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Federal Profile Platform : eLearning Products and Services

OLAT - Open Source Learning Management System

OLAT is a java-based open source learning management system (LMS) developed originally at the University of Zurich.
Product Type: Software
Discipline: Other (not discipline specific, etc.)
Topics: eLearning, learning management system, LMS, online courses, QTI, SCORM, IMS Content Package
  • It is open-source and therefore free of charge
  • The Java based framework can handle over 700 students simultaneously on one standard Linux server
  • Thanks to its simple and intuitive web frontend, users will learn how to work with OLAT in no time
  • OLAT uses cutting edge AJAX/Web 2.0 technology
  • It is multilingual (UTF8) and offers translations for over 15 languages
  • OLAT supports eLearning standards such as SCORM, IMS Content Packaging or QTI
Languages: English, German

University of Zurich, IT Services

Franziska Schneider

Winterthurerstrasse 190

8057 Zürich

Online Resources:
Last Update: January 2008
Demo Version:
Link to Repository Entry:
Users & References:

University of Zurich, University of Basel, University of Lucerne, ETH Zurich, PH St. Gallen, Bildungsportal Sachsen etc.

See OLAT worldwide page for a complete list.

Teaching Scenario: Offers the possibility to create your own teaching scenario. See extended description for full feature list.
Teaching Scenario (extended description):
  • Open Source Apache 2 License)
  • Java based framework, HTML based frontend GUI
  • AJAX/Web 2.0 enabled
  • Entirely multilingual, UTF8 supported, online translation tool
  • Supports standards such as IMS CP, SCORM, QTI etc.
  • Server requirements: With OLAT, there is no need for a high-end server!

Users & Groups

  • Unlimited number of accounts
  • Different roles
  • Various authentication methods
  • Administrators can add, modify or delete users
  • Personalized authoring and learning environment
  • Manage your files via HTTP or WebDAV
  • Configure your personal home portal
  • Calendar (per course, per group and combined personal calendar)
  • Be up-to-date as regards news and changes via e-mail or RSS feed
  • Full-text search
  • Share resources with other authors (learning resource repository)
  • Form your own project groups and invite buddies
  • Use discussion forums, file share space, contact forms etc.
  • Instant Messenger: See who is online and chat with others using either the integrated chat client (AJAX based) or an external Jabber client

Authentication Options

  • Users can create their own accounts (with/without approval by administrators)
  • Direct login into OLAT with OLAT user name and password
  • Access file system via WebDAV login
  • Full Shibboleth integration
  • Single sign-on e.g. via Switch AAI
  • Control access to courses by means of AAI attributes

Course Management

  • Flexible course system
  • Based on IMS Learning design concepts
  • Create a personalized course structure according to your needs
  • Course editor: create your course using OLAT course elements
  • Group management: manage your learners
  • Rights management: grant specific users access to course tools
  • Assessment tool: assess your learners
  • Archive tool: download log files or runtime data and import/export courses
  • Create your own course layout using CSS

Course Elements OLAT Offers

  • Wiki
  • Single pages with integrated WYSIWYG HTML editor
  • Include external pages or sites via tunneling
  • Both SCORM and IMS Content Packages
  • Forums and "file dialog" element to discuss papers
  • Folders for download material
  • Tasks with drop box, sample solution and scores
  • Tests (with scores) and self-tests (anonymous, no scores) based on QTI standard
  • Questionnaire for course evaluations
  • Enrollment for groups (by student or tutor or both) with wait lists
  • Contact forms for easy communication with group members or tutors

Online Help and Documentation

  • Extensive context-sensitive help
  • A Wiki based user manual (authors can help improve the manual)
  • Comprehensive help, manual, tutorials and discussion forum


  • Entirely supports UTF8
  • Our main translations: German, English, French, Italian and Spanish
  • Community translations: Portuguese, Russian, Czech, Polish, Lithuanian, Danish, Greek, Chinese (traditional and simplified) and Farsi (Persian)
  • Under development: Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian (Bahasa), Rumantsch and Turkish
  • Online translation tool (translator can access our translation tool from anywhere)
  • More information in the translations chapter
Property Rights: Open Source (under Apache 2 license)
Customizing Services: Available through Frentix GmbH (see
Technical Requirements: Tomcat Servlet Engine (OLAT is Java-based)


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