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The Pros and Cons of Open Source Systems

by Gilles Mattelin

eLearning Industry

Article excerpt

The Open Source LMS: Are Its Hidden Costs Worth Making?

Open source software is like wielding a two handed broadsword: It’s a magnificent weapon if you can master it. But without the skill, chances are high you’ll look like a dangerous fool waving a big piece of metal, possibly decapitating yourself.

Our take

Shining a Light on the Hidden Costs of Open Source Systems

Open source LMS can be appealing. After all, what’s not to like about “free”? But, as this author warns, don’t be lured into something that may well hold hidden costs you haven’t considered. Weighing the pros and cons of open source solutions can be a challenge; benefits exist, but only if you’ve covered the bases and thoroughly understand the implications for your institution. What should you be considering as you weigh the pros and cons of open source LMS?

Time is one very important consideration. This includes the time to set up the system as well as the time to train users—and don’t forget time that will need to be spent on LMS support and help desk needs. There will be hardware considerations as well. Everything that glitters is not gold; before going open source for any application, make sure you’re uncovering all of the potential hidden costs.