If you’ve been big into the eLearning community for a while, you’ll already know the name “Moodle.” This eLearning tool is gaining a lot of popularity across the world with more than 86,000 registered sites and almost 8 million individual courses. The ease of use, as well as comprehensive program, is essential to the set-up of an online learning tool.
While many of our reviews deal with open-source software that caters mostly to individuals, Moodle is all about bringing education itself to people, no matter where they are.
Moodle’s ease of use is another great point in its favor. We love the way teachers can modify the software as much as they want, as well as the way students can learn in a variety of fashions.
- Moodle eLearning Tool: Summary Overview?
Moodle is a great tool for teachers who want to teach in a variety of ways, but may not have many resources for teaching. It’s fantastic for distance learning, as well as students who don’t learn well in traditional classroom environments for education.
The ease of use is by far the most exciting thing about Moodle. Not that there aren’t great other features, but some of the assignment settings and setup features really stand out as far as its uniqueness.
- Moodle: Who It’s For
Moodle is for teachers and students. More specifically, it’s for teachers and students who are already going to engage in a traditional-style class, with assignments and due dates and lectures, who want to move the entire module to an online classroom instead of a physical one.
Sometimes this works very well for online and distance learning, but it can also be used for a group in close proximity that exists outside of a traditional classroom. Sometimes it can even be used to augment an existing, traditional-style class, for better ease of training and recording.
- Moodle: Core eLearning Features
Moodle is available pretty much anywhere. This might sound rather like a facetious or fatuous claim given the spread of the Internet, but consider that Moodle is registered in 237 countries. Moodle has registered well over a million teachers, and over 70 million users total.
This kind of reach really goes to show what kind of reach a product like this can have. The scope of this knowledge extends past traditional learning methods and into fantastic new ways of learning.
In just the U.S.A. alone, there are over 14,000 registered sites with Moodle—and that’s just one of 237 countries.
Once you’re logged into a Moodle site, you’re shown your current open courses, whether you’re a student or a teacher. They’re grouped by time, on a weekly basis. You can also look at the other participants on the website, but only those also registered to your courses.
At any time, you can check your grades. This doesn’t just mean your entire class grade, but every item upon which you’ve been graded, all aggregated and presented neatly to each and every student. This helps students keep track of what they’ve done, and how much they’ll have to do in order to maintain or achieve a good grade.
Students can also earn badges for good behavior, create a site profile, and connect with other students at almost any time.
- Moodle Review: What’s Great About Moodle
The nature of Moodle’s open source language means that it’s a great way to share eLearning with anyone at any time. At least, it’s a great way to share things with anyone at any time that happens to be part of your structured, pre-arranged class.
Some of the things we love about Moodle are the fabulous programs it has available for teachers. For example, most sites involve a long and complicated upload process for any documents, videos, and files. Moodle, however, does not require an uploader. Teachers can simply drag and drop just about anything to their Moodle page, and get it ready for the students to process and work on within seconds.
This saves valuable time for teachers, which translates into more quality assignments and a better status of living for the students and teachers alike.
We also love the fact that Moodle is available in pretty much any language we can think of. Every version of Moodle available for download comes with an increasingly larger language pack. All of them are available to download for free on the Moodle website at any time.
We also like the philosophy of Moodle. The fact that it isn’t licensed for sale, but instead is deliberately made available for free speaks well to us of the quality of work put into making education as free and accessible as possible to a variety of locations.
Usually, academia-based software costs a bundle of change that is usually difficult to procure from the powers that be, but Moodle gets excellent reviews for being so good for free.
- Moodle Review: What’s Not So Great About Moodle
If this is your first time using eLearning software to design and distribute a course, Moodle might be slightly confusing. While the actual software itself is very intuitive, getting it exactly the way you want it is rather an involved process at first.
The website from which you can download Moodle, moodle.org, is well-designed, but too reactive. Each drop-down menu is also a link, and it handles more clunkily than we would expect from technology that works so hard to be forward-thinking.
The other thing is that tech support is not so good—but then again, from a free website that’s somewhat to be expected.
- Moodle Pricing / Cost Explained
One of the best things about Moodle, according to any educator and student, is that it’s entirely free. It’s free to download, free to modify, and free to distribute to students. The fact that it’s open source software means that at any time, anyone has access to Moodle without having to purchase or license anything.
This is partly because Moodle has a strong commitment to putting out the philosophy of education being available in many forms to everyone. Moodle subscribes to a social constructivist philosophy, which is part of the reason they want to make the software and the system available to everyone free of any charge.
- The Final Word: Moodle Conclusion
If you’ve never made a lesson plan online before, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by Moodle. It makes designing and implementing a lesson plan a breeze, and is simple enough that students will have no trouble using it. Of all the Academia-based plans we tried out for eLearning, this was by far the most intuitive one we tried.
There’s also the fact that as far as money goes, there’s little that can beat “free.” While other companies may have a slight edge when it comes to providing extremely comprehensive campus solutions (like BlackBoard), Moodle does what it does beautifully, and for a price no one can beat.