The Cover PagesThe OASIS Cover Pages: The Online Resource for Markup Language Technologies
Advanced Search
Site Map
CP RSS Channel
Contact Us
Sponsoring CP
About Our Sponsors

Cover Stories
Articles & Papers
Press Releases

XML Query

XML Applications
General Apps
Government Apps
Academic Apps

Technology and Society
Tech Topics
Related Standards
Last modified: September 15, 2003
IMS Metadata Specification

"IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. (IMS) is developing and promoting open specifications for facilitating online distributed learning activities such as locating and using educational content, tracking learner progress, reporting learner performance, and exchanging student records between administrative systems. IMS has two key goals: (1) Defining the technical specifications for interoperability of applications and services in distributed learning, and (2) supporting the incorporation of the IMS specifications into products and services worldwide. IMS endeavors to promote the widespread adoption of specifications that will allow distributed learning environments and content from multiple authors to work together (in technical parlance, 'interoperate'). IMS is a global consortium with members from educational, commercial, and government organizations. Funding comes from membership fees, with organizations choosing to join as either Contributing or Developers Network members."

IMS specifications include: IMS Content Packaging Specification, IMS Learning Resource Meta-data Specification, IMS Question and Test Specification, IMS Enterprise Specification, IMS Meta-data Specification, IMS Reusable Competencies Definition Information Model Specification, IMS Learner Information Package Specification, IMS Learning Design, IMS Accessibility, IMS Digital Repositories. The IMS Global Learning Consortium provides XML bindings for these specifications.

[February 14, 2003]   IMS Global Learning Consortium Releases Learning Design and Digital Repositories Specifications.    Final Version 1.0 specifications for IMS Learning Design and IMS Digital Repositories have been published by the IMS Global Learning Consortium, together with XML schemas. The IMS Global Learning Consortium develops open specifications to facilitate online distributed learning activities such as locating and using educational content, tracking learner progress, reporting learner performance, and exchanging student records between administrative systems. IMS uses XML-Schemas as the primary control documents for the IMS specifications' XML bindings. The IMS Learning Design specification approved by the Technical Board in February 2003 supports the use of a wide range of pedagogies in online learning. Rather than attempting to capture the specifics of many pedagogies, it does this by providing a generic and flexible language; this language is designed to enable many different pedagogies to be expressed, exhibiting a good balance between generality and pedagogic expressiveness. The IMS Digital Repositories specification defines digital repositories as being any collection of resources that are accessible via a network without prior knowledge of the structure of the collection. Repositories may hold actual assets or the meta-data that describe assets. This specification is intended to utilize schemas already defined elsewhere (e.g., IMS Meta-Data and Content Packaging), rather than attempt to introduce any new schema." The Digital Repositories Specification includes a Core Functions Information Model, XML Binding Specification, and Best Practices & Implementation Guide.

[August 23, 1999] Early versions. "The IMS Metadata Specification is comprised of three documents:

  1. IMS Learning Resource Metadata Information Model [HTML, PDF]

  2. IMS Learning Resource Metadata XML Binding Specification. [HTML, PDF]

  3. IMS Learning Resource Metadata Best Practices and Implementation Guide. [HTML, PDF]

The IMS project has released XML-based technical "specifications for how learning materials will flow over the Internet, and for how organizations and individual learners will manage the learning process, [and] have broad support among industry and among leaders in higher education, training, government, and K-12 schools. The goal of Educom's Instructional Management Systems (IMS) project is the widespread adoption of a set of open standards for Internet-based education. Twenty-eight organizations have made substantial investments in the IMS project and continue active involvement in the technical work, in advanced work with the example implementation, as well as in internal development of products for the new digital education marketplace. According to the specifications document entitled "EDUCOM/NLII Instructional Management Systems" (Version 0.5, Date: April 29, 1998), IMS Specifications will use XML as the serialization syntax for data and objects.

The IMS Metadata Specification is derived from extensive collaborations, requirements meetings, focus groups and research related to the development of metadata specifications to support online learning. Groups included in the requirements process included teachers, instructional designers, cognitive psychologists, digital library experts, administrators of educational institutions, software developers, content developers, and metadata experts. . . IMS Metadata will be represented in XML/RDF format. . . In order to add metadata to web pages (and resources displayed within web pages), IMS recommends embedding inline the Metadata as XML/RDF."


  • IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc.

  • IMS Digital Repositories Specification

  • [January 30, 2003] IMS Digital Repositories Specification Version 1.0, Final Specification

  • IMS XML Bindings, DTDs, and Examples, [local archive copy]

  • IMS Version of the IEEE LTSC LOM DTD - IMS-MD01.dtd. [local archive copy]

  • Toolkit Version 1.0

  • Questions or comments on the IMS Metadata Specification:

  • Educom IMS Project Home Page

  • IMS Overview

  • IMS Metadata Home

  • NIST IMS Meta-data Information Site

  • NIST/IMS Registry Information Site

  • IMS Specifications

  • [September 19, 2003] "Generation of XML Records across Multiple Metadata Standards." By Kimberly S. Lightle and Judith S. Ridgway (Eisenhower National Clearinghouse, Ohio State University, USA). In D-Lib Magazine (September 19, 2003). "This paper describes the process that Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC) staff went through to develop crosswalks between metadata based on three different standards and the generation of the corresponding XML records. ENC needed to generate different flavors of XML records so that metadata would be displayed correctly in catalog records generated through different digital library interfaces. The crosswalk between USMARC, IEEE LOM, and DC-ED is included, as well as examples of the XML records... Because the native metadata for the ENC collections follow different metadata standards (USMARC and IEEE 1484.12.1-2002 Learning Object Metadata (LOM) Standard) and the metadata to be harvested via the NSDL OAI repository follows the Dublin Core metadata standard, ENC needed to develop crosswalks between these three standard metadata schemas. ENC also needed to generate different flavors of XML records so that metadata would be displayed correctly in catalog records generated through different digital library interfaces. XML is an open, text-based markup language that provides structural and semantic information to data based on a specific schema such as USMARC. These XML records are searched by the Autonomy search engine with the metadata displayed in two different formats: the format used for the ENC DL libraries (Learning Matrix, ICON, and GSDL) and that used for ENC Online. The XML records are also exported in a Dublin Core format, so they are available to the NSDL OAI harvester. XML records generated by the Learning Matrix, ICON, and GSDL are based on the IMS Learning Resource Metadata Specification and are the most straightforward to produce -- there is a one-to-one correspondence between the metadata that are entered in the cataloging tool and that which are displayed as part of the catalog record. ENC also has to generate a USMARC XML record from the digital library metadata to be searched via ENC Online. This requires the IEEE LOM metadata to be crosswalked to the USMARC metadata standard. A third flavor of XML record is generated from both USMARC and the IEEE LOM metadata. These XML records have been crosswalked to DC-ED so that they are harvestable by the NSDL and searchable through the interface. A fourth type of XML record is generated so that IEEE LOM metadata can be displayed in a USMARC format via the ENC Online interface. In the future, an XML record will be generated in the IEEE LOM format based on the USMARC metadata used to describe ENC resources... ENC is not unique in its need to produce different flavors of XML records to conform to multiple schemas. Just as ENC chose the IEEE LOM schema, digital libraries should choose a schema that best embodies the nature of their resources and their cataloging goals. Crosswalks that extend interoperability are essential so that the digital library collections can be accessible through a variety of portals and search interfaces. As more organizations share what they have learned as they strive for maximum interoperability of their records that richly describe digital resources, the development of crosswalks will be better understood and more easily accomplished..."

