Canvas, D2L, Florida Virtual School, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, McGraw-Hill Education, and SAFARI Montage Are First to Enable the IMS Thin Common Cartridge Standard for Leading School Districts

Canvas, D2L, Florida Virtual School, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, McGraw-Hill Education, and SAFARI Montage Are First to Enable the IMS Thin Common Cartridge Standard for Leading School Districts


IMS Thin Common Cartridge will accelerate the evolution to digital curriculum by dramatically reducing the complexity and cost to integrate a wide variety of digital resources to support personalized learning

Download pdf

Lake Mary, Florida, USA - March 20, 2015 - The IMS Global Learning Consortium, the world’s leading educational technology standards setting collaborative, today announced the first platform providers and publishers to have successfully achieved conformance certification for the IMS Thin Common Cartridge standard.

As districts transition to digital curriculum to evolve personalized instruction, they are increasingly challenged with integrating quality content and tools from a wide variety of internal and external sources. To address these challenges, IMS Members SAFARI Montage, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) and Orange County Public Schools collaborated to create a variation of the Common Cartridge™ (CC™) standard. The Thin CC features LTI® (Learning Tools Interoperability®) and web links, with each described by a specific set of metadata. A content provider publishes a Thin CC that is, in essence, an index to the potential entry points within a larger body of content hosted on a secure server. The learning platform, LOR, or any district system that supports the Thin CC standard can then search for, manipulate and launch teachers and students directly to a learning object of interest.

"SAFARI Montage is proud of our work with Orange County Public Schools and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in establishing the Thin Common Cartridge standard. We strongly believe in the value of IMS interoperability standards and the potential of the Thin CC format to benefit the entire K-12 digital learning community -- school districts, tool providers and content publishers. The true winners will be the educators and students for whom the standards can provide easier access to all of their learning resources and create a more seamless digital teaching and learning experience," said Tim Beekman, President and Co-Founder, SAFARI Montage.

"We feel that the Thin CC is a very important interoperability format for a large percentage of content types and learning platforms, said Dr. Rob Abel, Chief Executive Officer, IMS Global. "Thin CC is a pragmatic approach that we know more and more districts will be asking for to improve interoperability, while saving the districts huge amounts of money and time."

"D2L has a strong commitment to leading standards throughout the entire space of learning technologies. Our support of Thin Common Cartridge is one of many ongoing investments in this area and is directly related to our evolving support of Common Cartridge overall. We continue to be active thought leaders in the definition of future standards and the growth of existing ones. We fully support the direction of IMS Global as we strive to deliver on our vision of transformation in education," said John Baker, CEO, D2L.

"Bravo Orange Co., Safari and IMS for this innovative solution! You are helping us design effective digital learning environments in K-12 Education, and now Houston ISD has HMH and Pearson cartridges in our digital teaching and learning environment," said Beatriz Arnillas, Director of Education Technology, Houston ISD.

"We’re pleased that IMS has recognized McGraw-Hill Education as a leader in delivering high-value digital learning experiences through platforms like ConnectED, as well as for achieving conformance certification for Common Cartridge," said Stephen Laster, Chief Digital Officer, McGraw-Hill Education.

"We are very excited to have a new way to deliver our FLVS content to customers through our Thin Common Cartridge. This will make our deliveries more efficient, and allow us to reach into new learning systems to deploy our content," said Jennifer Whiting, Senior Manager of Product Development, Florida Virtual School.

"IMS Thin Cartridge enables school districts to load content and curriculum standards metadata, allowing resources to be launched directly from within Canvas," said Linda Feng, Senior Product Manager at Instructure and Technical Advisory Board Co-Chair for IMS. "We built Canvas as a platform that allows innovators to easily integrate through our open platform, and using IMS standards such as Thin Common Cartridge makes it possible for districts to include 3rd party content resources easily and consistently."

Support for organizations implementing the Thin CC standard, as well as access to test cartridges and guidance on achieving conformance, is provided through the IMS Common Cartridge Alliance. The IMS Thin CC RFP Guide and Checklist is also available to assist organizations and districts interested in adopting Thin CC.

A comprehensive list of all IMS conformance certifications, including other organizations that achieve Thin Common Cartridge certification in the future, can be found at

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 the Learning Impact Leadership Institute, a global program focused on recognizing the impact of innovative technology on educational access, affordability, and quality while developing the people and ideas that are going to help shape the future of educational technology. The 2015 Learning Impact Leadership Institute will be held May 4-7 in Atlanta, Georgia.