Opportunities for Open Source eLearning

Abstract

E-Learning is often conceived as a single product. In reality, however, the market offering is very heterogeneous with a large product variety. Think of learning management systems, virtual classrooms, authorware, test and assessment tools, simulators, and many more. Each of these e-learning applications is available from multiple vendors and middlemen. Next to more than 250 providers of commercial learning management systems, more than 40 open source LMS offerings can be identified. In this chapter, I discuss if open source applications for e-learning offer an alternative to commercial offerings today, specifically in the context of education. The lessons drawn here also apply to other (public) organizations and applications. InTRoduCTIon Public authorities are under pressure and scrutiny to provide best value-for-money public services (Sanderson, 2001) and have increasing performance accountability (Faucett & Kleiner, 1994) within strict budgetary boundaries and guidelines (Colley, 2003). Today, there is a growing number of policymakers who see open source software as a viable alternative for use in government IT systems (Colley, 2003; Preimesberger, 2004). In several cases, this view has been translated into policy, legislative, or other initiatives (e.g., research funding) that promote (e.g., Extremadura, Spain) or mandate preference to (e.g., Italy) the use of free/libre open source software (FLOSS) (Hahn, 2002). DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-525-2.ch014

DOI: 10.4018/jwltt.2006040104

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Cite this paper

@article{Dewever2006OpportunitiesFO, title={Opportunities for Open Source eLearning}, author={Fanuel Dewever}, journal={IJWLTT}, year={2006}, volume={1}, pages={50-61} }