IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why
Buyer's Guide
Learning Management Systems
July 2022
Get our free report covering Moodle, Canvas LMS, Blackboard, and other competitors of Google Classroom. Updated: July 2022.
621,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Read reviews of Google Classroom alternatives and competitors

Ertan Aslan - PeerSpot reviewer
Head of Educational Technology and Innovation Department Experience at a educational organization with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
Plenty of modules, highly flexible, and advantageous different user types
Pros and Cons
  • "What I liked most about Moodle was that I could create nice online quizzes. It takes very little time to do. You don't have to even read the paper, it automatically evaluates the quizzes. It gives the student grades and provides a lot of useful statistics. For example, it indicates which question was the hardest, easiest, and where students made the most mistakes. Everything is available to you. You couldn't do this in regular paper test hard copies. This was my first use case."
  • "It would be a benefit if there was an easy single sign-on with social media services for Moodle. There are some plugins that I tried, but they didn't work seamlessly. it is a work in progress. Having the single sign-on with social media services would be appreciated because in my school we are using Google suite and the main reason why we use Google Classroom is that it is integrated seamlessly with the suite."

What is our primary use case?

I was using a Linux computer searching on the internet for educational tools back in 2007 and I came across Moodle. I was trying to find out if Moodle is an open-source system. I downloaded the Linux version and I installed it. I was impressed with what I saw, it is a wonderful system, free of charge, and it has everything you need.

I did some research and found out Moodle is a cloud-based system. I was able to host it and install it myself.

Initially, I was creating a classroom, similar to Google Classroom and I was putting all of my material on the platform and designing courses.

I used to be an English teacher. I was teaching English as a second language(EAL) in different language schools. I was originally keeping my materials in folders, in hard copies on storage devices which was difficult. 

I decided that I would create a Moodle classroom, and I put all my material in the Moodle classroom. I organized my courses chapter by chapter. I put all of my lesson plans, lessons, classwork, assignments, and everything else I needed on the platform. 

What I liked most about Moodle was that I could create nice online quizzes. It takes very little time to do. You don't have to even read the paper, it automatically evaluates the quizzes. It gives the student grades and provides a lot of useful statistics. For example, it indicates which question was the hardest, easiest, and where students made the most mistakes. Everything is available to you. You couldn't do this in regular paper test hard copies. This was my first use case.

I moved to Poland and that is where I am currently. At the school where I started working, they were organizing something similar to a nationwide math contest. Students are supposed to go to a center where they could take the test. There were hard copies of the test being sent around Poland to all of the schools. Teachers arranged when students were taking the test and it was done by writing on an answer sheet and they were sending it to us. We were evaluating, and getting back to them with the results. It was a lot of work, and many people had to be involved. It was a costly event.

I mentioned that I can do the whole contest in Moodle and it won't cost us anything. All we need to do was have a strong server because there will be many students taking the exam at the same time. The server will be our only cost.

I installed the Moodle on the server, and I created quiz classrooms for each year group, such as grades seven, eight, and nine. I created the test and assigned the starting time and duration. All the teachers needed to do was take the students to the IC lab and help them start the test. As soon as they submit the test, we had the results whole country-wide.

A large problem we had previously was if you were asking 20 or 50 math questions, and because it was similar to an Olympiad, you needed to have rankings, such as first, second, and third place. Sometimes it happens that several students are answering the same number of questions correctly. We did not know how we were going to decide who was going to be on the rankings list. The ranking was going to be a problem because you don't have any other way, but with Moodle, we were telling the students the ranking will be based on first, the points you receive, the number of questions you answer correctly, and a second criterion is the time. The time it took them to answer the questions. If the number of right answers is the same, the second criterion was the duration.

I could organize a nationwide exam, and nearly 10,000 students took part in it. This is a substantial accomplishment. Normally in order to organize what I did 10 years ago when these online solutions were not very common it was difficult. 

I'm working for an international school and we have an admission period. During this time all those students come to enroll. We do a placement test before, usually math and English. They were the traditional way, we were taking them into a classroom, we were assigned a teacher, and the students would do the test. We had to read the test and get back to the parents with the result, which was taking a lot of time. 

In 2015, I created a placement test in Moodle. No matter how many students came, or what time they came, we only needed to take them to the computer lab. They could start their own test, have their own duration, and as soon as they submit the test, we had the results.

Normally for every student, you had to arrange a teacher, because they come at different times.

I am stopped using Linux and I am on the Mac ecosystem. There's no point in using the software version of Moodle because it is best when it is on the cloud and it's accessible from everywhere by all of the students. If you want to only use it for yourself, for example, I want to have a system where I can put all of my material, you can use a software version of it. It will be private and only limited to you. One of the largest advantages of Moodle is that it has different user types, such as teachers and students with different roles.

