we’ll do our best to answer your question and add it to this FAQ.