The Learning Online Network with CAPA LONCAPA Gerd

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The Learning. Online Network with CAPA (LON-CAPA) Gerd Kortemeyer Wolfgang Bauer, Deborah Kashy, Edwin

The Learning. Online Network with CAPA (LON-CAPA) Gerd Kortemeyer Wolfgang Bauer, Deborah Kashy, Edwin Kashy, Cheryl Speier Michigan State University

What is LON-CAPA? • LON-CAPA stands for Learning. Online Network with a Computer-Assisted Personalized

What is LON-CAPA? • LON-CAPA stands for Learning. Online Network with a Computer-Assisted Personalized Approach. • developed and implemented by a group of faculty and professionals • provides instructors with a common, scalable platform to assist in all aspects of teaching a course, from lecture preparation to administration of homework assignments and exams • “Distributed Learning Content Management and Assessment System”

“Distributed” • LON-CAPA is built as a geographically distributed network of constantly connected servers

“Distributed” • LON-CAPA is built as a geographically distributed network of constantly connected servers

“Distributed”: Domains • The network is logically divided into domains such as “MSU”, “FSU”

“Distributed”: Domains • The network is logically divided into domains such as “MSU”, “FSU” or “Publisher X” • Domains limit the flow of user information • Domains can limit access to content resources • Domains limit the extent of user privileges

“Distributed”: Server Types • Two classes of servers: access servers and library servers •

“Distributed”: Server Types • Two classes of servers: access servers and library servers • Access servers: host user sessions – processing • Library servers: every user and course has a home server in the network which holds all of their resources and data – storage backend

“Distrubuted”: Load Balancing • Access servers can have a list of spare access servers

“Distrubuted”: Load Balancing • Access servers can have a list of spare access servers to offload sessions depending on own work load • Additional round robbin IP scheme possible • MSU setup: msu. lon-capa. org Round Robbin s 1 s 4 s 2 Spares Library Server s 3

“Distributed”: Dynamic Replication • When a content resource is first requested, the access server

“Distributed”: Dynamic Replication • When a content resource is first requested, the access server finds the home library server of the author/owner, subscribes to the resource, and copies it in the background. • When resource is modified on its library server, subscribed access servers are notified. • Depending on last date of local access, the access servers copy the new version over, or delete local cached copy.

“Learning Content Management” • Allows instructors to create educational materials and to share such

“Learning Content Management” • Allows instructors to create educational materials and to share such learning resources with colleagues across departments and institutions • All instructional content goes into crossinstitutional shared repository and is cataloged • LON-CAPA provides online tool, “Resource Assembly Tool” (RAT), to combine content into Custom Online Course Pack

“Learning Content Management” • Pages can be constructed from fragments and other pages •

“Learning Content Management” • Pages can be constructed from fragments and other pages • Sequences can be constructed from fragments, pages, and other sequences • Courses point to (top-level) sequences • Maps at every level are simply other content resources

“Learning Content Management” • Graphical resource assembly tool (RAT) to construct maps • Working

“Learning Content Management” • Graphical resource assembly tool (RAT) to construct maps • Working on branching based on conditions using performance data, course data, and preferences • Individualized curriculum

“Content Management”: Handlers • Every resource in the system, both content and system programs,

“Content Management”: Handlers • Every resource in the system, both content and system programs, is called by URL – all resources can be bookmarked. • Any resource can be processed on-the-fly while being delivered to the user. • User calls for a resource, LON-CAPA finds appropriate chain of handlers, processes resource for desired target, and sends it out. • Chain of handlers can also cover several transactions. Example: user calls for URL, but needs to login first and then pick course. • All handlers can interact with session environment

“Content Management”: Document-driven processing • Example: user calls for sample. xml Uses my. style

“Content Management”: Document-driven processing • Example: user calls for sample. xml Uses my. style triggers XML Handler User my. style Defines tags for targets loads Target Session Preferences Environment

“Content Management”: XML/Math. ML/HTML • XML handler provides rendering of XML and HTML to

“Content Management”: XML/Math. ML/HTML • XML handler provides rendering of XML and HTML to targets XML, HTML, Math. ML, and La. Te. X • Math rendering capability: La. Te. X can be inserted into HTML and XML documents between <m> and </m> tags. <h 1>Identity</h 1><img src=“circle. gif” align=“right”> The <i>identity</i> <m>$sin^2(omega t)+ cos^2(omega t)=1$</m> allows us to… • Math fragments are rendered into symbol fonts for target HTML, and Math. ML for Math. ML-capable browsers using a derivative of tth/ttm.

