Managed Learning System Research and Development Lab
[May 08, 2001] "Education and Tech Leaders Join Forces to SetEducation IT Standards. JES & Co., Intel, Dell, Microsoft, OneNet, SAP Public Services, Inc., EdVISION And Riverdeep Announce Managed Learning System Research and Development Program." - "Leading education and technology organizations today announced their support of the Managed Learning System Research and Development Lab, part of a new vendor-neutral program to set the standards for technology in education. While initially funded by Intel, Dell, Microsoft, OneNet, SAP Public Services, Inc., EdVISION and Riverdeep, the lab is now open to sponsorship and use by other education providers and vendors to ensure interoperability. The Managed Learning System (MLS) is a program of JES & Co., the leading non-profit developer of education technology solutions and integration. 'Schools spend nearly $6 billion a year on information technology and spending is rising dramatically as schools strive to meet new goals of accountability and reporting,' said Diny Golder-Dardis, MLS Program developer and executive director of JES & Co. 'Unfortunately, schools' efforts are often stalled due to the complexity of the systems. The Managed Learning System provides a standards-based framework so that all elements of an educational IT system can communicate and interoperate -- making the entire education system more efficient.' The MLS Program is the only educator-driven initiative to facilitate interoperable IT solutions, independent of vendor, integrator or platform. The educator-run MLS Steering Committee, representing the United States Department of Education, State Departments of Education, higher education, and K-12, will guide development of these standards to address the needs of education. Version 1.0 of the MLS spec is the result of more than three years of integration and prototype development, including the deployment of a fully operational system for the state of Oklahoma. With version 1.0 operating in Oklahoma, the MLS Program will focus on soliciting participation from additional technology and education leaders, revising the current specification and publishing a 2.0 version in 2002. Sponsors and members of the MLS Program have access to the specification while it's in development. The MLS Program includes a hosted Research and Development Lab in Tucson, Arizona; bi-annual member meetings and ongoing Steering Committee and workgroup meetings. The lab is available for sponsors to test and demonstrate their products for interoperability relative to the MLS specification."
- JES & Co
- Managed Learning System (white paper)
- Contact: Diny Golder-Dardis [JES & Co MLS Program developer and executive director]
The MLS project builds upon other XML-based educational standards work (SIF, IMS, SCORM) and will be instrumental in the creation of additional XML-based standards. [Information provided by JES & Co. (Diny Golder-Dardis, Executive Director; Bruce Fulton, Director of Operations.]
Additional information from the version 1.0 Managed Learning System Specification (draft) and and fact sheet:
The Managed Learning System sets the standards for technology in education. Developed by JES & Co., an educator based non-profit organization, the Managed Learning System (MLS) is an open-system, standards-based research and development environment that provides the framework so that all elements of an educational IT system can communicate and interoperate. Managed Learning System components include educational content and delivery; academic standards; assessment and testing; technology and business processes. The world's leading education and technology companies, Dell, EdVISION, Intel, Microsoft, OneNet, Riverdeep and SAP are founding sponsors of the MLS Program.
The MLS Spec version 1.0 defines four initial levels of service - basic text (e.g., Web page content), chat and text based interactive protocols, streaming media, and two-way real time video conferencing. General network specifications enabling each level of service are provided.
Interchange: The MLS spec version 1.0 approves and requires TCP/IP and the commonly accepted internet protocols (HTTP, NNTP, FTP, etc) for the interchange of data and information among system components. Closed subsystems may use proprietary or alternative protocols internally, but not at the expense of interoperability with other system components. The MLS spec version 2.0 will go farther in identifying HTTP as the standard for RPC style transport and XML as the preferred encoding scheme where programming elements are exposed as elements of interoperability. This requires the satisfactory adoption of these technologies by the major systems vendors, and adoption by them of SOAP as the means encoding HTTP/XML object requests. It is anticipated this will occur as version 2.0 of the MLS spec is developed.
Activity (Transaction) Tracking: Because the Managed Learning System must support the ASP / Software as a Service model, the ability of the system to track as transactions any qualifying activity is mandated. Version 1.0 of the specification describes several activities that must be tracked to meet minimum compliance, most in conjunction with the Content Broker architecture. Version 2.0 will continue the process of defining transactions in the delivery of educational content; this will result in a set of standardized XML schemas for education related e-commerce.
SIF (Schools Interoperability Project) and IMS (A worldwide effort to standardize elements of content) are two primary standards playing a role in the Managed Learning System Specification 1.0. SOAP and XML also play a role in terms of how information is exchanged by disparate systems over the Internet. Version 2.0 of the Managed Learning System is a two-year effort to define and validate how these and other standards work together to fulfill the promise of the Managed Learning System.
Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See also: (1) Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF); (2) Educom Instructional Management Systems Project (IMS) Metadata Specification; (3) Shareable Courseware Object Reference Model Initiative (SCORM).