LAMC Masthead


History of Course Management Systems (CMS)
Authentication (Student Identity) at Mission

2000-2002 - Virtual CSUN

Mission College began delivering online classes in 2000. Between 2000 and 2002,  no formal course management system was used, but rather a collection of resources provided by Cal State Northridge which included a webportal - Virtual CSUN, a threaded discussion board (hypernews) and quizmaker from Univ. of Hawaii.  See web history - virtual CSUN (FN-1)

During this period, once students enrolled in the DE class, students accessed these materials through the internet, and were instructed through email and webpages at on how to navigate through the internet materials and the online class.

2002-2007 Etudes Classic

Starting in 2002, the LA Community College District purchased and provided "Etudes Classic"  (FN-2) Course Management system for its sister colleges including Mission. Etudes Classic was a pioneer course management system, based on C and C++, inspired and developed by Michael Loceff, computer science professor at Foothill College, in 1994. Etudes Classic provided, as part of its service, the upload into Etudes of Mission College registered students authenticated from the LACCD student information data base. The institutional secure login and password consisted of the the first two initials of the students first name, the first two initials of their last name and the last 5 numbers of the students' social security number as the username (this changed to the last 5 numbers of their 88-xxx-xxxx student ID number in 2006, see below discussion on student ID's) and the month/day of birth as the student's password.

2007 - 2010 Etudes NG, Moodle and Course Compass/E College

Etudes Classic becomes Etudes NG (Next Generation) - The LACCD continued providing Etudes Classic to its colleges from 2002-2005. In 2005, Mission became responsible for funding the Etudes Classic platform and purchased it from 2006-2008. In 2008, Etudes became a non-profit organization, no longer part of Foothill College, and started to develop and employ a Next Generation (NG) version of Etudes (FN-3). Mission purchased and employed Etudes NG from 2008-2010.
Moodle - 2007-2010

In 2005, the LACCD purchased Moodle Course Management System (FN-4) - a popular "open source" system which was intended for "in house" staff training at the LACCD District. However, LACCD decided to also deploy its use, "for free", to the sister colleges of the LACCD, and Mission started using it in 2007 to deliver some of it online classes (Chicano Studies, Nutrition and Law) in addition to the use of Etudes Classic, and then Etudes NG. Students accessed the online classes by first registering for the online class with Mission/LACCD, and then logged in by creating their own username/password.

Course Compass/Ecollege - 2000 - 2010

In 2000, Mission, with a Title V grant, purchased the ECollege Course Management System and started to use it in teaching on campus/online classes including nutrition, supervision & management, intro to computers, small bus. management, hospitality and sanitation and safety. In 2005, Sociology, Psychology, History, and Political Science were taught online using Course Compass which later became eCollege. Students purchased the course textbook and received a unique username/password to login to their CMS.
Course Management Task Force - 2009

In September 2009, College Council approved a Course Management Task Force (FN-5) to determine which course management system(s) would best serve the college.  The task force met and evaluated a number of course systems and in December 2009, EPC, Academic Senate, and College Council approved the task force recommendation to use Moodle and Course Compass/ECollege as the two approved CMS, and Etudes NG was retired on 6/3010.

Moodle/ECollege - 2010 to present

Currently  LAMC uses two CMS systems exclusively - Moodle and ECollege.


In September 2008, ACCJC notified colleges that changes in the Health Education Opportunity Act regarding Distance Education  (FN-6) required institutions to authenticate the identity of distance education students submitting work toward course and program. During the period of 2008 and 2009, institutions offering distance education were to develop "processes through which the institution established that the student who registered in a distance education course or program was the same student who participated in and completed the program and received the academic credit” . The Commission required institutional compliance of this new requirement on or before the Commissions Comprehensive 2010 Evaluations.  

In October 2009, federal law was passed under  34 CFR §602.17(g) (FN-7)  (Oct. 2009) which required authentication   of student identity (authentication) as follows:

§ 602.17 Application of standards in reaching an accrediting decision.  The agency must have effective mechanisms for evaluating an institution’s or program’s compliance with the agency’s standards before reaching a decision to accredit or preaccredit the institution or program. The agency meets this requirement if the agency demonstrates that it— (g) Requires institutions that offer distance education or correspondence education to have processes in place through which the institution establishes that the student who registers in a distance education or correspondence education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course or program and receives the academic credit.

The agency meets this requirement if it—

(1) Requires institutions to verify the identity of a student who participates in class or coursework by using, at the option of the institution, methods such as (i) A secure login and pass code;  (ii) Proctored examinations; and (iii) New or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identity

US Dept. of Education. Office of Postsecondary Education. “Institutional Eligibility Under the Higher Education act of 1965, as amended, and the Secretary’s Recognition of accrediting agencies.” 34 CFR 602.17. US Government Printing Office. 27 Oct. 2009. Web.
LACCD and LAMC Compliance with Student Authentication
Prior to 2006, LAMC and LACCD used the student's Social Security number and month and date (mmdd) of birth as the secure login. This clearly became a problem when worldwide internet identity theft exploded, and thus LACCD moved to a more secure login for students. State law required the colleges district to issue a separate student identification number to identify students. LACCD instituted a student ID throughout the district which was prefixed by 88 to distinguish it from a social security and the remaining 7 digits are randomly generated numbers. This change became effective on July 24, 2006.
This new accreditation requirement (as of Spring 2010) is met when a Course Management System uploads students directly from the student rosters maintained by the college in its Student Information System (SIS).
In Fall 2010  the district IT, and LAMC, along with tech support from our Moodle hosting service and E College collaborated in integrating a seamless upload of students through synchronization with the LACCD Student Information System to bring both our Moodle and ECollege CMS platforms in compliance with student identity authentication required by the Commission and the current guidelines on distance education. 

Starting Spring 2010, and in compliance with the ACCJC guidelines on DE and Federal regulations, both our Moodle and Ecollege CMS platforms communicated with the LACCD Student Database through the standard 88 Student ID and mmdd of birth.  Our DE Students can only login to either Moodle or ECollege through the use of their LACCD/LAMC 88 ID secure login and passcode, which is the LACCD and LAMC commonly accepted institutional secure login and password for services in the District and at Mission (such as registering for classes, access to campus WIFI, financial aid, and a variety of student and campus services. Therefore, Mission is in compliance with 34 CFR §602.17(g)  by requiring its online students to login through its CMS with a secure login and password.

1.  Web History - Virtual CSUN
2.  Etudes Classic 
3.  Etudes NG - ("Next Generation")
4.  Moodle Course Management System
5.  Course Management Task Force
6.  ACCJC Letter of 9/24/08 re New Distance Education Requirements
7.  New Federal Law on Distance Education Authentication of student identity - 34 CFR §602.17(g)
updated: 2/28/13 @ 4:40 pm
Prepared by: David Jordan - DE Coordinator