IMS announces new QTI validation service

The IMS Global Learning Consortium announced a new Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) validation service a few weeks ago:

IMS Global Learning Consortium Announces Question and Test Interoperability Conformance Community
Common Cartridge Alliance will provide community tools for QTI conformance and online product catalog

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Lake Mary, Florida, USA,  10 July 2008. The IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC) today announced new support that will allow vendors of products that implement the IMS Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) standards, and the users of such products, to validate conformance.  Results of conformance tests to application profiles approved by the IMS GLC will be published in an online catalog on the IMS GLC web site.

The new QTI community will be offered as a component of the Common Cartridge Alliance (see http://www.imsglobal.org/cc/alliance.html ) and will be managed and administered under the policies and procedures for development of and conformance to IMS GLC application profiles.

This sounds great… developers who write scripts for quizzes in e-learning courses can finally validate their work, right? Well, I’m afraid the key phrase in this announcement is “offered as a component of the Common Cartridge Alliance”; that means the QTI validation isn’t a publicly accessible service a la the W3C’s HTML and CSS validators. Membership in the Common Cartridge Alliance isn’t free, and starts at $100.

As I’ve mentioned before, it really gets in my craw that the IMS positions itself as a big player in creating and maintaining e-learning standards, yet keeps their doors closed to the public. How can it be a standard if people can’t get to it? Sheesh.

And hey, IMS (if you’re listening): enough with all the press releases touting IMS’ latest endeavors and successes (real or imagined); it reeks of money-grubbing corporate culture and really doesn’t help anyone… especially if you’re saying “look what we’re making but you can’t have any!” You bill yourself as a global non-profit, so start acting like it.