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IMS GLC: IMS Global Learning Consortium Announces Next Generation Digital Learning Services Standards

IMS Global Learning Consortium Announces Next Generation Digital Learning Services Standards
New Suite of Interoperability Standards Enables a Complete Set of Interoperability for Enterprise, Distributed, and Web-Enabled Learning

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Austin, TX, USA, 12 May 2008. IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC) today introduced “Digital Learning Services” as its new umbrella for the next generation of e-Learning and enterprise learning interoperability standards.

Presented at IMS GLC’s annual Learning Impact conference and Summit on Global Learning Industry Challenges, Digital Learning Services provides a ‘suite’ of open and free interoperability standards to address the integration challenges of enterprise systems, web services, and software as a service.

“Leading learning, educational, and training organizations around the world are now dealing with a multiplicity of learning systems from a variety of networked sources” said Rob Abel, CEO of IMS Global Learning. “IMS Digital Learning Services standards consist of a suite of three core standards that address interoperability of digital learning content, web or enterprise-based learning applications, and administrative systems.”

IMS Digital Learning Services enables a new generation of enterprise and web interoperability, reducing barriers to integration while enabling new approaches to personalized learning and strategic analysis of learning outcomes.
• Digital Learning Services encompasses digital learning content interoperability, reuse, and personalization via IMS Common Cartridge in the new generation, but also incorporates legacy approaches such as IMS Content Packaging or SCORM® (a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Defense).
• Digital Learning Services encompasses learning application interoperability via IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI). LTI enables “content-less interoperability where cooperating learning applications exchange context, authorization, and outcomes via data communications.
• Digital Learning Services encompasses interoperability between learning systems and administrative or human resources systems via IMS Learning Information Services (LIS), formerly known as IMS Enterprise.

IMS Global is supported by over 115 organizations – the world’s leaders in educational and learning technology, including leading learning technology product suppliers and publishers, leading institutions of learning and training, and leading government and professional consortia. Current Contributing Members of IMS GLC are listed at /members.html .

At the annual Learning Impact conference and Summit on Global Learning Industry Challenges, IMS GLC received statements of support for core standards that make up IMS Digital Learning Services from the following organizations:

ANGEL Learning, Blackboard, California State University System, Campus Management Corp., Cengage Learning, Inc., Compass Knowledge Group, LLC, Desire2Learn Inc., DUNET, eCollege, Elsevier Inc., Embanet ULC, Georgetown University, Giunti Labs, HOV Services, LLC (Formerly: Lason Systems Inc), IBM, Icodeon Ltd., Informs, Inc., Jenzabar, Inc., KERIS (Korea Education Research and Information Service), Learning Objects, Inc., Microsoft, Moodle, The Open University, Oracle, Pearson Education, Pennsylvania State University, SMARTHINKING, Tegrity, Tennessee Board of Regents, Ucompass.com, Inc., Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Unicon, Inc., University Koblenz-Landau, University of Maryland University College (UMUC), University of Michigan, Wimba

Specific statements of support included:

Martin Bean, General Manager, Education Products Group, Microsoft
“Microsoft has been actively engaged with IMS GLC for 10 years. IMS GLC is well positioned to pull together a wide group of experts so that we can feel comfortable and confident that by carrying forward that work, we're actually achieving our ultimate goal, which is to improve learning outcomes. With our commitment to developing software and solutions that help transform education, Microsoft is pleased to support Common Cartridge. With publishers and vendors at the same table with administrators and educators, we can make the vision of a critical mass of interoperable online learning resources a reality.”

Michael King, Vice President, IBM Education Industry
"Education must become more open to address the needs of citizens and societies in a global economy. The work of IMS and its members is a key component of crafting more open technology platforms to enable this industry transformation. IBM is proud to be a member of IMS and supports its work across the learning ecosystem."

Curtiss Barnes, Vice President, Education Industry Strategy, Oracle:
IMS standards are providing a significant service to the teaching and learning community. As vendors adopt IMS standards, education institutions will be able to more easily integrate their academic and administrative systems to greatly enhance open, collaborative, and connected learning and research environments. Oracle is pleased to be a contributor to the IMS community and plans to adopt these standards as quickly as possible into its software solutions to benefit our primary, secondary and higher education customers.”

