Better Learning from Better Learning Technology
The mission of IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS Global/IMS) is to advance technology that can affordably scale and improve educational participation and attainment. To ensure the learning impact of technology-enabled innovation is achieved around the world, IMS Global's influential community of educational institutions, suppliers, and government organizations develops open interoperability standards, supports adoption with technical services, and encourages adoption through programs that highlight effective practices.
IMS is a highly effective non-profit member organization that enables the adoption and impact of innovative learning technology.
Through open architecture and an extensive ecosystem of edtech products, IMS empowers educational institutions to be more innovative, provide more seamless user experiences, and dramatically reduce the cost of integrating products into its educational enterprise systems.
IMS is supported by member organizations—the world’s leaders in educational and learning technology. Leadership in IMS comes from K-20 institutions as well as edtech suppliers, including leading learning technology product suppliers and publishers, leading institutions of learning and training, and leading government and professional consortia.
IMS is organized under the U.S. tax code as a non-profit membership organization. IMS operates under a world-class intellectual property rights (IPR) policy and the provisions of the National Cooperative Research and Production Act. IMS is a category A liaison to ISO/IEC (International Standards Organization/International Electrotechnical Commission) Joint Technical Committee. IMS has numerous partnerships with standards-setting groups and government bodies around the world.
IMS is managed by the IMS Board of Directors, who represent IMS Contributing Member organizations and the sector at large. Contributing Members elect a majority of the Board.
In 1995, IMS came into existence as a project within the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative of EDUCAUSE. In 1999, IMS spun out of EDUCAUSE to become an independent non-profit organization. While IMS got its start with a focus on higher education, the specifications published to date, as well as ongoing projects, address requirements in a wide range of learning contexts, including K-12 schools, corporate and government training. IMS continues to have a close relationship with EDUCAUSE and numerous other education and training associations.
Scope of Work
IMS has published a broad portfolio of learning technology interoperability standards available under a royalty-free license. Standards development is led by member-based project groups from various parts of the world, depending on need and interest. IMS also provides robust developer communities to aid in the adoption of IMS work, including the sharing of open-source code libraries, reference implementations, and conformance certification. End-user organizations established numerous advisory groups and Innovation Leadership Networks in specific areas to develop institutional best-practice and how-to guides, as well as to guide the priorities of IMS technical work.
The IMS Name
The formal name for IMS is IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc., also sometimes referred to as IMS Global or IMS GLC. The original name, when IMS first started in 1997, was the Instructional Management Systems (IMS) project. Over time, many other names became more popular, such as Course Management System, Learning Management System, Virtual Learning Environment. Therefore, IMS retained the acronym. But, today and into the future, IMS stands for a much larger body of work critical to K-12 districts and higher education institutions accelerating their digital transformation.