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Harold's OpenSource Learning Blog

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  Messages 44-42 deleted by author between 07-20-2006 05:51 AM and 02-16-2006 06:43 AM
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
22:04 Atlantic
Just started a Squidoo lens on the same subject, open source for learning - http://www.squidoo.com/opensource4learning/
  Messages 40-39 deleted by author between 08-12-2005 07:07 AM and 05-02-2005 04:48 PM
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
17:52 Atlantic
I now have a weblog incorporated with my website, which is where I will be posting new items.

Edited 15-03-2006 11:54
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
22:10 Atlantic
Some more open source alternatives:

The GIMP is a GNU Image Manipulation Program, as a possible alternative to Photoshop - http://www.gimp.org/

You don't really need this if you have OpenOffice, but PDFCreator is a free tool to create PDFs easily from nearly any application - http://sector7g.wurzel6-webdesign.de/pdfcreator/

Dia is a possible replacement for Visio, but the website looks a bit messy - http://hans.breuer.org/dia/
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
14:14 Atlantic
Hi Pat;
I'm not quite sure what you're looking for in terms of tracking functions, but the EduTools site groups all of the open source systems, and then you can check for certain features: http://www.edutools.info/course/compare/by...roducts.jsp?group=2
I know that Moodle has received many good reviews, but I have only evaluated Atutor in depth. There are some other evaluations posted on this board as well.
Pat Sutton
14:43 Atlantic
I am looking for an opensource Learning Management System which tracks student activity, records scores etc. I tried ATutor, it seemed to be mainly course management - could not find a tracking module. Any suggestions?
Deleted by author 27-02-2004 17:51
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
15:37 Atlantic
Test & Survey Tools
I was recently asked if I knew of any open source tools for survey/test creation. I didn't, but I did a quick check of Source Forge and came up with some tools and some that incorporate these features. I'm sure that there are more, and would appreciate any first-hand reports.

"Tiki is a powerful CMS/Groupware. Features: article, forum, newsletter, blog, file/image gallery, wiki, drawing, tracker, directory, poll/survey & quiz, FAQ, chat, banner, webmail, calendar, category, ACL, etc in Single Sign-on or LDAP.(PHP/MySQL/Smarty)"

"PHP scripts to let non-technical users create surveys, administer surveys, gather results, view statistics. All managed online after database initialization. MySQL database backend."

"Socrates is a Java based questionnaire/survey engine and wizard, that enables fast delivery of questionnaires to the web. Socrates is an API, with a thin servlet layer, so that it can be used in other applications."

Some of these are in Beta, so you'll have to check them out in detail.

I've also used Zoomerang for surveys, and you can get a limited licence for free. It's been around for a few years and is pretty solid. It's my choice for quick surveys:
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
17:22 Atlantic

This is a new PHP-based course management system, from Tarrant County College Center for Distance Learning of Fort Worth, Tx. A cursory shows that it's not different from many other course-based platforms. A more unique feature though, is the relationship with a professional services company - http://www.tapinternet.com - for product support. TAP Internet was the co-developer of LogiCampus, and the base program LogiCreate. You can get LogiCampus for free, and buy support when you need it. I think that this is the future business model for e-learning technologies; and the most dynamic communities (developers, users, and support staff) will survive in the long run.

Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
14:47 Atlantic

Updated list of OSS platforms for education. This is a good starting point for those looking into OSS for an academic type of application. There is a heavy reliance on the Edutools site information, and I suggest that you get your information from more than one source, including this one.

Edited 18-12-2003 17:40
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
07:52 Atlantic
Have your cake and eat it too

Sun announces support to OpenOffice.org users. Now you can use OSS, and have world class support too. LCMS/LMS vendors beware!

Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
12:11 Atlantic
What Open Source learning system would you like to test?

A partner of mine, who previously worked in customer support for a proprietary LCMS, is experimenting with a new line of business. He wants to take 3-5 OSS learning systems, put them on his servers, and create courses etc, on each system. He intends to become familiar with these systems in order to offer third-party support services, for a fee. We will publish our findings on this board, for free, to help anyone make an acquisition decision.

