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Learning Management Systems

American Public University System Moves to Sakai LMS

American Public University System has begun implementing the open source Sakai learning management system (LMS) to replace a platform built on Ucompass' Educator. The legacy LMS will run concurrent with Sakai as the university converts first its graduate classes then its undergraduate courses. According to Christopher Symanoskie, associate vice president of corporate communications, the company that runs the university system expects the conversion process to be completed by mid-2011.

American Public Education Inc. evaluated three open source LMS products, though Symanoskie declined to name which ones.

Why open source? "We sought an LMS with a vibrant and active open source community to participate in," he explained. "We were highly focused as an organization on measuring student learning and using that information in curriculum development and improving the quality of the education that we provide. And we wanted a platform that's highly scalable and collaborative. We felt Sakai fits that model very well."

"Our students deserve and expect high quality learning outcomes at a very reasonable cost," added Wallace Boston, president and CEO. "The new [LMS] will allow us to continually improve and enrich the already high-quality educational experience our students and faculty enjoy by providing the open source alternatives and resources offered by Sakai's collaborative community."

The publicly traded company, based in Charles Town, WV, runs two post-secondary distance education institutions--American Military University and American Public University. The two universities have 63,800 online students worldwide. About two-thirds are active duty military personnel--5,000 based in Iraq and Afghanistan.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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