[LON-CAPA-users] Happy New Year from LON-CAPA

Lars Jensen lon-capa-users@mail.lon-capa.org
Tue, 02 Jan 2007 00:07:46 -0800

Hi Gerd,

Happy New Year to you as well, and my compliments to you and your group 
on the progress you have made in the past year.

Your last entry on your goals for 2007 caught my attention, and I was 
wondering how difficult it is to install the maxima scripts, and whether 
any detailed documentation is available?


Gerd Kortemeyer wrote:
> Happy New Year!
> I just wanted to take this opportunity to provide a quick look back to 
> what happened in 2006:
> * Member Institutions: In 2006, we went from 80 institutions to 106, 
> http://www.lon-capa.org/institutions.html - our biggest growth has been 
> in the number of participating high schools
> * Shared resources: we reached a quarter of a million shared resources 
> in 2006, http://www.lon-capa.org/sharedpool.html - that makes us the 
> largest repository of original online educational materials
> * The original NSF grant ended at the end of August of 2006. We have two 
> follow-up organizations to guarantee the sustainability of our operation:
>   - eduCog.com, a commercial spin-off providing LON-CAPA services and 
> hosting, http://www.educog.com/ - eduCog purchased its second server in 
> 2006
>   - the not-for-profit LON-CAPA Academic Consortium, which currently has 
> three member organizations: the University of Illinois at 
> Urbana-Champaign, Simon Fraser University (in the process of formalizing 
> the agreements), and Michigan State University. Between these three 
> institutions, we have commitments in the amount of $2.15M lined up over 
> the coming five years.
> * New Versions:
>   - Version 2.1 came out at the beginning of the year: This version 
> offered improved support for the import of courses from BlackBoard(tm) 
> and a direct link to the National Science Foundation National Science 
> Digital Library (nsdl.org). Messaging functions had been enhanced, both 
> within courses and domain-wide. Scheduling functionality now included 
> "slots" of availability. The system made it easier to switch between 
> servers in mid-session and correctly handles time zone differences.
>   - Version 2.2 came out in October: The system now supports import from 
> WebCT 4 Vista(tm). When selecting course materials, instructors can jump 
> from Search to Browse. Printing dialogues are improved, including better 
> multi-column formatting options. The system now supports batch 
> generation of courses. Online problems can be switched into "practice" 
> mode, so they can be solved in different randomizations over and over 
> without being graded. Files in portfolio space can now be made public or 
> pass-phrase protected and can be publicly advertised. Course 
> announcements are available as RSS feeds, and calendar entries in iCal 
> format.
>   - The first release candidate for 2.3 came out at the end of December: 
> Users can now delete and rename internal mail folders. Additional access 
> control features for portfolio files are available. Users can reset 
> their own password if it is maintained within LON-CAPA (rather than, for 
> example, Kerberos). Storage quota can be set on different levels. "\OR" 
> (multiple correct answers in different formats for numericalresponse and 
> formularesponse questions) is supported.
> * The LON-CAPA accessibility and usability study is almost complete, see 
> http://www.lon-capa.org/usability.html
> As a quick outlook, in 2007 we will be working on
> - cluster scalability: growth means we might need to support additional 
> domain layers and establish sub-clusters with modified trust relationships
> - accessibility and usability: we will work on implementing 
> recommendations from the accessibility and usability project
> - podcasting: hopefully, we will be able to enhance the current RSS 
> features to allow for podcasting of lecture videos, etc
> - collaborative features: we will continue to work on collaborative 
> features and different concepts of group work
> - portfolio features: further enhancements of the portfolio functionality
> - symbolic algebra: we will continue work on the integration of a 
> symbolic algebra system, see http://www.lon-capa.org/cas.html
> Our next user conference will take place May 17th-19th, 2007 at the 
> University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We hope to welcome all of 
> you there.
> Again, Happy New Year, and the best wishes from the LON-CAPA group!
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