Will you create an e-learning platform? These are some of the most used LMS

E-learning is growing. Developers that can build a e-learning platform can take advantage of that.
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In 2020, online education went from being an alternative to the norm for educational training. This helped existing educational platforms to grow faster and created an environment conducive to new ventures in the area. According to Intrado GlobeNewswire, the e-learning market achieved historic annual growth in 2020 due to this massive adoption.

Coursera is one of the companies that exemplify this growth. With its initial public offering on March 31, 2021, it became the highest valued educational company in history, reaching a market capitalization of $ 5.9 billion.

Although online education until now was only seen as an alternative to continuing education aimed at adults, in 2020 the most basic educational levels have had to migrate to it, sometimes in a painful way. While most only moved the classroom to the screen, some more accounts have invested resources to develop their educational platforms and offer a better service for their students.

Developing e-learning platforms: a unique opportunity

This situation offers an opportunity for web developers, who can offer their services to these schools. However, front-end and back-end knowledge are not enough to create a successful educational platform. The developer will need to soak up the tools that already exist to make development as fast and successful as possible.

Although online education has never been talked about like now before, this has been part of the reality of many students for years. Many of the educational companies already have years of experience in the sector, as is the case with Coursera.

One of the first concepts that the web developer must take into account when implementing an educational platform is the Learning Management System or LMS. An LMS is software for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation, and implementation of online courses, as well as training and learning programs.

There are many LMS options on the market today. In some cases, they are free to open source platforms, but they lack efficient technical support. Other platforms follow a freemium model, while still others are only obtained by paying. These are some of the most used today.

Moodle LMS

Stable release: 3.10.3
License: GPLv3 +
Programming language: PHP
Awards: O’Reilly Open Source Award for Best Education Enabler
Developer: Martin Dougiamas, Open-source software

Moodle is one of the most famous e-learning platforms. It started as a free and open-source service, focused on making education accessible to all. Released in 2002, it was developed with the PHP programming language and is licensed under the GPL v3. This is a great option for developers with knowledge of PHP, thanks to its large community and the freedom it offers to contribute code.

Canvas LMS

Developer: Instructure
Programming language: Ruby

Used by more than 4000 institutions around the world, Canvas is an LMS from Thoma Bravo. Originally called Instructure, Canvas tested its products with local schools such as Utah State University and Brigham Young University. Canvas has been developed with the Ruby programming language, making it ideal for developers who have experience with Ruby and Ruby on Rails. Although it is open source, the GNU Affero General Public License requires that any modification be public and free.

Used by more than 4000 institutions around the world, Canvas is an LMS from Thoma Bravo. Originally called Instructure, Canvas tested its products with local schools such as Utah State University and Brigham Young University. Canvas has been developed with the Ruby programming language, making it ideal for developers who have experience with Ruby and Ruby on Rails. Although it is open source, the GNU Affero General Public License requires that any modification be public and free.

Tutor LMS 

Tutor LMS is an LMS that is installed as a WordPress plugin. It offers functionalities for Front-end development and activities such as questionnaire creators. It also makes it easy to integrate with WooCommerce and therefore the monetization of courses. Use a freemium model.

However, if you want a more personalized experience, it is not one of the best options due to the limitations it offers to modify the plugin. It is a good option for front-end developers with WordPress experience.

Blackboard

License: Privative

Developer: Stephen Gilfus. Daniel Cane

Programming language: Java

Blackboard is a proprietary software LMS, originally developed by company founders Stephen Gilfus and Daniel Cane. This is an option for non-developers. The company offers hosting management, consulting, program management, courses, and student services online.

Chamilo

License: GPLv3 or higher

Developer (s): Chamilo community members and professional partners

Stable release: LMS 1.11.14 / 30 November 2020; 4 months ago

Programming language: PHP

Like Moodle, this is an Open Source e-learning platform. Its distribution is free of charge and has been designed to facilitate accessibility in

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