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Common Cartridge®



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1EdTech’s Common Cartridge is a set of open standards that enables interoperability between digital learning resources and applications, platforms, and learning repositories.

Common Cartridge (CC) is a standardized way to:

  • Package and exchange digital learning materials and assessments
  • Import and export course materials to and from your certified learning management system (LMS), portal, learning object repository (LOR), or other learning platform
  • Exchange links and provide authorization to third-party learning tools using Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI®)

What is a Common Cartridge?

Common Cartridge is a 1EdTech standard specification used to integrate/access digital learning resources.

Common Cartridge defines a consistent way to package, export, and import a complete set of digital learning resources to and from: 

  • A supplier and an LMS with a digital library or other certified digital catalogs
  • A certified LMS and/or a LOR

Educators and students have access to their digital learning resources.

Common Cartridge is:

  • Simple access/integration
  • Market standard for K-12
  • Simple to produce (suppliers)
  • Continuous improvement roadmap, driven by districts and suppliers, responds to the educational needs
  • Provide districts data about what resources are being used, based on consistent meta-tags (compare resource supplier efficacy)

To build a Common Cartridge, a publisher packages an entire digital textbook. This includes all the digital content, multimedia objects, interactive tools, activities, and assessments. Each discrete learning object can be meta-tagged to identify topics, object types, academic standards, and more.

  • Each supplier chooses how many features to include in their Common Cartridge.
  • The Common Cartridge package is uploaded into the LMS or LOR. Some LMSs have internal LORs; you can store the CC inside this internal LOR, in external LORs, or in catalogs.



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Thin Common Cartridge is another way for teachers and students to access digital learning resources. It is a standard way to exchange a collection of links that, combined, would make up your digital textbook. The links include access/authorization to learning tools and meta tags. When you adopt Think Common Cartridge, your LMS ingests only the manifest (a document with a list of LTI links for the digital textbook).

  • The lesson can open inside the LMS or on a separate tab.
  • LTI links inside the Thin Common Cartridges allow for alignment to Competencies and Academic Standards Exchange® (CASE®) identifiers for academic standards, competencies, and learning outcomes, along with other important meta tags.
  • Publishers can continue to update their digital content and assessments without having to re-upload a new package into your LMS or LOR




Technical Overview

1EdTech's Common Cartridge and Thin Common Cartridge 1.4 standard specification has reached Candidate Final status and is ready to implement. This latest Common Cartridge version addresses the needs of the K-12 profile, which adds metadata to the learning resources, empowering teachers to design lessons that help their students achieve success, and includes the latest versions of LTI (LTI 1.3 and LTI Advantage) and QTI® (QTI 3.0) specifications from the 1EdTech ecosystem. These cutting-edge specifications can help K-20 Institutions improve their students' and teachers' teaching and learning experience.

With Common Cartridge 1.4, teachers can search for learning resources by academic learning standard, grade level, topic, or other metadata, and users will have one-click access to their content. If the cartridges contain LTI Assignment and Grades Services, the grades and assignment/activities’ results will be recorded in the proper LMS gradebook column. If the cartridge and LMS is QTI 3 certified, the cartridges can carry QTI 3 tests and questions that have more types of interactions and include accessibility standards including WCAG 2.0 AA and Special Education 508 compliance. There are a range of possibilities with Common Cartridge and Thin Common Cartridge 1.4!

Common Cartridge and Thin Common Cartridge 1.4 Includes:

  • A new K-12 profile to increase the use of needed metadata and curriculum standards alignment metadata in the cartridges
  • LineItems for LTI Links, so is able to post grades in the correct gradebook column if using LTI Advantage links in the CC/Thin CC
  • Updated support for Accessibility Metadata
  • Support for CASE Unique Resource Identifiers (URIs) in the Curriculum Standards Metadata (CSM) specification
  • New resource types:
    • QTI 3.0 zip filesQTI 3 content to create accessible learning resources in the ecosystem. This does not change the support for QTI 1.2 assessments and question banks, but it allows additional zip files to be included if your LMS is QTI 3 compliant
    • OpenVideo
  • Guidance on using metadata in the New Best Practice guidance on using metadata in Common Cartridge Manifests

Follow the 4 Easy Steps to Get Common Cartridge/Thin Common Cartridge Certified!




Get Started

Start implementing Common Cartridge® using the materials below.


Have Questions?

For additional information, our experts are here to help. 1EdTech members can contact

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Composed of 1EdTech Contributing members who have demonstrated leadership in advancing the adoption of assessment content and applications using the 1EdTech Common Cartridge Standard, promote certifications, and provide market-based information.


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