Opensource Education LMS

Open Source Education LMSs

Open source LMSs are those built on open source platforms likePHP/MySQL, Java, Python, Ruby on Rails, etc. or on open source content management systems (CMS) like Joomla and Drupal.  Others are customization of open source LMSs like Moodle, Sakai, and WordPress.Many open source LMSs are built on content management systems like Joomla and Drupal.

Most open source systems were built for education but have been adopted by both educational organizations and some companies.  There are a few listed here which are designed for businesses.

Although the software is free in many cases, substantial institutional support is necessary, so the total cost of ownership must be addressed.  One useful case study is the article “Why We Switched to Sakai” by Timothy M. Chester of Pepperdine University

Some systems are built on open source platforms but are available only from the vendors and not as free downloads.  Examples of this are Adrenna, Dokeos, InstructureCanvas and Latitude Learning.


  1. .LRN (.LRN Consortium) A customizable learning portal for small to medium educational institutions or businesses.
  2. AdrennaLearn HigherEd and AdrennaLearn K12 (Adrenna Inc.) as a social learning platform.Also offer a corporate LMS called Adrenna Workforce, mobile applications, virtual classroom and custom course development. Built on an open source platform.
  3. Apereo uPortal (Apereo) A portal framework for higher education.  Formerly Jasig that merged with Sakai in 2012 to form Apereo.
  4. ATutor(University of Toronto) Developed at the University of Toronto. Add-ons are available such as AContent, a content management system and ATutor Social, a social networking componentthat includes web conferencing, IRC chat, etc.
  5. BuddyPress ScholarPress Courseware BuddyPress is a plug-in for WordPress ( which makes it a social network.
  6. Caucus Includes reporting, tracking and delivery functions as well as social networking.
  7. CBTec Eliademy (CBTec) A free “online classroom” from Finland.
  8. Chamilo Allows users to create content easily and allow for different learning styles. Evolved from Dokeos but split from them and the second major versions of Dokeos and Chamilo are different. Based in Belgium.
  9. Claroline
  10. ClassWeb (UCLA)
  11. CourseWork (Stanford University) An open source LMS first developed at Stanford in 2003 based on Sakai. The School of Education uses Blackboard and two new systems – InYourClass (developed and used by the City College of New York) and ClassOwl (a student startup) – are adding social elements to the learning management systems.
  12. CWIS (Collection Workflow Integration System) A learning content management/learning object repository system developed as part of the Internet Scout project at the University of Wisconsin.
  13. Dokeos (Dokeos) Based in Belgium, Dokeos is an open source (based on Drupal) elearning and course management web application translated into 34 languages that includes authoring.  They also offer a virtual classroom, e-commerce and other applications.  Not available as a free download.
  14. Drupal An open source “Content Management System” with communication tools which is often used as a platform for developing LMSs in both education and business. See Adrenna, Dokeos, EduGlu, ELMS, Social Media Classroom, etc.
  15. EctoLearning (Ecto, LLC) Not technically open source but available free.
  16. EduFolio Originally developed by Terra Dotta, this is an open source LCMS.
  17. edX Platform The MOOC platform (called Open edX platform) developed by edXwas released as open-source software in June, 2013. (edX was founded by Harvard and MIT and has been joined by at least 12 other universities including Berkeley, University of Toronto, McGill, and Stanford.) Google is also supporting this platform. In 2015 they partnered with Microsoft (!) to offer some IT development courses.
  18. eFront (Epignosis Ltd) in Greece. Website is in English.  Conformant with SCORM 2004.
  19. Eledge (University of Utah)
  20. Elgg Open source social learning platform – creating communities of learners
  21. E-Learning Management System Learning Network (ELMSLN) (Pennsylvania State University) on Drupal.
  22. ETH ZurichdLCMS (Dynamic Learning Content System)
  23. Études (Études Inc.) authoring, social learning, and testing. Built on Sakai but not available as a free download. Makes some modules available as open source to the Sakai community.
  24. Fedora (Duraspace) An open source learning content management/learning object repository system developed at Cornell University.
  25. Fle3 of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland.
  26. Forma LMS An open-source, web-based elearning platform used to manage and deliver online training courses. It is focused on corporate training needs, rather than on academic needs and evolved from Docebo Open Source.
  27. Ganesha Website in French. Supports AICC, SCORM 1.2 and 2004.  Can be downloaded from
  28. Google Classroom is a new (2014) tool in Google Apps for Education that helps teachers create and organize assignments, provide feedback, and communicate with their classes.It integrates several apps including Gmail, Drive, Docs, and Google Groups. Not technically open source or a complete LMS but available free to Google Apps for Education users.
  29. ILIAS 4 e-Learning of Cologne, Germany. Allows users to create, manage and track learning. Includes authoring, communication and is highly secure.  Supports SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004 and AICC standards.
  30. Instructure Canvas (Instructure Inc.) An Internet hosted LMS built on an open source platform but only available from Instructure and a few resellers. Free for teachers.
  31. Internet Classroom Assistant (ICA) is an organization of Internet professionals who donate their time to provide services for the Internet community. Internet Classroom Assistant is a free program that provides web based conferencing, personal messaging, document sharing, scheduling and link/resource sharing to a variety of learning environments. First released in 1998 and still available.
  32. Jarvus Innovations Slate(Jarvus Innovations), An open source web platform for schools that integrates with Google Apps for Education and Moodle to provide collaborative tools.Includes tools like grading, progress reports, a contact directory, and classroom blogging.
