We have been reviewing for a long time free and open source software that can be used to alleviate the consequences of the quarantine. Content managers are no exception. Both the Blogs like lthe forums that were the subject of the two previous articles in this series have their usefulness, but There is no doubt that learning management systems are perhaps the most necessary.
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Open source educational platforms in quarantine
If the quarantine affected one sector, it is undoubtedly education. Although distance learning platforms have been around for years, and indeed many universities dictate full degrees, their adoption at other levels of the education sector is marginal at best. This is largely due to the conservatism of the teachers' authorities and unions.
On the occasion of the quarantine, many 'experts' have been heard explaining that distance education platforms cannot replace traditional education methods. In no way are we going to join in such an absurd discussion as whether paper books are better than electronic books. The reality is that these are different things that require different attitudes.
In traditional education the role of the student is fully regulated by the authorities. The student has to study what is said to him, in the place and the hour in which it is said to him. The contents are transmitted in real time and basically the oral format is used with the support of texts. There are no formal mechanisms of interaction between students.
Distance education through platforms requires greater commitment from the student. He decides when and where he accesses the content and can review them as many times as he wants. In general, this content was previously produced and multiple formats can be used.
Most content managers for teaching have some tools for communication between students and the teacher using mailing lists, forums or chat.
Of course, the student's freedom of action will be less if the platform is operated by an educational institution That will be the one that decides the order in which the content is accessed and the period in which it can do so.
Differences between LMS and LCMS
LMS is the acronym in English for learning management system. It is acset of tools to manage the administrative part of the educational procedure. They give access to educational material and allow the learning process to be monitored.
LCMS is the acronym for Educational content management system. It is a tool that It is used to create the educational content to be distributed with the LMS.
En general, a complete educational platform will be a combination of both.
Some open source educational platforms
It is the most widely used educational platformay has abundant documentation in our language. It is highly configurable and It can be used by combining distance and face-to-face learning as 100% distance learning.
For creating courses, Moodle allows you to easily import multi-format content from external servers or create texts using the built-in editor. It is possible to set requirements for courses, group courses into different training plans, assign multiple evaluation criteria, make corrections and comments to student work and award virtual prizes.
In the administrative part, different permissions can be assigned to instructors.
Installation requires a server with PHP support and a Maria or MySQL, Oracle Database or Microsoft SQL database.
It is a adaptation for educational uses of Drupal, a general purpose content manager that we will talk about in a future article. opign is focused on higher education and corporate training.
Allows creation of virtual classrooms, organization of individual and group trainings, monitoring of student performance, e-commerce module and content creation tool.
The requirements are a server with support for the latest versions of PHP and a MySQL or Maria database engine.
OpenOLAT is a tool for course management and learning management focused on helping instructors and teachers to set up and manage virtual classrooms. Various collaboration tools can be used such as forums, blogs, bulletin boards, chats, project groups, and podcasts.
It also includes course management and student performance tracking features.