Moodle OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Moodle is the #4 ranked solution in top Learning Management Systems. PeerSpot users give Moodle an average rating of 7.6 out of 10. Moodle is most commonly compared to Google Classroom: Moodle vs Google Classroom. Moodle is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 64% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a educational organization, accounting for 17% of all views.
Moodle Buyer's Guide

Download the Moodle Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2022

What is Moodle?

Moodle is a free online learning management system, providing educators around the world with an open source solution for e-learning that is scalable, customisable and secure with the largest selection of activities available. Moodle is supported by an active network of certified Moodle Partners to assist with support and an active community of developers, users and supporters.

Moodle Customers

Acacia University, Alliant International University, American University of Health Sciences, Anaheim University Online, Aspen University, Cal State University San Bernardino, California State University Los Angeles, Chattanooga Fire Training, City of Humble Fire Department, George Washington University, Georgia Institute of Emergency Medical Services, Michigan Online Classroom, Virginia Beach Sheriffs Office, Washington Post

Moodle Video

Moodle Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Moodle pricing:
  • "Moodle is a free open-sourced solution. This is one of the best aspects of Moodle."
  • "It varies depending on the partner you're going with. It depends on whether they are a certified partner or not. It also varies depending on the demand. Usually, with Moodle and other LMSs, there is concurrent licensing. It's hard to figure out the best way to do it at the company that is selling the LMS. Moodle is usually one of the most cost-effective LMSs you can get."
  • "This particular organization is a relatively small academic institution. It is a single campus, not very big, with 4,500 to 5,000 total students. It is not a big faculty. There are no hard sciences other than undergraduate-level hard sciences. So, Moodle is functional, and it is relatively simple because it is open-source software. It has sub advantages, and it is inexpensive. Small schools with small enrollment numbers just can't afford the more expensive ones."
  • "It is open source, and it has a lot of free documentation. It can be by far the least expensive option, but it depends on how one decides to use it. It can be free if you download it and host it on-prem, and you don't count your time as being worth anything. So, it can be almost free, or it can be very expensive just depending on if you get a package with a provider and if it is a huge solution."
  • "Moodle is free. It should probably stay free. There isn't really any support for Moodle unless you pay an astronomical amount, which is weird."
  • "It is a one-time registration with the Moodle site. There isn't a yearly or monthly fee."
  • Moodle Reviews

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    Ertan Aslan - PeerSpot reviewer
    Head of Educational Technology and Innovation Department Experience at a educational organization with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    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.

    Buyer's Guide
    Moodle
    November 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Moodle. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2022.
    655,774 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    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
    PeerSpot user
    Technical Client Manager at LinkedIn
    Real User
    Provides a lot of flexibility, helps in creating training for all types of learners, and supports backup in an industry-standard format
    Pros and Cons
    • "One of my biggest pet peeves is that many LMSs do not offer a course or site-level backup that is an industry-standard file. So, if you decide you don't like Moodle or some other LMS, you should be able to back up all your data and take it and go somewhere else. Moodle does offer that. There are several others that do that as well, but there are some LMSs that don't, which isn't a very good business practice because they hold their clients hostage. That's one of the things I really like about Moodle."
    • "Where Moodle could definitely improve is the user interface. You have a lot of themes and you can customize themes, but if you are going to use Moodle off the shelf, even with a hosting company, a lot of training is involved. Training is available, but if your faculty or your development team isn't highly technical, it's going to be a challenge, whereas there are other interfaces that are much easier, but they don't do as much. So, there is a give and take there. If Moodle could find a way to make the user interface for the instructional designers and the learners more intuitive, it probably would be a huge improvement. The manager area and the admin area are fine, but when it comes to the people who are using the system but might not be highly technical, it needs improvement."

    What is our primary use case?

    I am working with Moodle just a little bit currently. It's not the main focus of my position, but I have been working with it since 2009. I've been doing some side work, and I also spoke at Moodle conferences all the time before COVID. I've done a lot of solution architecture and project management around custom add-ons and configuration with Moodle.

    Its use cases really depend on an organization. When I work with an organization, I look at their technical requirements and their business needs and try to find the best LMS that fits their infrastructure and their business and training needs within their budget. Moodle does fit most companies as an option. So, when it is a good fit, I recommend it to the company or organization.

    It is a cloud solution, and the cloud provider depends on the client's needs, but normally, it's sitting on AWS.

    How has it helped my organization?

    All organizations should have training for their users, and all LMSs should address all different learning styles because nobody learns in the exact same way. Some people are visual, and some people are auditory. Some people read, and some people are tactile, kinetic, or hands-on learners. Usually, everyone has a little bit of all of these traits, but one of them is a stronger trait. Therefore, it is very important to have the ability to:

    • Create quizzes and engagement within a course to address all learning types
    • Offer an option to do hybrid training
    • Track the grades for the items that are not handled on the LMS 

    Moodle handles all these very well.

