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IMS Global Learning Consortium (usually referred to as IMS GLC, IMS Global or simply IMS) is a global, nonprofit, member organization that strives to enable the growth and impact of learning technology in the education and corporate learning sectors worldwide. IMS GLC members provide leadership in shaping and growing the learning industry through community development of interoperability and adoption practice standards and recognition of the return on investment from learning and educational technology. Their main activity is to develop interoperability standards and adoption practice standards for distributed learning, some of which like Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), Question & Test Interoperability/Accessible Portable Item Protocol (QTI/APIP), Common Cartridge, Learning Information Services and Content Packaging are very widely used.
Scope of standards
The scope for IMS specifications and standards cover most of the data elements used in "distributed and collaborative learning." IMS specifications promote the adoption of learning and educational technology and allow selection of best of breed products that can be easily integrated with other such products. These include a wide variety of technologies that support or enhance the learning experience, such as web-based course management system, learning management systems, virtual learning environments, instructional management systems, student administrative systems, ePortfolios, assessment systems, adaptive tutoring systems, collaborative learning tools, web 2.0 social learning tools, learning object repositories, and so forth. These include technologies and products that support learning situations that involve support for collaborative learning involving learners and instructors. The learners may be in a traditional educational environment (i.e., a school classroom in a university), in a corporate or government training setting, or at home.
In 1997 the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative of Educause began a project to create a set of widely adopted standards for exchanging college learning content. The founding universities included California State University, University of Michigan, and University of North Carolina. The acronym IMS originally stood for Instructional Management Systems; but the full term was quickly dropped and now only IMS is used. While IMS got its start in higher education, it moved quickly into a much wider range of learning contexts, including corporate and government training and K-12 education.
Common Cartridge is a specification developed by IMS and in wide usage in the education segments.
The Common Cartridge format includes the following specifications:
- Content Packaging v1.2
- IEEE Learning Object Metadata v1.0
- IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI)
- Question & Test Interoperability v1.2
- SCORM v1.2 & 2004 (Essentially common cartridge specification v1.0 DOES NOT include SCORM. As stated in IMS CP 1.1.4 Best Practices and Implementation guide SCORM was considered in development of this new standard)
The Common Cartridge Alliance is a community of institutions committed to supporting and adopting the Common Cartridge standard.