  • [February 14, 2003] "Exposing Information Resources for E-Learning. Harvesting and Searching IMS Metadata Using the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting and Z39.50." By Andy Powell (UKOLN, University of Bath) and Steven Richardson (UMIST). In Ariadne Issue 34 (January 14, 2003). "IMS is a global consortium that develops open specifications to support the delivery of e-learning through Learning Management Systems (LMS) -- or 'Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)' as used in the UK. IMS activities cover a broad range of areas including accessibility, competency definitions, content packaging, digital repositories, integration with 'enterprise' systems, learner information, metadata, question & test and simple sequencing. Of particular relevance to this article is the work of the IMS Digital Repositories Working Group (DRWG). The DRWG is working to define a set of interfaces to repositories (databases) of learning objects and/or information resources in order to support resource discovery from within an LMS. In particular, the specifications currently define mechanisms that support distributed searching of remote repositories, harvesting metadata from repositories, depositing content with repositories and delivery of content from the repository to remote systems. Future versions of the specifications will also consider alerting mechanisms, for discovering new resources that have been added to repositories. Note that, at the time of writing, the DRWG specifications are in draft form. Two broad classes of repository are considered: (1) Native learning object repositories containing learning objects; (2) Information repositories containing information resources (documents, images, videos, sounds, datasets, etc.). In the former, it is assumed that, typically, the learning objects are described using the IMS metadata specification and packaged using the IMS content packaging specification. The latter includes many existing sources of information including library OPACs, bibliographic databases and museum catalogues where metadata schemas other than IMS are in use. In both cases it is assumed that the repository may hold both assets and metadata or just metadata only. Both the example implementations described below fall into the second category of repository. The DRWG specifications describe the use of XQuery over SOAP to query 'native' repositories of learning objects. This usage is not discussed any further in this article. The specifications also describe how to search and harvest IMS metadata from 'information' repositories using the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) and Z39.50..."

  • [May 08, 2001] "Adoption of IMS Specifications Powers Global Reach of E-learning. IMS 'Content Packaging' specification provides an industry standard platform to expand function, capability of e-learning products." - "IMS, a global consortium of more than 300 educational institutions, commercial entities and government agencies today announced the release of the IMS Content Packaging 1.1 specification that forms the core standard for exchanging e-learning content. 'The specification is important because it represents a single, strong consensus among a large number of organizations for how to package and move many types of learning content,' said Philip Dodds, Chief Architect for the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Co-Laboratory. 'ADL's Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) will include so-called 'applications profiles' for packaging assets, sharable content objects, and content aggregations (courses) in the next release of SCORM. These application profiles are based directly on IMS Content Packaging 1.1. We plan to extend the application of this specification to content repositories later this year,' he said. IMS Content Packaging 1.1 provides the basis for interoperability of learning content across learning management systems and platforms. It is one component of a set of IMS infrastructure specifications that also includes Enterprise, Meta-data, Question and Test Interoperability, Content Management, Competency, and Learner Information Packaging. In development are specifications for Learning Design, Accessibility and Digital Repositories. The Content Packaging specification was developed by a Working Group drawn from the following organizations: ADL, Blackboard, Carnegie Mellon University,, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), Eduprise, Fretwell-Downing, IBM, Microsoft, NETg, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, Sun Microsystems, and SCT Inc. The IMS Content Packaging specification provides an industry standard platform to expand the function and capability of e-learning products. The IMS Global Learning Consortium develops open technical specifications to support distributed learning. Its mission is to facilitate the delivery of Internet-based distributed learning to all users and all use environments worldwide. All specifications developed by IMS are available free of charge through the IMS web site. IMS is supported by consortium of more than 40 Contributing Members, over 250 '"Developers Network' subscribers, and a worldwide community. Membership in IMS is open to organizations located anywhere in the world who are making a substantial and continuing commitment to the development, evolution and/or use of advanced distributed learning environments. The Contributing Members of IMS include academic, corporate, non-profit, and government organizations... IMS uses XML as its current binding, and XML-Schema as its primary XML control document language. The IMS XML Bindings and the list of IMS specifications are available for download. Some IMS bindings use parts of other IMS XML bindings. For example, the Content Packaging specification uses the IMS Meta-Data. The IMS specifications may also be extended. Both inclusion and extension use namespaces in the XML bindings." See the discussion.

