With the help of a Moodle Partner, last week we answered the question “What is Moodle?”
Today, we take the next step and with the assistance of our Moodle Partner in the US, Canada, Nigeria and the Caribbean, eThink Education, we explore why you should Moodle for yourself!
Earlier this year, eThink Education hosted a webinar with Inside Higher Ed titled “Why We Moodle (And Why You Should Too).”
During the webinar they discussed why Moodle is the most widely used LMS in the world and what factors contribute to Moodle being “fundamentally different from anything else out there,” as described by eThink’s Director of Sales, Josh Mitchell.
Let’s jump right in and explore the reasons why you should Moodle:
Moodle is modular by nature. Put simply, this means the core product (Moodle) can be extended with plugins to fit the learners’, educators’ or organisations’ needs.
Moodle’s community has access to thousands of plugins on moodle.org, most of which are free. These plugins make Moodle flexible, customisable, and robust – and gives every user the opportunity to create a unique edtech experience.
Moodle is primarily developed here at Moodle HQ in Perth, Australia. We update Moodle’s core twice yearly, however, new functionality is continuously introduced into Moodle through plugins that have been developed by our community members, Moodle Partners, and developers in Moodle HQ.
This keeps our open source learning platform cutting-edge whilst also ensuring that Moodle is attuned to the needs of users.
Our commitment to open source is also displayed through our value of openness. Not only is Moodle free to download, any Moodle user can look at our code and get in the back end. This provides complete transparency to the user to allow them to make data-driven decisions to enhance how they use the LMS.
To find out more about our open Moodle community visit moodle.org.
Recently, we have focused on enhancing user experience by improving the usability of the platform. For example, the course overview feature brings together elements of Moodle to present Moodlers with important information in a simple format, saving them time.
Ongoing improvements to Moodle’s functionality ensures that the platform is easy to use and has all the aspects needed to empower educators.
The Moodle Mobile app was also mentioned in the webinar as a way in which we are striving to improve UX by understanding the needs of learners today.
Referring to the Moodle Mobile offline functionality and navigation, eThink’s Vice President of Services, Courtney Bentley, described Moodle’s efforts to enhance mobile learning as “paving a clear path to what it means to be a learner, not just in the classroom but everywhere”.
Case studies of real Moodle users are aplenty and you can view some of them on our website.
Let’s briefly look at two examples of successful Moodling by Southern Oregon University and Calvin College, who both worked with eThink Education to achieve the learning outcomes they were after.
Southern Oregon University is a public institution with 6,000 students. They previously used a LMS that they found was too costly for maintaining all the functionalities they needed.
In 2011 the University began searching for a more cost-effective learning platform and discovered Moodle.
“Moodle offered us absolutely the best options…plus we could see what was on the horizon and liked what we could see coming up.”
With the help of Moodle Partner eThink Education, the University managed their Moodle learning platform with particular emphasis on including and installing relevant plugins to improve teacher and learner experience.
Located in Michigan, Calvin College is a non-profit liberal arts college with 4,000 students.
The college was searching for a platform to host their “Calvin LifeWork” program. The platform they sought needed to have the capabilities of uploading artifacts, adding gamification, integrating with Office 365, and being mobile friendly.
The College initially rejected Moodle as they didn’t want their course to appear to be too academic. However, after discovering Moodle’s flexibility and usability in the new Bootstrap theme, they decided to use Moodle as their learning platform.
The College was also impressed that the open source environment of Moodle allowed them to “get anything that needed to be done, done.”
With the assistance of eThink Education, they created the course and implemented a Branded Moodle Mobile App, where their teachers and students are able to access all the functionalities of the Moodle Mobile app overlayed with their own branding.
Moodle is always evolving and always bringing forward new capabilities. In other words, the best is yet to come so stay tuned Moodlers!
To find out more, watch the webinar yourself.
Or visit eThink’s website to find out how they can provide you with a fully-managed Moodle experience covering services such as: