[Xerte] The Costs of Xerte

Douglas Brown dbrown61 at une.edu.au
Mon May 5 02:07:50 BST 2014


Just wanted to share the summary of responses to my initial post. Thank you.

The Costs of Xerte

Some thoughts from a post to the Xerte Listserv

“Xerte is obviously free and open source and will hapilly sit on the same
server as your Moodle installation so you could argue there is no cost or
very little cost per designer/developer and Moodle + Xerte is a great
combination if used in an informed way. By that I mean using each for what
they are best at and making informed decisions about when and why to use
each including integration with other tools too.

In short I'd say it's a 'no-brainer' to use Xerte as part of the range of
options you provide to staff and learners especially given the accessibility
benefits. The cost comes with provided the initial and ongoing CPD and
support to help all users get the most out of Xerte - but then that applies
to all tools in use.”

“Xerte Online Toolkits should sit nicely on the same server as Moodle and integrate with it for login purposes.

Beyond installation anyone can then create LOs. You would only need a designer to change the theme or a developer to perhaps add page types.”

“A lot of people use Xerte out of the box and so don't change anything or modify it. I suspect a few places restyle the CSS but this isn't essential or that expensive.
I would think most places don't have a developer either. There are about ten Xerte developers and a lot more installs than that.
A Xerte install can be done inside a Moodle install so doesnt require any extra servers or space.
I'd be impressed if anywhere has a dedicated Xerte admin person, once installed it pretty much rums itself.”

“As with all Open Source systems, the costs are in humans, not the software. In the UK, if you wanted a Learning Technologist to install, configure and administer Xerte, then advocate its use in blended learning, the going rate would be £32k-£37k. For a consultant, maybe £250-£300/day (an ex-colleague of mine at Heriot-Watt, who ran her own e-learning consultancy, would charge that). I'm sure that you could translate those numbers into Aussie dollars.

I'd say that Xerte Toolkits is pretty easy to set up, as an administrator - the costs in terms of time and money would be in getting academics and teachers to use it constructively and to incorporate it into their learning and teaching, hence the need for a Learning Technologist or similar.

Just my 2 cents worth - I'd be interested to read the views of others on the human costs, not least as I'm kinda interested in e-learning consultancy myself... ;-)”

“In fairness, a learning technologist wouldn't need to be employed anything like full time to make Xerte Toolkits work for your organisation. It would be a tiny fraction of their time. There are lots of organisations like ours who have paid for a consultant to set it up and manage any maintenance but we're talking about a day or two here and there at the most and we get a lot of use from toolkits.

Whatever tool you use the overhead will always be getting hard pressed teaching staff to learn new skills and dare to teach differently. But invest in some decent training opportunities and you'll find it's a very attractive cost benefit ratio.”

“I've struggled to get xerte formally supported by my institution - still working on it! I'm currently stuck with a firewalled dev system...I wanted to use it at #oer14 so my colleague and I installed it on reclaimhosting.com which cost us 12 dollars and took us about 15 minutes.

For more on reclaimhosting.com see this paper also at #oer14:



Douglas Brown
Online Learning Designer
Learning Innovations Hub

Parramatta Future Campus
Level 2, 232 Church Street
Parramatta NSW 2150 Australia

Phone  0477 740 230


CRICOS Provider Code 00003G
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