In use by nearly half a million users, the .LRN platform was orginally developed to support universities, and now we also use it with schools, businesses and non-profit organisations.
About the University of Mannheim
The University of Mannheim is the leader in business and economics in Germany, and among the top three such universities in Europe. With approximately 15,000 students, the university maintains contact with over 450 scientific institutions and research facilities throughout the world. Every tenth student at Mannheim comes from abroad. Many different programs, but especially the double degree programs with the Ecole Supe?Lrieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (ESSEC) and the Universite?L de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, are paving the way for a future of international cooperation. Technology is regarded as a means to support the communication among students, professors, researchers, and the broader international learning community
Why the University of Mannheim chose .LRN
A diverse infrastructure at Mannheim led to the need for a common learning portal. Mannheim tested out several different platforms, before selecting and adopting .LRN. Mannheim based their decision largely on .LRN's robust open source web application framework, and the active OpenACS community behind it. Open source licensing was also important to Mannheim, because access to the code would allow Mannheim to integrate existing web applications. Finally, Mannheim knew that .LRN was in place at several leading European universities, including a prominent peer institution in Germany, the University of Heidelberg.
What the University of Mannheim is doing with .LRN
Started primarily as a service for the business school in 2003, .LRN is now used in many different classes in 21 departments for nearly 6,000 students. "We find the more we use .LRN, the greater benefit we achieve from having an integrated, common portal," said Nima Mazloumi, E-Learning Project Manager at the University of Mannheim. To date, Mannheim has developed and implemented the .LRN Support Center, Scheduler, Webmail, and IMS/SCORM Course Editor applications. The university has also collaborated in the development process for the external authentication module. For over two years, .LRN has offered Mannheim cost-effective learning community support, with total expenditure for customized development estimated at 120,000 euros.
Future Plans for .LRN at the University of Mannheim
Before the end of 2004, Mannheim will upgrade its system to .LRN version 2.1.0. Plans are also in place to integrate with existing, heavily trafficked web applications in the university library system. But by far the most ambitious effort is Mannheim's plan to enhance the Course Editor to permit authors to develop SCORM/IMS/QTI compliant interactive courses. According to Mazloumi, ".LRN's capability to support standards compliance is vital for us ? it supports our strategic goal of collaboration across the international learning community."