[LON-CAPA-users] export of capa to WebCT

Stuart Raeburn lon-capa-users@mail.lon-capa.org
Thu, 05 May 2005 11:44:27 -0400

Hi Richard,

If your question is about exporting LON-CAPA problems to WebCT, then the 
reply below is relevant to you.  However, if you wish to export CAPA 
problems, then you would first need to convert CAPA problems to LON-CAPA 
for this to be relevant. (A conversion script to convert CAPA -> 
LON-CAPA is available).

WebCT4 supports import of IMS packages, which can include problems in 
addition to static content pages and course structure.

Development work for this summer's 2.0 release of LON-CAPA has included 
extension of the existing IMS import utility to support import of WebCT4 
content (including problems) into LON-CAPA.   Transfer of problems in 
the other direction (from LON-CAPA to WebCT4) has not received similar 
attention.   In addition, development work for the 1.3 release of 
LON-CAPA included creation of an IMS export utility which could be used 
to export all or parts of a  LON-CAPA course to an IMS 1.1 content 
package.  At the time of release of v 1.3, the export utility was 90% 
complete.  It is hoped that additional time will be available for more 
work on this utility in advance of the v 2.0 release.

The IMS content package standard does not itself provide definitive 
specifications for import/export of assessment items (although a 
separate standard - QTI - does address this).  It appears that some 
learning management system vendors (including WebCT) have addressed the 
issue of export of assessment items by including QTI-like extensions in 
their IMS content packages.  So a possible approach to migrating 
LON-CAPA problems to WebCT would be to convert LON-CAPA problems to 
problems described using QTI-like extensions compatible with those 
required for import into WebCT.    Currently LON-CAPA's IMS export 
utility saves course structure and static content in the IMS format, and 
will include the raw problem XML for any LON-CAPA problem in the course 
for which the individual completing the export is also the author of the 

Export of LON-CAPA problems to WebCT is complicated by the fact that 
WebCT supports a restricted set of problem types (Calculated, Matching, 
Multiple Choice, String and Paragraph), compared with LON-CAPA.  In 
addition, LON-CAPA permits the creation of composite problems that may 
include responses of a wide variety of types.  So although it would be 
possible to export simple types of LON-CAPA problems to WebCT, more 
complex types (including  those using condirional blocks etc.), or those 
involving dynamic plots, click-on-image, randomly labelled images etc. 
would not migrate from one system to the other.  That said, the way I 
would export simple types of LON-CAPA problems would be to extend the 
IMS export utility to translate LON-CAPA problems to the QTI-like format 
used by WebCT for export of its own question databases.  This format may 
differ between versions of WebCT - I am only familiar with WebCT 4 CE.

Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Stuart Raeburn
MSU LON-CAPA support/development

Richard Hoskins wrote:

> Is it possible and how would you export capa problems to WebCT?
> Richard Hoskins