SoftChalk News

SoftChalk Leads with First IMS Global Common Cartridge v1.2 Conforming Application

Posted December 07, 2011 in Press Releases, SoftChalk News

The Achievement Standards Network, IMS and SoftChalk Collaborate to Align Curriculum Standards to K-12 Digital Content

Richmond, Virginia, U.S. – December 07, 2011 – SoftChalk, a leading provider of content authoring software for educators, today announced that through collaboration with JES & Co., the developers of the Achievement Standards Network (ASN), SoftChalk’s content authoring solution has become the first IMS Global Common Cartridge version 1.2 conforming application.

The Common Cartridge specification v1.2 allows curriculum standards alignment at the cartridge, resource and assessment question levels. Digital content, with the curriculum standards attached, can be shared in an interoperable way using this IMS Common Cartridge exchange format.

Curriculum standards, like those represented in ASN, are descriptions of specific educational subjects or skills, each with a unique resolvable identifier. Standards are an important way K-12 schools categorize teaching and learning content, such as what SoftChalk produces. Standards-aligned content supports being able to identify precisely what concepts students have and have not mastered and then to identify alternative resources when needed.

Content becomes more useful when educators know what topics are being covered. With SoftChalk, educators can now include state, Common Core State Standards, and other vital curriculum standards within their content. Authors easily select the appropriate standards from a comprehensive list compiled by the ASN and accessible from the SoftChalk Metadata page. SoftChalk exports these standards as part of an IMS Common Cartridge, suitable for uploading to a learning management system.

“Curriculum standards are a key element in matching content to students’ needs. SoftChalk’s investment in this area will be particularly important to K-12 educators,” says Sue Evans, CEO and co-founder of SoftChalk. “SoftChalk has always been committed to standards, including those from IMS. We see the value of Common Cartridge, particularly its ability to increase the ROI of faculty-authored content.”

“Common Cartridge v1.2 is a breakthrough, enabling interoperable digital learning content and assessments tagged with curriculum standards or learning objectives metadata,” Dr. Rob Abel, Chief Executive of IMS Global. “Through Common Cartridge’s ability to support the free and open ASN curriculum standards framework, a wide variety of state, national, or institution specific taxonomies can support a wide range of content and platform suppliers without requiring costly alignment services. This reduces cost and lowers a significant barrier to innovation for educational institutions worldwide.”

”The Common Cartridge v1.2 enables education systems to support users’ demands for resources correlated to open source state and Common Core State Standards provided by the Achievement Standards Network. SoftChalk is leading the way with their authoring tool,” explains JES & Co.’s executive director Diny Golder. “Resources authored in SoftChalk can be used with any of the IMS Common Cartridge v1.2 learning management systems without worrying about retaining the alignment information. The ASN standards data can continue to be used in support individualized learning, assessments and critical remediation.”

About SoftChalk, LLC           

SoftChalk, LLC is an award-winning provider of e-learning software solutions designed for K12 schools, colleges and universities. Specializing in the development of intuitive, easy-to-use tools, SoftChalk products improve the quality and effectiveness of e-learning by enabling instructors to create powerful and engaging content. For more information visit www.softchalk.com.

About IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC)

From Innovation to Impact! IMS Global Learning is a nonprofit member organization that strives to enable the growth and impact of learning technology in higher education, K-12, and corporate education worldwide. IMS GLC members are leading corporations, higher education institutions, school districts and government organizations worldwide that are enabling the future of education by collaborating on interoperability standards and major adoption projects for the digital support of education and learning. IMS GLC also sponsors Learning Impact: a global awards program and conference that recognizes the impact of innovative technology on educational access, affordability, and quality. For more information visit www.imsglobal.org.

About the Achievement Standards Network

The Achievement Standards Network (ASN) provides a framework for the description of achievement standards often called curriculum standards, produced by governments and other organizations to prescribe what students should know and be able to do as a result of specific educational experiences. ASN data is open source and made available to the education community at no cost. For more information visit asn.jesandco.org.

About JES & Co.

JES & Co., a publicly funded 501(c) (3) education research organization, is a world leader in research and deployment of education programs based on open standards. With 20 years of experience in interoperability and portability of educational resources, organizations around the world come to JES & Co. for leadership and guidance on education programs and initiatives. For more information visit www.JESandCo.org.

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