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IMS LIS Outcomes and Sakai: Standardizing Grade Exchange


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The IMS LIS Outcomes specification provides a standard for managing and manipulating assignment and grade information. Sakai does not provide a standards based mechanism for receiving assignment and grade information. This session details an implementation of the IMS LIS Outcomes specification in Sakai developed to facilitate assignment and grade exchange between Sakai and an external application.

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IMS LIS Outcomes and Sakai: Standardizing Grade Exchange

  1. 1. IMS LIS Outcomes and Sakai Standardizing Grade Exchange John A. Lewis Chief Software Architect Unicon, Inc. Sakai 2010 Conference 17 June 2010 © Copyright Unicon, Inc., 2010. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit Special thanks to Gary Gilbert for all his help with this presentation and demo!
  2. 2. Intro to IMS Outcomes
  3. 3. Background <ul><li>IMS Outcomes Management Service
  4. 4. Part of the IMS Learning Information Services (LIS) Specification
  5. 5. Version 1.0 (Currently in public draft)
  6. 6. Released March 2010
  7. 7. Primary contributors: </li><ul><li>IMS, Oracle, Pearson, SunguardHE, Desire2Learn, Blackboard </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Overview <ul><li>Formal definition : the definition of how systems manage the exchange of information that describes Outcomes
  9. 9. How to exchange assignment and grade data in a standard way </li></ul>
  10. 11. Key Terminology <ul><li>LineItem : assignment in context (course, course section, etc)
  11. 12. Result : grade for a student in a context </li></ul>
  12. 13. Outcomes Data Model
  13. 15. Details on Line Item <ul><li>A &quot;gradable object&quot; of a given type (e.g. true/false, multiple choice, etc) that is associated to a particular context for a particular data source (i.e. the application where the user would do the assignment)
  14. 16. Contains a collection of results </li></ul>
  15. 17. Details on Results <ul><li>A person's grade on a particular line item
  16. 18. Can represent the current state of a person's line item attempt (e.g. In-Process) </li></ul>
  17. 19. Outcomes Services
  18. 20. Line Items Services <ul><li>LineItemManager Interface </li><ul><li>Defines CRUD operations for line items </li></ul><li>Typically, exposed as a web service by the system that controls the gradebook
  19. 21. Supporting services </li><ul><li>LineItemTypeVocabluaryManager, LineItemWeightManager </li></ul></ul>
  20. 22. Results Services <ul><li>ResultManager interface </li><ul><li>Defines CRUD operations for results
  21. 23. Like the LineItemManager service, exposed as a web service by the system that controls the gradebook </li></ul><li>Supporting services </li><ul><li>ResultValueManager, ResultStatusManager </li></ul></ul>
  22. 24. How Outcomes Relates to LTI <ul><li>IMS Outcomes is its own specification however it is also a &quot;profile&quot; of the IMS LTI specification
  23. 25. That is, the parties (that agree to the LTI contract) may extend that contract to include Outcomes </li></ul>
  24. 26. Outcomes + LTI Benefits <ul><li>Outcomes tool launch - direct accesses from Gradebook to line item or result
  25. 27. A guarantee that the tool consumer will expose the LineItemManager and ResultManager interfaces as web services
  26. 28. Deployment time agreement on security profiles of the web services (typically, WS-Security) and POST (typically, hash message (MAC/OAuth) token security)
  27. 29. Deployment time provisioning of outcomes endpoint locations in the tool provider </li></ul>
  28. 30. Pearson's Implementation
  29. 31. Overview / Value to Pearson <ul><li>Implemented as part of Pearson TPI Program (Third Party Interoperability)
  30. 32. Pearson implemented IMS Outcomes as profile of Full LTI
  31. 33. Fits with their larger strategy of pushing of standards based integrations
  32. 34. Potentially very high traffic / mission critical </li><ul><li>Choose async delivery using MOM </li></ul></ul>
  33. 35. Overview / Value to Pearson <ul><li>Each Pearson application (aka tool provider - e.g. MathXL) is a client of the Outcomes services exposed thru the MOM
  34. 36. TPI reads messages off the MOM and delivers them to Partners (aka tool consumers - e.g. Sakai) that expose Outcomes services - typically, the partners have the gradebook </li></ul>
  35. 38. Extensions to the Spec (Ugh) <ul><li>Unfortunately, the Outcomes spec didn't cover everything that Pearson wanted
  36. 39. Had to extend the spec for: </li><ul><li>Additional line item level data
  37. 40. Additional result level data </li><ul><li>In both of the above cases, the extension mechanism that is supported by the Outcomes data types was deemed insufficient </li></ul><li>Support for Pearson's internal SimpleAssessment type </li></ul></ul>
  38. 41. Sakai Implementation
  39. 42. Why Pearson used Sakai <ul><li>Sakai is the Full LTI tool consumer reference implementation
  40. 43. Test harness for Pearson TPI
  41. 44. Able to use the Sakai Gradebook for testing </li></ul>
  42. 45. Implementation Details <ul><li>Sakai 2.5/2.6
  43. 46. Added to the existing Sakai Full LTI tool consumer implementation </li><ul><li>New web service (Spring WS) that exposed the LineItem and Result Manager interface operations
  44. 47. Two new Java interfaces and implementations that fulfil the LineItem and Result Manager contracts that back the web service </li></ul></ul>
  45. 48. Implementation Details <ul><li>Uses Sakai services: </li><ul><li>GradebookFrameworkService (to add gradebook tool to existing worksite if not present)
  46. 49. GradebookExternalAssessmentService (to manipulate assessments within Sakai)
  47. 50. All the other usual suspects: UserDirectoryService , SiteService , CourseManagementService , SessionManager , ToolManager ...
  48. 51. Support for tool launch from the Sakai Gradebook (but Pearson TPI doesn't support it yet) </li></ul></ul>
  49. 52. How the Data Maps <ul><li>Sakai worksite/gradebook maps to line item contextIdentifier
  50. 53. Sakai worksite/gradebook could potentially map to many line item data sources (multiple assessment engines)
  51. 54. A line in the Sakai gradebook (GB_GRADEABLE_OBJECT_T) maps to a single line item uniquely identified by a GUID
  52. 55. A grade in the Sakai gradebook (GB_GRADE_RECORD_T) maps to a single result uniquely identified by a GUID </li></ul>
  53. 56. IMS Outcomes Demo In Sakai
  54. 69. More Information <ul><li>IMS Learning Information Services </li><ul><li> </li></ul><li>Not much else out there...
  55. 70. Working Pearson to contribute all the Sakai artifacts </li></ul>
  56. 71. Questions & Answers John A. Lewis Chief Software Architect Unicon, Inc. [email_address]