skip to main page content CETIS: Click here to return to the homepage
the centre for educational technology interoperability standards

skip over the long navigation bar
Press centre

Inside Cetis
what is Cetis?
Contact us
Cetis staff
Jobs at CETIS


XML: Click here to get the news as an RSS XML file XML: Click here to get the news as an Atom XML file iCAL: Click here to get the events as an iCalendar file

what are learning technology standards?
who's involved?
who's doing what?

CETIS Groups
what are cetis groups?
what difference can they make?
Assessment SIG
Educational Content SIG
Enterprise SIG
Metadata SIG
Life Long Learning Group
Portfolio SIG
Accessibility Group
Pedagogy Forum
Developer's forum

Accessibility (310)
Assessment (74)
Content (283)
Metadata (195)
Pedagogy (34)
Profile (138)
Tools (197)
For Developers (569)
For Educators (344)
For Managers (339)
For Members (584)
SCORM (118)
AICC (18)
CEN (34)
DCMI (36)
EML (47)
IEEE (79)
IMS (302)
ISO (21)
OAI (24)
OKI (20)
W3C (37)

print this article (opens in new window) view printer-friendly version (opens in new window)

IMS Learning Design a full specification

After a fairly smooth period as a public draft, IMS Learning Design has now been accepted as a full specification by a 94% majority of IMS members. In a sense, the real deal starts now, as the specification is now stable enough for the vendors to develop.

The one important aspect of a public draft passing into full specification is not just the t crossing and i dotting, but the fact that it is now a stable document. Because it won't move, even when later versions do appear, it gives developers an easier target to hit.

This may well be fortuitous, as IMS LD is a fairly hefty spec. Its documentation lists, for example, six pages of conceptual vocabulary specific to the learning design framework. The full description of how to capture a learning design in XML runs to 65 pages.

Not to fear, though, because the designers have had the foresight to specify three levels of compliance. The first level contains all the basic functionality, while the levels B and C mainly allow further refinements.

From the pedagogic point of view, the basic, underlying idea is actually quite simple. Rather than proscribe what sort of teaching approach you'd have to adopt in order to design a Learning Design, the spec attempts to provide a means of expressing the approach that best suits the learning objective you have. It achieves this by taking the research finding that most pedagogic approaches have a similar model at their core: a Method prescribing various Activities for
learner and staff Roles in a certain order. That conceptual vocabulary is simply there to flesh out the Methods, Roles and Activities.

The final specification will appear at the IMS Learning Design pages. More information about Learning Design and its progenitor, EML, can be found at, the new forum of the Open University of the Netherlands.

Related items:


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

syndication |publisher's statement |contact us |privacy policy

 go to start of page content