    We worked with a foreign military group that needed to add a way for helicopter trainers to assess the pilots. There was a specific way in which they wanted it graded. They had a specific assessment. So, we built that onto the grade book and a separate module for the flight instructors to be able to grade exactly the way they wanted it. Moodle is modular, and you can do something like that very cost-effectively, which is important.

    Another project I worked on was with a Silicon Valley company. Their education foundation had a grant, and they funded a study to see if you created a hybrid learning program, could you have at-risk students pass algebra 30% better. The project was successful. We built an analytic engine on a publisher server with LTI, and Moodle was the consumer. We were able to pinpoint down to the question, like a quadratic equation, the exact problem that the students were struggling with and serve up additional training, such as videos and additional information, specifically on that area. The project was successful. Being able to use LTI, build a custom analytical engine, and easily build the add-ons to pull Khan Academy, HippoCampus, and other online sources to help students with algebra were the main reasons why we picked Moodle for that project.

    What is most valuable?

    It is very flexible. It is like a salad bar. You can put anything that you want into Moodle and top it off with whatever you want.

    One of my biggest pet peeves is that many LMSs do not offer a course or site-level backup that is an industry-standard file. So, if you decide you don't like Moodle or some other LMS, you should be able to back up all your data and take it and go somewhere else. Moodle does offer that. There are several others that do that as well, but there are some LMSs that don't, which isn't a very good business practice because they hold their clients hostage. That's one of the things I really like about Moodle.

    I like the flexibility of the globally collaborative community that creates plugins to solve various problems. It works with LTI very well, and it integrates with H5P, which makes it very easy and cost-effective for organizations to create their own content and do the customization for 508 compliance for the visually impaired. You can set up themes for visually impaired people or for other disabilities to help streamline the user experience. It is very easy.

    What needs improvement?

    Every LMS has room for improvement. There isn't a perfect one out there, and with all the projects I've worked on since 2009, there isn't one LMS that fits a company's 100% requirements and needs. A lot of them come close, but in my experience, there has never been one that fits 100%. Moodle is one of those solutions that come closest, but it's overwhelming if people don't understand it. You have to shut things down. Where Moodle could definitely improve is the user interface. You have a lot of themes and you can customize themes, but if you are going to use Moodle off the shelf, even with a hosting company, a lot of training is involved. Training is available, but if your faculty or your development team isn't highly technical, it's going to be a challenge, whereas there are other interfaces that are much easier, but they don't do as much. So, there is a give and take there. If Moodle could find a way to make the user interface for the instructional designers and the learners more intuitive, it probably would be a huge improvement. The manager area and the admin area are fine, but when it comes to the people who are using the system but might not be highly technical, it needs improvement.

    In terms of additional features, I'd like to see whether you could take and do a 3D virtual world on-the-job site training within Moodle.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with Moodle since 2009. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It depends on who installed it and set it up and whether it was set up correctly. If it was set up correctly, it's incredibly stable. I've seen Moodle being used in a university where they have 40,000 concurrent users online every day, and it's stable. It's all about knowing the infrastructure and scaling it for the number of users that you're going to have tasking the system. Just like any LMS, if you go and use it and you don't have enough memory or storage, or your bandwidth is horrible, it would not be a good user experience. So, it is very stable as long as somebody knows what they're doing.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Its scalability is really impressive. The United Nations was using it. The army is using it. It is very scalable, but you've got to make sure whoever is managing the infrastructure knows what they're doing.

    How are customer service and support?

    I have not interacted with them in the last few years, but I worked very closely with them previously. Our experience depended on the area. Different people managed different parts of Moodle. So, the grade book was managed by somebody, and then the other pieces were managed by somebody else. I would put in a lot of bugs for the clients I was working with, and 80% of their support people were really good, but all of them were over-tasked. That's probably a standard in most LMS companies. I would rate them a four out of five because there is always a person in there that gets one.

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

    On my LinkedIn profile, there is a recording of a presentation that I was doing globally before COVID hit. It is about how to find the right LMS. I worked with this company, and we started with 86 LMSs and got it down to 14 for which we sent out RFP requests. Six of those got to be on-site to demo, but the whole process—the details, the ranking, and how we looked at it—comes down to what your company needs. I've worked with Adobe Prime, Cornerstone, SuccessFactors, Docebo, Absorb, Blackboard, WebCT, and ANGEL. 

    I have also heard about Google Classroom. There is something going good for it, but most of the time, people go away from it. Google Classroom is K-12 centric. Some LMSs are education-centric, and some are higher-education-centric. Some are corporate. It comes down to what are your needs and what fits the best.

    How was the initial setup?

