The IMS Global Consortium® is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting interoperability and innovation in the edtech industry. The consortium is comprised of several major vendors, school districts, universities, and non-profit organizations. IMS Global publishes several widely used standards which are found throughout the edtech space. IMS Global is also responsible for certifying if their members have products which are compliant with their standards. Below is a list of several of the popular standards which IMS develops.
LTI is a set of specifications that is intended to allow integration between third-party developed content and learning management systems (LMSs). The IMS Global Consortium has released and certified several iterations of LTI since it's introduction in 2010. The most recent security framework called LTI v1.3 and all future services will be released under the LTI Advantage package.
Learning Information Services® (LIS®)
The LIS standard defines how different systems exchange information that describes people, groups, memberships, and courses. LIS provides a method to commonly define this information and to exchange the data between an LMS, SIS, assessment platform, and any other web service that supports interoperability.
OneRoster is a specification for sharing class rosters and associated data between a student information system (SIS) and other platforms, such as an LMS. The standard supports spreadsheet (CSV) imports/exports and data exchanges using REST APIs. With the OneRoster standard, course rosters and grades can be shared between an SIS and an LMS accurately and quickly.
Open Badges are digital records of verified achievements earned by learners. The Open Badges standard describes how to package data about accomplishments and how to visually display the data in a digital badge. The standard provides a method of displaying metadata about a recipient, such as who they are, the requirements necessary to receive the badge, and who issued the award.
QTI is a specification that enables the exchange of assessment content and results between different supported platforms, such as LMS and an assessment delivery platform. APIP, based on the QTI standard, provides a comprehensive framework that includes the requirements for creating accessible assessments for students with disabilities and special needs.
Common Cartridge® is a set of open standards to enable strict interoperability between content and systems. Common Cartridge was developed primarily to support the use of digital course materials and digital books in an instructional context.
Content can be packaged into thin or thick common cartridges. Thin common cartridges contain LTI launch links, web links, and metadata that instruct how content from external LTI tool provider should be accessible by the consumer. Thick common cartridges contain all of the content that a publisher wishes to share with a consumer. This means that content, such as PDFs, documents, and media files, are all digitally contained within the thick common cartridge file.
Competencies and Academic Standards Exchange®
CASE® is a standard used to share information about learning competencies. The standard provides a framework for provisioning and exchanging competency framework documents, items, associations, and rubrics. Systems that implement CASE can use the standard's universal identifiers to easily share information between each other.
Caliper Analytics allows schools to collect data from digital resources to better understand how content is being used by teachers and students. Caliper defines several metric profiles which model learning activities. These profiles establish a common format for presenting data gathered across different learning environments. The Caliper also leverages data from LTI, LIS, and QTI standards, thus growing the ecosystem of content that provides analytic data. Using this data, educators can see if digital content is producing the desired outcome for students.
Edu-API is a proposed specification to standardize data exchanges between systems that manage higher education administration, teaching, and learning. Edu-API will will define standard extensible APIs to support user provisioning, identification, and data exchanges between all systems that are used in higher-ed (e.g. LMSs, card access systems, learning record warehouses, campus libraries, etc.). The Edu-API standard, announced in Spring 2018, is currently under development.
Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI®), Learning Information Services® (LIS®), OneRoster®, Question and Test Interoperability® (QTI®), Accessible Portable Item Protocol® (APIP®), Common Cartridge®, Competencies and Academic Standards Exchange® (CASE®), Caliper Analytics®, and Edu-API®, are trademarks of the IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. (www.imsglobal.org)