Open source, for many, is a bit of a nerve-racking term. This is simply because its either not clearly understood or, worse, misunderstood. Open source as it pertains to Learning Management Systems (LMS) essentially means that the code is freely available for anyone to download and use anytime and anywhere in the world. Additionally, an open-source LMS offers more customization, functionality, and other benefits compared to closed-source software because of its flexible nature.
However, not everyone has the bandwidth or expertise to utilize an open-source Learning Management System to its fullest potential. Indeed, managing an open-source platform often requires a bit more work and can seem overwhelming. However, with the right solution and expert support, it allows you to create the ultimate digital learning solution completely customized to meet your personal needs.
Moodle LMS: Open-Source Learning for Everyone
With over 140 million users across the globe, Moodle is the world’s most widely used Learning Management System. This free, modular, open-source learning solution is supported by a growing community of experts and users around the world who collectively contribute to the code by suggesting improvements and writing plugins that can be adopted into the core product by Moodle HQ, the nonprofit headquarters located in Australia.
That said, as more educational institutions, professional organizations, and other industries include open-source Moodle into their learning and training programs, the product and its potential continue to expand exponentially. In this way, open source contributes to a functionality-rich product that is able to incorporate new user-requested features much more quickly than the proprietary, closed-source solutions in the learning market.
Open-source Moodle offers many benefits, including:
- Customization. Moodle is highly flexible. Open source allows for maximum customization possibilities, enabling you to tailor the learning platform to meet specific need sets.
- Robust Functionality. On top of frequent updates from Moodle HQ, the large Moodle community (including the Moodle Partner Network) helps to constantly update and contribute to the enhancement of the product.
- Variety of hosting and support options. Open-source learning solutions offer LMS administrators the freedom to self-host their environment or work with a Certified Moodle Partner to support their Moodle site. With more options on supporting a Moodle environment, consumers can avoid being “vendor-locked” into an unhappy relationship with a vendor who doesn’t provide the level of service you need or desire.
- High-quality LMS support. Additionally, since Moodle is a free solution, this means that the only thing you’re paying for is support. If you’re not happy with the level of support you’re receiving, you can easily take your code base and move to another partner. This ensures that LMS administrators can demand a high level of support and quality from their vendor.
- Freedom to adapt and scale. Because its open source, Moodle allows you to update and enhance your learning management system as your organization scales and your needs change, essentially allowing you to future-proof your LMS investment and your eLearning ecosystem for years to come.
Customized Open-Source Learning
We’ve all heard the term “plug-and-play,” which typically describes devices or tools that work together seamlessly when connected, without much (if any) assistance from the end users. With over 1,400 free modules and plugins, Moodle offers a best-of-breed experience by allowing organizations the flexibility to configure the platform to meet specific needs.
In most cases, the modules in Moodle can also be turned on and off with just a click of a button. Additionally, the look and feel of a Moodle site can be changed very easily to align with company branding or create the desired look and feel. Moodle offers limitless opportunities for customization, making it a more flexible option than any other LMS solution in the market and allowing users to create their dream open-source LMS.
Open-Source Learning for Various Industries and Needs
Some people think of Moodle as traditionally a K12 or Higher Education LMS. But true Moodle at its most basic function supports and tracks learning of all types. Basic Moodle functionality includes discussion forums, chat rooms, wikis, quizzes, assignments, gamification and much more.
Moodle is widely used for workplace education and is scalable for enterprise organizations. It provides many options for delivering compliance training, onboarding new employees, providing continual professional development, training monitoring, and reporting, and supports integrations with HR/ERP systems. Moodle’s newest product, Moodle Workplace, is fine-tuned to meet the needs of organizational learning.
That said, core Moodle’s robust functionality and flexibility lend itself incredibly well to meeting a variety of learning needs across industries, from Education to Government, Nonprofit, Association, Healthcare, and many more, as well as organizations of all sizes.
In summation, due to its open-source nature, Moodle is an incredibly accessible and adaptable eLearning solution, providing a future-proof learning and training solution.
Interested in learning how eThink clients utilize open-source learning?
Catch up on our case studies to discover how eThink supports clients as they leverage open-source Moodle & Totara to educate their people.View Case Studies