  • [May 08, 2001] "Enabling Access to Online Digital Services: IMS Digital Repositories Technical Specifications Group." By Kevin Riley. In Syllabus Magazine Volume 14, Number 10 (May 2001), pages 16-18. ['A look at the process of setting standards and specifications to support interoperability of digital repositories.'] The author surveys the goals of the IMS Digital Repositories Group, discusses the IMS specification process, and summarizes the key IMS specifications. The IMS Digital Repositories Work Group was established in February 2001, and scheduled its first meeting for May 7-9 in Lund, Switzerland. The article provides a table listing the seven (7) IMS specifications already published and three (3) specifications under development. "The group spans user communities, server-side technology providers, publishers, and middleware infrastructure vendors. Group members include EdNA (representing DETYA in Australia), Fretwell-Downing, GIUNTI (Italy), IOSPress (Netherlands), Oracle, Sun, TEMASEK (Singapore), UKOLN (participants in the UK Distributed Network of Electronic Resources Program), and the University of California at Berkeley and University of Wisconsin from the NSDL program. Others are coming on board as the group gets under way. The work of the group falls into two categories: (1) Integration of e-learning with existing online digital services; (2) Development of novel repository technology to support the configuration, presentation, and delivery of learning objects required for learner-centric learning to become a reality. The diversity of offerings under the umbrella of online digital services reflects a wide range of content formats, existing implemented systems, technologies, and established practice. However, given the investment made in their development,it is impractical even to consider a solution that requires their re-implementation on a short-to-medium-term timeframe. Rather,the group will focus on common functions, which can be used across services to enable them to present a common interface. These common functions encompass desirable and necessary features such as authentication, authorization, enrollment, search, location and retrieval, IPR management, user preferences, and profiling, payment, and search gateways across services. Learning Object Repositories share all of the above (either directly or via the LMS they serve), but also have the added dimension of supporting contextualized sequencing and navigation -- and potentially, dynamic branding of objects to a service at runtime. The group intends to construct a generic functional architecture and then define specific application profiles through that architecture to meet the needs of each of the services identified above. The functions will then be prioritized to identify the order in which they will be put through the IMS specification process. In addition to the specification work, linked R&D projects are being set up across Australia, Europe, and the U.S. that will support pilot implementations of the technology adopted, both as initial proof of concept and testing of the robustness of the emerging specifications." ["IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. (IMS) is developing and promoting open specifications for facilitating online distributed learning activities such as locating and using educational content, tracking learner progress, reporting learner performance, and exchanging student records between administrative systems. IMS has two key goals: (1) Defining the technical specifications for interoperability of applications and services in distributed learning, and (2) supporting the incorporation of the IMS specifications into products and services worldwide. IMS endeavors to promote the widespread adoption of specifications that will allow distributed learning environments and content from multiple authors to work together (in technical parlance, 'interoperate'). IMS uses XML as its current binding, and XML-Schema as its primary XML control document language. The IMS XML Bindings and the list of IMS specifications are available for download. Specifications materials include: IMS Content Packaging Specification, IMS Learning Resource Meta-data Specification, IMS Question and Test Specification, IMS Enterprise Specification, IMS Meta-data Specification, IMS Reusable Competencies Definition Information Model Specification, IMS Learner Information Package Specification, etc.]

  • [March 30, 2001]   RDF Bindings for IMS Metadata.    A posting from Mikael Nilsson and Dan Brickley reports on design activity now underway toward the creation of an IMS-RDF binding specification. Researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden) and Universität Hannover (Germany) have begun work on an RDF binding for IMS metadata, and early attempts at an RDF Schema for this are available online. The IMS Metadata Specification is part of a suite of open specifications for "facilitating online distributed learning activities such as locating and using educational content, tracking learner progress, reporting learner performance, and exchanging student records between administrative systems." The XML bindings with supporting XML DTDs have been available for some time, and have been implemented. Draft resources for the proposed RDF binding are available from the Swedish [KTH] Competence Centre for User-Oriented IT Design, including (1) Document on issues with the IMS 1.1 information model and XML binding. (2) Document on issues with the IMS 1.2 draft XML DTD and XML Schema definition. (3) A suggestion for an IMS metadata 1.2 RDF binding, with draft RDF schema (4) A Java interface for IMS metadata editing. The design team encourages participation from all interested parties. [Full context]

