There are literally hundreds of learning management systems (LMS) in the online learning and assessment marketplace, but the Australian developed LMS, ‘Moodle‘, is among the most popular LMS’s in the world*.

CC-BY Image by Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Moodle-logo-large.jpg

Here are our top four reasons why we think Moodle holds this position:

1. It’s open source
Open source software means that anyone can download Moodle software and use it for free. Well, it’s a little more complicated than that, but if you (or someone you know) is technically minded in managing online software, and you have a server which is connected to the internet, then you can set up your own Moodle instance for free. Straight out the ‘box’, however, Moodle will need some tweaking to make it look and function as a professional LMS, but generally Moodle provides a low barrier to entry into the LMS world.  It also allows organisations who self-hosted their own Moodle instance to quickly scaling up their use as they needed it.

2. You can make it your own
Being an open source software means that the code used to develop Moodle is open to coders to modify and improve upon. This also means that those clever techies among us can customise Moodle to integrate with other systems (especially other open source learning support software like Mahara, Alfresco, Big Blue Button etc).  This also means that people can develop plugs-in and widgets for specific functions which are not available in the stock standard version of Moodle.

Martin Dougiamas doing a Moodle webinar presentation for eWorks in 2011
CC-BY Image by Digital Capability – https://www.flickr.com/photos/23898723@N00/6392497895

3. It’s designed as a social learning tool
Martin Dougiamas, the creater of Moodle, designed this LMS with the learner in mind. Moodle is designed based on constructivist and social constructionist approaches to learning.  These approaches consider that people learn better when they connect and communicate with others, and are actually doing something, such as participating in Moodle’s forums, wikis, glossaries etc (and not just passively reading or listening)  At the same time, Moodle offers educators great tools to support and manage their learners, such as through Moodle’s self-marking quizzes, student groupings, grade book etc.  Educational organisations can use the data collected through learner interactions in Moodle to demonstrate the quality teaching and learning which happens in their courses through Moodle’s activity logs, and the ability to keep historical learner work and results through course back-ups.

4. There’s a great Moodle community
Moodle champions are fanatical. Like Apple lovers, Moodle lovers champion the Moodle LMS’s cause, evident through the very popular annual MoodleMoots held around the world. This means that the Moodle Community is openly sharing their educational practice through Moodle, as well as providing free system checking and ironing out of system bugs when new versions of Moodle are released. Other good community help be sourced through the Moodle Community Forums.

We are just four reasons why we think Moodle is such a popular LMS choice for education and corporate organisations. Add a comment about why do you think Moodle LMS is so popular.

* Moodle was ranked top LMS in the top 100 tools for learning for 2013.

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Want to know more about Moodle? Here are two great Moodle PD sessions happening in September:

Contact us now via email or phone 0400 732 270) to get a Moodle – Quality Teaching and Learning Health Check to ensure that you are making the most of your existing Moodle instance or enquire about our other E-learning Services.

Why is Moodle Learning Management System so popular?
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