On Thursday, the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) officially launched a new Learning Management System website, ZOU Online. The new system uses the open source eLearning and eWorking platform, Claroline, and like typical Learning Management Systems, it allows lecturers to build online courses and manage learning and collaborative activities on the web.
The Zimbabwe Open University has implemented the new system in partnership with a local ICT company. We’re yet to establish which ICT company this is. We will let you know once we find out.
As a state university with limited resources, one would understand its inclination to ‘free’ open source applications. Indeed, other state institutions should learn from ZOU. It’s also encouraging to see local companies embracing the power of open source tools and using them to add value to solutions for state institutions.
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The launch was attended by Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Stan Mudenge and Permanent Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education Dr Washington Mbizvo among other high profile persons.
We visited ZOU’s Claroline implementation and in our humble opinion, ZOU (or the local ICT company) need to work on the front page a little more.
The global development and promotion of Claroline is organized by the Claroline Consortium, an international non-profit association. According to the Claroline community page, the system is used in more than 100 countries and by more than 1600 organisations globally.