While LON-CAPA-NG’s approach to providing an educational object economy is unique, we are operating in a competitive landscape of existing components. Each of these components, operating within their respective silos, has characteristics that our system components have to measure up against.

We have a sustainable advantage by providing an end-to-end solution for an educational object economy, which is based on 20 years of experience and research in assessment and learning content management, as well as patent pending innovations. The time and cost to replicate our work are exceptional. The competition is entrenched in providing solutions that are located in specific silos of the industry, while we are providing an integrated approach that crosses the content and platform industry – the best of both worlds, by educators for educators.

Learning Content LON-CAPA Course Management Systems
Textbook eText iTunesU® Online Homework Systems Digital Libraries BlackBoard XpLor® Corporate Open Source
WebAssign®, OWL®, Mastering®, … NSDL, Merlot, … BlackBoard®, Desire2Learn®, … Moodle, Sakai, …
Cost to Learner high high, no resale variable or free variable or bundled free free low or free free free
Cost to Institution free free free free free yet unclear low or free high free, but possibly high Total Cost of Ownership
Enterprise Level Support n/a no limited limited no yet unclear yes yes no, but service companies exist
Immediate Cross-Institutional Sharing of Faculty-Authored Content no no yes limited yes yet unclear yes no no
Content Quality high high variable high variable variable data-driven quality control n/a n/a
Platform Capability n/a variable limited variable weak yet unclear high high variable
Content Granularity course course variable course variable learning object learning object course, limited modularity with add-ons none
Licensing sold restrictive, time and location limited variable restrictive, time limited open open platform open, content variable incl. open proprietary open
Platform Technology n/a proprietary proprietary proprietary open proprietary open proprietary open
Homework Functionality n/a limited limited advanced no yes advanced yes yes
Homework CMS Integration no no no no no plugs into BlackBoard® controlled CMSs yes yes yes
Provides CMS Functionality no no no limited no plugs into BlackBoard® controlled CMSs yes yes yes
Campus Infrastructure Integration no no no no no plugs into BlackBoard® controlled CMSs optional optional, for service fee optional
Data-Driven Content Recommender no no no no no no yes no no


LON-CAPA has an updated architecture, building on current technologies and best practices, but it does not start from scratch. The team has experience building systems that are machine room ready and run in a variety of environments.

LON-CAPA needs to run on an enterprise-level as a mission critical system. We understand the amount of disruption that downtimes and bugs are causing within the teaching mission of an institution; we are educators ourselves.