IMS Common Cartridge

The IMS Common Cartridge standard allows publishers and content providers to create platform-independent packages of resources (content, assessments, question libraries, discussions, etc.) building on existing IMS content and QTI quizzing packaging standards. Package creators can optionally protect the package, requiring users to authenticate with the creator using web services before importing or accessing protected resources. Common Cartridge was designed to provide a standard way to package and protect content, as opposed to each publisher or each learning management system creating a proprietary method of protection and enforcement.

Note  For more detailed information on the Common Cartridge project and its role in the Digital Learning Connection, visit the IMS Global Learning Consortium website (

Importing Common Cartridge packages

You can import Common Cartridge packages and expand your course offerings to include a wide range of innovative, platform-independent, and diverse course content from publishers and content providers.

Importing a Common Cartridge package follows the same process as importing other files of supported import formats. Importing a cartridge automatically creates the applicable content, quizzes, questions, etc. in the Learning Environment and makes them immediately available for use. Package creators have the option of protecting cartridges on import or forcing the user to enter an access code at the beginning of the import process.

How are protected resources handled?

Any protected resource that is imported from a Common Cartridge package is displayed with a Protected icon beside it. When users first try to access a protected resource, they are prompted for an access code, which is distributed by the package creator. Entering the access code and accepting the license agreement initiates the electronic authorization with the package creator’s authorization web service and unlocks the resource for the user.

The user will not be prompted to enter their access code when accessing additional protected content from the package until the authorization period ends. The length of the authorization period is determined by the package creator and changes from one package to another. If a course contains protected resources from multiple packages, users will typically be prompted for authorization only once per protected package.

Note  Protected resources can be copied between courses, but cannot be exported from Learning Environment.

See also


Desire2Learn Help | About Learning Environment
© 1999-2012 Desire2Learn Incorporated. All rights reserved.