A Learning Management System (LMS) helps you automate and document the learning programs. It is suitable for individual educators, small-scale educational programs and university-level learning programs.
Of course, even corporate training programs can be organized using a learning management system.
While it has a lot of use-cases, having a transparent platform for your Learning Management System should be a benefit for any organization.
While there are managed platforms like Teachable that allow you to focus on creating courses, having a self-hosted LMS gives you more control on all aspects and could even save you money. Hosting and managing could be a hassle, though.
So, in this article, we will be listing some of the best open source LMS.
Top Open-Source Learning Management Systems
To ensure that you have a transparent and secure platform that comes with community and/or professional support, open-source LMS solutions should be a perfect pick.
You may self-host these software on your own cloud servers or physical servers. You can also opt for managed hosting from the developers of the LMS system themselves or their official partners.
Note: The list is in no particular order of ranking.
- Simple user interface
- Plugin availability to extend options
- Collaboration and management options
- Administrative control options
- Regular security updates
Moodle is a popular learning management platform. It features one of the most extensive set of options among any other learning management system out there. It may not offer the most modern and intuitive learning user experience, but it is a simple and feature-rich option as a learning platform.
You get most of the essential options that include calendar, collaborative tools, file management, text editor, progress tracker, notifications, and several more.
Unfortunately, there’s no managed hosting solution from the team itself. So, you will have to deploy it by yourself on your server or rely on certified partners to do the work.
2. Forma LMS
- Tailored for corporate training
- Plugin support
- E-commerce integration
- Multi-company support
Forma LMS is an open-source project tailored for corporate training.
You can add courses, manage them, and also create webinar sessions to enhance your training process remotely. It lets you organize the courses in the form of catalogs while also being able to create multiple editions of courses for different classrooms.
E-Commerce integration is available with it as well that will let you monetize your training courses in return for certifications. It also gives you the ability to utilize plugins to extend the functionality.
The key feature of Forma LMS is that it allows you to manage multiple companies using a single installation.
3. Open edX
- A robust platform for university-tailored programs
- Integration with exciting technology offerings for a premium learning experience
If you happen to know a few learning platforms for courses and certifications, you probably know about edX.
And, Open edX lets you utilize the same technology behind edX platform to offer instructor-led courses, degree programs, and self-paced learning courses. Of course, considering that it is already something successful as a platform used by many companies, you can utilize it for any scale of operation.
You can opt for self-managed deployment or contact the partners for a managed hosting option to set up your LMS.
4. ELMS Learning Network
- A suite of tools to choose from
- Distributed learning network
Unlike others, ELMS Learning Network offers a set of tools that you can utilize to set up your learning platform as per your requirements.
It is not an LMS by itself but through a collection of tools it offers in the network. This may not be a robust option for degree programs or equivalent. You will also find a demo available on their website if you’d like to explore more about it.
You can also check out its GitHub page if you’re curious.
5. Canvas LMS
- Fit for small-scale education programs and higher education
- API access
- Plenty of integration options
Canvas LMS is also a quite popular open-source LMS. Similar to Open edX, Canvas LMS is also suitable for a range of applications, be it school education programs or university degrees.
It offers integrations with several technologies while empowering you with an API that you can connect with Google Classrooms, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and others. It is also an impressive option if you want to offer mobile learning through your platform.
You can opt for a free trial to test it out or just deploy it on your server as required. To explore more about it, head to its GitHub page.
6. Sakai LMS
- Simple interface
- Essential features
Sakai LMS may not be a popular option, but it offers most of the essential features that include course management, grade assessment, app integration, and collaboration tools.
If you are looking for a simple and effective LMS that does not come with an overwhelming set of options, Sakai LMS can be a good option to choose.
You can try it for free with a trial account if you want a cloud-based option. In either case, you can check out the GitHub page to self-host it.
6. Opigno LMS
- Tailored for corporate training
- Security features
- Authoring tools
- E-commerce integration
Opigno LMS is a Drupal-based open-source project that caters to the needs of training programs for companies.
In case you didn’t know, Drupal is an open-source CMS that you can use to create websites. And, with Opigno LMS, you can create training resources, quizzes, certificates. You can also sell certification courses using this learning platform.
A simple interface and essential features, that’s what you get here.
7. Sensei LMS
- WordPress plugin
- Easy to use
- WooCommerce’s integration support
- Offers WooCommerce extensions
Sensei LMA is an impressive open-source project which is a plugin available for WordPress. In fact, it is a project by the same company behind WordPress, i.e. Automattic.
Considering that WordPress powers the majority of web – if you already have a website on WordPress, simply install Sensei as a plugin and incorporate a learning management system quickly, it is that easy!
You can manage your courses, and also sell them online if you need. It also supports multiple WooCommerce extensions to give you more control on managing and monetizing the platform.
Most of the LMS should offer you the basic essentials of managing learning programs and courses along with the ability to sell them online. However, they differ based on their 3rd party integrations, ease of use, user interface, and plugins.
So, make sure to go through all the available resources before you plan on setting up a learning management system for your educational institute or company training.
Did I miss listing any other interesting open-source LMS? Let me know in the comments down below.