I have tried different cloud services and different systems. There was one when I first came to the school here where I worked, they were using a local system. I used SiteGround and used another solution before. When I first started using Moodle, we had our own Linux server, which we were keeping internally.

How has it helped my organization?

The use of Moodle has benefited our organization by limiting the time needed to conduct tests and quizzes for students.

What is most valuable?

Moodle has plenty of features. They are always updating the solution to a newer version.

When you create a course, you can add activities or material. In the activities section, the module that I use most often is the assignment module. The second one is the quiz module. There are many modules, such as labels, pages, and PDFs. These are the modules that I use most often. The quiz module is a strong one because you can use many types of questions. For example, on some platforms, such as Google Classroom, you can create a quiz using Google Form. In Google Form, you have a multiple choice checkbox. In Moodle, you have more power. One very valuable feature is the randomization of questions. Additionally, you can randomize the answers, which is important. Imagine you want to give a test to your students on a particular topic and they sit in the ICT suite where the computers are very close, which means they are sitting next to each other. If they are on the same page, it's very likely that the exam is not very safe, they could cheat. What the randomized question does is while one student is doing the first question, the next student is actually doing the 15th question. The answers are randomized giving another layer of cheat prevention.

I save a lot of time using quizzes in Moodle. For example, you have a class of 20 students, and you want to do a test in English. Evaluating the answers and grading them takes a lot of time for a teacher.  I spend half of the time then if I was to do it on a hard copy when I create the quiz. I am quicker now than when I started since I have more experience. I spend no time reading the test because Moodle automatically gives me the results. I can take a look at each of the questions that a student had difficulties with. I can visit those questions quickly and give more feedback. I can see every kind of mistake students make in each question, the statistics are very useful.

Since I have created a test already in a particular topic, next year, all I need to do is, double-check it. I don't have to do anything at all. I can use the test for the next year all ready to go.

What needs improvement?

It would be a benefit if there was an easy single sign-on with social media services for Moodle. There are some plugins that I tried, but they didn't work seamlessly. it is a work in progress. Having the single sign-on with social media services would be appreciated because in my school we are using Google suite and the main reason why we use Google Classroom is that it is integrated seamlessly with the suite.

If I have the same seamless integration with Google suite with Moodle, I would use Moodle more often. I'm using it for myself, but school-wise, it's limited because of the ease of access.

Google Classroom is very simple, and straightforward for teachers. It has many features with most being basic. It's easy for everyone to learn. Moodle has a lot of advanced features which can scare people who are not advanced users. If Moodle could improve user-friendliness or more people would use it. This includes the user interface and the overall user experience could improve. When comparing it to Google, it's a bit more difficult. For example, with Google Classroom, as long as you have a Google account any teacher can go there and create a classroom. However, with Moodle, it's a bit difficult. You need to have a system first. It has to be installed, and then you need to know how to create a classroom. You need to know how to use those tools. It requires some getting used to and some training.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Moodle for approximately 15 years. I've been using Moodle all the time, even when I am not using it in my organization. Similar to, Google Classroom, I always have Moodle installed on my own server. My material is always on Moodle and I create courses on the platform. Moodle is a very precious asset for any educator.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Moodle is reliable. As a teacher, for example, I have some courses, such as a placement test. I created them seven or eight years ago. They are still available to me when I used to teach English. People were wanting to know their level of English. I created a simple placement test online, starting from very basic questions, all the way up to advanced levels. It was a half an hour test, but mostly multiple-choice, it doesn't cover everything. It doesn't test speaking or writing. There was a reading section that was not very comprehensive. However, it gave an idea about the user's grammatical competence and vocabulary.

I created the placement test a long time ago. Anyone who's curious about his or her English level, I gave them a username and password, and they could take the test, and it helped. No matter when you install it, as long as you are regularly updated, you won't have any problem. If you are using Moodle 2.2. You installed it 10 years ago, and there was a regular update; for example, 2.3, 2.5, and 2.8. They are nearly on version 4.0 and if you upgraded from 2.4 to 3.8, you would have a problem. However, as long as you're regularly upgraded, you will not have any problem. It will be stable there are no problems. 

I never had a problem but I do not know the experience of using it in a university. However, I know that there are millions of users of Moodle and a lot of higher educational institutions are using it. It is very popular in universities.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We decided to use Google Classroom, and only have some individuals who are interested are using Moodle. When I organized the nationwide contest, there were 12,000 people in the system and approximately 1,000 teachers from all around Poland. I did the mathematic test for them and they were all in the system.

I use Moodle often personally. The company I work for makes the decisions whether we use Moodle or not and we do not have plans to use it. 

How are customer service and support?

Moodle has a large open-source community behind it, everyone is helping each other.

