Free and Open Source Software for E-learning
During the discussion held from 1-25 June 2004 over 200 links were shared and proposed by the participants. More links have been identified and added as the discussion continues. This reference list of links is an outcome of your inputs and has been compiled to provide some guidance on the wealth of resources related to FOSS for e-learning on the web.
An attempt has also been made to direct the attention of the more technically advanced user to specific resources. In such a case, the category is marked.
Myths on Open Source
|General Resources on FOSS
Ten Myths about Open Source Software
Free Software versus Open Source
Free Software Definition
Terms to Avoid
Open Source: Prepare for Attack
Managing the legal risk of Linux
Free and Open Source Movements
International Open Source Network e-Primer on Free/Open Source Software for Education
Eight FOSS tutorials
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development FOSS pages
Information Society Technologies Workshop on FOSS and International Cooperation
The potential of open source approaches for education
Open Source Initiative
Free Software Foundation
Open Source Development Lab
License Law Resource Center
|FOSS Licenses – advanced users
The BSD License
GNU Lesser General Public License
The Open Software License v 1.1
The Sun Public License
IMS Global Learning Consortium
|Specifications and standards – advanced users
IMS Global Learning Consortium - Learning Design
Learning Technology Standards Committee
Component based softwares
Websites supporting the development of FOSS
|Websites supporting the development of FOSS solutions and Open Learning Objects- advanced users
SourceForge is the world's largest open source software development website. It provides free hosting to tens of thousands of projects, some of which are e-learning projects. The mission of SourceForge.net is to enrich the open source community by providing a centralized place for open source developers to control and manage open source software development. SourceForge.net uses an open source software by the same name, SourceForge.
Eduforge.org is to open source in e-learning what SourceForge is to open source. Eduforge.org allows you to organize and manage any number of software development projects pertaining to e-learning. It is best suited to manage large teams of software engineers and/or engineers scattered among multiple locations. Eduforge.org supports online communications, content management tools, including Wiki tools, project management, forum, surveys, Current Versions System (CVS), and document uploading and sharing. Eduforge.org uses the open source software called
Websites supporting the development of learning objects
OpenCourse.org supports virtual communities that develop, evaluate and use open, non-proprietary learning objects (e.g. animations, simulations, models, case studies, etc.).
Open Source Content in Education
|Articles on the use of FOSS in Learning Management Systems
Why We Should Share Learning Resources
Open courseware and open source software
Learning Content Management Systems
|FOSS Learning Content Management Systems and Content Management Systems
ATutor (Accessible Tutor)
ATutor is designed with accessibility and adaptability in mind. ATutor complies with the W3C WCAG 1.0 accessibility specifications at the AA+ level, and the IMS/SCORM Content Packaging specifications. Content created in other IMS or SCORM conformant systems can be imported into ATutor, and visa versa. ATutor’s core development team is with The Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto, Canada.
The Bodington Open Source Project
Bodington is a free open source virtual learning environement, developed by the Learning Development Unit of the University of Leeds (UK), and in use in learning institutions in the UK and worldwide, e.g. the Universities of Leeds, Oxford, Manchester; UHI Millennium Institute, Eton College, Yorkshire Coast College and St Andrews College Singapore. Bodington enables users to upload lecture notes, host discussion fora, publish and manage external links, create interactive resources, e.g. customised logbooks, peer-reviewed reflective diaries/e-portfolios (for PDP), multiple choice tests (QTI), short-answer papers and online surveys. Students can also port work into secure 'pigeon-holes' for marking.
Claroline is a collaborative learning environment that allows teachers or education institutions to create and administer courses through the web. The system provides group management, forums, document repositories, calendar, chat, assignment areas, links, user profile administration on a single and highly integrated package. The University Catholic of Louvain in Belgium initially started the software. Today a community of developers around the world contributes to its development. In 2004, the creator of Claroline left to start Dokeos, a competing open source software.
Dokeos allows you to create web content, generate multimedia tests, manage interaction with students/trainees, structure a learning path step by step, follow students/trainees progress through time, and deliver live conferences. Dokeos started as a clone of Claroline 1.4.2. The main difference between Claroline and Dokeos is that a private company named Dokeos supports the Dokeos software and helps organizations launch and develop blended learning programs. A network of training and information technologist specialists committed to social constructivist pedagogy, and web-usability theory develops Dokeos. Core developers are based in Brussels, Belgium.
