SWAD (software)

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Original author(s)SWAD development team
Developer(s)SWAD development team
Stable release
23.48.2 / November 26, 2023; 4 months ago (2023-11-26)[1]
Written inC, C++
Operating systemLinux server
TypeCourse management system

SWAD (originally stood for "Sistema Web de Apoyo a la Docencia" in Spanish or "Web System for Education Support", currently stands for "Shared Workspace At a Distance") is a web application to manage the courses, students and teachers of one or more educational institutions.


The first version of SWAD appeared in September 1999. In 2005 its use was extended to the University of Granada.[2] The application was released as free software in January 2010[3][4] under Affero General Public License, version 3.[1][5] In 2010 the system was used by 1,100 professors and 35,000 students.[4] In 2011 it was used by 2,000 professors and 60,000 students in 2,800 courses.[6][7][8]

SWAD is currently available in 9 languages and used in the University of Granada[9][10][11][12][13] and the portal OpenSWAD.org. In November 2019 SWAD installation at the University of Granada housed 488 degrees (including undergraduate and graduate) with 7496 courses, 126,060 students and 3514 teachers.[14]

The objectives addressed in the development of the platform SWAD can be specified depending on its potential beneficiaries:[15]

  • For teachers and other administrators of the platform, the objectives were carrying through internet the management tasks related to a course and its students, and improved mentoring and general communication with them.
  • For students, the objectives have been improved access to materials and information of the courses, the possibility of self-assessment at a distance, and the improvement of the communication both student-student and student-teacher.

A fundamental criterion at the development of the platform has been to facilitate its use by users, emphasizing both the ease of learning and use for students and teachers (usability), and the time saving and quality improvement in various tasks related to teaching.[15]

For the institution or company, SWAD has the additional advantage of being fast and efficient, consuming very little computer resources, so being suitable for low-cost installations. Compared to other tools used for the same purpose, since its implementation in C language, SWAD does not require a big hardware and software infrastructure, even in large universities, being sufficient a single server.[15]

Technical specifications[edit]


SWAD core is a CGI programmed in C[16] comprising almost all the functionality of the platform. The core is supplemented with some external programs like photo processing module and chat module.[15][17]

The server runs on a Linux system with Apache and a MySQL or MariaDB database.[15]


Being a web application, the client can be any modern web browser. To use the chat you must have Java runtime environment.[15]

Besides the web client, there is an M-learning application for Android devices called SWADroid,[6][7] which implements some of the most used features in the web version.[15]

Hierarchy and roles[edit]

Hierarchical organization[edit]

SWAD can accommodate in a single platform one or multiple educational organizations. It uses the following hierarchical structure:[15]

The central element of this hierarchy is the course, which can register several teachers and students.


Each user has a role of student, non-editing teacher or teacher at each of the course in which he/she is enrolled. In addition, some users may be administrators of one or more degrees, centres or institutions, as well as global administrators of the platform.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "SWAD download". OpenSWAD.org.
  2. ^ "Web para prácticas de economía". Universia (in Spanish). Universia España. 2006-05-30.
  3. ^ "SWAD, liberado" [SWAD, released]. http://osl.ugr.es/ (in Spanish). Oficina de Software Libre de la Universidad de Granada. 2010-01-21. {{cite web}}: External link in |work= (help)
  4. ^ a b "La Universidad de Granada libera su Sistema Web de Apoyo a la Docencia (SWAD)". Profesionales Digitales (in Spanish). 2010-04-12.
  5. ^ "Liberada la plataforma SWAD bajo licencia AGPL v3" [Platform SWAD released under AGPL v3 license]. http://barrapunto.com/ (in Spanish). Barrapunto. 2010-01-21. {{cite web}}: External link in |work= (help)
  6. ^ a b "Los sistemas de apoyo informático a la docencia se deslocalizan". Profesionales Digitales (in Spanish). 2011-06-22.
  7. ^ a b "Los sistemas de apoyo informático a la docencia se deslocalizan". Universia (in Spanish). Universia España. 2011-06-23.
  8. ^ G. Parra, Andrea (2011-12-11). "Formación universitaria sin pisar la clase". miUGR.es Canal universitario de Ideal.es (in Spanish). Ideal Comunicación Digital. Archived from the original on 2012-07-06.
  9. ^ López Morales, Manuel; Celma Vicente, Matilde; Cano-Caballero Gálvez, M. Dolores; Quero Rufián, Aurora; Rodríguez López, M. Ascensión (2011). "Docencia universitaria semipresencial. Experiencia en el uso de la plataforma virtual SWAD" [Semi-presential university teaching. An experience in the use of SWAD virtual platform] (PDF). Educación Médica (in Spanish). 14 (4): 229–234. doi:10.4321/S1575-18132011000400006. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-02-25. Alt URL
  10. ^ Correa Rodríguez, M.; Cambil Martín, Jacobo (2011). "Estudio docente del Sistema Web de Apoyo a la Docencia en alumnado del Máster de Educación Secundaria". Scientia (in Spanish). 16 (2): 95–107. ISSN 1989-7375. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Alt URL
  11. ^ Cañas Vargas, Antonio; Ocaña Lara, Francisco A. (2010). "SWAD en los estudios de Farmacia" [SWAD in the studies in Pharmacy]. ARS Pharmaceutica (in Spanish). 51 (2): 1–17. ISSN 0004-2927. Archived from the original on 2012-06-28. Alt URL
  12. ^ Salicetti Fonseca, Alejandro; Romero Cerezo, Cipriano (2010). "La plataforma de apoyo a la docencia como opción metodológica para el aprendizaje de competencias" [The Support Platform for Educators as a Methodological Option for Competitive Learning]. Revista Educación (in Spanish). 34 (1). Universidad de Costa Rica: 83–100. doi:10.15517/revedu.v34i1.499. ISSN 0379-7082. Archived from the original on 2012-10-25. Alt URL
  13. ^ Bueno Ibáñez, T.A.; Cámara Martos, F.; López Andújar, G. (2009). Pujol Cubells, Montserrat (ed.). "Implantación de la Plataforma de Apoyo a la Docencia en la Facultad de Farmacia de Granada" (PDF). Edusfarm, revista d'educació superior en Farmàcia (in Spanish). 5. Facultat de Farmàcia de la Universitat de Barcelona, Grup de Dinamització Pedagògica. ISSN 1886-6271. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-02-23. Alt URL
  14. ^ "Estadísticas de uso en la UGR" [Usage statistics at the UGR] (in Spanish). Virtual Learning Center of the University of Granada. 2016-02-01.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i Vargas, Antonio Cañas. "SWAD: Info". openswad.org. Retrieved 24 September 2018. This article contains quotations from this source, which is available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia license.
  16. ^ "Main core for SWAD platform (GitHub)". GitHub, Inc.
  17. ^ "SWAD source code". OpenSWAD.org.

External links[edit]