7 Widely-Used And Open Source E-Learning Applications

Whether it is a university like Albertus Magnus, a company or any other organization, e-learning is a great way to spread knowledge & measure the results efficiently (in means of time & money).

There are various open source e-learning applications that can be installed easily, have a wide user community & offers a complete system. Here are 7 of them which you will like:


eFront Open Source E-Learning

eFront is a complete e-learning software with a good looking Ajaxed interface.

It enables admins to create & manage lessons easily with various tools like:

  • content editors (has a flexible visual content editor and support for pictures, sound, video, flash or java)
  • file manager & digital library (for file sharing)
  • test builders
  • abiity to assign projects
  • creating surveys & more.

The system is multilingual & modular. It requires PHP & MySQL to run.


Moodle - E-Learning

Moodle is one of the most popular open source e-learning system. It is built with PHP & uses MySQL or PostgreSQL to store data.

It has powerful course management features that covers creating lessons, assignments, quizes, documents & more.

There are various modules that help students & teachers to interact with each other like chat, forum, survey or workshop.

It is used in 1000s of websites, has a detailed documentation & a wide community.


Dokeos Open Source E-Learning

Dokeos, besides the standard course management features, offers Flash based videoconferencing which enables you to organise live training and meetings remotely.

Powerpoint presentations can be imported and converted in to SCORM courses.

The system has a “coaching” feature to interact with the learners through agenda, forums, chat, videoconference, open questions-answers and assignment feedbacks.

It requires PHP & MySQL to run.


Claroline - Free E-learning System

Claroline is an open source e-learning and e-working platform that allows teachers to create effective online courses and to manage learning and collaborative activities on the web. It has a wide user community & already translated to 35 languages.

You can create online exercises & track the result of them, define a learning path where students can follow one-by-one, add group works, assignments & more..

It is possible to interact with users via chat or forums.

The application requires PHP & MySQL.

Ilias Learning Management

Ilias - Open Source E-Learning Software

Ilias is a powerful web-based learning application where every user has a comprehensive personal desktop to use the system, keep notes, bookmarks, etc.

It offers a cooperative learning environment where user can create working groups, or groups of certain interests.

Ilias has a flexible test system where time based tests can be created with multiple choice, single choice, allocation questions, cloze questions (free text, select box), ordering, matching, hot spot and more question types.

You need PHP & MySQL to run the system.

Sakai Project

Sakai E-Learning Software

Sakai is a powerful yet flexible solution that supports not only teaching and learning but also research and administrative collaboration.

Using the application, you can create courses, manage assignments, share documents, prepare exams. And, as a result,  grade informations can be calculate, stored and distributed.

Sakai offers modules for announcements, chat, discussion forums & more.

P.S. The application is Java based.


Olat Open Source E-Learning

Olat is a Java-based, Ajaxed & multilingual & open source web-based learning management system.

It is possible to create flexible courses with tests, wikis, forums, documents, tasks & more.

There is an integrated Ajaxed instant messenger for easier communication.

The application comes with a 1-click installer that configures the server.

  1. Reply Sean April 23, 2009 at 7:53 AM

    Been using Moodle since version 1.3 as a teacher and for the last couple of years installing for other teachers.

    I like moodle, but feel that it is somewhat bloated, the community support has slipped in the last couple of years to the point that when I ask questions I get no response or responses that come days after asking.

    And finally installing it is easy until you come to the cron job. Setting up the cron job always always takes dozens of attempts and at least 3-4 hours before it finally works. It never works the same way twice even at the same host. Cron + Moodle = evil.

  2. Reply Danh ba web 2.0 April 23, 2009 at 8:58 AM

    wow awesome post. Thanks a lot
    Keep up the great job !

  3. Reply shekhar April 23, 2009 at 9:29 AM

    You guys forgot to include http://www.wiziq.com , on eof the best online e learning apps available today. Teachers can teach live, create quizzes, upload powerpoints and import all these into the live class. Great apps to be featured at webresourcedepot. I request you to include it also.


  4. Reply Frank April 24, 2009 at 2:56 AM

    Glad to see eFront made the list.

    Really a solid offering in this space.

    I made the switch from Moodle last year and am very happy that I did!

