Ed-Fi Alliance and IMS Global Learning Consortium Announce Next Steps Towards Establishing Broad Industry Support for Common Education APIs

Nonprofits share additional details on their collaboration and plans to lead K-12 standards adoption

July 12, 2016 – AUSTIN, Texas and LAKE MARY, Florida – Today at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Data Conference, the nonprofits Ed-Fi Alliance and IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS Global) announced additional details on the collaboration and plans to unify broader standards across the K-12 market in critical domains to include rostering, assessment and outcomes data.

Earlier this year, the two standards bodies announced their intent to implement a single, unified approach for rostering across the most adopted K-12 data standards and have now further solidified their joint support for IMS OneRoster TM as the cross-industry rostering API, as well as expanded the scope of the partnership. Details include:

  • Rostering: Support for exporting data in OneRoster format from the Ed-Fi ODS / API v2.1 is currently in development. As the first item in the timeline of planned developments, this is scheduled to be released through the Ed-Fi Exchange later this summer.
  • Assessment: Establishing best of breed specifications for the assessment domain will include joint support for both the IMS Question and Test Interoperability® (QTI) and Accessible Portable Item Protocol® (APIP) specifications – for assessment authoring and administration – as well as Ed-Fi Assessmentspecifications – for aggregation of assessment results, reporting and analytics  that will ultimately provide educators with a holistic story told through data.
  • Outcomes: The collaboration will establish working group activities to pursue alignment around grade, gradebook and outcomes domains.

“Unlocking student-centric data to help improve educational performance is the core of what the Ed-Fi Alliance is about,” said Troy Wheeler, President, Ed-Fi Alliance. “There are large amounts of vital assessment-related data that are currently locked in systems and unavailable to educators and parents alike, creating a major gap that we are committed to closing. While we’ve been working on and field-testing our assessment model for years, we look forward to leading this important work and establishing unified assessment standards with IMS Global.”

The Ed-Fi Alliance and IMS Global jointly endorse best of breed specifications for QTI/APIP specifications in addition to Ed-Fi Alliance assessment APIs currently in Request for Comment (RFC) status. The QTI/APIP specifications provide a data model for standardizing the interchange file format for digital test items. This allows information to be shared securely across compliant systems and provides a user interface that makes the data accessible to students with a variety of disabilities and special needs. The Ed-Fi Alliance assessment APIs are designed to both exchange and aggregate assessment results, reporting and analytics all in one place. Currently, there are large amounts of data locked in disparate systems that are unavailable or hard to access, leaving important student-centric data inaccessible to educators.

“Today’s announcement shows our continued momentum and commitment to collaborating across standards organizations to accelerate interoperability,” said Dr. Rob Abel, Chief Executive Officer of IMS Global. “The Ed-Fi Alliance and IMS Global are together enabling the foundation for district and statewide interoperability to enable better learning experiences and outcomes.”

OneRoster focuses on schools’ needs to exchange information with various service providers and makes it faster and easier to implement the exchange. Through a streamlined standard, information will flow securely among data systems and learning technology, saving educators time and making it easier to use “best fit” instructional tools in the classroom.

About the Ed-Fi Alliance Ed-Fi Alliance, LLC, is dedicated to empowering educators with real-time, actionable education data on every student in their classrooms, schools, districts or states. Ed-Fi technology consists of a blueprint for connecting data systems combined with practical tools designed in collaboration with educators and ed-tech professionals in the field. This community continually updates the components and features of the Ed-Fi solution, and the organization actively solicits feedback and input from licensees and education technology leaders to make sure its technology makes a real difference in improving student achievement and teacher satisfaction. The Ed-Fi Alliance is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and is headquartered in Austin, TX.

About IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC) IMS GLC is a global, nonprofit, member consortium that provides leadership in shaping and growing the learning and educational technology industries through collaborative support of standards, innovation, best practice and recognition of superior learning impact. IMS GLC provides open interoperability specifications, reference models, and adoption practices for learning and educational content and systems. IMS GLC sponsors the annual Learning Impact Leadership Institute and Awards Program. For more information visit www.imsglobal.org.