The Case for openLCMS

The open-source learning content management system openLCMS has two major components: code and community:

  • The code establishes a habitat for OERs and an ecosystem for modular course management functionality. While transitioning away from established campus solutions for course management is a tall order, the modular structure will allow gradual entry and security for the future.

  • Equally important is a strong community, which provides functionality and content materials. While the core group will be located in Switzerland, the community from the start needs to be international, including strong representation of the Global South. This community includes shared governance.

openLCMS is not a traditional course management system; it aims to establish an ecosystem for learning objects, where “objects” are packages of content and services. It can plug into existing CMSs to avoid switching costs, yet also run standalone.

The goal is to avoid a proliferation of unsustainable microsystems that keep reproducing basic functionality (e.g., user management) and at the same time not to establish another monolith that will strive or fail as a whole.

openLCMS will establish an international network of user institutions with are linked not only through a network of server-machines, but also through shared values.

Figure 1.3: LON-CAPA’s shared resource pool over the years.
Figure 1.3: LON-CAPA's shared resource pool over the years.