Rcampus is a fully featured application that provides a lot of it’s capabilities for free, but you will need to pay for some “premium” functions.
Last week I started researching free, hosted Course and Learning Management Systems, in search of those that provide relatively unlimited use for little or nominal cost. My focus was to find apps that could be used by teachers who wish to work with a CMS/LMS and have none in their schools (and presumably have little or no budget for it). I selected four that seemed like they might fit the bill, with the intention of coming back this week to take a deeper dive.
As I considered which to work with first, I decided to put SchoolRack to the end of the list, since they do charge a fee (albeit very small) to use their more fully featured “Plus” plan. I figured I’d give the other three a good workout to see what I could get for no cost. I signed up for Schoology, but they had to validate my school, and this took a couple days, so I moved on to Rcampus in the meanwhile.
I signed up for Rcampus, logged in, and created the beginnings of a ‘welcome’ page and some course work. I made the video below, illustrating the process. I knew going into this that Rcampus did not offer all of it’s functionality for free, but in my initial reading through their website I came away with the impression that the paid version was required only for enterprise-level functions (like integration to an SIS and that sort of thing). I quickly learned, however, that there are more limitations to their free version than I originally thought.
Rcampus is a robust application, offering extensive functionality, and is certainly worth considering if you’re looking for a Course Management System that you can use for free. It does turn out though that some features, such as Tests/Quizzes, and some advanced editing capabilities, are only available under their Premium paid version. This in and of itself is does not exclude Rcampus from further consideration, but unfortunately the Premium version is not available yet, and I saw no information about when it would be available, what it would cost, or what other differences exist between the free version and this new Premium version.
Perhaps when they do release this information, it will turn out that the fee for Premium use is nominal, making Rcampus worth continuing to trial and learn about. In the meanwhile I’m looking forward to learning more about other contenders for the “Best Free Hosted CMS/LMS” crown.
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