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Student wins iPod

'U' junior was CAPA program's 100,000th log-in

September 23, 2004

Accounting and premedical junior Andrew Thompson won a green iPod Mini just for doing his homework.

Thompson was the 100,000th student to log in to LearningOnline Network Computer-Assisted Personalized Approach, or LON-CAPA, an online course-management program.

"When I got the e-mail, I thought it was a joke," Thompson said. "I had to call all my friends and ask if they got the same e-mail. I thought it was pretty cool."

The contest started the first day of classes, and reached 100,000 users 16 days later on Sept. 14.

LON-CAPA Director and assistant Lyman Briggs Professor Gerd Kortemeyer said the contest was a way to celebrate LON-CAPA's popularity.

"We have more students than ever using it this semester, and this was a way to celebrate the usage, and give something back to the students," Kortemeyer said.

"We looked for something both cool and green as a prize. I play lots of iTunes, and thought it was something fun."

CAPA started in 1992, to provide a physics class with personalized homework and tests online.

LectureOnline was created in 1997 to allow professors to put class material on the Internet.

In 1999, LON and CAPA combined to form a program where students can do homework and view course material online.

"Currently, there are over 12,000 students using LON-CAPA," Kortemeyer said. "We have different versions of homework problems because we want students to cooperate and work together to understand concepts, but we don't want them to copy each other's work."

LON-CAPA primarily serves students in the sciences classes, Kortemeyer said.

"Because I'm pre-med, I use CAPA for my chemistry class," Thompson said. "The day I won, I had two hours until CAPA closed, and I had to finish my statistics homework. I just logged on every ten minutes to get it done."

Thompson's reward for his diligence has already been put to good use.

"I put the entire Maroon 5 CD on it as soon as I got it," Thompson said. "I was going to ask for an iPod for Christmas, and now I don't have to."


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