“Content Management”: La. Te. X • La. Te. X files can be directly put

“Content Management”: La. Te. X • La. Te. X files can be directly put onto the file system, and will be automatically handled as if they had one large <m>…</m> around them

“Individualized Assessment” • Individualized problems: different numbers, different graphs, different options, … • “Classical”

“Individualized Assessment” • Individualized problems: different numbers, different graphs, different options, … • “Classical” online homework types: multiple choice, option response, mix-and-match, string, etc • “STEM” types: numerical, multicomponent numerical, physical units, symbolic math, individualized simulations • Combination of the above types • Adaptive immediate feedback • Multiple attempts

“Individualized Assessment” • Example: Individualized graph, numerical answer

“Individualized Assessment” • Example: Individualized graph, numerical answer

“Individualized Assessment” • Example: Individualized labels, options

“Individualized Assessment” • Example: Individualized labels, options

“Individualized Assessment” • Example: Multicomponent numerical with individualized animation

“Individualized Assessment” • Example: Multicomponent numerical with individualized animation

Some of the History

Some of the History

1992 CAPA • Started by Ed Kashy et al. in Cyclotron • Individualized assessment

1992 CAPA • Started by Ed Kashy et al. in Cyclotron • Individualized assessment system for science and math • Immediate feedback, multiple tries mastery based • Used paper copies of assignments and terminal input • X-Windows problem editing • Got Web student interface in 95

1997 Lecture. Online • Started by Wolfgang Bauer, Walt Benenson, Gary Westfall, and Gerd

1997 Lecture. Online • Started by Wolfgang Bauer, Walt Benenson, Gary Westfall, and Gerd Kortemeyer in Cyclotron • Learning content management and individualized assessment system for science and math • Sharing of content between courses • Completely web-based interface

1999 LON-CAPA • The Learning. Online Network with CAPA • Collaboration of CAPA and

1999 LON-CAPA • The Learning. Online Network with CAPA • Collaboration of CAPA and Lecture. Online groups • “The best of both worlds” • Sharing of content between courses and institutions • Reusability of content on different levels of granularity • Distributed and Scalable

Who are the users (at MSU)?

Who are the users (at MSU)?

Who uses it? Students (“It”: CAPA, Lecture. Online, LON-CAPA family)

Who uses it? Students (“It”: CAPA, Lecture. Online, LON-CAPA family)

Who uses it? Students

Who uses it? Students

Who uses it? Courses

Who uses it? Courses

Who uses it? Faculty

Who uses it? Faculty

How is it used? • Material written by faculty teaching course or “re -used”

How is it used? • Material written by faculty teaching course or “re -used” from other faculty • Homework in addition to “traditional” lecture and textbook • “Traditional” lecture, homework and textbook online • VU courses • AP courses • Prelab quizzes • In-class exercises

LON-CAPA versus Black. Board • LON-CAPA was developed primarily by STEM faculty for “power

LON-CAPA versus Black. Board • LON-CAPA was developed primarily by STEM faculty for “power users” • LON-CAPA makes the hard things possible, but currently does not make easy things easy • Black. Board makes easy things easy, but leaves hard things impossible

Faculty Perspective “My problems are computational and not multiple choice, the types of grading

Faculty Perspective “My problems are computational and not multiple choice, the types of grading mechanisms built into standard instructional delivery platforms (e. g. , Blackboard) would not be sufficient for me”. Professor Paul Rubin teaching MBA 804

Faculty Perspective “Although [LON-CAPA’s] potential benefits as a distributed-network resource indexing system far outweigh

Faculty Perspective “Although [LON-CAPA’s] potential benefits as a distributed-network resource indexing system far outweigh what could be achieved by an off the shelf course management system (e. g. , Blackboard, Web. CT) it still needs considerable interface development and user testing” LBS 144 Professor Janet Mc. Cray Batzli Challenge: keep hard things possible, make easy things easy

LON-CAPA versus Black. Board • LON-CAPA has no licensing cost, Black. Board does :

