Online Education: Educational Platforms and the Openness Dilemm

Enrique Dans


Traditionally, institutions that offer education over the Internet have tended to use educational platforms of the so-called learning management systems, LMS, that offer the student a range of services such as documentation repositories, forums, email, etc, within a closed environment, accessible with a user name and a password and with a standard way of functioning. Various studies show that the market clearly leans towards the use of this kind of platform, with an unmistakable leader focussed on a strategy of growth through acquisitions and a competitor developing open source material. However, it is likely that the trend for the future is towards a situation of isomorphism with the normative environment, where an increasingly predominant place is held by loosely integrated open tools characterised by total functional independence. This article speculates on the possible development in this direction and describes some of the possible consequences for students, teachers and institutions.


online education; platforms; LMS; Web 2.0; openness

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