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ELMS Learning Network

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ELMS Learning Network . Org

ELMS Learning network is a radically different approach to manage Drupal and LMS design with an emphasis on management and deployment of Drupal over the life cycle, not just for one rollout. While ELMS (D6) was a single, large site, ELMSLN spreads the functionality of the traditional LMS out over a series of distributed web services. This provides a built in security mechanism and scalable by design approach that allows for maximal flexibility while achieving the highest amount of optimization and efficiency in management.

Simply put, ELMSLN is both a tool and a development platform for producing new tools. It's not about "the next system to implement" it's a mindset that you will be deploying systems so long as you exist as an institution. It treats Drupal as a fractal, a complex yet easily repeatable pattern, so that once you are able to produce 1 course tool you can produce many.

From a learning Perspective

Education is always changing, why be forced to have the same Learning experience in one college vs another? ELMSLN treats all major groupings of functionality as unique to that course. For example, if an Art 100 course wants to use the Quiz module, not every other course needs to worry about the GUI for it and data management implications. This allows instructors and instructional designers to work with Drupal experts to craft unique experiences both in look and feel as well as functionality, while easing potential headaches for IT staff.

Single sign on technology allows for a seamless experience for students, faculty and staff across the multiple Drupal instances that may make up a course network. Read more about this approach to learning management system design in Getting out of the LMS.

Technical advantages

  • Structured methodology for the creation of brand new tool sets
  • Future proof structure built to support for multiple versions of Drupal core concurrently (7 & 8)
  • Implementation details abstracted from code so that core package can be upgraded safely
  • Example code for integration with other data systems (like existing LMS) via custom XML sync up and LTI 1.1
  • Built on Drupal so all of contrib comes along for the ride
  • Think AEgir but dedicated to an educational context

Because this is a package that includes Drupal it is not managed like a traditional distribution. All installation profiles can be downloaded from and all sub-modules as well but the structure of the package and automation scripts must live on github due to limitations with packaging on The package is very large yet has been optimized from a code structuring perspective to maximize the efficiency of APC (and you the human checkbox checker).

The demo site currently points to the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture's ELMSLN deployment. The site you will see is the only public facing one which is an implementation of the Course Information System distribution.

Supporting organizations: 

Project information

  • shield alertThis project is not covered by the security advisory policy.
    Use at your own risk! It may have publicly disclosed vulnerabilities.