A New Generation of Learning Technology Standards

Rob Abel

This paper considers some of the factors that affect learning technology specifications and standards development and how they have changed in 2010 versus 1995. Three factors are considered: The evolving learning technology standards development environment; the state of mainstream adoption of learning technology; and the context of global education and learning challenges. The analysis concludes that learning technology standards activities could benefit going forward by establishing a better linkage between research and market needs; encourage greater active participation of industry leading suppliers; leveraging an expanded set of end-users; and connecting standards activities to large scale improvements in access, affordability, and quality of learning. A new body of work called Digital Learning Services standards is contrasted with previous results as an example of how some of these changes can be realized in interoperability activities in the future.

Keywords: Learning, education, interoperability, standards, specifications, IMS Global Learning Consortium, Common Cartridge, Digital Learning Services, Learning Tools Interoperability, LTI, Learning Information Services.