LON-CAPA versus Black. Board • LON-CAPA has no licensing cost, Black. Board does : -) • LON-CAPA is open-source GNU GPL, and can be adapted, enhance, debugged, …, Black. Board cannot : -) • Black. Board does have systems-support, lots of documentation, training material, …, LON-CAPA does not : -(

Chronicle of Higher Education December 21, 2001 Affordable for now … (But) higher-education officials

Chronicle of Higher Education December 21, 2001 Affordable for now … (But) higher-education officials expect that courseware companies will raise their prices after creating a market for the software, and after seeing course-management systems become an indispensable part of the academic-computing infrastructure on most campuses. […] As the company integrates more functions into Blackboard, its executives anticipate signing many more "$200, 000 -, $300, 000 -, and $400, 000 -a-year relationships"

LON-CAPA vs. Black. Board • LON-CAPA runs on Linux (target for installs: Red. Hat

LON-CAPA vs. Black. Board • LON-CAPA runs on Linux (target for installs: Red. Hat distribution) • Apache webserver • mod_perl for server-side handlers • Java. Script for client-side functionality • My. SQL as database for metadata searches • La. Te. X, Gnuplot • Mu. PAD for symbolic manipulations (planned)

LON-CAPA vs. Black. Board

LON-CAPA vs. Black. Board

Chronicle of Higher Education December 21, 2001 (And) whatever the current faults of Web.

Chronicle of Higher Education December 21, 2001 (And) whatever the current faults of Web. CT and Blackboard, many academic administrators say they are preferable to homegrown systems. […] Princeton developed its own coursemanagement system, beginning in 1997. Two years later, the university decided to abandon its homegrown system in favor of Blackboard. Why?

Chronicle of Higher Education December 21, 2001 "The problem with homegrown systems is you

Chronicle of Higher Education December 21, 2001 "The problem with homegrown systems is you typically have one or two staff people who know how the system works, and those people might leave or decide to do something else, " Mr. Goldstein [Director of Academic Services, Princeton] says. Problem: • “one or two staff people” Solution: • Collaboration with other institutions • Workshops • Conferences • Investment in documentation, etc

Solution? The Project • “Investigation of a Model for Online Resource Creation and Sharing

Solution? The Project • “Investigation of a Model for Online Resource Creation and Sharing in Education Settings” • Uses LON-CAPA as model system • Five year project, funded by the National Science Foundation Information Technology Research Program

The Project: Research Goals • Open source code development concept for Instructional Management System

The Project: Research Goals • Open source code development concept for Instructional Management System • Pooling online educational resources between departments, colleges, universities and schools • Business models for “trading” such resources on small level of granularity • Metrics for resource quality and effectiveness • Curriculum adaptivity to learner types and remediation needs

The Project: Pilot Users, Boards • Pilot users: 6 high schools, 2 community colleges,

The Project: Pilot Users, Boards • Pilot users: 6 high schools, 2 community colleges, 1 four year college, 12 universities • Business advisory board: Mc. Graw-Hill, Saunders, Wiley, Freeman/Worth, Dell, Red. Hat, Apex Learning, university representatives • Three member Evaluation Board • Four high school teachers in Research Experience for Teachers (RET) supplement

The Project: National STEM Digital Library • Supplement to cross-integrate LON-CAPA with NSF National

The Project: National STEM Digital Library • Supplement to cross-integrate LON-CAPA with NSF National STEM Digital Library • NSDL available to LON-CAPA as content domain • LON-CAPA resource pool available in NSDL as associated library • LON-CAPA can be used as course delivery tool for NSDL content

The Project: Status • Started October 2000 • First user meetings with 50 faculty

The Project: Status • Started October 2000 • First user meetings with 50 faculty from other universities at MSU • Second user meeting at Florida State University with 56 faculty from 22 institutions • Next user meeting at Truckee Meadows Community College, Reno • Programmer Workshops at MSU in Summer

Status: Installations High Schools • Mio Au. Sable High School - Mio, Michigan •

Status: Installations High Schools • Mio Au. Sable High School - Mio, Michigan • Charlotte High School - Charlotte, Michigan • Fowlerville High School - Fowlerville. Michigan • Theodore Roosevelt High School - Wyandotte, Michigan Community Colleges • Westshore Community College - Scottsville, Michigan • Truckee Meadows Community College - Reno, Nevada

Status: Installations Universities (department level) • Ohio University at Athens - Athens, Ohio •

