Platform Learning Management Systems—Creating a Knowledge Base

Open for discussion—any comments appreciated and very welcome!

Most universities and colleges nowadays employ course management systems to enhance instruction. Besides commercial systems such as Blackboard, quite a few Open Source learning management systems have become available in the last years, such as Moodle, ATutor, Ilias, Claroline and many more—some of which even have won awards. While I have encountered Moodle to be used as an alternative to Blackboard at the same university and at high schools, the use of Open Source Course/Learning Management systems within Institution of Higher Education is rare—at least here in the U.S. What are the reasons for institutions to rather buy a commercial system than using one of the freely available ones? Is it the quality of the product, user friendliness, administrative issues, political issues? Do Open Source systems lack a sufficient support system? Have you even heard about Open Source Management Systems?

With these questions in mind I would like to invite all people who have experience with any course management system—users, administrators, developers—to talk about their experience with course management systems, no matter if commercial or Open Source. What do you like/dislike about the software? What could be improved? Administrators, what kind of problems are you facing, what does it mean for you to keep such a system running? Would you recommend the system you are using to other people/institutions?

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