8 Best Open Source LMS Platforms 2022 (Compared) 

Best Open Source LMS Platforms

Do you want to use an open source LMS but having difficulties to choose one? Wondering which is the best open-source learning management system? Then, this article is just the thing for you.  

Open source LMS platforms are the platforms which are freely accessible to everyone and can be modified by anyone. Hence, such LMS platforms give you the full flexibility to customize your LMS site to your heart’s content.

Fortunately, you can find several open source LMS platforms today. However, it might be a daunting task to choose one from various such platforms.

Thus, in this article, we’ll be making a comparison among the top eight open sources LMS to help you make a better choice. So, let’s begin by knowing what an open source LMS platform is. 


What is Open Source LMS Platform? 

Open source refers to any program or software whose source code is publicly available. Hence, the code is accessible publicly for collaboration, modification, and distribution. One such example is WordPress. It’s a free, open-source website-building platform that allows you to build a website easily. 

LMS, an acronym for Learning Management System, is a software application that lets you create an online course or an online learning website. It basically stores educational materials like video lessons, presentations, courses, etc., and makes them accessible to learners.  

What is Learning Management System

So, an open source LMS platform is a freely accessible learning management software that allows you to create an LMS website. You can use the software for free, modify it as per your need, and also redistribute the software with others.  

Open-source software is licensed under GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or GPL), a license for software that guarantees end users the freedom to share, study, run and modify the software.  

Examples of open source LMS include WordPress LMS, Canvas, Open edX, Moodle, and so on.   

Open-source vs Closed-source LMS Platforms 

Besides open-source, there are other types of LMS software, like closed-source, proprietary, and commercial. Those are the LMS owned by people or organizations and can’t be modified by other users. Also, these LMS requires you to pay some amount to use their service.  

Thus, the open-source LMS has flexibility in almost all aspects compared to the closed-source LMS.  

Some of the benefits of using an open source LMS over others are as follows:  

  • Full control of your content  
  • Allows you to maintain your brand integrity  
  • Provides you with full development capabilities  
  • Cost-effectiveness as the base software is available freely 
  • Access to the community involved in providing valuable improvements 

Best of all, the open source LMS can adapt to the changing world of eLearning technology, providing you complete control of your content.


How to Choose the Right Open Source LMS Platform? 

Before choosing an open source LMS platform, there are a few things that you need to consider. So, let’s find out what are the things to consider while choosing the right LMS platform: 

  • Know Your Niche: LMS is used for educating, training, onboarding, and more. And as per the niche, different LMS are built. So, if you want to use the LMS for training your employee or use it solely for teaching students, choose the LMS accordingly. Although popular LMSs these days support almost all the niches, it’s better to be alert.  
  • User Interface: The user interface is one of the important aspects of LMS for both teachers and learners. If the user interface is not simple and easy to navigate around, you might lose your audience. At the same time, it might also be difficult for you to get started.  
  • Audience Size: LMS supports a range of audiences; while some are suitable for small audience sizes, others are suitable for large ones. So, know your audience size and choose the LMS that can fulfill your demand.  
  • Technical Requirements: Technical requirements include many things like supported content types, grading systems, analytics, certifications, customer support, security, and so on. Therefore, you must first list what you want in your course or training and choose the LMS that offers the same.  

For a detailed guide, read our article on must-have learning management system features.

Now, let’s dive into the list of the seven best open source LMS platforms. 


8 Best Open Source LMS Platforms 2022 (Compared) 

1. Masteriyo LMS  

Masteriyo LMS

Masteriyo LMS is an open-source WordPress LMS plugin for creating online learning websites easily. Created using the modern React JS, the plugin offers the most user-friendly experience to you as well as the learners on your site. 

As per WordPress.org’s guidelines, Masteriyo LMS is a fully open-source free software released under the General Public License (GPL). This means the plugin is available free for everyone to use, modify, and also redistribute freely without paying a penny.  

