We are proud to be able to release the first version of Koala LMS. After months of hard work, we are close to this first release. You can already test it on our demonstration server. Feel free to break things, the database is regenerated every thirty minutes.
Koala LMS v1 is expected by the end of the month, once we’ll have fixed the last remaining bugs.
A new paradigm
We are tired to see that hierarchical organisation still exists in teaching. We do not entirely believe in that. We assume that people have, each a potential that needs to be expressed. We do not think that the teachers knows everything and the student has to follow. This has led to unexpected behaviours. Students do not always feel comfortable in lessons. We want to change that.
By allowing users to be the heart of the teaching, we ensure they are member of communities that work together in courses. Collaboration, is, as in real life, the best virtue of human kind. We want to introduce this in schools, colleges and universities.
Koala LMS is, as we designed it, the tool that will put the student at the heart of the educational system, by letting him exchange with its mates and discuss about the course. This newly free student will be able to search for and publish educational resources that will be discussed before being added to the course.
Guess what’s best? We want to be federated. This is not only a funny word. Federation is an important part of our work. We spoke about course collaboration, right? Why not going further? We want people from different instances to be able to publish, share and discuss about courses. Actually, nowadays, Schools, Universities, etc. use Learning Management Systems that stay in their perimeter. Someone registered in another University cannot access educational resources located in another one.
That’s strange, uh? The goal of a university isn’t to share knowledge with others? The goal of a teacher is not to share its knowledge with learners? We believe in that. By allowing communication between instances of Koala LMS, we want to push Learning Management Systems into the 21th century.
Made for users, by users
We worked hard the past month and especially tried to identify our users and to include them in the project. This part is a success. We worked with a class of Information Communication of the Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France and their teachers. We also worked with a few students from the École des Mines de Nancy. Using interviews, we identified together their needs and expectations. They were motivated, hence we cannot disappoint them. Koala LMS is closed to their needs. We included requirements from both teachers and students.
User driven development is the core of our work. We want to include them at the very beginning of the process to ensure the product we give them corresponds to their needs and usage.
“Long is the path but free is the way”
This quotation is used by a french organisation Framasoft (La voie est longue mais la route est libre in french). It states that even if we have a lot of work to do, free software in our way to do it. Koala LMS and its core components are free software, distributed under the terms of the General Public Licence V3.
Developing free software is important for us. Keeping free software free is the engine of our commitment. By using the GPLv3 licence, we also want to protect our contributors and their respective work in the project.