Common Cartridge Common Cartridge

Member Resources Public Documents Background

How Common Cartridge Benefits K-20 Institutions

Using Common Cartridge® (CC®), institutions of all types can streamline both access and integration of content into their learning platforms to support teaching and learning innovation. The past model of doing manual manipulation to make content work from a variety of sources can now be a thing of the past. When selecting products that have implemented the Common Cartridge standard, K-20 institutions, schools and districts will enjoy the following benefits: 

  • Common Cartridges can contain documents and files of all types and web links.Greater choice of content: Enables collections of learning resources of various types and sources to be accessed with greater ease to enable the personalization of learning experiences.
  • Reduces vendor/platform lock-in: Establishes course cartridge native formats endorsed by educational publishers, and supports a wide variety of established content formats, thus eliminating platform lock-in. 
  • Greater assessment options: Explicitly supports the Accessible Portable Item Protocol® (APIP®) and Question & Test Interoperability® (QTI®) standards for exchanging assessment items. 
  • Increases flexibility, sharing and reuse: Fits within the educational context of enabling instructors to assemble lesson plans of various resources and publish those as reusable and changeable packages that are easy to create, share, and improve.
  • Increases accessibility for e-Textbooks and other Digital Learning Materials via EPUB, Educational Sector Standards and the Open Web Platform.

Thin Common Cartridges can contain only LTI Links, weblinks and metadata.


Thin Common Cartridge (Thin CC) is a profile of Common Cartridge which greatly reduces that types of objects that can be included. Thin CCs only contain:

  • Learning Tools Interoperability® Links
  • Web Links
  • Metadata



Public Documents

Current Version


Member Resources



Common Cartridge® Background

Common Cartridge (CC) is a set of open standards developed by the IMS member community that enable interoperability between content and systems. Common Cartridge basically solves two problems. The first is to provide a standard way to represent digital course materials for use in online learning systems so that such content can be developed in one format and used across a wide variety of learning systems (e.g. course management systems, learning management systems, virtual learning environments, or instructional management systems). The second is to enable new publishing models for online course materials and digital books that are modular, web-distributed, interactive, and customizable.

  • It’s a standardized way to package and exchange digital learning materials and assessments.
  • It’s a standardized way to import and export course materials to and from your IMS Conformance Certified Learning Management System, Portal, Learning Object Repository or  other Learning Platform .
  • It’s a standardized way to exchange links and provide authorization to third party web-based learning tools via Learning Tools Interoperability.

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