  33. JoomlaLMS (JoomlaLMS) A commercial LMS based on Joomla. Joomla is an open source website content management system.
  34. LAMS (Learning Activity Management System) Not a full LMS. It provides teachers with an authoring environment for creating sequences of learning activities. Based at Macquarie University in Sydney Australia (
  35. LatitudeLearning LMS (Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.) An online open source LMS primarily designed for business with free access for up to 100 users.Claims SCORM comformance. Also offer a library of courses.
  36. Learning Management System A very basic open source system.
  37. LMS Global BusinessLMS (LMS Global) For
    businesses – not available as a free download. Includes communication tools, quizzes, and SCORM 1.2 conformance.
  38. LON-CAPA LON-CAPA is a Learning Content Management System that originated in the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University.
  39. Magnolia CMS ( Magnolia International Ltd. is a Swiss company that offers Magnolia – an “Open Java CMS”. Primarily marketed to businesses.  It is a “Content Management Suite” for websites but has been used to develop LMSs.
  40. Manhattan Virtual Classroom An open source system developed at Western New England College. While it calls itself a virtual classroom it is really a course/learning management system.
  41. MetacoonMetastudy(Bauhaus-Universität Weimar) Includes tools to produce, deliver and track learning and for social networking. Available as a free downloand.  Also offer MetaAuthoring for quiz creation. Based in Germany.
  42. MimerDesk is an open source web-based collaborative learning and groupwork environment.
  43. Moodle (open source) Probably the most widely used open source system. Developed by Martin Dougiamas in Australia. Support is provided by many partners There are many add-ons/plug-ins available, for example, the plug-in for the WizIQ virtual classroom and the facetoface add-on for tracking classroom instruction. Released in May 2013, Moodle Mobile is an HTML5-based mobile app for both Android and iOS. In 2014, Microsoft announced that Office 365 (including “Office Mix” – a PowerPoint “superset” with which students and teachers can annotate slides, add audio and video, and embed interactive elements like quizzes and even host them on is now integrated with Moodle.
  44. Morzino (Joopita Research a.s.b.l) A “virtual school” platform for teachers, students and parents.Includes authoring.  Still in beta. Based in Luxembourg.
  45. MyiCourse technically open source but a free web-based service for developing and posting courses. Primarily aimed at smaller organizations that want to develop courses.  Available free for organizations that offer their courses for free. Advertiser supported.
  46. Odoo ERP School/college/university Management Module A complete institutional management system including LMS.
  47. OpenOLAT Includes authoring, collaboration, testing and mobile access. Supports SCORM modules. Developed at the University of Zurich.  The original website is no longer available.
  48. Open Elms Pro (e-Learning WMB) Marketed as a business solution. Includes authoring (Jackdaw) and video integration. The company also offers customizable eLearning courses and custom course development.
  49. Open LMS Includes group collaboration.  Not yet SCORM, etc. conformant. Hosted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
  50. OpenSWAD Based in Spain. Available in nine languages.
  51. PASS-PORT (Innovative Learning Assessment Technologies (ILAT), LLC), LMS add-ons for students’ systematic assessment. Two tools – Campus Wide (to help streamline a school’s data collection and analysis) and Departmental Assessmentsto aggregate data across multiple departments and track more detailed information of the students’ program of study.
  52. Pearson OpenClass (Pearson Education, Inc.) A free LMS integrated with Google (Technically a Google App rather than true open source) announced in October, 2011. Includes course authoring, social networking, and access to Open Educational Resources (OER).
  53. Sakai Available as a free download or from commercial partners. Began as a U.S. university consortium, Sakai has taken several other open source initiatives under its wing which makes it a strong player.There were two versions: Sakai CLE (includes learning management, project and research collaboration and ePortfolios) and Sakai OAE (Open Academic Environment with social and personalization features. Version 10 released in 2014 appears to combine both. In 2012 Sakai merged with Jasig to form Apereo. As with Moodle there are companies that offer their own versions and support for Sakai.  Among those areUnicon ( and rSmart (– they have added hosted web conferencing, integrated SCORM support via SCORM Cloud, improved internationalization options and greater security).The Sakai division of rSmart was acquired by Asahi Net International in April, 2013.  Sakai has been in a state of transition and most of the institutions that were the original developers of Sakai have left the consortium and are moving towards Instructure Canvas.
  54. Sensei (Woothemes) A free LMS plug-in for WordPress. Also offer Woocommerce – an eCommerce plug-in.
  55. Sloodle is an Open Source project which integrates the multi-user virtual environment of Second Life® with the Moodle® learning management system. Supported by Eduserv and hosted by San José State University
  56. Social Media Classroom and Collaboratory A Howard Rheingold project based on Drupal.
  57. Totara Totara is a custom distribution of Moodle for the corporate sector. Available through many commercial partners worldwide.
  58. Uzity (Foradian Technologies An open source learning management system for schools. Built on Ruby on Rails.  Not SCORM conformant or mobile yet.  Still in beta and available free for now.  Based in India.  Also offer Fedena a school management system, student information system and ERP for maintaining all school records.
  59. WeBWorK An online homework delivery system primarily used for mathematics and science. Developed at the University of Rochester.
  60. WhiteboardCourseware System is a fully featured LMS targeted toward colleges and universities. It is written in PHP with a MySQL back-end, and is fully administrable through its web interface.

Open Source Education LMS

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