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Australia joins international efforts in developing standards for on-line learning



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MI NI STER

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AUSTRALIA JOINS INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS IN DEVELOPING STANDARDS FOR ON-LINE LEARNING

K 0702 3 February 1 9 9 9

Australia is poised to contribute to the development of a set of on-line technology standards for the delivery of education via the Internet, the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Dr David Kemp announced today.

More than 30 member corporations worldwide, from countries including Australia, Singapore, Israel, Netherlands, the UK and the US, are participating in the development of a common technical framework for on-line learning materials.

At the moment, there is no common way of classifying computer-based learning materials, making it impossible to offer courses which bring together content from different sources.

"I'm proud that Australia is involved in a project which has significant potential to determine the future direction of the global learning marketplace. As part of this cooperative effort, Australia will be contributing to the further improvement of on-line learning environments," said Dr Kemp.

The work of the US based Instructional Management System (IMS), an initiative of EDUCAUSE, provides opportunities for the Australian education community to make use of emerging standards and realise the potential of the Web for managing on-line educational content and courses.

Organisations, such as the United Kingdom's Joint Information Systems Committee, which represent education, corporate and government organisations have significant investments in the initiative. Each of the investor organisations has a seat on the IMS Advisory Board, which addresses policy issues and participates in the development of the specification efforts for learning content and systems.

The IMS initiative is working towards the delivery of quality learning materials, courses and curricula via the Internet. It will also assist in managing the teaching and learning process when students, instructors and learning resources are widely distributed.

"If Australia is to be a major player in the emerging global education marketplace, then we must be aware and participate in cutting edge approaches that make us compatible, rather than at odds, with the approaches being considered by other countries," said Dr Kemp.

Australian involvement in the IMS initiative recognises that the growth and viability of widely distributed learning on the Internet is dependent on the development of specifications and software which conform to universally accepted standards and are at the same time, broad and

http://www.deetya.gov.au/ministers/kemp/k0702_030299.htm 05/02/1999

AUSTRALIA JOINS INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS IN DEVELOPING STANDARD.. Page 2 of 2

flexible enough to cater for local requirements.

Additional information on the IMS project can be found at http://www.imsproject.org

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http://www.deetya.gov.au/ministers/kemp/k0702_030299.htm 05/02/1999