As the world’s leading open-source Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle empowers millions of educators with a highly functional, flexible, and interoperable digital learning solution that’s flexible enough to meet needs across all educational levels and industries. The global Moodle community continues to drive product development and support the open source mission.
What is the Moodle Community?
An open-source product, Moodle is a collaborative effort that is supported by a strong global community including the Moodle HQ team as well as developers, Moodle Partners, and users around the world. With open and visible code, Moodle regularly upgrades based on what users need most and any security glitches are recognized and resolved much faster than typically seen with closed-source products. Additionally, 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. These enhancements are then shared with other “Moodlers” around the world. There are currently over 1,400 free plugins for Moodle users to take advantage of.
It’s important to note that the Moodle Community isn’t simply the collection of users leveraging or learning through the platform. The various resources, events, and content available to help maximize training and education efforts are brought to you from the platform’s leading providers and expert supporters. By taking advantage of these resources within the community, you can develop education programs that allow your institution or organization to connect with industry experts to provide cutting-edge learning experiences.
Components of the Moodle Community
Moodle Community Forums can be found on the official Moodle website where anyone using Moodle can post questions, log issues, or interact with other Moodlers around the world. They’ve been used for years as a way to troubleshoot and resolve Moodle issues and get help when needed. The Moodle team moderates them but contributions can come from anyone. Questions can range from errors encountered during installation, to pedagogical questions about how education theory can be realized using course development in Moodle.
Moots are annual conferences held in different regions around the world to connect other Moodle users and thought leaders and explore the latest trends and research in the industry. They present opportunities for Moodle users to gather and share successes, problems, and questions and explore ways to improve education and training by leveraging the experiences and expertise of other professionals. Attendees include Moodle users, Moodle HQ, and Certified Moodle Partners. You can find future MoodleMoots listed here.
eThink has presented on a number of topics at various MoodleMoots over the years, some of our best sessions have covered topics including:
- Forging a Path with Competency-Based Education
- Managing Multiple Users with Moodle Magic
- Understanding the Moodle Theme Landscape
- Top 5 Lessons Learned from Upgrade Season
- Moodle User Tours: Helping Users Navigate Through the LMS
- eLearning Hacks: Ways to Increase Information Retention Among Learners
Plugins are ways to extend Moodle to provide additional functionality or often integrations with third-party tools. There are more than 1,400 plugins in the Moodle plugins directory that are freely available for the Moodle community to use, and Moodle’s open code base encourages users to create their own as needed to share with the open-source community at large. They’ve been developed by other individuals or organizations as needs have arisen over the years. They allow you to customize your Moodle site to reflect the specific needs of your organization. Good examples include the Certificate Module which allows you to grant completion certificates for courses, the Scheduler Module, which allows you to create an interface to schedule meetings in Moodle, or integrations such as an integration to TurnItIn or Respondus.
The Moodle tracker is used to report on any bugs or issues found in Moodle – it is a direct line to the Moodle developers to report on issues or request new features. Each item in the tracker is reviewed by Moodle HQ, prioritized, or linked to related items and added to a development timeline. Patches are provided here as needed – allowing bug fixes to be deployed without waiting for a formal release in some cases.
As an open-source solution, one of Moodle’s key advantages is that there are multiple ways to host, including a large network of Moodle Partners that you can work with to support your learning platform. Certified by Moodle HQ, each Moodle Partner offers different support and service models with varying areas of expertise. Moodle HQ only identifies companies who have demonstrated a sufficient amount of knowledge, skills, and experience in supporting Moodle to join the Partner Program, ensuring users receive a high level of quality and expertise when choosing a hosting provider.
Moodle Partners provide critical funding that supports the development of the Moodle product. With a portion of their revenue directly contributed back to Moodle HQ, Moodle Partners are able to recognize, encourage, and help fund the development of new features or functionality elements that clients are actively seeking. Additionally, Partners can present any issues that clients are experiencing directly to HQ, allowing for patches or other improvements to be made faster and more effectively.
Their years of experience working directly with Moodle and their clients allows Moodle Partners to effectively drive the product forward and support the Moodle community at large. Education by partners includes webinars, Moodle forum and tracker contributions, and collaboration with other partners and HQ to help create insightful conversations, product improvements, and helpful resources that Moodle users can use to enhance the platform. Learn more about the partner network here.
How eThink Supports the Moodle Community
As a Certified Moodle Partner, eThink actively supports and collaborates with the Moodle Community through each of these elements in order to continue to evangelize open source and educate and empower eLearning managers and admins.
Through conference attendance, presentations, Moodle-specific webinars, eThink Academy training courses, case studies, downloadable guides, and other initiatives and resources delivered by the experts on our team, eThink continues to contribute valuable insight and expertise that helps organizations drive their learning and training programs forward. In fact, eThink was recently named the 2019 Moodle Partner of the Year and reached Premium Partner status, demonstrating our exceptional performance as a Moodle Partner and ongoing commitment to high-quality, high-touch service and support.
Want to explore eThink’s fully-managed solutions for Moodle? Contact our experts to explore how we might be able to support your training programs, or request an individual demonstration below for a deeper discovery into how Moodle could be the right LMS for you.