  • [December 06, 2000] "E-Learning Takes Important Step Forward. Metadata Standards Leaders IEEE LTSC LOM and DCMI Begin Designing Future Metadata Architecture for Web-based Learning, Education and Training." - "The Learning Technology Standards Committee Learning Objects Metadata (LTSC-LOM) Working Group of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) today announced their joint commitment to develop interoperable metadata for learning, education and training. The joint Memorandum of Understanding is signed by officers representing the LOM Working Group and DCMI. The document, regarding the IEEE standard P1484.12, is co-signed by representatives of concurring projects: ARIADNE (Alliance of Remote Instructional Authoring and Distribution Networks for Europe), EdNA (Education Network Australia), GEM (Gateway to Educational Materials), and the IMS Global Learning Consortium. 'No matter how many search engines or information retrieval systems we use today finding a needle in the data-haystack can be a fruitless effort. This enormous problem will not be solved overnight, but LOM and DCMI are building the path that will make information retrieval and exchange a much more rewarding process,' said Stuart Weibel, Director of DCMI. Both LOM and DCMI have been leaders in the formation of metadata specification for the Web. The overlapping constituency has led to the need for increased collaboration and a charge to build a single architecture that promotes creation, interchange and use of metadata. Both organizations seek to increase the use of metadata or 'data about data.' Collaboration will focus on learning, education and training. The principal goal underpinning the MOU is to establish a coordinated discussion between the two groups. The agreement sets out to ensure semantic elements meet the needs of the users and metadata elements can easily work with other descriptions and be refined for specific encoding standards when necessary. 'This is all about critical mass - and building momentum toward interoperable metadata,' said Prof. Erik Duval, Chair of the CEN ISSS Learning Technologies Workshop and technical editor of IEEE-LTSC-LOM. 'Having a common approach to educational metadata is crucial to further speed up adoption of metadata technologies. That in turn is the first, crucial step on the long road to open learning infrastructures'... The IEEE LTSC LOM (Learning Object Metadata) working group will specify the syntax and semantics of metadata needed to describe technology-supported learning, including computer-based training systems, interactive learning environments, intelligent computer-aided instruction systems, distance learning systems, and collaborative learning environments. The IEEE LTSC (Learning Technology Standards Committee) develops technical standards in approximately 20 areas of information technology for learning, education, and training."

  • [January 13, 2001] "An Introduction to Metadata Tagging." By Harvi Singh (MindLever). December, 2000. From American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), and LearningCircuits. ['Get ready for the Dewey Decimal Classification system of e-learning.'] "Standards and specifications are becoming increasingly important for all aspects of e-learning, including metadata tagging. Leading the way is the IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS), a nonprofit organization that includes more than 200 educational institutions, commercial entities, and government agencies. Its purpose is to develop and promote standards that define an open architecture for networking learning systems. In August 1999, the IMS announced a specification for metadata tagging that includes 19 core fields used to describe learning resources, ranging from author and cost to language. The IMS also identified XML (Extensible Markup Language) as the principal tool for creating metadata tags. It's not an official standard, but XML is quickly becoming the predominant tool for describing learning resources. Furthering the importance of the IMS specification, the Department of Defense has incorporated it into the SCORM (Shareable Courseware Object Reference Model) initiative. SCORM consists of DoD specifications that focus on the ability to deliver and track content from multiple sources... There's a core set of 19 recommended metadata fields, but metadata tags can be used to describe broad or specific types of information (the IMS has identified 89 fields). The scope depends entirely on each organization... Most organizations probably won't use all 19 core fields recommended by the IMS. A select few fields will curry the most favor within the instructional design community, including title, author, name, and language. Furthermore, individual markets -- such as information technology, trade associations, and so forth -- will develop unique metadata fields to better meet their e-learning needs. The availability of metadata tags is far from ubiquitous in e-learning products. As the industry continues its drive toward standards and specifications, the technology will be integrated into offerings from leading e-learning suppliers. As the volume of learning resources increases, the ability to search tags from a learning management system (LMS) will become standard. Repositories will emerge to store and manage learning content and metadata tags. Rather than "dumb" learning management systems that simply render content when requested, these repositories will facilitate two of the most important benefits of metadata tags: reusing learning objects and personalizing learning tracks. Standards-based metadata tagging will be the linchpin that enables interoperability between e-learning and knowledge management products. The technology is essential because it provides a consistent way to search for knowledge and learning objects in either type of system and add that content to a learning track..." See: "Shareable Courseware Object Reference Model Initiative (SCORM)."

