A recent Harvard Business Review article states that online learning has become one of the most skill-building activities by default in 2020. With online learning being the latest post-pandemic trend, every organization requires an open-source learning management system that does not create prominent and impactful eLearning programs and helps track and manage them effectively.
Given its usefulness, popularity, and wide range of options available in the market, the question remains the same – ‘Which Learning Management System is the Best Right Now?’.
To help you make this decision and pick the most relevant LMS, we have enlisted the top seven free and open-source LMSs for you.
7 Most Popular Learning Management System (LMS) Thriving in Markets:
Moodle is a free open source LMS that helps you create customized courses and other learning activities. It provides options to conduct online self-paced and instructor-led classes to satisfy your customized learning pedagogies.
Although the software interaction happens through the browser for users, the trainers can design their environments through the Moodle app for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Looking for a Learning Management System? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best Learning Management System solutions.
- Offers feasibility to create and customize courses
- Easy to use interface and works on all platforms – Cloud SaaS, Web, Mac, Android, ioS
- Interactive dashboard with an option to manage dashboard blocks
- Students can perform activities like chat, share assignments, database, feedback, etc.
- File management option
- Easy to use the text editor
- Robust and secure platform
- Ability to perform bulk operations
- Facilitates mass enrollment
- Set up competencies and personal learning plans
- Multilingual capability offering a chance to use various languages
- Bulk course creation with easy to back up option
- 3rd party plugins
- No option to sign up automatically
- Difficult to set-up
- Lacks the choice of native video conferencing
- Complicated calculation of the final score as multiple parameters are included
- Users face a little trouble in configuration
- Do it yourself option – Free (forever for unlimited users)
- Moodle for School – Starts from $ 250/year (100 users)
Forma LMS caters very well to the training needs of corporates, like task automation and integrability. This open-source learning management system is designed to make it simpler for you to conduct online training well.
Forma LMS is well focused on needs like automated tasks, talent management, synchronous learning, and certification management.
- Wide range of plugins
- Multiple built-in functionalities to create robust assessments
- Supports creating webinars Automatically generates PDF certifications
- An advanced tracking system to monitor learning activities
- Effective courses management option to edit actions
- Flexible user management
- Personalized reporting
- Multiple course path options
- Roles and skills mapping
- Selling option
- Easy to integrate via an intranet option
- Aptly integrates with a videoconferencing system
- Offers modules to generate comprehensive and elaborate reports
- Assists in decision making
- Provides API integration support
- Free trial option
- Supports all forms of training, including in-person and documentation
- No option for built-in course authoring
- Lacks learner portal
Forma LMS 2.3 – Free to download
ILIAS is another free open source LMS with robust capabilities for developing web-based training. This LMS was designed to bring down the cost of using new media in training and education. It is useful for all organizations, including large and small enterprises, non-profits, public service bodies, and freelancers. Its unique features include online fees collection and transportation management.
- Built-In Authoring Tool
- Attendance Tracking
- Manage certification templates
- Certification Expiration Management
- Add, upload, archive users
- Upload courses
- Live videoconferencing
- Built-In Authoring Tool
- Attendance Tracking
- Supports all learning types
- Supports open communication
- Offers long-term development process
- Offers advanced access management support
- Very easy to use
- Matches with the latest online training standards
- No option for synchronous learning
- Lacks guest access settings options
- Poor reporting system
It is available free for download while still offering a free trial.
Want to ensure that the skills of your students or employees are always in-sync with the world and stay updated? Enable and manage their online training using Opigno, which is designed to help organizations looking for scalable and reliable training systems.
Opigno is a fully-featured LMS designed to serve startups as well as organizations. It provides end-to-end solutions that offer gamification, learner’s portal, mobile learning, e-commerce, and many more all in one place.
- H5P technology
- Global calendar
- Reporting option
- Video Conferencing
- E-commerce support
- Training catalog
- Using Content management feature taught with training
- Customizable dashboard
- Collaborative messaging tool
- Apache Solr integration, CAS integration, Learning Locker, Watershed
- Live meeting solution with screen sharing
- The e-commerce option allows the selling of training subscription
- Integration of 2-factor authentication offers complete security
- Interactive learning path management with graphical learning path management tool
- Interactive chat helps multiple users
- Misses progress tracking option
- No option for generating custom reports
- Free to use
OpenOLAT gets its name from the term OLAT, which stands for Online Learning and Training. OpenOLAT is a learning management system that features extensibility, modular tools, and straightforward operations. It is a complete web-based solution to help organizations facilitate teaching, assessing, communication, and all-around learning. This free, open-source LMS enables tutors to implement courses with many advanced functionalities.
- SCORM Compliant
- Synchronous learning option
- eCommerce selling option
- Dedicated learner portal
- The option of built-in course authoring
- Compliance training
- Multiple functions available on just one system
- Minimal resource consumption
- Scaling and security guarantees
- Simple and intuitive operation
- No need to install various tools
- Provides an option to conduct courses and tests
- Chat support and easy collaboration option
- Archiving tool to ease operation
- No option for accessing bulk user actions
- No gamification option
- Not apt for blended learning modules
- Free version available
- The paid version starts at $250.00 per month
SAKAI is an open-source LMS, which is renowned for its flexibility and adoption of a fundamentally unique approach to learning. This LMS is considered one of the best in the market as it makes it easier for contributors hailing from different organizations to work on a common cause.
- Sakai extensions
- Research collaboration
- Graded discussions
- Lesson builder
- Project collaboration
- Wiki tools for web authoring
- Offers open-source structure
- Streamlines the learning management process
- Offers a license to community members
- Delivers meaningful learning experience
- Feature-rich LMS functionalities like multimedia course hosting
- Easy integration with Google Docs
- No licensing fees
- Accommodate any number of learners
- Supports all the popular teaching technologies
- Some users find it hard to install and manage
- No source for video conferencing
- Lacks rich media
- No mobile app
- Misses 3rd-party integrations
- Free to download
Dokeos is a free, open-source learning management system that is designed for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. It also works well with most industries like aviation, defense, energy, manufacturing, etc. for training and learning needs.
Any company that requires an eLearning portal and an evaluation tool to fit its custom needs should try Dokeos. It has a complete suite from an easy-to-use authoring system to a robust reporting feature that allows you to manage training and skill evaluation effectively.
- Reporting and analytics
- Engagement analysis
- FDA and HIPAA compliant
- Oogie Rapid learning
- Rich format content
- HTML 5 format
- SCORM reporting
- Ecommerce option
- Design an online catalog
- Marketing tools
- LDAP and CAS support
- Video Conferencing
- Option to create evaluation tests
- Issues certificates to learners
- Option to create quizzes with 2D-3D graphics
- Provides features to formulate presentations from PowerPoint and MS Word into Dokeos slides
- Option to share videos, documents, presentations
- Feature to integrate with Salesforce
- Import content directly into Dokeos’ training modules
- Lacks an API option
- No live chat option
- You can start your custom training platform from $0.5/user/month
- Free version available
One cannot overstate the importance of learning management systems in today’s age of eLearning. With free and open source LMS, organizations can ensure that their employees and students remain in sync with the trends and become more productive.
Since the eLearning industry is growing with every blink of an eye, it is essential to freeze the best LMS system on the shelf. And if you are a complete beginner, trying a free, open-source LMS will help. Just ensure that the one you select must meet all the compliance and regulations.
We hope you enjoyed checking the prominent features, benefits, and demerits of some of the most trending and popular open-source learning management systems. Did we miss any learning management system that is best according to you? Let us know in the comments below.