IMS Learning Tools Interoperability: Enabling a Mash-up Approach to Teaching and Learning Tools

Charles Severance, Ted Hanss and Joseph Hardin

This paper describes how we can move from a single Learning Management System sc. as Sakai, Blackboard, Moodle, or Desire2Learn to a cooperating collection of networked learning content and tools. The move from a singlesilo of functionality to the ability to use tools from anywhere on the web will greatly increase the variety of tools available to teachers and learners and should enable innovation in teaching and learning using technology. While Web 2.0 is well understood for things like RSS feeds, real use of Web 2.0 mash-up approaches for teaching and learning has unique challenges that must be solved before these approaches will become common and mainstream. When students are in a course, they have an identity and role in that course and these identities and roles along with course information must be communicated to these tools out on the web so the course model is maintained in the tools. For example, when using a blog for the course, the teacher should be able to “administer” the overall blog while students can post to their particular areas of the blogs. This paper describes the issues and use cases around teaching and learning mash-up and introduces the IMS Learning Tools Interoperability standard that addresses these use cases.

Keywords: Mash up, web services, service oriented architecture, web 2.0.