Fabrizio Cardinali, CEO, Giunti Labs:
“With our recent acquisition of HarvestRoad Hive Digital Marketplace Technology, we - at Giunti Labs - are always eager to foster wider use of interoperable standards among our technologies and those of third party partners. Consequently, we believe that Common Cartridge and Learning Tools Interoperability are great advancements in the area of content enrichment and interoperability. They empower producers to extend their content packages beyond simple content, enriching them with web services and tools. This is a great thing for publishers and content producers!”

Charles F. Leonhardt, Principal Technologist, Georgetown University
"Higher education is buzzing with Web 2.0, new rich media alternatives, and a variety of new business models for software and digital content. There is one common denominator: standards that allow these new technologies to be useful within the academic and research systems of the institution. At Georgetown we are proud to be supporting the critical work of the IMS Global Learning Consortium to provide interoperability standards and adoption practice standards to accelerate the productive use of new alternatives."

John Leslie King, Vice Provost for Academic Information, University of Michigan
"The University of Michigan was an early partner in the IMS Global Learning Consortium. It shares the IMS GLC dedication to improving the availability and use of technology to improve learning. IMS GLC is a strong proponent of innovation and efficiency through interoperability standards, adoption practices. Most important, it pursues a strategy of a project-based collaboration where institutional leaders can influence how industry addresses the challenges of today and tomorrow."

Isaac Segal, CEO, Tegrity
"As a long-standing supporter of IMS, we are proud of its accomplishments and the role IMS plays in advancing standards for Higher Education solutions. We're equally proud to have been selected as a finalist for an IMS Learning Impact Award for the second year in a row."

J. Robert Sapp, Ed.D, Chief Information Officer and vice president for Information Technology, University of Maryland University College
"As the largest nonprofit provider of higher education distance learning in the U.S., University of Maryland University College (UMUC) is committed to IMS standards as the platform on which educational technology of the future will be based. UMUC is working to incorporate a range of IMS standards, including Common Cartridge, Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), and Learning Information Services (LIS) into our advanced learning platform. Students and faculty will benefit from the ease of use and innovations supported by these new IMS standards."

Seyeon Won, DUNET
“DUNET supports the expansion and development of 'Common Cartridge' and ‘Learning Tools Interoperability’ in its future e-learning products. By cooperating through IMS Korea in the standardization and application of both of these key standards, DUNET is providing national and global leadership in the innovative application of e-learning.”

David J. Ernst, CIO and Assistant Vice Chancellor, Information Technology Services, California State University Chancellor's Office
"The California State University System, as the largest state system of higher education in the country, sees a great need for the efficiencies and innovations that are being enabled by new IMS standards. IMS's work in providing 'adoption practice standards' to help our institutions achieve return on investment from new educational technologies are a much needed advancement for our industry. We invite other leading educational organizations around the world to join us in supporting the range of critical IMS Global Learning Consortium work."

Jim Behnke, Chief Learning Officer, Pearson Education
"Pearson Education is pleased to be implementing and advancing the important work of the IMS Global Learning Consortium, such as Common Cartridge, Question and Test Interoperability (QTI), and Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI). It is very clear that the IMS standards will have a key role to play in growth of the market for digital learning materials and sophisticated learning applications, such as Pearson's MyLabs, that help students and teachers across the U.S. K-16 spectrum and around the globe."

Ray Henderson, Chief Products Officer, ANGEL Learning
"The business need for the Common Cartridge remains quite clear. Achieving basic content interoperability across platforms will reduce barriers to developing and distributing educational products. Energy that today is expended across the industry on content conversion could be better spent on developing more highly personalized products with stronger focus on learning outcomes. At ANGEL we believe that adoption of this standard is part of our mission to help improve openness and the quality of educational products available to our customers. We’re committed to shipping support and driving adoption of this standard with both customers and our industry partners.”

