This Article 
 Bibliographic References 
 Add to: 
Adel Khelifi, ALHOSN University, Abu Dhabi
Manar Abu Talib, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi
Mohamed Farouk, ALHOSN University, Abu Dhabi
Habib Hamam, University of Moncton, Moncton
The higher education community is concerned about the cost and performance of commercial software products. A common view is that existing proprietary options do not have the features required by instructors and students or allow for cost-effective customization. One way to address these problems in poorer countries, and hence improve their quality of education and access to knowledge, would be to consider the modern educational tools available with no license fees through open-source software. This paper presents an initial development of a complete open-source software platform called the Open University Project, which contains software that precisely fulfills user requirements in the higher education sector. The paper also highlights the financial advantages of introducing open-source software in developing countries and its positive impact on educational quality.

[1] P.N. Courant and R.J. Griffiths, “Software and Collaboration in Higher Education: A Study of Open Source Software,” ooss-study-final-report, 2006.
[2] B. Perens, “We Speak About Free Software,” Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), , 2004.
[3] E.S. Raymond, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar,” http://www. , 1998.
[4] Open Source Initiative, “Home—Open Source Initiative,” Open Source Web Site, http:/, Mar. 2007.
[5] M.K. Ian, CIPPIC Summer Fellow 2004, under the Supervision of Professor Marcus Bornfreund, Faculty of Law, Univ. of Ottawa, 2007.
[6] C. Bartlett, “ITAA Open Source Software (OSS): A White Paper,” Software Division, The Information Technology Assoc. of America, , 2004.
[7] A.W. David, “Why Open Source Software/Free Software (OSS/FS, FLOSS, or FOSS)? Look at the Numbers!” http://www. dwheeler.comoss_fs_why.html, 2007.
[8] Netcraft April 2006 Web Server Survey, http://news.netcraft. com/archives/2006/ 04/06april_2006_web_server_survey.html, Mar. 2008.
[9] H. Jeffrey, “Linux Making Strong Inroads in Server Market,” Gartner Research Paper ID G00126977, Apr. 2005.
[10] R. Abel, “Best Practices in Open Source in Higher Education Study: The State of Open Source Software,” The Alliance for Higher Education Competitiveness, Inc., , 2006.
[11] Computer Eco nomics, “The Key Advantage of Open Source,” http://www.computereconomics.comarticle.cfm?id=1043 , 2005.
[12] A.J.W. James, “Benefits of Open Source Code,” OSS Watch Open Source Software Advisory Service, , 2008.
[13] W. Steven, “Open Source Software in Developing Economies,” technical report, Univ. of California, Berkeley, http://programs. ITST_materialswebernote2.pdf, 2002.
[14] M. Edward, “On Free vs. Proprietary,” Free Software Magazine, 1446, 2005.
[15] K. Munoz and J. Duzer, “Blackboard vs. Moodle. A Comparison of Satisfaction with Online Teaching and Learning Tools,” , 2005.
[16] Plain Black Corporation, “Rating Detail,” The Content Management Comaprison Tool, CMS Matrix Organization, http://www. , Oct. 2008.
[17] R. Charpentier and R. Carbone, “Free and Open Source Software: Overview and Preliminary Guidelines for the Government of Canada,” Report DRDC ECR 2004-232, Defence Research & Development Canada, Canadian Dept. of Nat'l Defence, pp. 1-48, foss-llofoss-llo11-eng. asp#x1-1700012, 2004.
[18] Wikiversity, “SchoolForge,” Forge, 2007.
[19] SIGOSSEE/JOIN—Open Source for Education in Europe, SIG Open-Source Software for Education in Europe Skip to Content, http:/, 2005.
[20] Amazon—Alexa Internet, Inc., “—Traffic Details,” http://www.alexa.comsearch? , 2008.
[21] openSUSE, “Frequently Asked Questions—openSUSE,” http://en.openSUSE.orgFrequently_Asked_Questions , 2005.
[22] Focus School Software, LLC, “FOCUS/SIS-Overview,” http:/, 2008.
[23] Novell, Inc., “openSUSE 10.3—Security,” http://www.novell. com/products/openSUSE security.html, 2008.
[24] openSUSE, “Welcome to openSUSE,”, 2007.
[25] B. Alexander, “University of California, Los Angeles Moves to Moodle,” Liberal Education Today, moves_to_moodle 31427565.html, 2007.
[26] Athabasca University, “Athabasca University Moves to Moodle,” Athabasca Univ. News Room, http:/, 2006.
[27] J. Farmer, “Louisiana State University Moves to Moodle,” e-Literate, www.mfeldstein.comlouisiana-state-university-moves-to-moodle , 2007.
[28] S. Yeates, “Bath University Moves to Moodle,” Educause Connect, , 2006.
[29] T. Greene, “MS in Peruvian Open-Source Nightmare,” http://www. ms_in_peruvian_opensource_ nightmare, 2002.
[30] R. van Victor and C. Topi, “Alternative Routes in the Digital World: Open Source Software in Africa,” edu/papersreijswoudtopi.pdf , 2003.

Index Terms:
Proprietary software, higher education sector, open-source software, platform development, developing countries.
Adel Khelifi, Manar Abu Talib, Mohamed Farouk, Habib Hamam, "Developing an Initial Open-Source Platform for the Higher Education Sector—A Case Study: Alhosn University," IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 239-248, July-Sept. 2009, doi:10.1109/TLT.2009.13
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.