To use the plugin, you can download the plugin from WordPress.org or Masteriyo.com and install it on your WordPress site. If you don’t have a WordPress setup already, then you should do that first. It’s pretty simple – choose a reliable WordPress hosting like Bluehost or Kinsta, and then you’ll have your site ready in no time.  

If you need help, then check our step-by-step guide to creating a WordPress LMS site easily with Masteriyo LMS. 

Key Features 

  • Interactive quiz builder available 
  • Allows to sell courses with built-in support for payment gateway 
  • Works seamlessly with any WordPress theme 
  • Certificate builder available to award attractive certificates to learners 
  • Allows to add sections and lessons in the course 

Pros  

  • Customizable and extendable with addons 
  • Distraction-free mode available to keep students engaged 
  • Progress bar available to show learners their progress on the course  
  • No third-party plugin dependency 

Cons 

  • Requires you to build your website on WordPress  

2. Canvas   

Canvas Open Source LMS

Canvas is an open source LMS that is built to make the process of teaching and learning easier for all. It supports customization and is adaptable and reliable. Besides, the community powered by Canvas is one of the largest, most connected, and most active, where you can communicate with other users.  

Canvas lets you add video and audio or even interact face-to-face with the learners. Its responsive design makes the system run across all screen sizes without any complication. Offering everything in a single place, one can get all the course materials, grades, communication tools, and actionable insights right from Canvas LMS.  

Key Features 

  • 99.9% system uptime 
  • Easy upload and sharing of information 
  • Personalized learning 
  • Canvas API to link other apps and tools 
  • Accepts unlimited file size for audio and video contents 

Pros  

  • Cloud-based 
  • Large number of options for customizations 
  • Sends alerts/notifications for important events 
  • Easy for third-party integration 

Cons  

  • Might be difficult to get started 
  • Presence of some useless tabs 
  • Frequent issues while navigating and editing 

3. Moodle   

Moodle Open Source LMS

Next on the list of best open source LMS platforms we have Moodle – a customizable online learning management system. Developed in the early 2000s, it has improved teaching and learning outcomes with its feature-rich platform. It has powerful addons that you can integrate into your site.  

At the same time, you get complete control of everything, including data privacy and security to the site’s functionality. It lets you use custom themes through which you can give the feel of your brand color and logo to your learners. Using the platform, you can also implement a fully remote or blended learning approach.  

Key Features 

  • Translated into 100+ languages 
  • Offline access with Moodle app 
  • Badges and certificates available 
  • Custom report and analysis 
  • Calendar, messaging, and notifications for learners 

Pros  

  • Completely free 
  • A large number of add-ons and plugins 
  • Vast online community of user groups 
  • Cross-browser compatibility 

Cons  

  • Might not suit a large mass of learners 
  • The admin interface is quite difficult to get familiar with 
  • Lacks flexibility 

4. Open edX   

Open edX

Open edX is one of the most successful open source learning management systems trusted by top organizations like EDX, IBM, Microsoft, Harvard, MIT, and so on. As of the date, the article is written, it has deployed 50K courses through various sites worldwide. The platform supports 53 languages.  

Likewise, the Times Higher Education World University report states that out of the top 10 universities, nine use Open edX; this proves that the LMS is trustworthy and flexible. Besides, you can use interactive content like adaptive video streaming, animation, AR, VR, and more.  

Key Features 

  • Customizable and easy to use 
  • Real-time data analysis 
  • Interactive forums and discussion boards 
  • Cross-device compatibility 
  • Supports live video conferencing 

Pros  

  • Wide choice of content types 
  • Provides verified certificates on course completion 
  • Let you create courses as well as degree programs 

Cons  

  • Limited third-party integration 
  • Lacks course structure 

5. Forma LMS   

Forma LMS

Forma LMS is a modern and responsive open source LMS with an engaging user interface. It’s specially designed to deliver online training courses or corporate training for companies. Additionally, you can integrate it with any intranet software and extend the functionalities using a wide range of plugins.  

Similarly, it provides the opportunity of managing multiple clients and brands with custom layouts. Besides, you can also easily create custom reports and add as many features as you require to meet your need. It offers plenty of configuration and automation options for course management.  

