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Introduction to LON-CAPA

Originally developed at Michigan State University, LON-CAPA (The Learning Online Network Computer Assisted Personalized Approach) is a learning content and assessment management system. It offers an underlying shared content pool from which instructors across departmental and institutional boundaries can assemble learning content and online problem sets for their courses. The strength of the LON-CAPA system lies in its assessment capabilities, both formative (homework and practice problem sets) and summative (online and bubblesheet exams). LON-CAPA is widely used nationally by faculty members in the sciences and mathematics because of its ability to author sophisticated problem types, from which highly randomizable homework assignment, quizzes and exams can be created and graded. This session will provide an introduction to the LON-CAPA system, and explore a range of possible uses in various discipline areas.


By the end of this session, you should be able to explore and discuss potential instructional uses, including:

  • Randomized homework assignments (every student receives a unique set of problems)
  • Multiple opportunities for practice and feedback
  • Automatic grading of assignments
  • Sharing and reusing of content within and among institutions
  • Embedded opportunities for student discussion around individual problems
  • Access to rich data providing detailed overviews of student performance.

Session Overview


  • Schaeffer, E., Bhargava, T., Nash, J., Kerns, C., and Stocker, S. (2001)  “Innovations from Within the Box: Evaluation of Online Problem Sets in a Series of Large Lecture Undergraduate Science Courses,” Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (session 27.62). April 10-14, 2001, Seattle, Washington, http://bit.ly/dfdDbv
  • LON-CAPA Course Coordinator Guide
  • LON-CAPA Author Guide

For more information, contact Britt Watwood (8-1896 or bwatwood@vcu.edu).

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Last modified: June 20, 2013
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