And back from the IMS Quaterly Meeting in San Francisco

Looks like I’m repeating myself. So again back again from an IMS get together, now this time it is a Quarterly meeting, a lower key lower attendance gathering where we actually do work on the specs!

It was a rich set of days, hosted by Oracle on its Campus. I’ve never stayed that long in the ‘valley’ before. Driving a few miles on the 101 you truly realize how this is the epicenter of the tech world, and the new Klondike as a friend was pointing out. (And the Klondike eventually ran out of gold…). But back on the highlight of those few days:

Common Cartridge

It is nice to see a little bit of interest picking up again. Common Cartridge is indeed the shadowed sibling of the popular Learning Tools Interoperability specification. I see that as just a reflection of this new Cloud-based world: you do not bring your content in one’s system anymore, you bring one’s users to your system instead! However I see Common Cartridge might still have a card to play in the Open Education Resource (OER) movement, allowing content to freely flow between Learning Management Systems and be re-hashed. I also think in a world where everything goes to the cloud, the Common Cartridge can be a ‘downloadable’ course, maybe competing with the edupub initiative.

 Learning Tools Interoperability

Great progress there too! My current main focus (and a key need for my employer) is being addressed by 2 additional specifications added to the LTI ecosystem:

  • content item launch is a dedicated interaction between the tool consumer and the tool provider around the creation of resources in the tool consumer. It defines how a resource (in my current interest, an LTI Link, but it can also be HTML fragment, image, …) can be added without the user having to enter cumbersome parameters by defining a UI interaction where the user is sent to the tool consumer to select/create a resource, and on completion, returning to the tool consumer the proper information for the resource to be created.
  • outcome service:  we agreed to act rapidly to provide a first version of a richer outcome service (outcome being so overloaded this days, we almost thought to rename it grade service 🙂 ). It would essentially decouple the LTI link from the Gradebook Item (aka Line Item). This allows for heterogeneous experience like a Courseware to create multiple line items in the host gradebook without to require a link to have been pre-created in the tool consumer.

The LTI 2.0 is also nearing completion. History was made when Sakai and John Tibbett’s LMS did connect! And also we got to see the fresh new Coursera tatoo from Chuck!

CASA: the distributed home of Learning Apps

Interesting work being done by UCLA. From what I understand, it offers a distributed trusted discovery network of Learning Apps and Resources, a federated network of directories. It is associated with the idea of stores but its academic rooting and its distributed model kind of collides with the traditional idea of a ‘store’. So a bit curious to see how that will unfold…

Next stop: Salt Lake City

Next quaterly will be hosted by Instructure, at Salt Lake City. Sounds exciting!

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