Drupal as Learning Management System

Harold Jarche links a presentation by Samantha Blackmon, David Blakesley and Charlie Lowe about the Drupal alternative to proprietary courseware.

Hope Harold forgives me for quoting just the same words…

Students & Educators Need:

  • Online platforms that better enable social constructionist principles of collaborative learning.
  • Students need an early opportunity to learn professional communication using real world software systems.
  • Better integration of current and cutting edge Internet communication technologies such as weblogs and RSS.
  • Increased flexibilty through more extensive customization and configuration options.
  • The choice of whether to make the class space private or public.

Institutions Need:

  • Web application platforms that can be used for a wider variety of purposes.
  • Increased opportunity to adapt the online course component to the institutions’ needs.
  • Reduced total cost of ownership would be nice.
  • No vendor lock-in.
  • Reallocation of funds from site licensing fees into learning opportunities for students.

In the case of nonprofits and e-learning for development programmes, cutting edge technologies might not be that important, but surely do all the issues related to costs and vendor lock-in.

More important, indeed, is personalization, but not only under the point of view of the student, but of the institution promoting the training: personalization of proprietary software is usually more expensive… if possible. And besides cost, there’s something dealing with local or endogenous development: with Free Software applications, customization can be made by local software developpers, thus strengthening the local economy, something you wouldn’t by buying proprietary software (except if you lived in Redmond, of course ;)


If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2005) “Drupal as Learning Management System” In ICTlogy, #18, March 2005. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from https://ictlogy.net/review/?p=233

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3 Comments to “Drupal as Learning Management System” »

  1. to forgive is divine, ergo … :-)

    I think that drupal would be a good tool for non-profits, and the work being done by folks like http://www.goodbasic.com should have some new tools out in the future. Staying away from the restraints of proprietary software can only be a good thing for a non-profit. Also, you might be interested in this graphic – http://www.eradc.org/blog/archives/learning_landscape2.php
    though I would replace PowerPoint with OpenOffice Impress ;-)

  2. Pingback: ICTlogy » DrupalED

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