Moodle is a free Learning Management System (LMS) that enables users to create online learning sites in a matter of minutes. Also called a Course Management System (CMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), teachers can customise this web application to assist in higher education, e-learning projects, training needs, and more. With a network of over 80 Moodle Partner service companies worldwide, Moodle Partners can assist you every step of the way.
As an open-source platform, Moodle offers an in-depth user interface with robust, secure, and integrated systems all to help administrators, learners, and educators alike create a classroom environment catered for specific needs. Whether these needs are distance education, blended learning, flipped classroom, or online training of any sort, you can extend and tailor your own unique environment with an array spanning hundreds of plugins.
A helpful app for student and educator alike
Trusted by organisations and institutions worldwide, Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) has a base of over 213 million users, both for enterprise and academia. It’s the most trusted VLE for Shell, London School of Economics, State University of New York, Microsoft, and the Open University. Moodle has ten years of experience serving a large and diverse student database, delivering powerful learner-centric tools and collaborative learning environments to encourage both teaching and learning.
With customisable projects and quizzes, activity modules, and a mobile app to help keep track of assignments, every Moodle course allows for teachers and professors to create a flexible, dynamic learning environment. Core features can be enabled or disabled as needed to individualise each course, including blogs, forums, chats, wikis, and other assorted external collaborative tools.
For educators who want to go even further, becoming a Moodle developer is free and simple. Developer documentation is readily available on their website, instructing developers how to work with Moodle code, plugins and themes, or how to contribute to their Moodle project in other ways, such as translation. As for students, this level of customisation means a tailored learning experience where students can focus on their own individual areas to improve.
Moodle has a GNU General Public Licence, meaning the software is open source and will remain free to download, modify, extend, and adapt. Anyone can use and change Moodle to better suit their own needs, and the LMS will never charge licencing fees. The only costs involved are if you have it hosted with another party. Hosting will incur additional expenses separate from the product itself. Pricing plans are also available for additional services and features, such as cloud hosting.
The free version of Moodle still offers a litany of key features, including a personalised dashboard, plugin management, marking workflow, mass enrollment, secure authentication, and a list of collaborative tools and activities to encourage students to work with each other and with the professor. Well-supported by an active international community, no matter how you plan to use Moodle there’s someone out there who can guide you through the process.
Guidance may prove necessary, especially for teachers and students new to the virtual learning environment. While the app has exceptional functionality, there are still caveats for beginners, such as a somewhat unwieldy interface and limited iconography. Considering the app’s many options for customisation, adjusting to Moodle can be confusing and daunting. Moodle would benefit from links categorised into sidebars, simpler menus, and widgets.
Moodle vs Canvas
Moodle is an excellent choice for a flexible VLE, but it’s not the only one on the market. Canvas is often brought up as a comparison and is another strong contender. Much like Moodle, Canvas bridges the online education gap between instructor and student, with a similarly elegant interface and a host of adjustable materials to design courses. Both platforms are free.
Of the two, Canvas offers more options for course management, making it the better choice for instances where teachers want to oversee organisation in addition to material. While Moodle has a clean, customisable user interface, Canvas is more modern and sleek. In the end, Moodle may not be as pretty, but it utilises a more hands-on approach, offering superior control and adjustments.
Organise, customise, and learn
With customisable features, workflow management, and full integration with third-party apps, Moodle is an outstanding choice for virtual learning. Being an open-source CMS there’s really no reason not to give the program a try and test whether it suits the needs of your particular course. Moodle’s numerous perks and options coupled with its extensive library of plugins can satisfy the needs of a teacher, student, and administrator alike.