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Open Knowledge Initiative

MIT Open Knowledge Initiative, ADL Co-Laboratory, and IMS Cooperate to Advance Learning Technology

June 29, 2001

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 11, 2001 - Leaders of the MIT's Open Knowledge Initiative (O.K.I.), the Advanced Distributed Learning Co-Lab (ADL), and the IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS) today announced their intention to cooperate to close the gap between innovative pedagogical technology and production learning resources. O.K.I., IMS, and ADL will collaborate where appropriate to accelerate the development and deployment of innovative as well as practical online learning tools, systems and techniques.

By working together to facilitate the development of a general technical framework, the groups will pursue complementary work plans and improve the impact of their unique resources and capabilities. Work is underway to develop architectural frameworks and project structures that allow each group to devote its resources to individual objectives and increase the collective impact of its results. The strategic interaction between the organizations will involve representation in advisory bodies and cross participation in each other's on-going technical activities.

"We recognize that each of us confronts the same complex problem from different perspectives. By sharing our results and working together where possible, each of us can focus our time and resources on critical tasks. Obviously, we can't promise specific interactions in advance. The purpose of announcing our intention at this early stage of the O.K.I. project is to set the top bit for cooperation and start the process of interacting," said Vijay Kumar, Assistant Provost at MIT and Principal Investigator of O.K.I..

"The overall objective of ADL's 'Plugfest' demonstrations and successive releases of SCORM is to consolidate advances in the functionality and interoperability of learning technology and to test the potential impact of delivered learning resources, " said Paul Jesukiewicz, Director of the ADL Co-Laboratory. "Collaborating with the IMS consortium and the O.K.I. project to develop technical specifications, accelerate technology transition, and provide evaluative feedback that links researchers and technology developers is essential to accomplishing that mission."

Ed Walker, Chief Executive Officer of IMS, stated that "answering the urgent global requirement for practical, high quality learning resources involves both innovation and delivery of learning technology. IMS Working Groups and other activities provide a forum for O.K.I. and ADL participants to share their requirements and results with each other and with IMS members who set public policy and develop advanced learning tools and systems. Our agreement to cooperate signifies the basic technical consensus and growing will to produce results for learners that motivates all the parties engaged in delivering on-line learning."

The MIT Open Knowledge Initiative is a collaborative project with Stanford University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, North Carolina State University, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Wisconsin. The project is funded in part by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. More information on O.K.I. may be found at its website: http://web.mit.edu/oki/.

The ADL Co-Lab is an open, collaborative test bed for sharing learning technology research, development, and assessments. The CO-Lab is integrating work from IMS and other sources into the Sharable Courseware Object Reference Model (SCORM). A download version of SCORM and more information on the ADL initiative are available at the ADL web site: http://www.adlnet.org.

The IMS Global Learning Consortium develops open technical specifications to support distributed learning. All specifications developed by IMS are available to the public without charge through the IMS web site. IMS is a non-profit organization supported by members of a worldwide consortium that currently includes more than 40 Contributing members and over 200 Developers Network subscribers. The IMS in Europe foundation supports IMS activities among European members. Information about IMS specifications, on-going activities, and membership applications are available at IMS website at http://www.imsglobal.org.

For more information contact:
Paul Jesukiewicz, ADL, +1 703-578-2971
Vijay Kumar, MIT, +1 617-253-8004
Ed Walker, IMS, +1 978-312-1082


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