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IMS GLC: IMS Global Learning Consortium Announces Additional Plans for Supporting the Common Cartridge Digital Learning Standards by ANGEL, Desire2Learn, eCollege, Giunti Labs, Icodeon, Moodle, and Ucompass

IMS Global Learning Consortium Announces Additional Plans for Supporting the Common Cartridge Digital Learning Standards by ANGEL, Desire2Learn, eCollege, Giunti Labs, Icodeon, Moodle, and Ucompass


New details of supplier support for Common Cartridge emerge along with final release of the v1 specifications and over 500 cartridges from Elsevier and Open University achieving conformance marks

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Orlando, Florida, USA – 29 October 2008 – The nonprofit IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC) today announced at Educause 2008 new details of support for the Common Cartridge open standard for digital learning content and applications from several leading organizations.

Common Cartridge provides a standard open format for producing digital learning content that can be interpreted by learning systems supporting the standard. Common Cartridge supports incorporation of downloaded content such as test items, assessments, and initiation of collaborative discussions, along with protected access to web-based content and learning applications (based on the Learning Tools Interoperability protocol).

Elsevier and the Open University have been the first content providers to achieve the Common Cartridge conformance mark. Elsevier, in collaboration with LearningMate, has produced and certified cartridges containing digital assets for their 100 top-selling health sciences textbooks. Open University has produced and certified over 400 cartridges containing the online materials for a wide variety of courses across a wide range of disciplines. The Elsevier and Open University cartridges are listed in the online Product Directory provided by IMS at /productdirectory/directory.cfm .

ANGEL Learning is the first learning management platform provider to achieve the Common Cartridge conformance mark. An early supporter of the standard, the ANGEL Learning Management Suite versions 7.2 and 7.3 have served as reference implementations for Common Cartridge since April 2007.  ANGEL Learning will provide maintenance updates to their customers that reflect late changes make as the standard evolved.

In addition several learning system providers have announced plans to implement Common Cartridge version 1.

  • Desire2Learn will be releasing its first Learning Environment version that achieves the Common Cartridge conformance mark in early 2009, and is working with several major publishers to ensure interoperability with their content.
  • eCollege is in the final stages of completing its solution for IMS Content Packaging, and expects to achieve complete Common Cartridge V1 conformance in the next few months, making it quick and easy to get standards-based content into the eCollege system. eCollege is also an active participant in the Common Cartridge Alliance and the IMS Digital Learning Connection program helping insure the eCollege platform is at the forefront of IMS standards-based content interoperability. 
  • Giunti Labs, a leading online and mobile learning content technologies provider has started working to add support for Common Cartridge into both its learn eXact LCMS and  HarvestRoad Hive Digital Repository platforms. Conformance will be achieved by  extending its authoring tool, eXact Packager, to support the Common Cartridge format along with several other supported packaging formats from  IMS (including Content Packaging, Simple Sequencing and Learning Design) and by adding Common Cartridge authorization mechanisms into its repository technology.
  • Icodeon is providing and supporting the Icodeon Common Cartridge Player and the SCORM to Common Cartridge conversion tool to the Adopting Standards and Specifications for Educational Content (ASPECT) project (http://aspect-project.org/), a new, 30-month Best Practice Network supported by the European Commission's eContentplus Programme that involves 22 partners from 15 countries, including 9 Ministries of Education (MoE).
  • Open University and Moodle are now working closely with IMS to implement Common Cartridge over the next few months.
  • Ucompass has been actively involved in Common Cartridge prototyping over the last 18 months, and is making full support for Common Cartridge one of their main objectives as they prepare to introduce the company's new LMS 'Educator 2' in 2009.

LTI allows integration of web-based learning applications and mash-ups into the learning management or portal context – providing a seamless and integrated teaching and learning environment. LTI enables integration of commercial and open source solutions to meet the needs of educators and students. Blackboard, Pearson Education, Wimba, and eCollege are leading the IMS LTI workgroup. A Google Summer of Code project recently demonstrated preliminary LTI support in both Sakai and Moodle. At the Educause 2008 conference Microsoft participated in an IMS demonstration showing how to link Common Cartridge with the Simple Learning Tools Interoperability protocol. The contribution was a prototype of a Common Cartridge Runtime running on Windows platform. The prototype will be made available as an open source project on CodePlex (www.codeplex.com).

“Microsoft is pleased to be supporting the progress of Common Cartridge and Learning Tools Interoperability,” stated Martin Bean, General Manager, Worldwide Education Strategy, Products & Solutions, Microsoft Corporation. “The interoperability of content and web-based learning applications across platforms is a key need and IMS is helping to meet that need on a global scale.”

“Online learning has come a long way in the last decade, moving now to a rich blend of social and interactive learning experiences,” remarked Joel Greenberg, Open University's Director of Strategic Development, Learning and Teaching Solutions. “IMS provides a full range of technical interoperability solutions, including Common Cartridge and LTI, that are accelerating the ability of institutions to pull together integrated and interactive learning experiences.”

Content, learning application, learning system, and portal providers can partake in a wide variety of tools and reference implementations, including conversion of SCORM to Common Cartridge by joining the Common Cartridge Alliance. For more details visit: /cc/alliance.html

IMS Global is supported by over 130 organizations – the world’s leaders in educational and learning technology, including leading learning technology product suppliers and publishers, leading institutions of learning, and leading government and professional consortia. Current Contributing Members of IMS GLC are listed at /members.html .

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.