Moodle - Overview of the Free LMS
Moodle the world's favourite learning management system or virtual learning environment. We have been strong advocates since we launched back in 2005.
Moodle has the potential to turn the LMS market upside down - many would argue it already has. Rich in functionality, easy to use and with the power of a huge developer community at your disposal.
Now you can also benefit from Totara LMS, a custom distribution of Moodle for corporate enterprises.
The world's favourite LMS?
We are strong believers in the use of Open Source software and Moodle in particular. Over 100,000 organisations use Moodle, including large organisations in the UK such as Capita and the Open University. Moodle is increasingly popular with large organisations as it is funtionally rich, robust, easy to customise and scalable. At Kineo our largest corporate development is for 80,000 users.
Moodle is Open Source software, which means that the software is freely available to download and can be used without a fee by any organisation. There are no licence fees for Moodle. There is a huge army of peopel developing new modules for Moodle, many of which are included in the regular releases. Thus Moodle has responded very quickly to web 2.0 developments and has a wide range of collaborative features. It is also great for simply launching and tracking e-learning including user scores.
The number of Moodle installations and size of the user base has made Moodle a very robust and reliable LMS. Moodle was originally designed for the education community and has been adopted on mass by Universities and Colleges. In our experience, this has meant that corporate organisations were wary of open source and Moodle's education background. This is changing especially with Totara LMS, the new distribution of Moodle for corporate enterprise.
There is a vast amount of functionality available within Moodle. Moodle course formats allow many different learning resources to be added to any particular course. These learning resources include:
- word documents
- e-learning courses and modules
- pdf documents
- web links
Moodle itself also provides tools to create simple html pop up web pages, so that you can create additional learning resources.
Moodle also has a range of collaborative modules which you can use with a course such as:
- calendar (to book workshop/event dates)
- discussion forum
- chat room
- RSS feeds
There is also the ability for users to create their own blogs or learning records
Moodle allows users to be set up manually by an administrator or uploaded from a source file such as a text file. Moodle also provides an option for users to self register on the site.
New Moodle modules we have developed and customised include online booking for classroom courses and customised reporting with easy to use filters which can be exported to Excel.
You can integrate Moodle into corporate environments with single sign on to Moodle and pass learner data back to systems such as HR systems.
Tracked and secure
Moodle restricts access to a particular course by use of an enrolment key. If a user hasn't been enrolled by an administrator in a course, the user is prevented from accessing the course by being asked for the enrolment key, basically a password.
Within a course, users can be allocated to Groups. Thus if you have a sales course you might run this for many different cohorts. Each cohort can be set up as a Group. Each Group can see all of the learning resources in the course but can only see and discuss with other people in their Group.
Moodle provides a wide range of tracking data from course access data to course scores on e-learning modules.