Martin Dougiamas, Moodle Founder and Lead Developer, Managing Director of Moodle Pty Ltd
"IMS Common Cartridge is shaping up to be the best standard available for sharing and storing learning content in a platform-neutral way. As a contributing member of the IMS Global Learning Consortium, Moodle supports the development of this standard and we look forward to being
able to include support for it in future versions of Moodle."

Joel Greenberg, Director of Strategic Development, Learning and Teaching Solutions, The Open University
“As a major provider of learning and teaching materials and higher education, The Open University supports the Common Cartridge specification. The University has already published all of its open educational resource material (currently 377 individual units of learning) in this format through its OpenLearn web site. The specification will allow educators to easily assess the pedagogic worth of each other’s material before committing to its use for their own students by removing existing technology constraints.”

John T. Harwood, Senior Director, Teaching and Learning with Technology, Penn State
"The Pennsylvania State University is proud to be supporting the development and deployment of IMS standards such as Common Cartridge. The importance of innovative digital content and applications for learning is increasing rapidly. The IMS Global Learning Consortium provides an unparalleled venue for collaborating with like-minded institutions and industry in ways that will change the future of global education for the better."

Dr. Dae-Joon Hwang, President, KERIS (Korea Education Research and Information Service)
"In 2008, KERIS has identified changes and demands in primary and secondary education and has analyzed the degree to which they are covered by IMS Common Cartridge. KERIS has for the last year worked to secure seed money needed for initial research and development, and its efforts are likely to soon produce tangible results. KERIS is encouraging the participation of e-learning businesses and organizations through communities, most notably IMS Korea, to influence the market. These communities will be able to come up with concrete measures to improve Korea’s e-learning system by exchanging the results of their studies and research with IMS GLC."

Edward Mansouri, CEO, Ucompass.com, Inc.
"Enabling the end user to display and construct content in IMS' Common Cartridge format will perhaps be the most important outcome in building the next version of our highly successful Educator® Learning Management System, Educator® 2. We are looking forward to providing our clients with a rich supply of high quality e-Learning content from the many publishers who will offer titles as Common Cartridges. We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to preview some of our progress with the Common Cartridge specification at the IMS 2008 Learning Impact Conference."

Kendrick McLish, Vice President, Product and Marketing, eCollege
“eCollege is pleased to support open standards for digital content interoperability. Our customers want a way to include best-of-breed content from a variety of sources. eCollege is committed to supporting the continued development of the Common Cartridge specification that enables the easier sharing of content across sources.”

Ingo Dahn, CEO of Knowledge Media Institute Koblenz of the University Koblenz-Landau
"As the central eLearning institute of the university we look forward to the release of the Common Cartridge specification. We understand the Common Cartridge specification as a major opportunity to exchange re-usable course material with a higher level of interactivity for individual use as well as for a better integration into our eLearning environment. We are happy to contribute to the improved testing possibilities which IMS makes available to the members of the Common Cartridge Alliance."

Warwick R. Bailey, Director, Icodeon Ltd.
“Icodeon will be releasing the Icodeon Common Cartridge Player in 2009 following the successful adoption of the Icodeon SCORM Player in 2007/2008.”

Eduardo Moura, Executive Vice President, Digital Solutions Group, Cengage Learning, Inc.
“Open Standards such as Common Cartridge benefit educators and administrators by providing interoperability and ease of use. Developing once to run anywhere is a model that allows us to focus resources and staff at innovative learning solutions and quality content rather than backwards compatibility with the myriad versions of prior learning systems. "

Thomas E. Downey, Ph.D., Chief Academic Officer, Embanet ULC
“Embanet, a leader in providing online eLearning environments for higher education, supports the IMS Common Cartridge standard. We feel that the future of course content delivery will be enhanced by interoperable and modular content hosted on open source LMSs. The ability to scale content by re-using eLearning objects to create customized courses will enable the eLearning community to meet the immediate needs of a diverse student market.”

Peter Segall, President of Blackboard North America Higher Education and COO
“Standards such as IMS Learning Tools Interoperability are critical to giving institutions the ability to tailor the learning environment to the needs of their students and instructors and for industry to cost-effectively develop interoperable tool sets. Blackboard is pleased to support this initiative and looks forward to seeing students and faculty ultimately reap the benefits of this work.”

