To Open Source or Not to Open Source?

I’ve worked with different LMS (learning management system) platforms over the years as I’ve been involved with learning in the workplace. These include Docent, Care2Learn, Upstairs Soluions, Taleo, Spectrum iVantage and HomeTrak. All solid products with good platforms to track and report out on learning. Some custom tailored to a specific industry with canned products plus opportunity to upload new clases. Some better at basic administrative/compliance tracking but not full blown LMS. All have served a purpose that worked in the organization that used them.

The funny thing is that there is this whole world of freebie software floating about in the cloud. It fascinates me. At my house the world of Open Source runs rampant. I don’t use Word but rather Libre Office for my word processing, presentations and spreadsheets. In fact I just finished a twelve page paper for class on Libre Office and saved in Word compatible mode today. It is a beautiful thing! My son uses a graphic editing software that is Open Source. By doing this my family had saves hundreds if not thousands of dollars in software over the years because Open Source is free.

Despite my personal Open Source use for basic applications at home, I have not really seriously contemplated how Open Source impacts the world of learning management systems. Just recently I began to study this world of LMS systems. I have been studying Moodle, which is used by a number of learning institutions and other organizations. Their site is I’m curious to hear from other learning professionals about their experiences with this kind of software.

And if you are a HR person with an itch for taking this even further, try Orange HRM (Open Source HRIS system) or LimeSurvey (Open Source online survey tool). These are fascinating too!