IMS Names New Chief Executive Officer

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Leading global consortium for learning specifications and standards plans expanded programs and memberships.

The IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS/GLC) has appointed Rob Abel Chief Executive Officer. Abel is president of the Alliance for Higher Education Competitiveness and is a former senior executive of Collegis (now a unit of SunGard Higher Education Solutions) and Oracle Corporation. In addition, IMS/GLC has announced plans to launch new programs and memberships aimed at supporting the explosive growth of learning technology in both the education and corporate sectors.

“The success of IMS/GLC in developing widely used foundational specifications and standards coupled with the astounding growth of the technology supported learning industry requires IMS/GLC to move forward to its next stage of growth,” said David Ernst, Chair of the IMS/GLC Board of Directors and the CIO and Assistant Vice Chancellor of the Cal State University System. “We were pleased to find in Rob Abel a proven innovator and leader in learning technology innovation and learning standards in both the corporate training and higher education markets.”

IMS/GLC, a global consortium of over 50 learning product, training and education providers, and standards groups has developed 16 foundational specifications that have been widely adopted internationally, enabling interoperability among learning management systems, learner information systems, digital content, assessment tools, digital content repositories and learning portfolios. Currently IMS/GLC members are breaking exciting new ground to enable greater access to high quality digital learning materials. “The IMS/GLC common cartridge and tools interoperability efforts are removing critical barriers to market growth,” comments Ray Henderson, Chief Products Officer of Angel Learning and IMS/GLC Board Member.

IMS/GLC plans to offer new memberships and programs that will disseminate best practices in implementing learning standards, helping education and training providers to achieve greater value from learning technology. These new collaborative programs will focus on researching and sharing best practices in the adoption of learning technology and learning standards. Focus areas will include open source learning applications, use of rich media for learning, and globalization of higher education, among others. “Through the consortium IMS/GLC has an unparalleled global network of knowledge in achieving best practices in learning technology,” said Abel. “Learning has always been the unique focus of IMS/GLC and with the widespread deployment of learning technology it is now time to focus on sharing of innovation to increase usage toward quality learning experiences.”

“We have been extremely pleased with the success of IMS/GLC since we launched it from within EDUCAUSE eight years ago,” remarks Brian Hawkins, President of EDUCAUSE, the leading nonprofit organization promoting the intelligent use of information technology in higher education. “Standards of interoperability, along with best practices, and globalization are playing a greater and greater role in higher education. IMS/GLC is well-positioned to provide a unique collaborative forum to bring together the key stakeholders.”

To initiate the new programs, IMS/GLC is inviting the public to attend the first Summit on Enterprise Learning Systems. It will be held in conjunction with IMS/GLC’s exclusive annual event for learning technology leaders, alt-i-lab, on 19-21 June, hosted by Indiana University. IMS/GLC has also announced an opportunity for current members to discuss the new programs at the next quarterly meeting for members in May.

“As amazing as the progress has been in the first eight years of IMS/GLC, it is certain that the organization can play an even bigger role in helping training and education providers and learning product companies take even greater strides in the next eight,” said Abel. “As IMS/GLC continues its unique legacy of serving the full range of learning markets with its comprehensive set of foundational specifications and standards, we look forward to providing enabling programs to our global corporate and education partners.”

Abel is replacing Ed Walker who is retiring after six years as CEO.

About IMS

The IMS Global Learning Consortium develops open technical specifications to support distributed learning. IMS/GLC is a nonprofit organization supported by members of a worldwide consortium that includes more than 50 Contributing Members and Affiliates. For information about IMS/GLC specifications, on-going activities, and membership application visit

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