  • [January 09, 2001] "Public Draft Version 1.1 of the IMS Content Packaging Specification is Released." - "The IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. approved Public Draft Version 1.1 of the IMS Content Packaging Specification in December 2000. Learning materials described and packaged using the IMS Content Packaging XML format are portable between tools and systems that support the Specification. The Specification provides the functionality to describe and package learning materials, such as individual courses or collections of courses, into interchangeable, distributable packages. Content Packaging addresses the description, structure, and location of online learning materials and the definition of some particular content types. The ADL Co-Laboratory has plans to incorporate the IMS Content Packaging Specification into the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) Version 1.2. Public Draft Version 1.1 of the IMS Content Packaging Specification contains several changes suggested by ADL to help integrate the SCORM Course Structure Format into the IMS Content Packaging Specification. This will allow ADL to deprecate the existing SCORM Course Structure Format. ADL will integrate the ability to test content packages into its SCORM Conformance Test Suite for SCORM 1.2. IMS Public Drafts are released to permit public review and implementation testing of specifications prior to their final release. ADL is looking forward to continuing its collaboration with IMS." See "Shareable Courseware Object Reference Model Initiative (SCORM)."

  • [February 09, 2000] "Microsoft Corporation and leaders of the eLearning community today announced support for Learning Resource Interchange (LRN), the first commercial implementation of the Instructional Management Systems (IMS) Content and Management Systems Specification developed by the eLearning industry and the IMS Global Learning Consortium. LRN is an XML-based schema that defines course content, allowing organizations and eLearning providers to easily create and manage compatible online learning content. LRN helps customers maximize their investment in eLearning by enabling a wider range of interoperable content and applications than currently exists today. To provide content and technology partners with the information and tools required to create LRN-compatible products and content, Microsoft has released the LRN Toolkit 1.0. With it, organizations can easily create, edit and update content structure using any standard XML editor, including Microsoft Office. The toolkit is available now and includes the LRN Viewer, LRN Validator and LRN Samples, including two LRN-compatible eBooks from Microsoft Press and an MSDN developer course on Windows 2000." For details, see the text of the announcement, "Microsoft Accelerates Online Learning With Support for eLearning Specification. Learning Resource Interchange Promotes XML-Based Content Creation And Ease of Customization to Offer Customers Greater Choice." The Microsoft LRN Toolkit 1.0 is currently available for free download. [alt URL]

  • [October 28, 1999] A company announcement from Sun Microsystems describes the recent release of an educational developers' toolkit. "Sun today unveiled a developers' toolkit for the creation of XML documents that conforms to the IMS Meta-data Specification standard. Working with SRI International's Center for Technology in Learning, Sun created the toolkit using Java technology for distribution from the IMS website to IMS members and the educational community. IMS is a global coalition of more than 200 educational institutions, commercial organizations and government entities defining standards for distributed learning. Sun Microsystems is an investment member of IMS, whose main goal is to create standards for the interoperability of management tools, learning content and platforms for the education and training markets. According to Steve Griffin, IMS Technical Director, 'This toolkit and source code are an important contribution by Sun and SRI International to the community of educational and training content and technology providers who use Java technology in the creation of solutions for their markets. The toolkit will simplify and increase the speed at which developer can provide content that complies with the IMS Meta-data Specification'." IMS said it was "pleased to make available to the distributed learning community the Sun Microsystems' developers' toolkit for the creation of XML documents that conform to the IMS Meta-data Specification standard. [local archive copy]

  • [December 02, 1999] "The IMS, Metadata, and Web-Based Learning Resources." By Dick Vacca. In The Gilbane Report - News and Analysis of E-Content Technology and Trends Volume 7, Number 7 (July/August 1999), pages 1-8. "Since the emergence of XML the number of metadata specifications being developed for vertical and horizontal applications has soared. Soon we will have many more than we need and competition will prune the number of offerings. Metadata specifications that are designed with application and information integration in mind are much stronger candidates for utility and success. IT strategists are increasingly aware of this integration requirement, yet one area that still seems to escape attention is corporate training. The overlap in IT requirements for corporate training applications and other areas involving information management and delivery, such as technical documentation, is significant, and the lack of attention surprising. In this issue, Dick Vacca reports on an effort to develop a metadata specification for educational and training applications. While still a work in progress, this activity looks like it could be important and should be tracked by anyone responsible for implementing corporate training technology. In fact, because this project is paying careful attention to the need to integrate with other corporate systems, including e-commerce systems, anyone involved in corporate IT strategy should be aware of it... IMS [ca. 'Instructional Management Systems project'] has an ambitious goal: to enable an open architecture for online learning, and to develop specifications for the commercial systems that make it possible. IMS is not in the software or content business; rather, it is defining technical specifications for products to follow to enable application and content interoperability. This covers not only educational content and web delivery, but also the financial and administrative systems behind instruction. IMS touches all the right bases: systems interoperability and convergence, content management, XML, e-commerce, and rights management. And it all starts with the metadata specification for web-based learning resources... XML figures heavily in the IMS plan. IMS created a specimen DTD as an XML binding of its metadata, and the released specification was accompanied by an array of sample DTDs, XML bindings, and example instances. Like other projects with similar goals, such as RosettaNet and BizTalk, IMS developers are using XML heavily..."

