IMS Release Simple Sequencing Specification
Scott Wilson, CETIS staff
May 16, 2002

The IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS) have released a new specification tackling the issue of connecting learning objects using sequencing rules.

Simple Sequencing defines "a method for representing the intended behaviour of an authored learning experience such that any learning technology system (LTS) can sequence discrete learning activities in a consistent way."

What this means in practice is creating a set of rules for the flow of activity from one piece of content to another, and supplying this set of rules with the content. So, for example, you can specify that a set of items should be played one after another, or that the user selects the order, or a combination of both. Other, more complex, rule types are also provided in the specification, allowing for conditional branching based upon factors such as completion and mastery.

This is an important release for IMS, and is set to be incorporated into the next version of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) developed by the Advanced Distributed Learning Network (ADL). As mentioned in a previous article, ADL intend to release a set of open-source tools to aid vendors in implementing the new specification:

"The ADL Technical Team is working on a Sequencing Application Profile that will serve as the basis for evaluation of this specification and subsequent integration into the SCORM Version 1.3. The Sequencing Application Profile will include additional requirements and guidelines for implementing the IMS Simple Sequencing Specification in a SCORM conformant manner and will be accompanied by multiple, extensive content samples and a working prototype and source code for the SCORM Sample Run-Time Environment with expanded capabilities for sequencing."

For more information, visit the Simple Sequencing pages on the IMS website.