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What is Dokeos?
Dokeos is an e-learning and course management Learning Management System (LMS), developed and published by the Dokeos Copmany.
Dokeos is available as a free download, published under the GNU General Public license (GPL), and written in PHP. It is translated into 30 languages and Sharable Content Object Reference Model Development (SCORM) compliant. Development started at the University of Louvain, Belgium, in 1999 as philosophy teacher Thomas De Praetere (now the CEO of Dokeos) started designing an open source e-learning software to scale his course up to a complete e-learning platform.
Dokeos was available solely as a free open source LMS up until 2013. Since 2013, Dokeos is also available on an “as-a-service” cloud-based model for commercial customers. The free, open source version is still available and it is called Dokeos Community Edition.
You can download Dokeos Community Edition, install it on your hosting server, and use it for free. However, some features such as Powerpoint conversion, audio recording and videoconferencing are only supported in commercial editions of Dokeos.
Why choose commercial Dokeos?
Commercial editions of Dokeos offer a turnkey LMS solution for their customers. These services are tailored for large companies in various sectors, ranging from banking, insurance, healthcare & life sciences, manufacturing, to retail. Several modules are offered so companies can choose the features they need: Dokeos manager, Dokeos Author, Dokeos Live, Dokeos Shop, Dokeos Web TV, Dokeos Game and Dokeos Evaluation. Different Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are available for customers, and customers can create a custom SLA tailored to their needs.
Commercial Dokeos cloud hosted solutions are an interesting option for large businesses and organizations looking for an LMS solution that’s ready to run immediately, without having to install and manage it themselves.
Dokeos offers a 60-day free trial option for its paid services, so you can try it out prior to making a purchase.
How to Install Dokeos
Dokeos installation is pretty straightforward, like most AMP solutions. Download the Dokeos zip file, extract the files and copy them to your Apache web directory. Open Dokeos in your web browser and finish the installation process.
Keep in mind that by default, Dokeos will create a new MySQL database for each new course you create. Your host must allow you to create and administer multiple databases, which can be a limitation on entry-level hosting plans. Dokeos can be set up to use a single database, but you must select this option during the installation, and create the database manually before installing Dokeos.
Detailed installation instructions are available in the downloaded zip file, in the ‘documentation’ folder. Upgrading from previous versions of Dokeos is supported, and making a complete backup of your existing installation and database before the upgrade is always recommended.
Dokeos is a complete LMS solution, enabling you to create learning courses and contents, exams for your users, and help you evaluate their progress.
From the Dokeos administrative section you can manage users, courses, sessions, LMS look and feel, homepage content, etc. Dokeos can be integrated with your LDAP for user authentication as an LDAP module is provided in Dokeos.
Thanks to support for SCORM model, Dokeos can import compliant content from products marketed by different companies like NETg, Skillsoft, Explio, Microsoft, Macromedia, etc.
The Dokeos administration interface also supports importing user data from XML and CSV source files.
Alternatives to Dokeos
There are many alternative LMS platforms available, both as free and commercial solutions. Popular alternatives include Moodle, Chamilo, Paradiso LMS, Instructure Canvas, and so on.
Dokeos Pros and Cons
- Free and open source LMS platform
- SCORM compliant
- In development since 1999, stable and mature
- Easy to install and try on your hosting server
- Runs on most hosting plans
- Flexible as a commercial solution with different modules and SLAs available to suit the customer’s needs
- Since 2013, premium features are reserved solely for commercial releases
Points to Remember
Dokeos is only free as a download, so you would have to set it up yourself. Thanks to the standard AMP model used, installing Dokeos should not pose a problem.
Do remember that by default, Dokeos creates a new database for every new course created. If your hosting provider does not allow for this, you can setup Dokeos to use a single database. This option has to be selected during the installation of Dokeos and the database has to be created before the installation.
Dokeos is an AMP solution, so it works on any platform running Apache + MySQL + PHP. Linux, Windows, Unix and Mac OS X operating system are supported. PHP 5.3, Apache 2.0 and My SQL 5.1 or later are required.