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The LearningOnline Network with CAPA

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Network Features

Distributed System

The LearningOnline Network with CAPA is a geographically distributed network of persistently connected servers at schools, colleges, and universities. Each participating institution needs to contribute at least one server to the network. An institution can set up any number of servers within their domain to scale with increasing workload.


The network is logically divided into so-called domains, which usually correspond to one institution, such as Michigan State University, North Dakota State University, or Truckee Meadows Community College. Domains can be used to limit the flow of content and the extent of user privileges.


Users can log into any server in the network. Example: an MSU user logs into a server at North Dakota State University using his MSU credentials.


Authorization in LON-CAPA is roles based. A user can have roles across domain boundaries. Example: user has role of Course Coordinator for an MSU course and for an NDSU course.

Distributed Virtual File System

The distributed resource pool of LON-CAPA appears as one large virtual file system. The network provides transparent resource replication to provide faster access to the resources.

Persistent System-Wide URL

Any resource in the system can be accessed by a system-wide persistent URL. Example: a resource authored by author "mmp" at domain "msu" is accessed from a server at North Dakota State University.

Resource Assembly

Faculty can assemble resources from the shared resource pool using the so-called Resource Assembly Tool (screenshot below). Resources can be assembled at different levels of granularity: fragments into pages, pages into pages, pages into modules, ...



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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.

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