Author Topic: LON-CAPA is a full-featured, web-based course management system.  (Read 1682 times)

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Software Santa

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LON-CAPA is a full-featured, web-based course management system.

Software Santa's Note: This is BEST Used for Schools or Organizations that have an Intranet or a Web Server with PHP available to them. If you wish to install it on a single computer and run it "locally" from the Web Browser of Choice on that one computer you must go get and install XAMPP on that computer first.[/b]

LON-CAPA is an e-learning platform, also known as a Course Management System (CMS) or Learning Management System (LMS). It possesses the standard features of many learning platforms (user roles, calendar, e-mail, chat rooms, blogs, resource construction, test grading, etc.), but it differs from traditional e-learning platforms in that its many web servers (in various parts of the world) can communicate with each other. Consequently, the term LON-CAPA can also refer to the LON-CAPA network, i.e. the entire set of LON-CAPA web servers and the specific implementation of an internet protocol that connects these web servers. LON-CAPA can also refer to the LON-CAPA project, i.e. the core team of scientists and programmers that develop and maintain the LON-CAPA software.

There are, as of 2007, more than 130 LON-CAPA domains, where a domain is a unified set of LON-CAPA web servers.  LON-CAPA domains are operated, generally speaking, by individual universities and high schools in the United States and Canada, but include private organizations and a significant number of universities in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. The LON-CAPA network allows participating universities and schools to create learning resources (test problems, web pages, etc.) and to share them across the network. This collaborative aspect is LON-CAPA's most distinctive feature.

Another special feature of LON-CAPA is the ability to design test resources (called problems) that make use of random numbers (stored in Perl variables). This allows a single "problem resource" to generate a variety of similar (but different) test exercises, thus significantly reducing the risk of cheating amongst students.

Currently, the great majority of LON-CAPA's learning resources are written in English and focus on the mathematical and natural sciences, mostly significantly physics and chemistry.  The learning platform works extensively with LaTeX, a language used to represent formulas and mathematical expressions. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

LON-CAPA is open source and free of licensing fees.  Significant technologies include Linux, Apache, mod perl, MySQL, LaTeX and CPAN. The core LON-CAPA development team is based at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.  There are also major LON-CAPA network nodes at Simon Fraser University and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The name LON-CAPA is an acronym, derived from Learning Online Network with Computer-Assisted Personalized Approach. In 1999, two distinct e-learning projects, CAPA and LectureOnline, joined efforts in the creation of LON-CAPA, which provides a superset of the CAPA and LectureOnline functionalities.

LON-CAPA is ...

LON-CAPA is a full-featured, web-based course management system similar to commercial systems, see for comparisons.

In addition, it has the following features:

    * Content sharing and content reusability, including
          o Network of shared resources from over 70 participating institutions
          o Shared repository of circa 150,000 resources including assessment questions and multimedia content
          o Easy semester transition
          o A large set of resources in physics/astronomy, chemistry, biology, mathematics/statistics, and geology
          o Ability to add new resources to the existing content pool
    * Creation and grading of randomized homework, quizzes or exams, including the ability to
          o create sophisticated question types such as: click-on image, random label, random plot, or formula response
          o reduce blind copying of answers by giving a different version of the problems to each student
          o print randomized bubblesheet exams and quizzes
          o configure the reporting of grades and feedback with a wide variety of options
          o contextualize threaded homework discussions
    * A development group based that sustains a twice-yearly LON-CAPA release cycle to insure rapid incorporation of instructor-requested enhancements.
    * An open-source freeware system

LON-CAPA is a distributed networked system.

The three layers of the LON-CAPA architecture:

   1. At the bottom is a shared learning content repository, which provides content replication, versioning, catalog information, etc
   2. At the middle layer are tools to assemble content from this pool. Any assembly again becomes part of the repository
   3. At the top layer is a full-featured course management and assessment layer to readily deploy this content in your courses
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 04:24:01 AM by Software Santa »