  5. Reply Andrew April 24, 2009 at 10:34 AM

    I have been working with Moodle for a few years now – installing and customizing it for our clients’ needs. It looks pretty good to me from the functionality point of view – and neatly programmed, too.
    Also there are tons of commercial templates around nowadays and you can make it look VERY professional (see my message here: http://iatefl09.britishcouncil.org/2009/forum/we-need-raise-bar-web-based-resources#comment-1634)

    Luckily, I haven’t had experience with setting up CRON in Moodle so far, so Sean, you must be the unlucky one 🙂

  6. Reply John April 24, 2009 at 12:24 PM

    aTutor is another great choice. Check out http://www.atutor.ca Multiple translations, quick to install, SCORM, etc.

  7. Reply Ravi April 24, 2009 at 10:35 PM

    Thank you for sharing this information. Keep up the great work with your website. I am a huge fan.

  8. Reply Sell Art Online April 25, 2009 at 12:49 AM

    I am a big fan of Moodle. Nice list have not seen two of these.

  9. Reply ocarbone April 27, 2009 at 7:24 AM

    Thanks for this presentation!

    There are more and more collaborative services that claim to be web2.0 and dedicated to individuals and small companies. This tools may aim at adressing more people, at getting rid of physical frontiers or quite simply at reducing costs and time.

    In fact these solutions may not always take place without physical meeting at one point or another… although undoubtedly it helps to value such meetings.

    These tools are complementary to other existing training devices. They can only be used judiciously but are supplemented with others 🙂

  10. Reply Fred Green May 1, 2009 at 12:56 AM

    Great rundown. So many people think “LMS=Moodle” and there’s so much more than that available.

    The big question for some of these products is whether they’ll develop sufficient development and support communities.

  11. Reply rod September 6, 2009 at 4:08 PM

    who did this ranking of “most used LMS open source”?

  12. Reply Umut M. September 8, 2009 at 12:05 AM


    Just to mention, it is “widely-used” rather than “most-used”.

    A detailed internet search simply showed me that these applications have a userbase which share their experiences about them on forums, blogs, etc.

    On the other hand, I’m 100% sure, there are other widely-used & open source ones, these are just 7 of them that I managed to figure out.

  13. Reply rod September 22, 2009 at 4:55 PM

    Many thanks for your answer!!

  14. Reply Chris October 3, 2009 at 11:22 PM

    Hey–great list!

  15. Reply Elena Koeppl October 6, 2009 at 1:49 PM

    ILIAS has published a new version which looks pretty good! A lot of features incl. an integrated SCORM 2004 authoring environment. I use ILIAS for a couple of years and it is really a good tool for e-learning.Maybe not that much apps like Moodle but better integrated. And they have a plugin interface now.

  16. Reply Stanovi Zagreb December 7, 2009 at 11:22 AM

    Thank you for the list

  17. Reply Marcus Champs August 20, 2010 at 11:44 PM

    Tnx 4 da info.

    I think it will be very helpfull 4 me.

  18. Reply Michel December 27, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    “.LRN is the world’s most widely adopted enterprise-class open source software for supporting e-learning and digital communities.”


  19. Reply Tarik Bagriyanik March 23, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    hello, i am an ICT teacher in istanbul.
    I have been building an e learning project for 2 years with PHP and MySQL.

    eOgr is a small, easy and lightweight application for online education.
    it is open source and free.

    If you are interested in visit this google.code site:


    Demo sites:

    Thank you

  20. Reply Josue Nieves November 22, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Can anybody give me their opinion about other comercial programs, such as Adobe Captivate, Raptivity, or Articulate? I am currently in school and need to decide for a software package to learn (on my own).

  21. Reply Leon Fly March 28, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Which of these works best with ‘Articulate’ anyone know?

  22. Reply Kofi Adu Aboraa June 11, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    I would like to know if its possible to have any of the elearning tools publish their quizzes as standalone applications that can be installed on a computer and even protected by using license codes when installing to help prevent pirating.

  23. Reply Autoescuelas en Sevilla January 24, 2013 at 3:51 AM

    Good information! which is the best of this seven plataform? moddle? thanks.

  24. Reply Joseph Smith September 4, 2017 at 4:39 AM

    Thanks for sharing the most widely used e learning open source platform. WizIQ a new generation e learning delivery platform that offers the facility to integrate with most popular open source.

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