I will help him with the system evaluations, as I've evaluated a number of proprietary systems over the past five years. I recently helped an academic client select a new LCMS, and the single open source system on the short list fared very well.

Between the two of us, we will show the pros and cons of various systems, without hype, and without being radical "open source or nothing" advocates.

We have installed ATutor, a Canadian system, for starters. I like the interface, and am impressed that it's SCORM and IMS compliant. We'll keep you informed on progress.

We would like to know what other systems you want us to look at. Please post your requests to this board, and tell us what fonctions or types of test would most interest you. We will focus on what you cannot find out on the user forums. Also, if you have some content that you would like to test on ATutor, you can email me at: harold at jarche dot com.
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
11:36 Atlantic
Here is a Whitepaper on "why I love professional open source", by Marc Fleury, of JBoss. I'd love to give you a quote, but the document is protected. It's about the business model of selling services related to OSS, and making a decent living.

Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
22:52 Atlantic
Atutor 1.3 Released
The website has a new look, and it's a lot easier to find information. There is lots of action on the forum, and there are new tools available in addition to the main course management system. French & Spanish are ready for use as well. For the academic sector, Atutor is an excellent choice, and it beats $50,000+ a year for comparable proprietary systems.
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
11:31 Atlantic
Easy to use Wiki
"UseModWiki is an implementation of the original Wiki concept created by Ward Cunningham. A "wiki" is a website that is collaboratively edited by its users, including the ability to change text written by other users."
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
17:08 Atlantic
CMS Examples This site shows a number of example CMS, by type: Portals, Blogs, e-commerce, groupware, forums, and e-learning. It's a good place to start.
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
22:20 Atlantic
Get it from the Source
Here is the easiest way to keep up to date with the latest developments from each of the major Open Source learning systems. Too bad the commercial vendors didn't have this! Just open the "Sourceforge" folder on this link. Bloglines | EdTechPost's Blogs
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
13:17 Atlantic
If you're interested in using Web Logs for educational purposes, take a look at Disruptive Technology, which includes a Blog, geared toward the more technical aspects of publishing direct to the web.
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
10:38 Atlantic
Updated list of Open Source Learning-related Systems (see post #2 for original).

OpenLMS is an N-tier application using J2EE EJB (pre-Alpha)
ILIAS open source is a joint German educational initiative (in Alpha)
Previously known as Eduzope, Eduplone is in production, as a multi-country European initiative;

Open Source CMS:
Open Source Website Content Management System, based on Java & XML;
phpWebSite, web site content management system, by Appalachian State University;
Red Hat CMS, was an educational application, but now a Content Management System (cost);
Sparkplug CMS (Customizable ColdFusion CMS for $US100);
Open Knowledge Initiative:
OKI supports interoperability, through O.K.I. Service Interface Definitions, by MIT;

The Fedora Project: An Open-Source Digital Repository Management System (Library)
Jointly developed by the University of Virginia and Cornell University;

Open Source LCMS:
Interactive Learning Environment, by Brad Cox
DotLRN Enterprise Portal & CMS, developed by MIT;
Moodle CMS, in 34 languages, from Australia;
ATutor LCMS by the University of Toronto

Open Source Virtual Classroom:
Manhattan Virtual Classroom by Western New England College
KEWL from University of the Western Cape, South Africa;
Creation of Study Environments (COSE) by Staffordshire University;
Interact by the Christchurch College of Education, New Zealand (SCORM & IMS compliant);

Open Source Web-based computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environment:
Future Learning Environment from UIAH Media Lab, University of Art and Design Helsinki

