IMS Global Learning Consortium Releases Draft Specification for Interoperable Accessible Educational Assessment Items
The Accessible Portable Item Profile (APIP) was launched to suppliers, U.S. state officials, the Race to the Top Assessment consortia and Department of Education representatives in Washington DC

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Lake Mary, Florida, USA – 14 December 2010 – The IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC) today announced the public release of a new set of draft interoperability specifications that will enable U.S. states to cooperate on development and use of electronic assessment items for all students. Developed under a U.S. Department of Education Enhanced Assessment Grant and based on input from eight state assessment agencies, the Accessible Portable Item Profile, or APIP, was described in a day long workshop in Washington DC on December 7, 2010.  Attendees at the workshop included representation the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the Partnership for Assessment and Readiness for College and Careers, the Council of State School Officers, the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, the U.S. Department of Education, and a majority of the leading K-12 assessment solution providers, such as Pearson, ETS, McGraw-Hill, and Measured Progress. Based on feedback at the event, the APIP states have instructed IMS GLC to release the draft specifications to the public to enable initial implementations and a broad base of feedback.   

The APIP draft specification combines three IMS specifications that have received tens of millions of dollars of investment and commitment from around the world. They describe interoperable formats of digital assessment items, metadata describing the features of the item to support accommodations, and metadata describing the student’s needs.  Use of these standards enables assessment items to be used across a wide variety of formative and summative assessment scenarios and products. IMS GLC will be providing support to formalize and certify conformance to the APIP standards so that states and suppliers can be confident that 100% interoperability will be achieved in practice. Interested parties can download the specifications, provide feedback, and get involved by going to the APIP public forum on the IMS website.

"It is very exciting to see the strong support for APIP because it represents a significant breakthrough in providing digital assessment item and accessibility information portability – but yet is based on several proven standards," commented Dr. Rob Abel, Chief Executive of IMS GLC. "APIP enables many ‘easy’ gains – such as moving from paper to digital and improving the assessment environment for special needs students – but also enables some very large innovation gains by providing a vendor-neutral platform that combines assessment and instruction – engaging, ongoing and actionable for teachers, students, and parents.”

"We are very pleased with the progress on APIP with the release of the draft specification and the great interest and enthusiasm from states and test service providers alike," said Dirk Mattson, Director of Research and Assessment for the State of Minnesota. "Minnesota is already requiring the APIP standards in our current Request for Proposals for our state assessment system because they help us put in place the system functionality, accessibility, and interoperability we need going forward."

About IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC)
IMS Global Learning is a nonprofit member organization that strives to enable the growth and impact of learning technology in higher education, K-12, and corporate education worldwide. IMS GLC members are leading corporations, higher education institutions, school districts and government organizations worldwide that are enabling the future of education by collaborating on interoperability standards and major adoption projects for the digital support of education and learning. IMS GLC also sponsors Learning Impact: a global awards program and conference that recognizes the impact of innovative technology on educational access, affordability, and quality. For more information, visit www.imsglobal.org.