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The LearningOnline Network with CAPA

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In the fall of 1992, CAPA (a Computer-Assisted Personalized Approach) was piloted in a small physics class of 92 students. CAPA provides students with personalized problem sets, quizzes, and exams. Students are given instant feedback and hints via the Internet and may correct errors without penalty until the assignment due date. The system records the students' participation and performance and the records are available online to both the instructor and the individual student. CAPA is a teaching tool, not a curriculum, and as such does not dictate course design, content or goals. Instead, it enables faculty to augment their courses with individualized relevant exercises.

The LectureOnline project was started to serve physics course material over the web in the fall of 1997 with 770 students. With only the web-browser as interface, LectureOnline enables instructors to seamlessly put together a presentation of material gleaned from all over the Internet, and to create different types of individualized online homework. Grading, communication, groupwork and enrollment are also handled by the system.

In 1999, the CAPA and LectureOnline groups joined efforts in the creation of the LearningOnline Network with CAPA (LON-CAPA), which provides a superset of the CAPA and LectureOnline functionalities. LON-CAPA was first beta-tested with two courses at MSU in spring 2001.

Today, LON-CAPA is used at more than 160 other institutions, ranging from middle school to graduate level courses. Disciplines include astronomy, biology, business, chemistry, civil engineering, computer science, family and child ecology, geology, human food and nutrition, human medicine, mathematics, medical technology, physics, and psychology.


CAPA, and LON-CAPA, have enable me and my faculty to deliver learning materials to our students in a sustainable manner for nearly 20 years, I doubt any other Course Content Management System has such a sustainable model.
- David C. Ingram, Professor and Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ohio University, USA

Contact Us: lon-capa@lon-capa.org

Site maintained by Gerd Kortemeyer.
Supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF-ITR 0085921, NSF-CCLI-ASA 0243126, and NSF-CCLI 0717790. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Initial funding for CAPA has been provided by the Alfred. P. Sloan Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

©2013 Michigan State University Board of Trustees.