E-Learning community software like Blackboard help bring teachers and students together, sharing information on line in a seamless manner. While Blackboard is standard and has been present for years has good features. There are some free and open source alternatives. some are good and some are evolving. It is recommended that you try the following software list if you are looking for alternative to Blackboard or similar solution.
Moodle is a Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It is a Free web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites. Moodle has a large and diverse user community with over 929431 registered users on this Moodle site alone, speaking over 78 languages in 211 countries. Learn more.
Sakai is a Course Management System (CMS), a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) or Learning Management System (LMS). While Sakai can be used for teaching and learning (similar to Blackboard and Moodle), it is a Collaboration and Learning Environment (CLE) because it embraces uses beyond the classroom. Distributed as Open Source, can be used for free. Sakai is an adaptable, interoperable, reliable, and scalable platform for learning and collaboration. Sakai’s roles and permission system is especially flexible and powerful. Learn more.
.LRN (pronounced "dot learn") is a global community of educators, designers, and software developers who partner together to drive educational innovation. Because the software is open source, organizations can invest their precious dollars in people and curriculum development instead of expensive licensing and support fees. Learn more.
Claroline is an Open Source eLearning and eWorking platform allowing teachers to build effective online courses and to manage learning and collaborative activities on the web. Translated into 35 languages, Claroline has a large worldwide users’ and developers’ community. Adjustable to various training contexts, Claroline is not only used by schools and universities, but also by training centres, associations and companies. The platform is customizable and offers a flexible and custom-made working environment. Learn more.
Dokeos is a open source online learning suite. It provides all the features needed for e-learning and blended learning management : From Authoring to Reporting. Here is an interesting mind map from Dokeos website.
DSpace open source software enables open sharing of content that spans organizations, continents and time. DSpace is the software of choice for academic, non-profit, and commercial organizations building open digital repositories. It is free and easy to install "out of the box" and completely customizable to fit the needs of any organization. Learn more.
The new version of the powerful open source learning management system has been published! Learn more.
Coggno is an e-learning software platform and courseware creation toolkit, Learning Management System (also known as a Course Management System), and Virtual Learning Environment. Learn more.
LAMS lets design, manage, and deliver online collaborative learning activities. It provides teachers with a highly intuitive visual authoring environment for creating sequences of learning activities. LAMS is free and open source. Learn more.