Status: Installations Universities (department level) • Ohio University at Athens - Athens, Ohio • SUNY Stony Brook - Stony Brook, New York • Florida State University - Tallahassee, Florida • University of Massachusetts at Amherst - Amherst, Massachusetts • Michigan State University, various departments - East Lansing, Michigan Outside United States • Simon Fraser University - Vancouver, Canada • University of Halle - Halle, Germany • University of Oldenberg - Oldenberg, Germany

Installations in Progress • University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina • University

Installations in Progress • University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina • University of Michigan, ITCS - Ann Arbor, MI • Eotvos Lorand University - Budapest, Hungary • Dakar University - Dakar, Senegal • George Washington University - Washington, D. C. • University of South Carolina -Columbia, South Carolina

On the web. . . www. lon-capa. org korte@lon-capa. org

On the web. . . www. lon-capa. org [email protected] org

Network Architecture: Distribution • LON-CAPA is build as a geographically distributed network of constantly

Network Architecture: Distribution • LON-CAPA is build as a geographically distributed network of constantly connected servers

Network Architecture: Domains • The network is logically divided into domains such as “MSU”,

Network Architecture: Domains • The network is logically divided into domains such as “MSU”, “FSU” or “Publisher X” • Domains limit the flow of user information • Domains can limit access to content resources • Domains limit the extent of user privileges

The Tool: Coding Environment • LON-CAPA runs on Linux (target for installs: Red. Hat

The Tool: Coding Environment • LON-CAPA runs on Linux (target for installs: Red. Hat distribution) • Apache webserver • mod_perl for server-side handlers • Java. Script for client-side functionality • My. SQL as database for metadata searches • Mu. PAD for symbolic manipulations (planned)

Network Architecture: Server Types • Two classes of servers: access servers and library servers

Network Architecture: Server Types • Two classes of servers: access servers and library servers • Access servers: host user sessions – processing • Library servers: every user and course has a home server in the network which holds all of their resources and data – storage backend

Network Architecture: Load Balancing • Access servers can have a list of spare access

Network Architecture: Load Balancing • Access servers can have a list of spare access servers to offload sessions depending on own work load • Additional round robbin IP scheme possible • MSU setup: msu. lon-capa. org Round Robbin s 1 s 4 s 2 Spares Library Server s 3

Network Architecture: Dynamic Replication • When a content resource is first requested, the access

Network Architecture: Dynamic Replication • When a content resource is first requested, the access server finds the home library server of the author/owner, subscribes to the resource, and copies it in the background. • When resource is modified on its library server, subscribed access servers are notified. • Depending on last date of local access, the access servers copy the new version over, or delete local cached copy.

Resources: Handlers • Every resource in the system, both content and system programs, is

Resources: Handlers • Every resource in the system, both content and system programs, is called by URL – all resources can be bookmarked. • Any resource can be processed on-the-fly while being delivered to the user. • User calls for a resource, LON-CAPA finds appropriate chain of handlers, processes resource for desired target, and sends it out. • Chain of handlers can also cover several transactions. Example: user calls for URL, but needs to login first and then pick course. • All handlers can interact with session environment

Resources: Documentdriven processing • Example: user calls for sample. xml Uses my. style triggers

Resources: Documentdriven processing • Example: user calls for sample. xml Uses my. style triggers XML Handler User my. style Defines tags for targets loads Target Session Preferences Environment

Resources: XML/Math. ML/HTML • XML handler provides rendering of XML and HTML to targets

Resources: XML/Math. ML/HTML • XML handler provides rendering of XML and HTML to targets XML, HTML, Math. ML, and La. Te. X • Math rendering capability: La. Te. X can be inserted into HTML and XML documents between <m> and </m> tags. <h 1>Identity</h 1><img src=“circle. gif” align=“right”> The <i>identity</i> <m>$sin^2(omega t)+ cos^2(omega t)=1$</m> allows us to… • Math fragments are rendered into symbol fonts for target HTML, and Math. ML for Math. ML-capable browsers using a derivative of tth/ttm.

Resources: La. Te. X • La. Te. X files can be directly put onto

Resources: La. Te. X • La. Te. X files can be directly put onto the file system, and will be automatically handled as if they had one large <m>…</m> around them

Resources: Assessments • “Personalized” by course, user, and instance. • Assessments are XML documents.

