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'Mothership Project' Looks To Sync Multiple LMSes Across Campuses

Edvance360 is testing new learning management system cloning technology that the educational software company said will be of great interest to schools that want to standardize curriculum across multiple campuses. LMS administrators were reporting challenges with managing all of the different versions of content across their sites. To address the problem, Edvance360 came up with the Mothership Project, which it's currently testing now among its client base.

The Mothership Project is an LMS that doubles as a central course catalog. The typical LMS has courses and a global learning object repository that can be shared across classes for one institution. Additionally, courses can be cloned from one semester to the next within that one institution.

"The Mothership builds on these capabilities and allows this functionality to occur across multiple institutions," explained Catherine Garland, vice president of marketing and sales. "For example, let's say you have an organization with three technical schools. You provide the same course offerings at all three schools. Maintaining a sense of consistency is important across the three schools. The Mothership allows the administrator to maintain a higher-level course catalog/LMS where changes in any one course at the top level can be replicated across the three schools."

Using Common Cartridge import/export functionality, the Mothership LMS exports course "cartridges" into each second-level LMS at a specific school or campus. Additionally, content developed at those individual sites can be exported back to the Mothership LMS.

While Garland said the company expects the new functionality will be most helpful in schools where curriculum is often standardized across multiple campuses, it will be especially helpful in enabling higher education institutions track goals and objectives for accreditation across multiple institutions.

The new capability is expected to provide Edvance360 administrators with a central course catalog through which they can distribute and manage curriculum and learning outcomes. At the same time, Garland, noted, each school or campus can maintain its own LMS site with a unique brand and logo. Also, there would be no difference for the faculty or users at the second-tier sites. She added that the new functionality is available as an add-on module to the company's flagship LMS product.

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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