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What ‘open source’ really means

11 March 2015
AOSIS would like to contribute to Open Education Week (9-13 March) by offering some clarity on open-source software for e-learning. Andries Jansen, eLearning Manager at AOSIS, explains what an open-source LMS is – and what it isn’t.

Learning management system (LMS): A software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of electronic educational technology (also called e-learning) education courses or training programmes.

What open source is NOT: What open source IS: The main advantage of an open-source LMS is the fact that it can be customised to suit your needs. Every learning environment is unique, and there is no one cookie-cutter solution for all.

Open-source does not restrict you as to how you use your LMS or how many users you may have. On the other hand, when using a ‘closed source’ you can’t (for example) develop your own plugins or change how your students interact with the system yourself – you have to contact a partner, reseller or the original developers, which is both costly and time-consuming.

AOSIS eLearning is owned and managed by AOSIS, and is the Certified Moodle Partner for South Africa. In the 8th Annual Survey of Learning Tools, the Moodle LMS ranked top on the list (or best of breed) in the educational category, for course management. See the list of the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2014 here: Make mine a Moodle!