Resources: Assessments • “Personalized” by course, user, and instance. • Assessments are XML documents. • Converters for both CAPA and Lecture. Online problems exist (functionality superset). • Web-based form editor for these XML documents will be provided similar to Lecture. Online. • Code segments within numerical type problems are written in Perl. • Other problem types need no coding.

Resources: Publication • Authors have a construction space (private) to edit their resources •

Resources: Publication • Authors have a construction space (private) to edit their resources • Authors can publish their resources into the public resource space • Triggers several actions: generation of a new version (keeping all old versions), collection of metadata for cataloging, notification of all subscribed access servers. Construction Space Publication Step Metadata Resource Space

Resources: Metadata • Metadata is collected for every resource at publication time • Publication

Resources: Metadata • Metadata is collected for every resource at publication time • Publication handler identifies possible keywords, gets default data

Resources: Granularity • LON-CAPA RAT allows to dynamically combine content resources at several levels

Resources: Granularity • LON-CAPA RAT allows to dynamically combine content resources at several levels of granularity by reference • Lowest level: fragments. One GIF, one paragraph of text, one applet, one problem • Next level: Pages • Next level: Sequences of pages • Top-level: Maps for Courses (sequences)

Resources: Adaptivity • Graphical resource assembly tool (RAT) to construct maps • Allows for

Resources: Adaptivity • Graphical resource assembly tool (RAT) to construct maps • Allows for branching based on conditions using performance data, course data, and preferences • Individualized curriculum

Data Structure: Users • Courses are assigned to users, not vice versa • Users

Data Structure: Users • Courses are assigned to users, not vice versa • Users keep their login, data, preferences, etc, throughout complete tenure • Users assume a set of (temporary) roles over their tenure

Data Structure: Roles • LON-CAPA has set of roles that can be assigned to

Data Structure: Roles • LON-CAPA has set of roles that can be assigned to users • Roles can have start and end dates

Data Structure: Privileges • Each role has a set of privileges • Privileges on

Data Structure: Privileges • Each role has a set of privileges • Privileges on system, domain, and course level • Allows for coursecoordinator defined custom roles

Data Structure: Courses • Internally, courses are handled like users without login privileges •

Data Structure: Courses • Internally, courses are handled like users without login privileges • Each course has a unique ID, no semester transition • Course points to its top-level resource map • Deadlines, spreadsheets, etc, can be associated with the course • Sections are part of course • Homework and quiz performance data is associated with user by course

Data Structure: Authentication • Course lists in CSV, tab-separated, and space separated format can

Data Structure: Authentication • Course lists in CSV, tab-separated, and space separated format can be uploaded (planned: XML) • It is checked if the user already exists; if not, new user is established on one of the library servers of the domain • Role of student in that course is added • Users are authenticated by their home server. Authentication can currently be internal, UNIX, or Kerberos. Authentication modular, other modes can be added • All authentication information is 56 -bit (DES) encrypted between client and server, and 128 -bit (IDEA) between servers. No certificates necessary.

Data Structure: Resource parameters • Deadlines, open dates, publish-answer dates, maximum number of attempts,

Data Structure: Resource parameters • Deadlines, open dates, publish-answer dates, maximum number of attempts, weight of problem parts, etc, can be independently set for courses, sections and individual students • Can cover all resources, one map, or only one resource • Resources publish their parameters in metadata, no predefined set of parameters

Data Structure: Locking, Offline • To use LON-CAPA for exams, locking mechanisms will be

Data Structure: Locking, Offline • To use LON-CAPA for exams, locking mechanisms will be established: access to resources, all communication can be locked (planned, infrastructure in place) • Role of Exam Proctor in system • To facilitate paper based exams in offline mode, individualized exam sheets can be printed and “checked out” – bar code on top of page to “check in” grades for that exam (planned, infrastructure in place)

Data Structure: Assessment data • Only raw data is stored • All attempts are

Data Structure: Assessment data • Only raw data is stored • All attempts are stored • Data is stored in non-randomized form to allow for item analysis • LON-CAPA provides spreadsheet functionality with sheets at assessment, user, and course level (exporting into each other) to calculate grades and statistics

On the web. . . www. lon-capa. org korte@lon-capa. org

On the web. . . www. lon-capa. org [email protected] org