Key Features 

  • Complete control of the courses 
  • PDF certificates after course completion 
  • Allows to create webinars and virtual classroom 
  • Integrates eCommerce features 
  • Automatic notifications for important events like user registration 

Pros 

  • Responsive layout 
  • Easy to customize and integrate 
  • Suitable for the business of all sizes  

Cons  

  • Might be difficult to integrate different languages 
  • Lacks behind in customer service 

6. Open LMS    

Open LMS Open Source Learning Management System

Open LMS, just as its name, is the open source LMS that empowers organizations and workplaces to meet their learning needs. It opens the door of flexibility for you to adapt open source LMS without merchant and commitment pressure. Open LMS also provides industry-leading customer support with the largest support team working 24/7. 

Meanwhile, it hosts the clients on Amazon Web Service (AWS), which guarantees security, scalability, and uptime for the user worldwide. Other sources like online resources library, community site, Open LMS Academy, and YouTube channel are also available to guide you.  

Key Features 

  • Moodle-based LMS platform 
  • Easy integration with leading education-related products 
  • Simple and intuitive user navigation experience 
  • Personalized learning experiences 
  • Full mobile and offline access 

Pros  

  • Highly reliable  
  • Quicker to get started 
  • Continuous innovation 

Cons  

  • More loading times 

7. Odoo     

Odoo Open Source Learning Management System

Oddo is another most loved open source learning management system with over 7 million users. The platform lets you add all kinds of content to the courses, like videos, infographics, external links, etc. At the same time, it provides access to over 1 million royalty-free images and graphics to make your content look more vibrant.  

Quizzes, points, badges, and Q&A, are other elements you can easily add to engage students and show their progress. This can lead to meaningful learning experiences, increased attention and focus of the learners. You can also make learners engage with your community through forums, leaderboards, emails, and reviews. 

Key Features 

  • Engaging content 
  • Self-paced learning 
  • Drag and drop interface 
  • Quizzes and reviews available 
  • Analytics for participation, feedback, and revenue reports 

Pros  

  • Easy navigation with a simple interface 
  • Robust features 
  • Enough customization options 
  • Easy third-party integration 

Cons  

  • Difficult to maintain 
  • Long waiting time for support 
  • Lack of proper guidance in documentation 
  • Frequent bugs 

8. ATutor   

ATutor LMS

Lastly, we have ATutor for the comparison among the best open source LMS platforms. The LMS is designed with accessibility in mind and a wide range of features to ensure more user participation. It makes instructors easy to assemble, distribute and import prepackaged content to conduct the online course.  

For better security, it encrypts passwords, and forgotten passwords are reset instead of retrieving them through email. On the other hand, users of ATutor have an inbox through which they can exchange private messages with other users. Not to mention, users can also export and save messages.  

Key Features 

  • Individual content usage statistics 
  • Allows to create work groups for various purposes manually 
  • Content editor available in both HTML and plain text form 
  • Allows to send bulk emails to course members and assistants 
  • Developer documentation is available for those wishing to develop core features 

Pros  

  • Easy to install, configure, and run 
  • Available in both open source and hosted version 

Cons  

  • GUI is old-fashioned 
  • Supports only web platform 

Wrapping It Up! 

That takes us to the end of our comparison between the eight best open source LMSs. Choosing the best platform is definitely not an easy task. But these open source LMS platforms are outstanding when utilized properly.  

So, with our comparison, we’re confident that you can now choose a winner for yourself and start creating an online course.  

The LMSs mentioned above have their own specialties. Hence, figure out your demands for LMS and choose the one. However, if you ask us, we suggest using Masteriyo LMS. Because it’s extremely easy to create a full-fledged education website using this WordPress plugin.

If you’re in the process of creating an LMS website with WordPress, why not explore our article on how to create LMS website in WordPress?

For more of such articles, visit our blog page. Also, you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get notified about new articles. And if you like to add something more, you can drop a comment below.  

Disclaimer: Some of the links in the post may be affiliate links. So if you purchase anything using the link, we will earn affiliate commission.

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