SoftChalk and the IMS Quarterly Conference – Notes From Jeff Kahn

As a special consultant to SoftChalk on integration and to the IMS Global Learning Consortium on Common Cartridge (a specification for packaging and sharing content and assessments), I attended the IMS Quarterly meeting in Redmond (Microsoft was the host). SoftChalk is a member of the IMS Common cartridge and Learning Tools Interoperability Alliance.

One topic of this quarter’s meeting was finalizing the latest version of the Common Cartridge specification – version 1.2. This is an exciting improvement of version 1.1, with the addition of curriculum standards alignment to the cartridge, resource, and assessment question item levels. Standards such as the Common Core Curriculum in the US are an important way K-12 schools are categorizing teaching and learning content such as what SoftChalk produces. Standards-aligned content holds the promise of being able to identify precisely what concepts students have and have not mastered and then to identify any alternative remedial resources needed.

The IMS event included a demo of SoftChalk making alignments using content from the Achievement Standards Network. SoftChalk already supports an early form of standards alignment. SoftChalk version 7 supports Common Cartridge 1.0 with plans to support both versions 1.1 and 1.2 shortly.

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