3 Popular Open Source and Free Tutoring Software for Educators

These tutoring tools allow educators to provide a blended and flexible learning experience to their students.

illustration of tutoring software

The academic segment of the e-learning market is expected to be valued at over $157.7 billion globally by 2025. This growing popularity can be attributed to the various benefits of e-learning for learners as well as educators. Students can learn at their own pace, and educators can adapt their teaching methods to the learning styles of students. That’s a win-win for everyone!

If you have a tutoring business, prepare to take it online if you haven’t already! However, you don’t need to spend right away. Many software tools are open source or offer a free stand-alone version that you won’t have to purchase after a limited amount of time.

In this article, we’ve listed three such tutoring solutions based on search engine results page (SERP) data and the number of reviews (20+) on Capterra’s directory. You can read our full methodology here.

Here are our top picks listed alphabetically.

3 popular open source and free tutoring software

1. Moodle

Moodle is an open source solution that allows educators to build their own e-learning website. It helps create self-paced or instructor-led courses that support blended as well as online learning.

The tool’s drag-and-drop editor lets educators add learning resources (images, slideshow presentations, Word documents, etc.) via supported web browsers. Resources can also be uploaded from cloud storage platforms, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.

The software allows tutors to create multiple choice questions, feedback surveys, and quizzes, among others. Tutors can add comments to the assignments uploaded by students and use chat rooms to connect with them in real time. They can also grade students based on performance in individual assignments and participation in peer/group discussions.

Creating an assignment on Moodle

Creating an assignment in Moodle (Source)

We analyzed user reviews of Moodle to understand what buyers like and areas they think need some improvement. Here’s what we found.

Product Information

What they like

What could be improved

  • Users can set a course start date and adjust it as per the time zone of learners.
  • The student enrollment process is easy and quick.
  • The quiz and assignment modules and live streaming plugin make courses more interactive.
  • Software customization needs the help of Moodle developers, making it a time-consuming process.
  • A steep learning curve for first-time users.
  • Software design could be more user-friendly and modern.
Cost to upgrade: None; Moodle is open source.
Differentiating feature: Badge creation

Users have complete control over the badge creation process. They can decide on the type of badge to create to recognize students for their performance. They can also add additional details, such as issuer and student information, badge expiry date, and student accomplishment.

2. newrow_smart

Newrow_smart is a cloud-based learning management platform that helps conduct real-time virtual classes. Its free plan allows users to organize meetings with up to five participants.

The key features of the free plan are screen sharing and recording and archiving of online sessions. It also offers an interactive digital whiteboard that can be used by both teachers and students.

Tutors can search for and play YouTube videos via the software during live sessions to boost engagement. They can divide their class into smaller breakout rooms, which facilitates group/peer learning. The software also allows students to download the class notes, presentations, PDFs, documents, videos, and other learning resources shared by tutors.

Online group training sessions in newrow_smart

Online group training sessions in newrow_smart (Source)

We analyzed user reviews of newrow_smart to understand what buyers like and areas they think need some improvement. Here’s what we found.

What they like

What could be improved

  • Live sessions can be easily recorded and uploaded to share with students.
  • Students can be grouped into breakout rooms, which helps facilitate peer-to-peer discussions and group learning.
  • It takes a while to upload teaching materials on iPads.
  • Tutors can’t share their screen while simultaneously using the digital whiteboard.
Cost to upgrade: The software offers several upgrade plans, but two are specifically meant for tutoring businesses: Virtual Classroom 50 and Virtual Classroom 200. The former costs $45 per month (billed annually) and supports a maximum of 50 participants, while the latter costs $90 per month (billed annually) and can accommodate up to 200 participants. Prices increase when billed monthly; extra charges apply for additional hours of cloud recording.
Differentiating feature: An interactive digital whiteboard

The whiteboard is especially useful for teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and language courses. Instructors can write equations, draw diagrams, play word games, etc. on the whiteboard during live sessions. Students can also be assigned access rights to write on the board.

3. TalentLMS

TalentLMS is a cloud-based learning management system that helps offer a blended learning experience by supporting instructor-led, classroom, and recorded training sessions, among others. It can be integrated with video conferencing solutions, such as GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, GoToTraining, and Zoom, to deliver virtual lectures.

The free version of TalentLMS offers 5 user accounts, 10 courses, and unlimited email support. Tutors can create courses using content from web sources. They can use the built-in discussion forums and chat service to connect with students. They also have access to a document repository that helps organize, reuse, and share files.

The software offers an assessment engine, which tutors can use to create a variety of test questions, including multiple-choice and fill-the-gap. Parameters such as the test duration, passing score, and order in which questions are to be answered can be added. The tool’s gamification feature lets educators add badges, leaderboards, rewards, points, etc. to recognize the performance of learners.

Learners' dashboard in TalentLMS

Learners’ dashboard in TalentLMS (Source)

We analyzed user reviews of TalentLMS to understand what buyers like and areas they think need some improvement. Here’s what we found.

What they like

What could be improved

  • Creating online courses doesn’t require prior technical knowledge.
  • The course builder automatically suggests graphics and videos to help create visually appealing courses.
  • The free version offers only email support and should offer more options, such as live chat.
  • PPT files take a lot of time to upload. Learning to use the text editor also takes some time.
Cost to upgrade: The software offers two upgrade plans (standard and active) with starter, basic, plus, and premium subplans under both. Standard plans range from $59 to $429 per month (billed annually), while active plans range from $129 to $479 per month.
Differentiating feature: An eCommerce platform with PayPal and Stripe integration

Educators can sell their courses online and process payments for the same via PayPal and Stripe. Courses can be sold individually or as subscriptions, with an option to apply discounts and coupons.

Which free tutoring software should you choose?

Now that you’ve gone through our recommended software options, it’s time to choose one for yourself. It can be confusing, given each software has its unique functionalities. Here are a few things that’ll help you make a decision.

  • Compare the number of participants: As a business, you’ll have multiple users working alongside you. Eliminate tools that can’t accommodate the number of users/participants you need.
  • Check the upgrade cost: If you’re looking to upgrade in the future, ensure the software upgrade cost isn’t out of your budget. It’s also helpful to make sure that the upgrade plan has all the features you require.
  • Read user reviews: Read user reviews on Capterra to assess buyer sentiments about the tools listed in this article. You can also visit Capterra’s tutoring software directory to check out other tutoring solutions.


We used Google SERP data to find open source and free tools for tutoring (as on April 23, 2020).

We retained 29 products that were more popular based on their occurrence on various software lists.

We then evaluated each product and shortlisted those that fulfilled the following criteria:

  • The product is a free, stand-alone version of the software.
  • It’s not a trial version of the software wherein users must purchase a product version after a limited amount of time.


Once a tool was classified as free, we analyzed it according to the following criteria:

  • It has at least 20 reviews published on Capterra (as on April 28, 2020).
  • It meets our tutoring software definition: Tutoring software gives educators and tutoring companies the tools they need to schedule learning sessions, communicate with students, track billing, and more.


The content in this piece provides the opinions and points of view expressed by users and does not represent the views of Capterra.

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