May 4, 2007

Open source LMS Dokeos 1.8 released

Yesterday the Dokeos company and community released the newest version of its open source and free LMS with the same name.
In the world of open source LMS systems, Moodle claims the top spot in the number of downloads and the size of its community. But Moodle is not alone, there are SAKAI, ILIAS, ATutor, etc ... and also Dokeos.

Dokeos is a PHP-based LMS that runs on a typical LAMP or WAMP stack (Linux or Windows, Apache web server, MySQL database and PHP). It is a fork of the Claroline LMS and a Belgian open source project, used among others at the university of Ghent. The Dokeos company not only contributes to the open source community, but also provides commercial services such as training, support, installation services and the like.

The newest version is 1.8 and it is a major update. Dokeos is not only an LMS anymore, but includes now a rapid authoring tool Oogie and videoconferencing for virtual classrooms. The major improvements are
  • better SCORM support (export of a learning activity to SCORM, import SCORM, tracking)
  • video conferencing system
  • Oogie: powerpoint to course convertor, includes possibility to record your voice with each slide via the browser
  • better reports
If you just want the basic LMS part, the installation and requirements are not that different: Php, MySQL. However it gets more tricky for the new parts as Oogie and web conferencing, that involves Open Office, Tomcat, Java and a much more complex setup. You will probably not be able to get those working on a regular hosting provider.

A few years ago I evaluated open source LMS systems for use as an e-learning delivery system in enterprises, and I deemed them not ready. Soon I'll start evaluating Moodle and Dokeos again and see how enterprise-ready the systems have become. I'll keep you posted. If you already want to play around with Dokeos, download it from or play with it on the free campus.

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