Wow, a free, full featured Learning Management System!
I recently learned about etudes.org, a non-profit organization that “offers centralized hosting, support, site and account management, training and professional development opportunities to institutions and organizations that need a turn-key, fully-managed course management solution” (per their web site). Their home page goes on to explain that they support over 125,000 students across 25 client institutions. Very impressive! They offer a 6 month pilot, User Groups for support, and a 3 week online training program ($75) to help users get started.
If I understand what I am reading, the solution appears to utilize the Sakai open/community source LMS. A key difference between the Etudes solution and popular open source LMS/CMS systems like Moodle (and Sakai as a stand alone solution) is that Etudes is delivered via a hosted, or Software-as-a-Service model (whereas with Moodle and Sakai, you need to provide, implement, and support servers to deliver the service).
I have no experience with this solution, so I can't speak to how effective the tools are or how well supported they are. Of course, the “price” is very attractive! If any readers have any experience with the solution, I'd love to hear about it. If anyone is considering their first CMS/LMS or considering a change, Etudes may warrant consideration.
Be sure to stay tuned for the final part of my three part look into free or low cost e-portfolio solutions for college grads this coming Sunday!