Learning @online

Before talking about the E-platfrom, it is necessary to clarify a common mistake that people make confusing Learning Management System (LMS) with Online Learning, indeed LMS is not online learning. Learning Management System (LMS) is only the system which allows teachers to teach and students to learn. Online learning is also supported by web conferences software, social media applications etc. Although the most used option for teaching online is the Learning Management System (LMS). The LMS supports online classrooms where the teaching providers can upload documents, videos, hold discussions and many more activities to support online learning.

E-learning platform supported by LMS

In this article a list of six platforms has been selected considering some particular features, international awards and daily use.

As stated in Moodle website, Moodle is a free open-sourse software developed on pedagogical principles. Moodle is used for e-learning project and activities in high educational institutes, schools, workplaces and other sectors interested in e-learning. It is free of charge and it used to support e-learning programme, blended learning and flipped classrooms.

Chamilo is an open-source for e-learning and content management system. It was launched officially in 2010, but the origins of the project are back in 2000. It is managed by the Chamilo Association and the distribution is free of charge. The goal of the platform is to raise access to knowledge and education at the global level. Due to its educational objective, the community is mainly connected with human resource and educational networks.

ATutor is used in different contexts such as academic research, course management and career development for teachers. ATutor is an open source (LCMS, Learning Content Management System web-based) designed with accessibility priorities indeed it can provide access to disable learners. When it was first released in 2002, it was created in response of two studies related to the accessibility to online learning  by people with disabilities. Nowadays, thanks to the ATutor features also blind people can have direct access to the platform.

Blackboard Learn was released in 1997 and it is a web-based platform with a course management system. The platform provides to the users different features for communication (Chat, mail, discussions etc.) and content sharing (Learning modules, calendar, assessment etc.). Blackboard is a leading provider of software application and service for e-education.

OLAT stands for Online Learning And Training. It’s an open source free software developed by the University of Zürich, which offers any type of e-learning such as teaching and tutoring. In the 2000 OLAT won the MeDiDa-Prix prize which is an award for outstanding innovation in the e-learning field founded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture, the German Federal Ministry of Educational and Research and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research, SER (as stated “E-learning in Europe-Learning Europe”, Ullrich Dittler, Helge Kahler, Michael Kindt & Christine Schwarz, WAXMANN, 2005). OLAT also won the Swiss Open Source Award (2008) and IMS Learning Impact ‘Leadership Award’ (2009).

AKAY is an educational software platform to sustain teaching, research and online collaboration. It was founded in the 2004 by the Indiana University, the Georgia and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Stanford University, the University of Michigan and the uPortal. SAKAY means “Chef” because the project was initially created on a existing structure developed by the founding institutions with a fundamental contribution from the “Chef course management system”, University of Michigan.