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Former U Pennsylvania Students Launch LMS

Three former University of Pennsylvania students have launched Coursekit, a free learning management system that emphasizes social networking for colleges and universities.

The formal release came after 30 universities participated in a pilot program this fall. The New York-based company has signed on 82 student interns at 48 campuses across the country to help promote the LMS and has more than 3,000 users so far.

The trio--Jim Grandpre, Joseph Cohen, and Dan Getelman--managed to raise $1 million to start up Coursekit, from TechStars, IA Ventures, Founder Collective, and some angel investors.

Coursekit is a learning management system that uses a Facebook-like interface and lets students and instructors share resources. The interface gives users the option of posting a status update; a link; media (upload photos, link to video, or upload audio); files; questions; or blogs. It also lets users like or comment on posts.

It allows users to search all posts, just student posts, or just instructor posts. Users can also search by event, theme, type, or month. In addition, Coursekit lets users chat in real-time through instant messaging.

Additional features include:

  • User profiles, which allow instructors and students to share information about each other, including photos;
  • Submission and gradebook tools, which show the name of the assignment, rubric category, maximum score allowed, due date, and number of people who have submitted assignments;
  • Support for exporting grades to .csv format;
  • A course calendar so teachers can share important dates with students, such as class meeting times;
  • Media tagging by course theme; and
  • A syllabus.

Coursekit is free and available now.

For more information, or to try out a student or instructor demonstration, visit College students interested in becoming campus founders should visit to apply.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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