Blackboard vs Moodle: Compare Core LMS Capabilities and More

Blackboard and Moodle are two learning management solutions that mainly appeal to K-12 and higher education. Blackboard also provides many solution types to target businesses and government, and Moodle is open source and flexible enough for any organization to customize it. In this post, we compare both software solutions on a few factors.

What is the Main Difference Between Blackboard and Moodle?

  • Blackboard Learn is only available in the cloud, while Moodle has both on-premise and cloud deployments.
  • Both solutions have similar features, but Blackboard Learn has robust reporting features available to students, while Moodle has an optional, fully-branded mobile app.
  • Blackboard doesn’t publicly provide pricing info, whereas Moodle lists its pricing of MoodleCloud.

Product Overviews

The following are product descriptions pulled from our comprehensive reviews on each solution, Blackboard and Moodle:

Blackboard

Blackboard Learn is a web-based LMS that’s used in both the academic and business environments to help students and employees improve their learning experience. It’s easily customized to an organization’s needs and integrates with Microsoft OneDrive, school information systems and Dropbox.

Blackboard Learn is tailored to four different markets: K-12, higher education, businesses and government. All four markets share Blackboard Learn’s main features, such as testing/assessments, discussions and a dedicated user learning profile.

Moodle

Moodle is an open-source learning management platform designed to help schools educate their students. Moodle is based on a modular design that lets teachers and administrators build their own curriculum using plug-ins for various workflows, content and activities.

Users have a choice of either installing their Moodle account on their servers or in the cloud. The cloud-based platform, called MoodleCloud, provides several benefits, such as accessibility anytime, scalability and a very short implementation process.

There’s also the Moodle Workplace solution that allows companies to customize the LMS to fit their unique needs. It includes features such as the ability to build learning and compliance programs, organization structure, multi-tenancy, a report builder and social learning.

Features Comparison

Virtual Learning

Blackboard

Blackboard Learn integrates with Blackboard Collaborate, a videoconferencing solution. Blackboard Collaborate includes many features, such as a whiteboard, chatting, breakout rooms, notifications and on-demand polls. Blackboard Learn and Blackboard Collaborate both streamline workflows, including automated class attendance and available recordings of the virtual session. If an organization prefers to use Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams, Blackboard Learn can integrate with those solutions.

Moodle

Moodle has a built-in video conferencing solution, BigBlueButton, for virtual classes and meetings, where instructors can share audio and video content, add notes on a whiteboard in real time and create breakout rooms. Learners can also interact via chat individually or in groups. For institutions that want to use a third-party virtual tool, Moodle developers can add a Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet plugin.

Bottom Line

Blackboard Learn and Moodle use separate virtual solutions, but they both can integrate with Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet.

Mobile Learning

Blackboard

The Blackboard Learn App empowers learners to access their courses while on the go. They can participate in real-time virtual classes and discussions, take assessments and get assignments, notes and reminders with the notification-based system. The app is available on Apple and Android devices.

Moodle

With the dedicated Moodle app, learners can access course content, even offline, send messages and receive push notifications. While the app is free, it has additional Pro and Premium plan features that cost extra for the open source version (free on MoodleCloud and if an organization works with a Moodle Partner). The Pro plan includes additional features such as QR code login, multimedia push notifications and custom search results, while the Premium plan adds on basic custom branding. Institutions with multiple sites can opt for a fully branded Moodle app with unlimited access and advanced features like a separate notifications server, Google Analytics, mobile app support via email and full app branding.

Bottom Line

Both solutions offer similar mobile learning features, however, Blackboard’s app doesn’t provide optional features that Moodle’s app does.

Reporting/Analytics

Blackboard

The Blackboard Analytics feature lets administrators and learners measure their performance of a specific class or program. Learners can access their student-facing dashboard to track their activity in comparison with their peers. Administrators can filter and drill down into their data on specific metrics like students at-risk of earning a failing grade or tools that are most used or least used in a course.

Moodle

Teachers can track their students’ progress with the Gradebook feature, where they can sort columns, filter data and change grades if needed. They can also track both learner and course metrics with custom reports that can be scheduled to deliver to specific people or groups.

Bottom Line

Blackboard Analytics lets students measure their course progress, while reporting features in Moodle is only available to teachers.

Pricing

Blackboard

The price of Blackboard isn’t disclosed. We’ve attempted to estimate these costs by gathering all available information online, but in order to know how much Blackboard will cost, prospects must reach out to Blackboard for a quote based on their industry and number of learners.

Moodle

Moodle as an open source software is free to download. MoodleCloud has a 45-day free trial that includes 1,000 users and 5 GB of storage. Then, there are five pricing tiers that include all the features of Moodle, such as unlimited courses and activities, a mobile app, a personalized site name, session recording and web conferencing with BigBlueButton. Pricing is in U.S. currency.

  • Starter: $120 per year for 50 users and 250 MB of storage
  • Mini: $210 per year for 100 users and 500 MB of storage
  • Small: $370 per year for 200 users and 1 GB of storage
  • Medium: $870 per year for 500 users and 2.5 GB of storage
  • Large: $1,670 per year for 1,000 users and 5 GB of storage

Moodle is now providing Premium and Enterprise hosting plans for organizations with over 1,000 users, with higher storage requirements or that want more customization and flexibility. Pricing for both plans isn’t available, so companies will need to contact Moodle for a quote.

Moodle Workplace is only available via the Moodle Certified Service Provider network.

Bottom Line

Blackboard’s pricing is only available as a custom quote, whereas Moodle lists pricing for MoodleCloud.

Customer Support

Blackboard

Blackboard Learn users can access the dedicated help site for answers to troubleshooting and other commonly-asked questions. Blackboard also offers tutorials on its YouTube channel and a community forum for connecting with other users.

For system administrators and developers, there is a dedicated site called Behind the Blackboard for support resources, software update downloads and reference materials. System administrators can also call Client Support if they aren’t able to get their questions answered from the help site.

Moodle

Moodle provides a community site where users can find information on product upgrades, download the latest release, access documentation on software features and communicate with other users through a forum. MoodleCloud users that need further support can contact their designated Moodle partner.

Moodle also hosts user conferences called MoodleMoots that allows users to network with Moodle developers and partners, as well as learn new things about Moodle. MoodleMoots are held throughout the year at various locations.

Bottom Line

While both solutions have similar support, Blackboard offers phone support, while Moodle does not.

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