Moodle: a Flexible, Open Source Online Learning Platform


I was just reading through Mike’s piece on virtual conferences and,  while it’s in a slightly different space, I was reminded of Moodle. Moodle is a free, open source course management and webinar-production platform. We’ve written about it before on the OStatic blog,  and some web workers may find it of interest as a way to reach large online audiences for interactive events on topics ranging from marketing to tutorials.

Among many universities that use Moodle to deliver online courses, U.C. Berkeley offers Moodle-based, free online courses and lectures. It’s also used for e-learning purposes on over 40,000 web sites.

As Bob Walsh noted here a while back, Moodle is particularly flexible as a training tool, and has been used to generate revenues in various ways for web sites and blogs. Because it’s open source, Moodle also has a constantly updated library of plugins that extend its capabilities. You can get a sense for how very frequently the community updates Moodle at the download page.

One of the best things about Moodle is that it is not a one-trick pony. You can produce podcasts with it, include videos in online events, or deliver online presentations. If you’re a web worker interested in new media methods for reaching audiences, check Moodle out.


Judson Aungst

Currently there are 24 million installations of Moodle in 199 countries speaking 78 languages. It is this community of users that makes the tool so powerful and adaptable.

Moodle is being used by a lot of small to mid-sized companies in the US for corporate training. According to the e-learning guild it is the #1 learning management system (LMS) for companies under 5k.

In my experience the flexibility and functionality is what most attracts businesses to Moodle. As you pointed out podcasts, videos and online presentations come standard. There are also plugins for webconferencing tools like DimDim, Eluminate and Wimba. Also because the code is available companies can tie Moodle into already existing systems.

In full disclosure I work for a Moodle Partner here in the US that provides services around the open source software.

Michael Whalen

Give a gander. We built it with teachers in mind, so that they can create, essentially “online classrooms” to keep track of homework, keep students and parents up to date, and share files that students and teachers can download.

We’re rolling out a ton, *ton*, of new functionality soon which will include things like grade management, discussion boards, etc…

It’s all hosted in a secure environment by us as well, so no need to install and configure anything on a server.


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