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Frequently asked questions...


Frequently asked questions...

What does CETIS stand for?

The Centre for Educational Interoperability Standards.

What does CETIS do?

CETIS represents UK Higher Education and Further Education Institutions on international learning technology standards intiatives.

What is learning technology?

Learning technology is the use of technology such as computers, networks and communication technologies to deliver education. Learning technology includes online learning over the Internet, Virtual Learning Environments, instructional CD roms, multimedia presentations (such as PowerPoint), e-mailing and videoconferencing.

What are learning technology standards?

Organizations such as IMS are developing standards so that technological educational environments will be able to communicate and share information and content.

What is IMS?

The IMS Global Learning Consortium is a consortium of organizations from around the world working together to develop learning technology standards. CETIS is the UK branch of IMS.

What is interoperability?

Interoperability means enabling different applications to work together and share content. Interoperability is achieved by designing technologies using agreed specifications and standards, so that they are mutually compatible.

Example 1. Musicians who plug keyboards and guitars into computers to compose music are only able to do this because all the separate pieces have been designed to be interoperable. MIDI, the musical instrument digital interface, is an interoperability standard developed to enable electronic music equipment to work together.

Example 2. If all the systems in a college are interoperable, a student's details can be entered into a central administrative system, and relevant information can be shared with library administrative systems, Virtual Learning Environments and student records. If the student later begins a degree at a different institution, where the system is interoperable with the original college, any relevant information can be simply and swiftly exchanged.

What is a SIG?

A SIG is a Special Interest Group. CETIS has several Special Interest Groups, including Accessibilty, Assessment, Educational Content, Metadata, Learner Information,and Enterprise. There are also the Further Education Focus Group and the Pedagogy Forum, both which span across all SIG interests and have a slightly different remit. The CETIS SIGs deal with particular specifications and the FE Focus Group and Pedagogy Forum discuss wider issues relating to these. For more information see


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