The Dokeos Learning Management System

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Recently I have been looking for a learning management system for my personal domain to practice deploying come classes as eLearning modules.  I've used the University's Canvas system, which I do like, along with both WebCT and Blackboard in the past.  But due to funding constraints on my private domain, I needed an Open Source LMS.  But not just any LMS, because I wanted something that would cater to the mobile environment. 

So the search was on.  I've used Moodle in the past, but haven't been too impressed with it overall.  It always looked clunky in it's distribution and needed a lot of CSS editing to get it to look somewhat decent.  And in reading the boards, most administrators and instructors using Moodle have an almost hostile response to the need of HTML5/CSS3/Javascript on most mobile platforms instead of using Flash.  Nope, I needed something else. 

Then I came across Dokeos.  It's a learning management system that was developed in Europe, and has an open source release and a paid content release.  The difference is a few features (like video conferencing) is removed from the open source release, though the core functionality is all there.  The thing that struck me the most about Dokeos was that it was built from the ground up to be mobile friendly!  Instructors could use Dokeos from a Tablet computer, like the iPad, as well as students.  With the future moving rapidly to mobile devices, it was very important to me. 

The installation was pretty straightforward, though I had some minor setbacks with the MySQL database settings that took a few minutes to resolve.  Once done, I had a fully functioning LMS that looked great from the outset on my domain.  I installed it at http://learn.robbclan.com as a test bed, and I've been pretty impressed. 

So what's the most impressive thing about it?  It natively supports "Hotspot" exams, though it requires Flash 7 to run the test.  Hotspot exams allow the instructor to mark certain locations of an image as "hotspots", and then have the tester select that section for points.  For software training it means selecting a "button" or "tool" that will perform a function.  It's as close to being hands on as instant testing can do, and it's very impressive in how it works.  All the other standard exam types are there as well, but that one is my favorite.  Unfortunately, it's not very iPad friendly because it requires Flash.  

So that's my initial review of Dokeos!  If you haven't already checked it out, I would recommend a quick browse.  It's simple to set up, very powerful, and very easy to manage.  And very Mobile friendly.