Open Source LMS Alive And Well: Moodle Breaks World Higher Ed Records, Tops North America, Grows Everywhere

Open Source LMS Alive And Well Moodle Breaks World Higher Ed Records, Tops North America, Grows Everywhere

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The latest e-Literate report on “active LMS” shows Moodle as the incontrovertible LMS leader in global Higher Ed for primary and secondary systems, including North America. Assuming it uses data provided by self-reporting service LISTedTECH from the last month, it shows dominance in every region, unsurmountable everywhere but the US, and healthy growth rates. The report mentions the “LMS long tail” as well as “the Big Four” (Moodle, Blackboard, Instructure Canvas and D2L Brightspace) but by their own accounting a more accurate distinction would be “the big one.”

LISTedTECH sample (apparently totaling 12,879 active LMS) lists 1,419 active Moodle sites in Higher Ed for North America, self-acknowledged as their most complete dataset. It appears that the advantages in Canada compensate for Instructure Canvas’ growth in the US. In July, it had listed 1,000 sites only for Higher Ed in the US. For comparison, official stats at set the total figure at 11,490 as of writing. 9,776 for the US, the biggest Moodle nation; 1,714 for Canada. Moodle does not offer discriminated site data for Higher Ed only.

Globally, the number of active Moodle Higher Ed sites is larger than the sum of the rest, with 6,537 versus 2,070 for Blackboard and 1,521 for Instructure Canvas. The trend replicates in 5 out of 6 global regions, North America being the only place without more than sixty-five percent of the Higher Ed pie.

  • Africa: 268 out of 347, for 77.2%
  • Asia: 1,257 out of 1,876, for 67%
  • Europe: 1,906 out of 2,904, for 65.6%
  • Latin America: 1,467 out of 1,946, for 75.4%
  • North America: 1,419 out of 5,468, for 26%
  • Oceania: 220 out of 338, for 65.1%
  • World: 6,537 out of 12,879, for 50.8%

Compared to the last global overview available (from June 2017), Moodle seems to be on a healthier place everywhere than a year ago. North America data is surprising, as it shows Moodle as number 1, the first time in 20 years anyone tops Blackboard, whose 33% in 2017 is now a 24% share. Instructure Canvas went from 19 to 23.9%.

Canvas and Moodle do not account for all of Blackboard’s losses, as the market share of the top three combined fell 3 points, 77 to 73.9%. The gap between the largest fall (Blackboard’s 9%) and the largest jump (Instructure Canvas’ 4.9%) is filled by an array of alternative LMS bundled into “Other,” a category that grew 3.6%; Schoology, who did not figure in 2017 and now shows a 1.5% share; and Moodle, whose 1% growth is the third largest.

For Europe, Latin America and Oceania, the only other regions considered in the 2017 report, Moodle shows an increase of 8.6, 8.4 and 8.1 points in market share respectively.

Moodle’s share in the LISTedTECH sample is distributed regionally as follows:

  1. Europe (29.1%)
  2. Latin America (22.4%)
  3. North America (21.7%)
  4. Asia (19.2%)
  5. Africa (4%)
  6. Oceania (3.4%)

Note that these figures refer to installations. Given Moodle’s popularity among small institutions and the most common first choice, LMS numbers by enrollments may reveal a different picture.

Open source LMS beyond Moodle in the world’s Higher Ed

Sakai (281 Higher Ed sites), Claroline (124), Chamilo (116), ILIAS (102), OLAT and OpenOLAT (42), and Stud.IP (33) figure in the global ranking with a total 698 active sites around the world. Not much (about 10.7% of Moodle) but still noteworthy. Other interesting trivia on non-Moodle open LMS include:

  • Europe is definitely the epicenter of the open source LMS for Higher Ed movement, with 278, surpassing Instructure Canvas. All non-Moodle open source LMS are of European origin.
  • Europe is the largest segment for Claroline, ILIAS, OLAT, OpenOLAT, and Stud.IP. For OLAT, OpenOLAT and Stud.IP it is their only market.
  • In Europe, ILIAS is the largest of the subgroup, with 93 sites. France’s Claroline and Sakai lag behind with 43 each.
  • OpenOLAT is a 2011 fork from OLAT 7.1 due to differences among the development team.
  • US-based Sakai is the fifth largest LMS in Higher Ed globally as well as in North America, where they have their highest number of sites (159). It is the third in Africa with 14 Higher Ed sites, its best regional placement. In its first year it secured near $8 million USD in funding, a feat Moodle only accomplished partially 15 years into existence.
  • Spain’s Chamilo is “big” in Latin America with 67 sites, their highest regional number and best placement. They are third in the region, number one in non-Moodle open source.■

Lingel LearningThis Moodle Community related post is made possible by: Lingel Learning, where learning begins. We are dedicated to developing creative eLearning and LMS hosting solutions. Click here to learn more.

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