Steve Kann, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Engineering, Wimba
"The Learning Tools Interoperability standard is expanding educational opportunities across the globe by enabling colleges and universities to integrate diverse learning applications, regardless of the technologies used, creating robust environments to enrich the student experience. Industry standards are a high priority for Wimba – they are built into our products from the start. We applaud IMS for the important work it has been doing in creating and promoting standards.”

Derek Hamner, CEO and Co-founder, Learning Objects, Inc.
"Web 2.0 is making its presence felt in a big way in education. However, institutions are challenged to seamlessly integrate these new capabilities into their enterprise learning systems. That's where
Learning Objects sees the need for the IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard. We are very pleased to be seeing this work move forward in gathering strong industry support."

Kendrick McLish, Vice President, Product and Marketing, eCollege
“The IMS efforts on Learning Tools Interoperability will make it easier for educational institutions and learning platforms like eCollege to integrate third-party applications, resources and systems. By using Web Services solutions that are equally accessible, eCollege and our customers can minimize the cost and increase the speed of these types of integrations.”

Burck Smith, CEO and Co-Founder, SMARTHINKING
"SMARTHINKING is dedicated to helping institutions and students by providing seamless access to our online tutoring services within many of the learning management systems and textbook publisher digital sites. This Learning Tools Interoperability makes it easy for students to receive academic help when they need it most."

Warwick R. Bailey, Director, Icodeon Ltd.
“Icodeon is excited to be working with IMS on the development of the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) specification. Icodeon sees the LTI specification as having a vital part to play in the future of digital learning systems.”

Llorenç Valverde, Vice rector of Technology, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
"The success of our new virtual campus is greatly related to its interoperability with other open source platforms such as Moodle and SAKAI, for which IMS specifications such as IMS TI2 are key."

Jeremy Auger, COO, Desire2Learn Inc.
“Ensuring efficiency, effectiveness and reusability of enterprise system integrations is a critical issue in the implementation of enterprise academic technology. Through the IMS Global Learning Consortium, Desire2Learn helps drive the collaborative development and adoption of standards such as Learning Information Services (LIS). LIS will help reduce the cost and improve the speed of integrations between Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Student Information Systems (SIS). We’re proud to be co-chairing the project group for such a valuable initiative.”

Michael K. Underwood, President and CEO of Informs, Inc.
"Given the variety of student services and learning management systems offerings available today, Informs considers it absolutely essential that Learning Information Services (LIS) standards be implemented for the automated exchange of information between any combination of those offerings. Informs, is very pleased to have the opportunity to actively participate in the development of those standards and in the demonstration of their applicability using its student services system offering -- the Informs SISJ2K."

Kendrick McLish, Vice President, Product and Marketing, eCollege
“The Learning Information Services (LIS) standard helps to ensure that all institutions can access and interact with learner data. eCollege is proud to contribute and collaborate with the IMS Global Learning Consortium to develop and support this open information standard.”

Dan Devine, CEO and Founder, Compass Knowledge Group, LLC, Orlando, FL
“Compass Knowledge Group (USA) is pleased to support and participate with our international colleagues to identify best practices for new student introduction to e-learning. As a provider of e-learning services, Compass Knowledge knows first-hand the positive impact of best practices on student persistence, retention, learning, and satisfaction. This is an important agenda for IMS Global that will help contribute to the future of the Learning Information Services (LIS) standard.”

John Blakley, CEO of Unicon, Inc.
"Enterprise integration is one of major challenges in higher education IT, especially between SIS and LMS systems. While the IMS Enterprise Services 1.0 specification provided some help with this, most integrations required richer semantic information than the standard could handle. The emerging IMS Learning Information Services 2.0 standard addresses those needs and Unicon is proud to be actively supporting the specification by developing the reference implementation for Sakai. We look forward to demonstrating our integration with PeopleSoft Campus Solutions during the TestFest event at Learning Impact 2008."

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 www.imsglobal.org.