    I have been a part of its implementation many times. Its implementation is complex. It is always complex to bring an LMS into a new company and get them on board to buy into a constant training program. It requires a lot. You can't just bring in an LMS and say that here are the classes and use it. You have to market it, and you have to incentivize it. Otherwise, you're paying for something that nobody will use. There is a holistic approach to bringing in a training system or a new LMS. It doesn't matter if it's Moodle or anything else. It's a very complicated project that touches every single department within the organization. With Moodle or any other LMS, you've got to get full company buy-in for it to be an effective and successful project.

    All LMS solutions—such as Moodle, Adobe Captivate Prime, or Cornerstone—have a learning curve, but the learning curve is really getting the mindset of the company to actually use it and understand that training should be part of their everyday life. That's the biggest challenge when you bring in a new LMS to a company and help them set it up. There are technical pieces in terms of getting people logged in, importing users, setting up single sign-on, etc. These tasks are standard, no matter which LMS you're using.

    What about the implementation team?

    When a company selects Moodle, I always recommend working with a Moodle expert because it's overwhelming with everything that it can do. We look at what that specific organization is looking for and we turn off everything else, so the system is streamlined for what they need.

    I don't recommend companies installing Moodle and setting it up on their own. You can go to so many different hosting companies where you can get Moodle with about 5,000 licenses for under $10,000. It might even be extremely under $10,000, but you can't hire somebody to install and manage it and manage the AWS or Azure infrastructure at that price. Companies that think that they're saving themselves money are really causing themselves a lot of anguish and money. If you can go and get Moodle on a hosted system that has an uptime of 98% or more for $10,000 or less, why would you try to find someone who can configure this for $50,000, $80,000, or more a year?

    In terms of maintenance, just like every LMS, you need an administrator. Its administrator is a database person. A lot of times, the IT team thinks that they can manage it, but it really needs a database administrator. It requires an understanding of the ed-tech space of e-learning, but it's really the skillset of a database manager.

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

    It varies depending on the partner you're going with. It depends on whether they are a certified partner or not. It also varies depending on the demand. Usually, with Moodle and other LMSs, there is concurrent licensing. It's hard to figure out the best way to do it at the company that is selling the LMS. Moodle is usually one of the most cost-effective LMSs you can get.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would highly recommend going with a hosting partner that is a certified or real hosting partner to Moodle, not the one that is not part of the Moodle official network. You would get better support from them. For $10,000, you can't install it and run it yourself. You can just start from there. If you outgrow the host, you can install it on-prem or on the cloud and run it yourself, but start with a hosting company because they usually also give you a lot of training.

    I would rate it an eight out of ten because there is always room for improvement.

    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.
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    Buyer's Guide
    Moodle
    November 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Moodle. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2022.
    655,774 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    James Phelps - PeerSpot reviewer
    Adjunct Professor at Nova Southeastern University
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Inexpensive and pretty easy to use, but not easily adaptable for an individual
    Pros and Cons
    • "It is relatively easy to use to build processes for establishing and conducting work within the templates that are used. It is not that hard to follow along or use, and it is pretty simple to pick it up and run with it."
    • "The ability to input modified, individual, independent grades in a grade center component is not just hard. It almost always requires you to get tech involved. When you're dealing with a learning system where you have people in an open enrollment with all different levels of learning modes or methodologies, and as well as a worldwide student body, you end up with situations where you have to absolutely exempt somebody from a grade or an assignment and enter a new, different kind of assignment because of their skillset or lack thereof. You can't do that in Moodle. It is virtually impossible to do that in Moodle without having a tech do it for you, and when you have to have that level of tech support, it becomes problematic. They need to fix the grade book center. It is the part where you do evaluations. They need to fix it so that the individual professors can make changes directly without having to get a hold of tech support to do it for them."

    What is our primary use case?

    It is a server deployed on the ground for campus use. We run two versions of it. One is specifically for online classes, which is supported by the Moodle tech support people directly, and then we have the one for on-campus classes, which is supported by the on-campus IT department.

    I've used it with both groups for support, and I've deployed it for fully autonomous online standalone learning systems, as well as for the live-lecture type of learning systems.

    What is most valuable?

    It is relatively easy to use to build processes for establishing and conducting work within the templates that are used. It is not that hard to follow along or use, and it is pretty simple to pick it up and run with it. 

    What needs improvement?

    It does have some problems that are hard to work around, but they can be worked around once you figure out how to make it function or how to work with specific components. 

