Google Classroom vs. Moodle: Key Features and Services Comparison

Google Classroom and Moodle are two learning management systems (LMS) that target teachers and students in both K-12 and higher education settings. While Google Classroom is deployed in the cloud, Moodle offers both on-premise and cloud-based deployment.

In this post, we’ll discuss the solutions in more detail to help schools make the right purchasing decision.

Comparing Products

Here are excerpts from the Google Classroom and Moodle reviews that summarize each solution:

Google Classroom: Google Classroom is part of the G Suite for Education (Google for Education) package that includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar and other apps. The main focus of Google Classroom is that it’s simple to use and encourages collaboration between students and teachers. Teachers can create a class and list assignments in a few clicks. They can add students by name or send them a code to join. Students then can see what assignments are due, participate in discussion forums or message the teacher (either in private or via group chat).

Moodle: 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, scalability and a very short implementation process.

MoodleCloud comes in two packages: Moodle for Free and Moodle for School.

Compare Google Classroom vs Moodle: Download our free LMS Comparison Guide with pricing info for more than 40 top vendors – Download Here

Two Core Differences

1.) Pricing

Google Classroom: Google Classroom is a free service for teachers and students. However, they can’t sign up unless their school has registered for the free Google for Education package. Google also offers optional products and services, such as Chromebooks, authoring tools and professional services.

Moodle: Moodle’s open-source platform is free to download and install. However, its cloud-based deployment, Moodle Cloud, comes in two packages: Moodle for Free and Moodle for School. Moodle for Free can be used for an unlimited amount of time. It’s limited to up to 50 users and 200 MB of file uploads. Other features include a mobile app, unlimited activities, a customized account, video and screen-sharing, and immediate product upgrades. The Moodle for School package has three paid plans:

  • The Mini plan annually costs $250 Australian dollars (AUD) or $190 American dollars (USD) and is intended for up to 100 users. It includes two additional features: an advanced theme for the account and an extra plug-in pack.
  • The Small plan costs $500 AUD or $380 USD annually and includes all of the features in the Mini plan, but accommodates up to 200 students and up to 400 MB of file uploads.
  • The Medium plan costs $1,000 AUD or $760 USD a year. It allows up to 500 users and up to 1,000 MB of file uploads.

Bottom Line: Both solutions offer a free plan. Moodle offers three paid plans in its Moodle for School package, while Google doesn’t offer paid plans at all. Also, note that while Moodle’s open-source service is free, you may incur costs in the form of implementing and hosting the solution on your server.

2.) Features

Google Classroom: Some of Google Classroom’s key features include platform branding with school colors/logos, along with the ability to reuse tests, assignments and other content for future classes; share videos, links or images with other students; schedule postings of assignments; export grades to Google Sheets and set permissions for student access/commenting. Some new features introduced recently include the ability to send assignments to individual students, email and mobile notifications of assignments’ due dates, and the ability to customize the types of notifications received.

Moodle: Moodle provides many features, such as a mobile app, content authoring tools and support for multiple languages. Some of the features in the Moodle for School package include the BigBlueButton for video/web conferencing, Quizventure for gamification with quizzes and tests, another gamification module called LevelUp that includes progressive checkpoints, Word Count for writing assignments, Chemistry Editor for chemistry assignments, Group Choice for group projects, and Checklists and Attendance tracking.

Bottom Line: Google Classroom and Moodle share similar features, such as mobile functionality, the ability to create tests and assignments and a content library. However, they also have different features. Google Classroom’s features focus more on collaboration, while Moodle includes gamification functionality. Plus, although you can include and share video content within Google Classroom, it doesn’t have video-conferencing functionality.

Comparing Offerings

Customer Service

Google Classroom: Google Classroom has a few ways for users to get support. First, the Help Center provides resources on various Google Classroom topics, as well as a troubleshooting section for solutions to common issues. Second, there’s a product forum where users can receive help from other Google Classroom users and Google Classroom staff. There are also dedicated IT guides for schools’ IT administrators.

Finally, Google Classroom also provides monthly updates about new features and other product upgrades.

Moodle: Moodle maintains a community site where users can find information on product upgrades, download the latest releases, access documentation on software features and communicate with other users in a forum. MoodleCloud users who need further support can contact their designated Moodle Partner.

Moodle also hosts user conferences called MoodleMoots that allow users to network with Moodle developers and partners, as well as learn new things about Moodle.

Bottom Line: Google Classroom and Moodle don’t offer phone or email support. Instead, they rely on a knowledge base and community forums. Both vendors include timely notifications of product news and updates.

Shortcomings

Google Classroom: Google Classroom isn’t available for businesses. Also, unlike other school-based LMSs, it doesn’t offer accounts for parents. Instead, parents can sign up to receive an email summary of their children’s work and grades.

Moodle: The Moodle for School plans only accommodate up to 500 users. This may be an issue for those who require a solution for over 500 users.

Bottom Line: Although Moodle’s main customer base is schools, it’s also available for businesses. Google Classroom is only available for schools. In addition, Google Classroom accommodates an unlimited number of users, but the cloud-based Moodle for School plan only accommodates up to 500 users.

Takeaways

Google Classroom and Moodle have different sets of features and services. The key is to evaluate each solution to determine which one best fits your school’s needs.

If you need more information on LMS solutions in general, our buyer’s guide can help. In it, we discuss benefits, features and what to look for when purchasing a solution.

If you’re looking for alternatives to either system, head over to our Reviews page for detailed reviews on various LMS solutions.

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