Moodle is an open-source system that has the Moodle community. There are forums, but there is no company behind Moodle. You don't have direct contact to ask anyone. All you can do is go to the forum and find the answers to your problems. The problems that people face are very common. There are a lot of places where you can find answers to your questions. There is no customer support, as far as I know. You have to find the information yourself to receive answers.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The company I'm working for is a new company. We are using Google Classroom right now. We previously used to use Office 365. However, we switched to the Google suite, because we enjoy the Google suite much better.

I am using Google Classroom in parallel with Moodle.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, most schools were using Google Classroom because it's much easier for everyone to use. I still continue to use Moodle because it has a lot more functions and I do some online teachings. It gives me a lot of flexibility and a lot of options. It has a lot more sources and modules to create activities, create quizzes, and question types.

How was the initial setup?

When doing the initial setup of Moodle the deployment process is simple. Most of the hosting services make it very easy. For example, if you use SiteGround or any other large services for hosting, these systems are available there. It is similar to WordPress, if you want to install WordPress, you only need to click on it and it automatically installs, Moodle is the same. If I want Moodle, I only need to have hosting and then a URL sub-domain name. 

If my company has a certain domain and before it, I put LMS, such as a learning management system. That's the company's web address. I need to define the subdomain. Then it takes only two to three minutes of work to install Moodle in regular hosting. Once you install it, you have an administrator username and password, that you set up. You then can log in, create your classrooms, and share them with the co-teacher that whom you want to share the classroom. Lastly, you need to import your students.

The good thing about importing students is that you can do it in bulk. You can put the students' emails and names in a Google Sheet or CSV file. When you import them they will be automatically in the system. You only need to create your course design, of how you want to see it. For example, you can decide if you want to make it on a weekly or topic basis. If I want to create a Moodle, it will not take me very long. Registering a host and creating a class, will not take me more than one hour. I can register the hosting, install it quickly, and create the classroom. It's a very quick process to deploy Moodle.

The number of people involved in the deployment will depend on the capability of the person or people involved and the resources they have. Since I have access to all of the resources and because of my position, I can register the hosting myself. I'm a Moodle specialist, I can install and create. As a teacher, I can create a classroom. Somebody in a company has to purchase the hosting. This could be the accounting department if you work in a company. An ICT administrator has to install the system and whoever wants to use the system, you need to give them access to the system as an administrator, to allow them access to create their users, classes, and invite their students as users.

It can also depend on how large a scale you want to branch out with Moodle. For example, if it's going to be a system that a lot of people will be using, then you might want to have a big server, such as Amazon AWS or Google Cloud. It depends on concurrent users, and at the same time, how many users will be using the system. If you don't have a strong server, it can crash. It depends on the use case and how many people have to be enrolled. If it is installed and only teachers use it, all the processes are simple but you need to know how to do it.

What about the implementation team?

I was able to implement the whole solution myself.

Moodle typically does not need a lot of maintenance. However, it depends on where Moodle is hosted. If it is hosted in large companies, they always release updates. When you regularly update the system it doesn't require any maintenance. Moodle itself has new releases, and the plugins you install also have releases for the new version of Moodle. There is not a lot of maintenance required. Thre are times I do not use Moodle for one or two years, and I suddenly need it. I go back to it and only need to update the plugins. I am prompted on the screen and I click the update buttons. It updates in a couple of minutes and it's ready to use.

What was our ROI?

The solution is free, it has been very useful. We are able to limit the number of people involved when doing tests and quizzes which has saved a lot of money and time.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Moodle is a free open-sourced solution. This is one of the best aspects of Moodle.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated other options.

What other advice do I have?

I'm a Moodle specialist and I wrote my graduation paper on it.

I would advise others that they should invest their time in using Moodle because Moodle is very good. It's not made for profit, it is made for education and educators, and I'm enjoying it. I would suggest that it should be always there and available for any institution. Although school-wide, we use Google Classroom, I always make Moodle available for our organization even though it's not being actively used. I know when I can use it, and what I can do with it. If it's up to me and had my own organization, school, or education center, I would use Moodle more actively.

I rate Moodle a nine out of ten.

The reason I did not give a rating of ten for Moodle is that it is not a private company's solution. When you have a private solution, you pay attention to user experience. You can make it easier for teachers to use it, but Moodle with all of its functions, if you know how to use them, you will enjoy them.

There are new systems that make life a lot easier for teachers, step by step. For example, creating the first activity, next activity, et cetera. You are guided when you design your course, but with Moodle, you have to design everything, how you want your student to proceed. You have to create all the content by yourself. That's what the teachers don't like. They don't want to put in the time to design the course and put everything together. It's a bit time-consuming compared to new products available. However, Moodle is free and available to anyone at any time to install. It would be unfair to rate Moodle an eight.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
Buyer's Guide
Learning Management Systems
July 2022
Get our free report covering Moodle, Canvas LMS, Blackboard, and other competitors of Google Classroom. Updated: July 2022.
621,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.