Creating tailored learning solutions that grow with the university
Originally developed at Penn State, the ELMS Learning Network is an open source educational technology platform for building and sustaining innovation in online course technologies. Based on Drupal, ELMS has grown into an organic collaboration between many institutions and community facilitators. ELMS courses and systems have been demonstrated at national and international conferences and aspects of ELMS have won two Campus Technology Innovator awards.
Learn more about ELMSLN at http://elmsln.org
The founder and project lead of the ELMS platform is Bryan Ollendyke, an instructional technology specialist at Penn State who is responsible for developing tailored online and in-residence solutions to support students in the university’s College of Arts and Architecture. “To support double-digit growth in online courses, we’re focused on creating solutions that not only provide students with a better learning environment, but can scale without requiring a significant increase in technology resources,” says Ollendyke.
Scalability—and availability—are both top requirements of the online learning solutions for which Ollendyke is responsible. When a server goes down or a course is running slowly, it’s a major problem. That’s what happened with one particular ELMS application. “The server running the application went offline, which can happen occasionally,” says Ollendyke. “But then it happened again the next day. I knew that something was wrong, but all the error logs kept pointing me to minor issues that turned out not to be the root cause.” Ollendyke knew he needed a tool that would help him quickly uncover what was causing the server crashes.