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LON-CAPA is a full-featured course management, learning content management, and assessment system.

It is similar to commercial systems (see for comparisons), but has the following additional features:


LON-CAPA is a distributed networked system. The three layers of the LON-CAPA architecture are:

  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.

Development Group and Support

LON-CAPA was initiated at Michigan State University, where the core development group sustains a twice-yearly LON-CAPA release cycle to insure rapid incorporation of instructor-requested enhancements. LON-CAPA was supported by the National Science Foundation and Sloan Foundation, as well as it is currently supported by Michigan State University, and the LON-CAPA partner institutions.


As a distributed system, LON-CAPA is highly scalable and offers load balancing between servers. At Michigan State University alone, more than 13,000 student course enrollments are handled by LON-CAPA, as well as over 150,000 student course enrollments annually systemwide.


The system runs on a dedicated Linux server. In order to join the network, the LON-CAPA group needs to be notified at