The IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS Global) is an international non-profit organization that develops and supports interoperability standards to promote collaboration between education technology organizations and applications. Since its founding in 1995, the IMS Global Learning Consortium has approved and released more than 20 open standards for the community.
Given the countless options surrounding learning technologies (LMS platforms, applications, etc.), teachers, trainers and instructors are understandably baffled when faced with the infinite possibilities of programs and content. IMS Global’s goal is to standardize the interoperability of educational applications and platforms.
Interoperability renders education technology more affordable and multiplies participation and educational achievements. The standards set by the IMS Global are underpinned by the idea that open education technology standards grant institutions greater access to tools and products with which they can innovate. Because of this, we will take an in-depth look at how the IMS Global uses certain parameters—such as usability, scope and educational impact—to encourage innovation.
How does IMS Global function?
We can refer to three aspects that allow IMS Global to enabler better digital teaching and learning experiences.
1. Adaptations of integrations and plugins:
IMS Global’s interoperability standards save time, cut costs and improve integration between systems, because all applications certified by IMS use the open standards to connect and exchange data. The low cost and the swift integration mean that institutions have the flexibility and facility to securely add learning tools, digital content and applications to meet the different needs of their learning programs.
2. A large ecosystem and an open architecture:
IMS provides an open architecture that is contributed to by world leaders in education technology. In this environment, learning and teaching platforms—as well as tools, resources and applications—can evolve based on the necessities of institutions, teachers and students.
Moreover, IMS conformance certifications guarantee that products have implemented the standard correctly for which they have passed testing. If an organization experiences an integration issue with a product that is IMS certified, it will work with the supplier to resolve the problem.
3. Effective collaboration based on members:
IMS Global has demonstrated that major educational institutions and education technology providers can make high-impact progress when they collaborate. To achieve this, IMS creates a flexible, innovative and sustainable learning technology ecosystem among its members. Because of this powerful collaboration, IMS member organizations also have the individual opportunity to help shape the future of these technologies.
Who is involved?
Leaders in learning technologies from all sectors belong to IMS GlobalL. Some experts represent organizations that contribute to educational communities and promote the positive transformation of education. Some organizations that support interoperable standards between platforms and applications include Blackboard, Educause, eLumen, IBM, Harvard Business for Educators, Intel, Microsoft, McGraw Hill Education, Moodle, Oracle, the University of Michigan and the University of Toronto, among many others.
Organizations that participate in IMS Global also promote the use of standards internally.
E-Learn Magazine had the opportunity to talk to Rob Abel, the CEO of the IMS Global Learning Consortium, and Sandra DeCastro, Vice-President of Community Programs at IMS Global Learning Consortium.
*Rob Abel – CEO of the IMS Global Learning Consortium, and Sandra DeCastro, Vice-President of Community Programs at IMS Global Learning Consortium.
*Photos by: Bill Wechter