Unmuddling Moodle: What is Moodle and why haven’t I heard of it?

Moodle is an open-source learning management system (LMS) and e-learning software platform. In the United States, LMS Blackboard seems to own most of the educational mindshare. However, this trend is changing. In the past decade, Moodle has grown from a few hundred users to over 60 million world-wide users. And, in the U.S., it has been recently adopted by schools such as the University of Minnesota and Idaho State University.

Similar to Blackboard, now employed by many universities across the U.S., Moodle enables instructors to create course materials and manage grades. It allows students to access and turn in assignments as well as take quizzes and make posts to peers and instructors. Moodle was specifically designed for the purpose of interaction, collaborative content construction and implementing constructivist teaching and learning models. First conceived in 2002 by Australian Martin Dougiamas as his PhD project, Moodle has grown from down under, across Asia and into the most populated learning management system in the world.

With a growing number of LMS choices, why does Moodle dominate the global market? Many Moodle using students and educators enjoy the customization and ease of use. Additionally, the collaboration experienced through Moodle is multifaceted for both instructors and students inviting all users to learn from one other. Others argue that Moodle is more intuitive, faster and easier to use than Blackboard. This student project featured on Youtube highlights some students’ reasons for preferring Moodle over Blackboard.


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