Moodle for Education!
Aug 16, 2021
Moodle for Education!

Education in the last 17 months or so has been on the receiving end of the COVID-19 casualties. Not only the mortality rate is terrifying but how children across the globe are facing the problem of Inclusivity is a point of concern even for UNICEF. With the world going online for every possible thing, education tops the list and is yet to go back to its classrooms completely.

Governments across the globe have been working tirelessly to achieve inclusivity in Education. TV, radio, YouTube, dedicated websites and various mediums have been used to achieve the same. One such effective source of delivering content has been ?Learning Management System? and Moodle has been one reliable LMS.

Few of the countries entrusting Moodle includes Austria, United States, Spain, Brazil, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Mexico, Germany, Australia, Columbia, Italy and India.

What is Learning Management System?

LMS, acronym for Learning Management System, is a software that provides a skeleton or a framework to manage all the aspects of learning process. It is the place where you house, deliver and track all your contents. LMS can often be called as Training Management System, Learning Activity Management System or even Learning Experience Platform (LXP).

Benefits of using a Learning Management System:-

  • Cost saving/Cost effective: Using an LMS reduces infrastructure and logistics cost. It also reduces the cost of instructors giving more returns on the investment.
  • Consistent Training: Training and course delivery via an LMS is consistent since it is centralized.
  • Tracks learner progress and performance easily: An LMS easily generates reports on and overall or individual student basis. By utilizing an LMS for eLearning courses and/or online training, trainers can easily track goal progress, knowledge gains, ROI and more.

Generally, an LMS can have more benefits than these listed but these are the ones that tops the list of selling points.

What is Moodle?

Moodle is the acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment and was founded and developed by Martin Dougiamas in 2002. It was designed to provide educators, administrators, and learners with an open, robust, secure and free platform to create and deliver personalized learning environments. Moodle is a user-friendly Learning Management System (LMS) that supports learning and training needs for a wide range of institutions and organizations across the globe.

With over 100,000 registered implementations worldwide supporting over 150 million learners, Moodle is the most widely used Learning Management System in the world today. Moodle open-source project is managed by a dedicated team at Moodle HQ with a head office in Perth, Australia and satellite offices around the world. Because of the Modular nature and inherent flexibility of Moodle, it has categorized itself as an ideal platform for both academic and enterprise level applications of any size.

Moodle is Open-Source!

The underlying technology on which Moodle is built is Open-Source. It means that the software, or Moodle code, is freely available to download, use, customize, redistribute and modify.

Moodle being an open-source project can be categorized as collaborative effort supported by a strong global community, including the Moodle HQ team as well as developers, Moodle providers, and users around the world.

Advantages of Open-Source:-

  • Free: Open-source codes are freely available without any license fee.
  • Security: Less security is often associated with Open-source codes. On the contrary, open and visible code allows the open-source community to detect any security issues. This means security glitches are recognized much faster and patches circulated immediately.
  • Customization: As mentioned earlier, open-source codes give the developer flexibility to design and customize an eLearning platform based on the Organization?s goal.
  • Scalable: With the organization?s growth, it?s equally important that your LMS is compatible to the growth and meets the evolving needs.
  • Future-proof: With the flexibility to customize, innovate and scale, your LMS becomes future proof by creating an eLearning solution that can adapt to changing needs.

Why Moodle?

Moodle provides a powerful set of learner-centric tools and collaborative learning environments that optimizes both teaching and learning. As discussed earlier, because of its flexibility and scalability, Moodle has been incorporated for use by educational entities, business, non-profit, government, and many other community systems of all sizes.

Moodle can be easy for educators and learners to use with a simple and flexible user interface and well documented resources. Not only is Moodle web-based, but it also feature a mobile compatible interface, making it accessible from anywhere in the world across different web browsers or devices.

For the developers, Moodle?s modular and interoperable design allows developers to build plugins that can integrate external applications to enhance system capabilities and extend what is possible with the core Moodle product. It gives the developer the flexibility to work around optimization and build a product with the growing need.

How do you host Moodle?

Since Moodle code is freely available, it provides multiple hosting options to choose from, including the ability to self-host or work with a Moodle provider.

Self-Hosted Moodle:-

Self-hosting Moodle gives the development team complete ownership of the site?s code. You have complete control over every aspect of the LMS, from implementation to design to the themes and plugins you decide to install.

Self-hosting may sound convenient and affordable but it has its own limitations and is not the suggested way to host if you don?t have the bandwidth or expertise. It may not only require extended resources to manage and support such a complex yet powerful solution, but also to ensure it meets learning needs, reflects your organization, or performs the way you want it to. Many organizations having a self-hosted Moodle have a team of well-compensated experts dedicated to supporting the platform.

Managed Moodle/Cloud Hosting:-

As discussed above, managing Moodle and utilizing its robust functionality is not something that every L&D team has the time or expertise to take on. Many seek additional help through cloud hosting partners to ease the burden of the educators/administrators.

With a Moodle provider, you?re able to spend less time focusing on the management of your system, and more on providing engaging eLearning to your stake holders.

Self-Hosted vs. Managed Moodle Services:-

  • Cost and Sense: Self-hosting may be free but managed Moodle services typically save in terms of staff and productivity. Managed Moodle services ease the workload of the administrators as they don?t have to support the self-hosted Moodle platform. Instead, they can focus more on delivering engaging eLearning to end users.
  • Data Security: Self-hosting requires data to be housed in their own data centers. This includes intellectual property, private student data, and even medical records. Cloud hosting, in such cases, is preferred over self-hosting to reduce data vulnerability.
  • Scaling Infrastructure: A Moodle provider can assist with the adjustments and improvements necessary for your LMS to scale as your organization grows and evolves.
  • Customization and Consultation: Based on the needs of an individual organization, the Moodle service provide consults you with the best practices of Moodle suited for your end goals.
  • Integration: A Moodle provider can help you to integrate your Moodle platform with other systems such as Student information Systems (SIS), ERPs, CRMs, and other self-hosted products such as Big Blue Button, Kaltura, etc.
  • Updates and Backups: Self-hosted Moodle users have the responsibility to schedule, plan and test their Moodle site updates. Many institutions also have to plan upgrades around their busy academic calendar. On the other hand, a hosting partner ensures the organizations that all such activities and backups are taken regularly and are accessible when needed.

Moodle Mobile App

Moodle also allows for remote learning and easy access to courses and eLearning content anywhere, anytime, and even when offline through the Moodle Mobile app.

Available for both Apple iOS and Android-based devices, Moodle Mobile allows end users to access course content; upload images, videos, and other files; receive notifications; send messages to fellow classmates and educators; attempt quizzes; participate in forums and much more all from their mobile devices.

With the need of the hour and the popularity of Moodle, it is only meant to help the society at large leading to the positive growth of Moodle. The gap between the educators and the learners is only meant to be bridged in the near future with technology assisting the human race in every possible way.