ILIAS allows users to create, edit and publish learning and teaching material. Tools for cooperative working and communication are included as well. A team at the Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Social Sciences, University of Cologne, Germany, coordinates the development of the system.
Interact's aim is to concentrate on the social/interactive aspects of teaching and learning rather than the delivery of content to students. Interact is developed by the Christhchurch College of Education, New Zealand.
LogiCampus is designed to allow centers for distance learning to control most of the facets of their distance learning initiatives for students, teachers, and staff. The core development team is with Tap Internet, an e-services firm located in Michigan, USA. Tap Internet developed the original system for a college.
LON-CAPA (LearningOnline Network with a Computer-Assisted Personalized Approach)
LON-CAPA is a distributed networked system that allows the sharing of content across institutions and courses. Instructors can create and grade randomized homework, quizzes or exams. The same assessment content can be used for online homework, PDAs, printed Scantron exams, and online exams. The core development team is at the LITE Lab, College of Natural Science, Michigan State University, USA.
Manhattan Virtual Classroom
The Manhattan Virtual Classroom is a web-based course management system that includes a variety of discussion groups, live chat, areas for the teacher to post the syllabus and other handouts and notices, a module for organizing online assignments, a grades module, a surveys module, and a unique, web-based email system open only to students in the class. The system was developed at Western New England College.
Moodle is designed to support pedagogies based on social constructionist theory, and includes activity modules such as forums, chats, resources, journals, quizzes, surveys, choices, workshops, glossaries, lessons, and assignments. It has been translated into over 40 languages, with more on the way, and supports the popular SCORM standard for content packaging. The core development team is distributed worldwide, with the project leader living in Australia.
The Sakai Project
The Sakai Project is a community source software development project founded by the University of Michigan, Indiana University, MIT, Stanford, the uPortal Consortium, and the Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI) with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The project is producing open source Collaboration and Learning Environment (CLE) software with the first release in July 2004. The Sakai Educational Partners' Program (SEPP) extends this community source project to other academic institutions around the world, and is supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and SEPP member contributions.
Tools to compare learning content management systems
Edutools compares open source and proprietary learning content management systems in terms of their features.
Content management systems
b2evolution is a content management system anchored around the blog concept. A blog is a journal that is available on the web. b2evolution allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. b2evolution is fully featured with multiple blogs, content/presentation separation, full user management. B2evolution is extending to provide features in Wikis, Trackers or hierarchy driven content management systems.
A dynamic web site platform which allows an individual or community of users to publish, manage and organize a variety of content. Drupal integrates many popular features of content management systems, weblogs, collaborative tools and discussion-based community software into one easy-to-use package.
EZ Publish CMS
eZ Publish Content Management System (CMS) needs the EZ Publish Content Management Framework (CMF). EZ Publish CMS and CMF allow you to build a standard web shop site and incorporate functionality from different packages like forums, polls, newspapers, weblogs and image galleries.
ICE (Integrated Content Environment)
Developed by the University of Southern Queensland, ICE is a content management system mainly for text-intensive content. It is especially well suited to distance learning materials.
Jetbox uses a well tested user interface to integrate a content management system, WYSIWYG editor, mailing list, website statistics, user registration, search engine, and a document manager.
PhP-Nuke allows you to develop your own portal. A powerful assembly of tools allows the administrator to maintain an active and 100% interactive web site using databases.
Postnuke is a system that manages communities, content, and collaboration. It is a set of tools that allows you to build a dynamically generated web site that five years ago would have cost thousands of dollars.
SPIP (Système de publication pour l'internet)
SPIP is a publishing system for the Internet. SPIP enables you to build and update a website using a very simple user interface.
Commonwealth of Learning/3Waynet Inc LMS Evaluation Tool User Guide
|Learning Management System (LMS) Technical Evaluations – advanced users
Eduforge Technical Evaluation - Part 1
Eduforge Technical Evaluation - Part 2
Technical Evaluation - The Open Polytech of New Zealand
Making Sense of Learning Specifications & Standards
|Reports on Standards for LMS – advanced users
Open source software and Australian school education
|Studies on the use of FOSS in education
FOSS Education Primer
Free Software Portal
Information Processing Tools
International Journal of Educational Technology (IJET)
Journal of Digital Information
Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks
Circuits & Packets Communication
African Virtual Open Initiatives and Resources (AVOIR)
Asia Open Source Software Community
Free Software in Asia
Free and Open Source Software Foundation of Pakistan (FOSSFP)
POSITIVE Portal (Philippine Open Source Initiative Information Portal)