TikiWiki’s major features include: article, forum, newsletter, blog, file/image gallery, wiki, drawing, tracker, directory, poll/survey, quiz, FAQ, chat,

banner, webmail, calendar, category, ACL, etc. http://tikiwiki.org

245 plates-formes en français:
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
11:51 Atlantic
According to its developer, "Although Interactive Learning Environment in its present form is very new, it is the culmination of a decade of research into how interactive (i.e. dynamic, programmable) learning environments can be built by ordinary folks, people whose interests are teaching, not programming." ILE is built in Ruby, a lesser-known language, but one which the developer feels gives end-users more control.
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
19:51 Atlantic
Here's a fairly comprehensive list of Open Source Course Management Systems:
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
11:48 Atlantic
From DEOS-L archives: BlackBoard & WebCT vs Moodle
Edited 21-10-2003 12:01
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
11:23 Atlantic
The Center of Open Source & Government at http://www.egovos.org/ is a good starting point for those in government and the private sector looking at open source as an option. One of the documents, "Transitioning An Industry to Open Source Software: O-STEP", describes a software development model that will benefit end-users as well as development companies (it's even available in OpenOffice.org format!). There is also a link to the US Department of Defense policy on using open source software.
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
21:58 Atlantic
Thomas Goetz writes on how the Open Source model is taking the global economy by storm.
"Software is just the beginning ... open source is doing for mass innovation what the assembly line did for mass production. Get ready for the era when collaboration replaces the corporation."
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
22:03 Atlantic
Learn how OpenOffice.org can be used in schools:
Edited 15-10-2003 22:03
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
13:50 Atlantic
Here's a note from today's OPENOFFICE.ORG Newsletter, regarding school use of OpenOffice.org for desktop applications.

thanks to the collaboration between the PLIO OpenOffice.org Italian Lang Project), Free Software Foundation Italy, and ASSOLI (Italian Free Software Association), OOo has been officially listed as alternative Office Suite in an administrative act directed to all Italian schools.
This act was originally thought for the introduction of the Sun's School Initiative in Italy, but now has been extended to OOo in all those cases where StarOffice license is not applicable (i.e, when PCs are shared by students and other people, when the students want to "play" with the sources, etc).
Students in Italy are more than 8.000.000.
The PLIO will start soon a project with some local CD-ROM distributors in order to supply OOo to all students (or schools) who may request it.
See http://www.openoffice.org/
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
10:14 Atlantic
Coccinella is a new tool, not an LMS, developed in Sweden. The developer states that this is a communication tool, something like a chat program combined with a drawing program, but with a lot of extra things. It is available for Windows, Linux & Mac, and can be hosted or used peer2peer. Coccinella is still in development but could be a good tool for small group learning collaboration, when NetMeeting isn't enough. http://hem.fyristorg.com/matben/
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
17:51 Atlantic
Le Quatre-quarts (économiques; politiques; psychologiques; technologiques) de l'Open Source. Ou les raisons de son succès (en particulier dans le monde éducatif). Par l'Université Catholique de Louvain. http://www.icampus.ucl.ac.be/LINUX/document/quatrequarts.html
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
10:51 Atlantic
Bazaar is an open source system for the education community developed by http://www.athabascau.ca/ . I have not found out how those outside of the education sector can use the product yet, so tell me if you find out. This course management system is positioned to compete with WebCT and Blackboard. The system is available at http://klaatu.pc.athabascau.ca/cgi-bin/b7/main.pl?rid=1 . The Technology Source features an article on Bazaar http://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=article&id=1037 and Edutools has a product review at http://www.edutools.info/course/productinfo/index.jsp . Note: Even though many of the Edutools product features are provided by the developers themselves, the Edutools team makes a concerted effort to check these features, and usually states if they come from the vendor.
Edited 18-12-2003 17:38
Claudio Erba
05:50 Atlantic
Ciao Harlod, nice to meet you! ;-)
So, next step of the platform will be:
- Upgrading a NON SCORM/AICC tracking method for users that don't use standard LOM
- Integrate AICC/SCORM standard
- Integrate one template for people that can't red well (high contrast and big fonts)
- Integrate collaborative tools for delevolping documents and exercices and allow the possibility to creare user groups inside the classroom
- Some tool for mobile learning, so SMS gateway and advice pages readable by palm or mobile phone
- real time witheboard and audio/video tools (Multiplatofrm)

Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
22:33 Atlantic
An analysis of Claroline v1.4 has been recently published, in French, by the Université Libre de Bruxelles. According to the authors, Claroline is suitable if 1) you are just starting in e-learning, 2) you're a small institution (read academic) with a limited budget, and 3) you wish to conduct some collaborative learning.
It appears that the user can create the interface in various languages (e.g. English).
Voici le lien à ce rapport en format PDF de 47 pages:
Edited 24-09-2003 22:38
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
12:15 Atlantic
Thanks for keeping me honest Claudio. Please keep us up to date with your progress. More amd more of my clients are looking at Open Source solutions. Good luck and thanks for contributing to global community of learners.
Claudio Erba
11:55 Atlantic
Hello, I am one of the Spaghettibrain LMS developer. We was not in the Claroline team and Spaghettilearning is not a Fork, we write the code starting from zero, so nothing to do with claroline.

We did this because the Claroline code was not very clean, was not commented in english and every course create a new database, so a normal web hosting was not enough for Claroline. We also works in xhtml + css2 for having high accessibility

Thaks for the free advertising ;-)

Best regards
Claudio Erba
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
17:57 Atlantic
Spaghetti Learning is a new LMS from Italy (http://www.spaghettilearning.com/) It was developed by some members of the http://www.claroline.net project team who decided to write new code for a new tool with these features:
PHP + Mysql structure
Multilingual (English, Italian, Spanish, Finnish, German
Multiplatform (Linux, Unix, Windows, Sun, Mac OSX)
Single database
Check out the forum for current installation issues.
Jacques Cool
09:49 Atlantic
Merci, Harold.

Ceci est un excellent "one-stop shop" pour ce qui concerne le logiciel libre en éducation. Évidemment, je suis concerné par l'accès en français. As-tu pu examiner http://www.mille.ca ? Il y en a sûrement d'autres.
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
21:23 Atlantic
The Commonwealth of Learning conducted an Evaluation of five Open Source LMS (Moodle, LON-CAPA, ILIAS, dotLRN, Atutor). The two finalists were ATutor and ILIAS, but there was no hands-down winner. Lack of standards compliance was cited as a major issue with Open Source LMS. The 23 page PDF is available at:
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
20:49 Atlantic
If you want to keep abreast of Open Source activities in the education sector, then frequently visit Stephen Downes' Edu_RSS feed. It's alot of information, and I will be checking it as well and trying to identify what is pertinent to my colleagues and clients:

Edited 17-09-2003 20:54
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
20:42 Atlantic
Here are some evaluations and evaluation guides that I've come across that will help with the decision-making and selection processes:

Xplana OpenSource Evaluations:

Open Options: Making Decisions about Open Source Software for K-12

How to Evaluate Open Source Software / Free Software OSS/FS) Programs by David A. Wheeler
Edited 17-09-2003 20:53
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
16:38 Atlantic
Here is a list of Open Source Software & Links. The question of whether to use Open Source is being asked by many of my clients. The answer requires some time spent analyzing your requirements, as well as the various technologies out there.

http://www.eduzope.org (in production)
http://www.xtention.net/pricing.htm (with free version for .Net)[not any more, as of Oct 2003 the minimum price is $10,000; so I guess this was a loss leader]

Open Source CMS:
http://www.redhat.com/software/rhea/cms/ (cost)
http://www.13amp.net/index.html (ColdFusion CMS for $US 100)

The Fedora Project: An Open-Source Digital Repository Management System

Open Source LCMS:
http://www.atutor.ca/ (Canadian)

Open Source Virtual Classroom:
http://www.staffs.ac.uk/COSE/ (Creation of Study Environments)
http://cce-interact.sourceforge.net/ (Interact, SCORM & IMS compliant)

Open Source Web-based computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environment:

TikiWiki’s major features include: article, forum, newsletter, blog, file/image gallery, wiki, drawing, tracker, directory, poll/survey, quiz, FAQ, chat, banner, webmail, calendar, category, ACL, etc. http://tikiwiki.org

28 plates-formes, code ouvert en français:

I'm sure that there are many more ...
Edited 07-10-2003 17:51
Harold JarchePerson was signed in when posted
16:34 Atlantic
I have set up this board as an addition to my small website at http://www.jarche.com . I will put up comments and resources that may be useful to my clients and colleagues. Please log-in to add your comments, or you may do so anonymously.