Open source LMSs have been in the market especially in the education domain for many years now. Software’s such as Moodle, Sakai and A-tutor are some of the popular open source LMSs that gained popularity in educational institutions. However, in the recent years the potential of open source LMSs is being explored for use in the context of business environments.
There are several benefits of using an Open Source LMS. Here are few of them:
Need not be tied down to a single vendor: A license for a proprietary LMS ties you down to a single vendor for support, service and maintenance. Troubleshooting internally may not be as easy or quick as would be the case with an open source LMS. Open source LMS is usually built by a community of practitioners and therefore knowledge sharing and troubleshooting can be possible through online forums and discussion groups that cater specifically to users. Vendors of proprietary LMSs may escalate their prices for their support and services in future – on which you may have no control and may find it difficult to come out of the situation as you have already made huge investments in the system.
Easier to fix problems and do basic troubleshooting: Open source LMSs are designed in such a manner that it is easier to fix problems or source codes. Organizations who have technically competent people can easily acquire the ability to troubleshoot on their own without having to rely on the developer. In addition, knowledge about the features of the product and tips can be easily gained and shared online through discussion forums and community portals. In fact, even in the case of proprietary software, the best form of support comes from user-to-user forums than the vendors themselves.
Lower costs: The initial licensing cost that exists in the case of proprietary LMSs is not there in case of open source. Even though the development and maintenance costs exist that are comparatively lower. Once an in-house team attains competency in customizing the open source LMS, it turns out to be more viable. Open Source LMSs such as Moodle have Moodle partners who can also provide support to users and the costs will not be as high as for licensed LMSs.
Instant access to upgrades or product improvements: As a partner to the open source development process, you benefit from the contributions made by fellow developers. Any bug fixes or customizations made by fellow users can be shared for the benefit of the other users. While transparency is not possible when using proprietary software, users might have to incur extra costs for upgrades or for higher versions.
Caters to the needs of end-users: The product is developed through the collaborative effort of the end-users. It means that the functionalities are usually developed based on the discussions and recommendations between the users. Hence, it is more user-friendly in nature. It is easier to develop add-ons and integrate other open source plug-ins without affecting core system files.
The risks involved in adopting an open source LMS is as much as that for any other proprietary LMSs. However, given the success that some of the open source LMSs have seen in the last few years, we can safely assume that they are here to stay and provide real benefits to organizations in terms of cutting costs and improving efficiency.
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In the previous post of this series, we have seen how several companies are using open-source LMSs to manage their learning activities. In this last post of the series, let us examine the Enterprise option.
A learning management system (LMS) is an software application which helps to deliver online training. With the help of it, we can deliver courses as well as track users’ status and scores.
In the second post of this series, we have seen the about the WordPress option. Here, let us see the second option i.e Moodle (open source LMS).
In the previous blog, we have seen the benefits and features of an LMS. We have also seen that organizations, depending on their size and complexity, have three LMS options before them. Among them, the first option is Word Press. Let us see about it, in detail.
Many organizations are using eLearning to train their employees, and they need a Learning Management System (LMS) to track and monitor learning activities. According to the Brandon Hall 2012 report, 78% of organizations are using a Learning Management System (LMS) and 33% of companies were looking to upgrade or replace their current systems.
Moodle is the most widely used open source learning management systems, according to the eLearning Guild. It is highly flexible and can be customized based on our needs. I got opportunities to attend brainstorming sessions with customers to identify their specific requirements to manage trainings on the LMS. One of the common requirements which is not available in Moodle is domains. They wanted to have multiple domains in the same LMS. Users or the administrator belonging to Domain-A should not be allowed to view/access the courses or users of Domain-B. There should be a chief administrator who should have access to all the users of or courses available in the LMS, irrespective of domains.
Collaborative learning may play an important role in training employees or channel partners. Collaborative learning enables your people to obtain vital information which they may not be able to obtain through formal training programs.
LMS, an acronym for Learning Management System, is a software application designed to plan, implement and track learning content. It helps integrate all training administration activities under one roof. A Learning Management System is sometimes also known as Course Management System (CMS), Learning Content Management System (LCMS), Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Virtual Learning System (VLS), learning portal, or eLearning platform. Though a Learning Management System (LMS) is defined differently by different vendors, its functions remain the same.
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application that helps deliver online training programs. An LMS can also be used to track, document and report learners’ process.
Performing learning management activities using an LMS, in an organization with a few employees, is easy. But, performing these activities in a company with several staff members, in a short time period, can be quite hectic. Usually, these “bulk”, time-bound activities need to be performed when you setup a new LMS and want to do lot of activities in the initial stages to set all the pre-training settings. Also, you need to perform these activities if you assign a selected set of courses to a group of specific users.