IMS Global Learning Consortium Announces “Write Once – Run Anywhere” is Readily Achievable for Enterprise or Cloud-based Educational Applications and Content

Wide adoption of IMS standards is making possible historic new levels of interoperability and lowering barriers to innovation in meeting the needs of faculty, teachers, and students

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Lake Mary, Florida and Anaheim, California, USA  – 12 October 2010 – The IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC) announces that the goal of being able to develop an application or digital content one way and then seamlessly integrating it with any course management system or educational portal has been achieved. Initial demonstrations of this breakthrough were shown at the EDUCAUSE 2009 conference and in the ensuing year, more than 27 conformance marks have been issued across a range of learning platforms, tools, and content. This year at EDUCAUSE 2010 IMS will show some of the conforming products at a variety of scheduled sessions and will also demonstrate for the first time the return of outcomes, such as gradebook, from the learning tools/content to the learning system – using the open Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard.

The IMS demonstrations at EDUCAUSE 2010 will feature Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai, Icodeon, Wimba, and SoftChalk. In addition, the leading providers of e-Books – Café Scribe and CourseSmart – have recently achieved IMS conformance. Major tool providers Wimba and Learning Objects have also recently achieved conformance marks. Learning Tools Interoperability has also enabled start-ups and new entrants in the market, such as NoteFlight. Open source learning management systems OLAT and A Tutor have also achieved conformance marks recently. The availability of the Icodeon platform as a compliant tool means that SCORM content can now be launched using the IMS standards, allowing SCORM content to be coupled with Common Cartridge course materials.

“IMS Learning Tools Interoperability and Common Cartridge have broken down the barriers to innovative learning applications and new types of digital content coming from diverse sources,” said Dr. Rob Abel, Chief Executive Officer of IMS. “There is now a historic opportunity for users of Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Moodle, Sakai, and other learning management platforms to cooperate on extending their LMS’s with new tools and content in a way that is easy and sharable.”

"SoftChalk is excited to be working with IMS staff and partners. We are using IMS Basic LTI and its outcomes framework to deliver reliable tracking of score data from SoftChalk lessons into LMS gradebooks. We've also recently added support for IMS Common Cartridge and QTI into the SoftChalk core product. The IMS standards work supports our efforts to produce content that is inter-operable with a variety of content delivery platforms," said Susan Evans, co-founder and CEO of SoftChalk LLC.

“At Blackboard, we’re very focused on open standards that support greater flexibility and interoperability in education technology, and we’ve been fortunate to partner with IMS in a number of areas including co-chairing the LTI working group. We’re encouraged by the progress in open standards across the industry, and pleased to report our own updates in this area with the first LTI compliant integration for Wimba and final testing on support for Common Cartridge and Basic LTI for Blackboard Learn.” – Ray Henderson, President, Blackboard Learn  

“The enthusiastic demand by multiple institutions for a combination of rapid integration and enhanced user experience for accessing digital course materials is ultimately a testament to IMS’ efforts,” said Sean Devine, CEO of CourseSmart. “As an early supporter of industry conformance standards, CourseSmart takes pride in leading the charge for streamlined, yet secure learning systems integration as eTextbook adoption continues to grow immensely,” he added.

“Basic LTI is a key component of our overall eBook solution,” said Isabella Hinds, Director of Digital Content for CaféScribe.  “The integration of our eBook titles with learning content, enabled through the BLTI connection, provides faculty and students with integrated learning environments unencumbered by layers of authentication.   As a Contributing Member of IMS, and a BLTI-compliant product provider, CaféScribe is very pleased with IMS' leadership in bringing this standard, and many others, to the market in support of product providers and educators.”

"Thanks to IMS for moving the ball forward on an essential interoperability issue that has been holding the entire industry back.  You've made it possible for vendors like us to address the market without devoting resources to each LMS vendor's proprietary integration approach." - Joe Berkovitz, President, NoteFlight.

"As Blackboard Collaborate, we believe strongly in supporting standards that enable interoperability and technology choice in education, like the Learning Tools Interoperability standard. This standard helps us remain steadfast in our commitment to openness as evidenced by the recent LTI certification of our Wimba Classroom and Wimba Voice products. We thank the IMS and its members for their ongoing support.”   - Maurice Heiblum, President of Blackboard Collaborate

"Congratulations to the entire IMS team for all of your efforts on learning tool interoperability! The leadership you have shown in brokering this standard is giving rise to a future where instructors and learners can easily assemble the right set of technology components to fit their objectives."  - Derek Hamner, Co-founder and CEO, Learning Objects, Inc.

"JISC's Distributed Virtual Learning Environment programme lets institutions explore how a wide variety of external tools can be integrated into an LMS to improve teaching and learning. IMS Basic LTI is an important enabling technology for bringing the learners to the external tools. IMS Simple Outcomes could be the crucial part that brings back what they have done there."  - Wilbert Kraan, Assistant Director, JISC – CETIS

With the strong adoption of the IMS standards by suppliers of all types and sizes, institutions, school districts, and state systems are actively asking for conformance to ensure interoperability. IMS has developed a new program called “IMS Campus” to support the needs of institutions in requiring and implementing the IMS standards. “Whenever vendors come to us and tell us about their latest and greatest products, we first ask, ‘Do you adhere to the IMS Global Standards? Do you participate in IMS?’ If not, we put them in touch. We want to make sure that their services can integrate with our systems.” - Dr. Robbie Melton, Associate Vice Chancellor, Tennessee Board of Regents eLearning.  IMS is holding a summit meeting on the IMS Campus Program on Thursday, November 18 on the campus of  Lone Star College. For more information, visit: http://www.imsglobal.org/nov2010lonestar.html#Thursday

 

About IMS Global Learning Consortium
From Innovation to Impact
The mission of the IMS Global Learning Consortium is to advance technology that can affordably scale and improve educational participation and attainment.  To ensure that the “Learning Impact” of technology-enabled innovation is achieved around the world, IMS’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.  For more information visit www.imsglobal.org or contact info@imsglobal.org