LON-CAPA is the leading technology platform for learning content management, originally developed at Michigan State University (MSU): http://www.lon-capa.org/numbers.html
The platform is currently used at 160 institutions around the world.
It allows instructors to combine modular instructional elements, such as problem sets, exams, videos, interactive demos, etc. In effect, the instructor can build an online experience like an e-textbook, e-coursepack, or instructional "play list" of material, using components created by other educators around the world (there are currently over 400,000 such components!). LON-CAPA is particularly strong in STEM subjects like physics, chemistry, math, etc.
MSU is planning to spin out a startup company (provisionally called "CourseWeaver") based on the LON-CAPA platform and its IP. Our IP rights will make it difficult for any competitor to produce a similar system without a licensing agreement.
There is no question that the face of higher education will change within the coming five years: the advent of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), the pending demise of traditional textbooks, Open Education Resources (OERs), and the rising cost of tuition will lead to new business models and new market dynamics. No single instructor, no single institution, and no single textbook publisher will be able to compete. What is needed is a new, sustainable economy for online educational content, which will enable institutions to combine the best of open, shared, and publisher online content with the best of bricks-and-mortar.
This economy will disrupt the stagnant classroom/textbook culture in the same way that iTunes disrupted the record industry,
and CourseWeaver will provide the infrastructure for this economy.
Educators will be able to identify and sequence the best of open, proprietary, and commercial content into educational playlists for their learners. As they contribute, reuse, and remix content, they will build educational experiences that are fundamentally different from monolithic ebooks: dynamic online coursepacks that combine targeted and proven learning content with effective assessment and analytics. Building on the power of data mining, crowd-sourcing and social networking, CourseWeaver will form, nurture, and support collaborative communities of practice of educators around the World.
It will provide an end-to-end solution from digital library functions, digital rights management, e-commerce, recommendation and sequencing tools, all the way to the course management functionality required to immediately deploy the online coursepacks, very much in the same way that iTunes provides everything from the store to the player: streamlined, efficient, reliable.