What is Moodle
Moodle is a free and open-source e-learning software platform, also known as a Learning Management System.
This LMS is suitable for use on online learning in small and large organisations. It's scalability allows it to run on a laptop, and a large server cluster.
Moodle is used by academia in schools, Polytechs, PTE's and Universities, and in industry for staff training and professional development.
Try Moodle out for free
Moodle is a web application, and can be freely downloaded and run - however the gotcha is that it can take a bit of technical expertise to get it up and going. To make it easy Onlearn provides free service to get you going asap.
We call these a "Moodle Sandpit", and they are a fully functioning Moodle site, branded with your name. The site is hosted at a Data Centre, and is configured ready to go.
What is a Learning Management System?
A traditional school or university, even a training centre, needs to have a location, and all the normal system to host and manage the learning and teaching processes. There needs to be systems for administration, dealign wiht the facilities, and even a janitor.
A Learning Management System is the online version of such a system. Everyone is familiar with logins that are required for electronic banking etc. This combined with systems for managing users, courses, and administration equals an LMS.
Why do I need a Learning Management System?
A school today cannot function in an open space. They need fences, buildings, facilities and structures to manage their staff and students. Likewise in the online world, there needs to be a structure and a set of systems to manage the learning process.
What does it Cost?
Moodle is licence free. You are free to download and use it. However it needs to be hosted on a physical server preferably in a Data Centre, and supported by capable people.
The actual cost of all this depends on two main factors:
- The size and capability of the server and it's connection to the Internet
- The service level required
There are also costs for installation, customisation, training, and development of any course material you wish to outsource.
Moodle has several features considered typical of an e-learning platform, plus some original innovations.
- Assignment submission
- Discussion forum
- Files download
- Moodle instant messages
- Online calendar
- Online news and announcement (College and course level)
- Online quiz
Developers can extend Moodle's modular construction by creating plugins for specific new functionality. Moodle's infrastructure supports many types of plug-ins:
- activities (including word and math games)
- resource types
- question types (multiple choice, true and false, fill in the blank, etc)
- data field types (for the database activity)
- graphical themes
- authentication methods (can require username and password accessibility)
- enrollment methods
- content filters
Moodle users can use PHP to author and contribute new modules. Moodle's development has been assisted by the work of open source programmers. This has contributed towards its rapid development and rapid bug fixes.