  • "Development And Testing Of A Standardized Format For Distributed Learning Assessment And Evaluation Using XML." By Teresa Ferrandez. Fall Term, 1998. A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Computer Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida. Describes 'Standardized Assessment and Testing Markup Language (SATML).' "This document presents development of a markup language created to enable instructors to share instructional material. The language is developed as an Extensible Markup Language (XML), and it is intended to be used as a common file format for Internet distance learning tools. The markup language can model the information of an entire course but the research has been focused towards creating a markup language for requirements of questions and quizzes. The Instructional Management Systems (IMS) project group, a research group focused on distance learning over the Internet, has defined a set of requirements for distance learning tools. The markup language developed for this thesis complies with these requirements and thus, any distance learning tool using this markup language will also comply with these standards. Apart from the markup language, a set of tools has also been developed to save the information stored in the XML files to a content server. The overall objective of the content server is to allow users to share materials amongst different classes and sets of users." [cache]

  • [March 08, 2000] "Microsoft Announces Technology Tools For Helping Faculty Create and Manage Online Resources And Comply With Instructional Management System Standards. Office 2000 and FrontPage 2000 Add-Ins Available for Free to Educators and Corporate Users." - "Microsoft Corp. today announced new technology tools developed to empower faculty members to create and manage online learning resources with Microsoft Office 2000 in compliance with Instructional Management Systems (IMS) specifications, as well as a new set of resources to enhance educators' use of the Microsoft FrontPage 2000 Web site creation and management tool in the classroom. With the new IMS Meta-Data Add-In for Microsoft Office 2000 Professional and access to the add-in source code, which supports the IMS Learning Resource Meta-data specifications, educators using Office 2000 can easily create meta-data. In addition, using FrontPage 2000 and the new add-in, faculty members can design rich instructional Web sites and incorporate simple computer-based quizzing solutions into their instruction materials. The meta-data add-in for Office 2000 is part of Microsoft's ongoing efforts to support IMS. Last month Microsoft joined other e-learning community members to announce support for Learning Resource iNterchange (LRN), an XML-based schema developed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium and the software industry to define course content and allow organizations and e-learning providers to easily create and manage compatible online content. At that time Microsoft also released the LRN Toolkit, which provides content and technology partners with the resources to quickly create LRN-compatible content and applications, increasing the viability of online learning for knowledge workers. In addition, the company's online learning content from Microsoft Press, MSDN and Microsoft Official Curriculum will support LRN in all forthcoming content."

  • "IMS Meta-Data Specification." 1999-Feb-23, Draft Version. "The system specified here allows the creation of multiple structures or 'schemas'. The organization of the meta-data information reflects the manner in which meta-data schemas are managed. The actual meta-data describing a resource are created by following a meta-data schema. A schema describes a particular set of meta-data and the kinds of values that will be used to express the information. The IMS has several meta-data schemas that are all related. Grammar: It is useful to provide occasional examples. An XML syntax will be used for these examples. This does not mean that implementations are to be constrained to XML or to this particular use of XML. XML will also be used to explain concepts, it being more readable (to this author) than BNF. generally within this document examples will be taken from meta-data." [local archive copy]

  • [May 04, 1998] Press release: "Education on the Internet takes Major Step Toward Standards with Release of Educom's IMS Project Specifications." [local archive copy]

  • "EDUCOM/NLII Instructional Management Systems." - Word 6.0, but other formats are available; [local archive copy]

  • Dictionary

  • See also:

Hosted By
OASIS - Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards

Sponsored By

IBM Corporation
ISIS Papyrus
Microsoft Corporation
Oracle Corporation


XML Daily Newslink
Receive daily news updates from Managing Editor, Robin Cover.

 Newsletter Subscription
 Newsletter Archives
Globe Image

Document URI:  —  Legal stuff
Robin Cover, Editor: