A Comparison Study in Open Source Learning Management Software
Li-Jen Yu Shannon Sam Houston State University
Marilyn Rice Sam Houston State University
Abstract Based on the demands of online teaching and learning programs from various levels of educational systems and enterprises in the past decade, there are many open source learning management systems from which to choose. In order to select the most feasible and appropriate learning management software, it requires the administrators to analyze and assess the needs from their own institutions and follow up with the comparison of available software. This study investigated three top leading learning management software including Moodle, Olat, and Sakai. These selected software offer easy access to demonstration and details of functionality.
The comparison for this research included the three categories of Course Building Functions, Server Functions, and Training and Service. For the Course Building Functions category, there were eight items compared for details of course quality control, interactive tools, template courses, gradebook interfaces, social network subscription, calendar builder, course assessment, and resources sharing. The available functions of monitoring criteria, interacting interfaces, and assessing tools were carefully scrutinized in this category.
To investigate the Server Functions category, there were six items compared for details of file size control, enrollment process, plugins and access control, online/offline function, analytics function, and course archiving function. It is vital for the users and the institutions to have a freely accessible and quick responding server all the time. The transmission speed and storage capacity with easy access while online or offline have been evaluated in this category.
The Training and Service category included the three studied items of user training materials, developer forums and tips, and technical support. For new users, it is important to provide the needed training, guideline, and support. Moreover, considering whether in-house technicians and management would be needed or not, each one of these selected learning management software was critiqued to analyze both the advantages and disadvantages of its design, and also to review it from the perspective of its benefits in applied modern technology. The findings of this research will serve the top managers in assisting their decision-making for implementing a tool which would be the best fit for their specific needs.
Recommended Citation: Shannon, L. Y., Rice, M., (2015). A Comparison Study in Open Source Learning Management Software. Proceedings of the EDSIG Conference, (2015) n.3601, Wilmington, NC