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Instructional Management Systems

press releases

IMS Press Release

For Immediate Release

Denis Newman
Director of Market Development
IMS Project
(650) 852-9204

For contact information for the other organizations, see: http://www.imsproject.org/press_contacts.html

Related statements from IMS members are at: http://imsproject.org/statements.html

Education on the Internet takes Major Step Toward Standards with Release of Educom's IMS Project Specifications

Washington, DC. April 29, 1998. Educom released today technologies that will support a new digital economy for education. The technical specifications for how learning materials will flow over the Internet, and for how organizations and individual learners will manage the learning process, have broad support among industry and among leaders in higher education, training, government, and K-12 schools. Educom also made freely available an example implementation of an instructional management system that illustrates many of the specifications.

The goal of Educom's Instructional Management Systems (IMS) project is the widespread adoption of a set of open standards for Internet-based education. "We are proud to have brought all the elements together that will catalyze major changes in education," said Robert C. Heterick, President of Educom. "Educom's membership, and the education industry as a whole, will benefit when educational content and management systems from different vendors can interoperate."

Mark Resmer, CIO of Sonoma State University and IMS project director added, "The technical specifications we are releasing today embody the requirements and best practices of the 29 organizations that have invested in this project and many other groups in education and training that have participated over the last 15 months. This release represents a substantial consensus throughout the learning and technology industries."

The example implementation will be demonstrated tomorrow at the White House. The meeting will address how federal agencies can take advantage of IMS to focus research and development and how K-12 schools can benefit from adopting industry standards as they move toward the goal of connecting all the nation's classrooms. Tom Kalil, Senior Director at the White House National Economic Council, praised Educom's work. "The IMS project will help expand the market for high-quality educational software, which is critical to the success of President Clinton's Educational Technology Initiative. This project will also make it easier for all Americans to update their skills by learning at a time, place, and pace that is convenient for them - which is critical in today's rapidly changing economy. We look forward to building a partnership with this important group."

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. Statements from many of these members are included with this release. IMS investment members are: Apple Computer, Asymetrix Learning Systems, AT&T Learning Network, @Learning, Buena Vista University, California State University, COLLEGIS, COLLEGIS Research Institute, Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), Educational Testing Service, Empower Corporation, Farance Inc., George Mason University, IBM Education, International Thomson Publishing, KPMG Peat Marwick, Miami-Dade Community College, Microsoft, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Oracle, Simon & Schuster, Sun Microsystems, Unisys, University of California, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UK Joint Information Systems Committee, and the US Department of Defense.

The specifications are being released for a 90-day period of public comment. After that period, they will be submitted to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to begin the process of establishing an international standard. NIST is assisting the IMS project team in developing a conformance testing and certification program.

The IMS project is part of Educom's National Learning Infrastructure Initiative with staff drawn from California State University's Center for Distributed Learning, from the COLLEGIS Research Institute, and from other member organizations. Blackboard Inc. developed the example implementation under contract in collaboration with other project members. IMS works with the Defense Department's Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative providing technical specifications to support their guidelines for distributed training systems. Additional information on the IMS project can be found at <http://www.imsproject.org>.

Educom, based in Washington, DC, is a non-profit consortium of 600 colleges and universities and 100 Corporate Associates that facilitates the introduction, use and access to, and management of information resources in teaching, learning, scholarship, and research.


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