On the surface, don't open source LCMSs sound like a great idea? They have three major advantages that make them very attractive, especially for budget conscious smaller schools that are considering deploying LCMS software for the first time:
Advantage #1: The code is FREE!
Advantage #2: The code is FREE!
Advantage #3: The code is FREE!
However, despite these three undeniably amazing advantages (*grin*), remember that the technical labor required to deploy, customize and manage the LCMS must be located within the school and is costly. In my view, you need about twice as much in-house technical and development support to an Open Source LCMS than you need for a commercially available LCMS. While theoretically, Moodle is customizable to meet any specific needs of the school, the customization process is conducted in-house by individuals on the school's payroll and that costs money! In a recent round table meeting of five Universities that I attended in Ottawa on the subject of LCMSs, all five Universities had decided to continue pursuing commercially available LCMSs instead of Open Source products like Moodle or SAKAI because they had judged it to be more cost effective in the medium and long term. Placing experienced technical development personnel on the payroll is not cheap, and investing similar amounts of money into the licensing of a commercially available LCMS was judged to be a safer and more stable choice.
Interesting. If you have an opinion on this, leave a comment.