Moodle Review

Moodle
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
Moodle
Moodle
2001
Perth, Australia
Ownership:
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Private
157,000 sites
Cloud, On-Premise
Yes
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Moodle At A Glance

Good: Flexible deployment options, teachers can choose their own content and activities, dedicated Moodle mobile app.
Bad: Moodle for School plans only accommodates up to 500 users and some users reported that interface is not always intuitive.
Bottom Line: Open source platform with a modular design for teachers to build their own curriculum.

Product Overview

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.

Although it was originally intended for schools, Moodle is also used in companies as corporate training. Corporations can take advantage of several of Moodle’s plug-ins, such as the lesson and SCORM modules for creating content, feedback module for evaluations, quiz module for tests, and templates for re-using content. 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.

There is also a dedicated mobile app called Moodle Mobile that’s accessible for both teachers and students. Students can look up coursework, enroll in classes, chat with other students and access their grades. Teachers can add or adjust content and grade students’ coursework. The app is available via the Apple store and Google Play.

As developers from multiple countries contributes their expertise to Moodle’s plug-ins, Moodle accommodates multiple languages.

Features

Moodle includes many features. However, we want to point out some features that are in the Moodle for School package.

First, there is the BigBlueButton feature where users can meet via video conferencing. A presenter can upload PowerPoints or other documents, share presentations via whiteboards or communicate with students via public or private chat. This feature allows web-cam capability as well as desktop sharing. There is even an emoji tool for students to provide feedback or ask questions. A BigBlueButton presentation can also be available for playback if a student missed it or need a refresher. Note that this solution accommodates up to six users at once.

Another feature is the Quizventure which has the purpose to make tests and quizzes more fun. Students can take the tests as if they’re playing a spaceship game.

Moodle for School includes an additional gamification module called Level Up! that sets progressive checkpoints throughout the course. As students reach a specific checkpoint, a Level Up! notification is sent congratulating them and the students receive an “experience point” that’s awarded at the discretion of the teacher.

Additional Moodle for School modules include Word Count for writing assignments, Chemistry Editor, Group Choice for group projects, and Checklists and Attendance tracking.

Target Market

Moodle is used by both schools and corporations worldwide. We’ve listed ten of its customers below:

  • AgriBusiness New Zealand
  • ASM International
  • Beaufort Delta Education Council
  • Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
  • Forth Valley College (Scotland)
  • Informa PLC
  • Louisiana State University
  • Mt. Sinai Hospital (Toronto)
  • Voluntary Service Overseas
  • World Vision Australia

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Implementation/Integration

Users that prefer to have an on-premise version of Moodle can download the solution from the community site. Users that want the cloud-based Moodle deployment can sign up for an account via MoodleCloud’s site. However, training and additional implementation needs are handled by a Moodle Partner.

Customer Service & Support

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 in a forum. MoodleCloud users that need further support can contact their designated Moodle Partner.

Moodle also provides 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.

Pricing

MoodleCloud has a 45-day free trial that includes 200 users and 400 MB of storage. It includes features such as unlimited courses and activities, a personalized site name, webconferecing with BigBlueButton and a mobile app.

Then, there’s the Moodle Starter plan that’s intended for a single class, has greater technical functionality (e.g., custom certificate, automated backups and a document converter) and costs $80 per year. It accommodates up to 50 users.

Moodle for School is comprised of three separated paid plans.

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

Moodle Workplace is only available via the Moodle Partner Network. Please contact the vendor directly for a quote.

Shortcomings

The Moodle for School plans are only intended for up to 500 users. This may be an issue for educational purposes that require a solution for over 500 users.

Some users have also reported that Moodle is not always user friendly or intuitive.

Screenshots

Moodle Screenshot 1
Moodle Screenshot 2
Moodle Screenshot 3

About

Moodle debuted in 2001 with its first public software. Since then, it has grown to over 93 million users in over 230 countries. In 2004, Moodle started its Moodle Partner Program, a network of over 70 partners that offer services such as implementation, consulting, support and software hosting. Moodle generates about 10% of revenue from its partners.

Moodle abides by five company values: education, respect, integrity, openness and innovation. Its mission is also seven-fold, which includes supporting teachers in their teaching and supporting learners in their learning.

Moodle entered a partnership with Blackboard Inc. in 2012 when Blackboard acquired MoodleRooms.

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