    The ability to input modified, individual, independent grades in a grade center component is not just hard. It almost always requires you to get tech involved. When you're dealing with a learning system where you have people in an open enrollment with all different levels of learning modes or methodologies, and as well as a worldwide student body, you end up with situations where you have to absolutely exempt somebody from a grade or an assignment and enter a new, different kind of assignment because of their skillset or lack thereof. You can't do that in Moodle. It is virtually impossible to do that in Moodle without having a tech do it for you, and when you have to have that level of tech support, it becomes problematic. They need to fix the grade book center. It is the part where you do evaluations. They need to fix it so that the individual professors can make changes directly without having to get a hold of tech support to do it for them.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We initially looked at Moodle back in 2010 but decided we would go with Blackboard instead because Moodle was not as up to speed back then as Blackboard was. That was before Blackboard was bought out. After that, I picked up Moodle full-time in 2017. So, it has been five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is stable. Being open-source, it is easy to get patches and fixes to it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I have no idea. It is a small campus, and I don't know how much it can handle.

    I am not aware of our plans to increase its usage. Enrollments are down across the country. My guess is that it is going to keep getting used, but I have no idea whether or not it is going to grow or by what level.

    How are customer service and support?

    The tech support people are usually pretty good at getting things done, but when you call them up and you need help with something unique—such as exempting grades or revising overall course calculations because somebody started class two weeks late, or you had to cut something out because they were hospitalized—the system doesn't handle it. The system can't adapt that for the individual. It can only do it on a class size basis. So, it is problematic from that perspective. In that particular school, we use Okta as our secure login process to be able to get access to the Moodle login and to be able to access everything else. I don't know why they did that with the Moodle classes other than that there was some sort of vulnerability that had to be resolved.

    How was the initial setup?

    I jumped into the one that was fully developed already. However, I did watch them split it out from the on-campus to a totally virtual course setup, and they still have problems with the virtual course processing and keeping it separate and different from the campus Moodle. It has some issues because you have to go back to the Moodle techs for help.

    I am not aware of how many people are required for its maintenance, but I know the campus can't afford 24/7 IT support for it.

    What was our ROI?

    On an apocryphal level, I would say that it is possible they're seeing a return on investment. Otherwise, they would not have used it for a totally virtual campus.

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

    This particular organization is a relatively small academic institution. It is a single campus, not very big, with 4,500 to 5,000 total students. It is not a big faculty. There are no hard sciences other than undergraduate-level hard sciences. So, Moodle is functional, and it is relatively simple because it is open-source software. It has sub advantages, and it is inexpensive. Small schools with small enrollment numbers just can't afford the more expensive ones.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is a good starter system, but if you can afford Canvas, go for the better system.

    I would rate Moodle about a seven out of ten. It is about the same as Blackboard but without all of the technical problems. However, it is also a more limited LMS.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    Usha Sista - PeerSpot reviewer
    Sr. Consultant at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Good usability and great interface but allocating privacy settings is hard
    Pros and Cons
    • "It doesn't take long to learn how to use it and to set up basic courses and things like that."
    • "Setting up groups and allocating privacy settings to different groups is quite complicated."

    What is our primary use case?

    The system is primarily used to host online learning products and to track completion as well as reporting.

    What is most valuable?

    Its basic usability is very good. Usability and accessibility are very, very good in Moodle and it's got all the basic features required to host a learning solution.

    The interface is good. 

    It doesn't take long to learn how to use it and to set up basic courses and things like that. 

    What needs improvement?

    Setting up groups and allocating privacy settings to different groups is quite complicated. Sometimes we need the help of administrators and sometimes backend supporters to set those things up. If that could be made more accessible, that'll be very useful.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I used it for two years until as recently as January this year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is completely stable. It's a rock-solid solution. There aren't issues with bugs or glitches and it doesn't crash or freeze. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The simpler versions can scale. The cloud versions may be scalable. However, with on-prem versions and with the more custom settings you have, the more difficult it is to scale it.

    We had over 20,000 end-users. It was used for a countrywide organization, for pharmacists. There were a fair bit of people. Internally, we had about 20 of us touching it on a regular basis.

    An increase in usage is dependent on how many more members we would have in the organization. Every member had to use Moodle. If they had to complete their required certifications as pharmacists, for example, the solution was deployed on Moodle, so pretty much everyone used it. A large number of people would use it daily.

    How are customer service and support?

    We needed to reach out to support previously. Technical support is good if you can find someone, however, getting someone on an ad hoc basis is difficult. When we have an LMS person who is actually conversant with the Moodle backend and the tech behind it, then it's okay, otherwise, it's a challenge.

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

    I don't know what they had before Moodle, however, my understanding was that it was legacy-based. It might have been some SharePoint LMS kind of a thing. I don't know if they had a specific LMS as a lot of the training and others were developed and deployed in face-to-face settings. When the world started changing towards a more digital learning platform, that's when the company got Moodle.

    How was the initial setup?

    I don't remember how they implemented Moodle. That was before my time. I only started using it as a learning designer.

    The initial setup was at least a three-month process from what I understand.

    It does require maintenance and we had a backend administrator who looked after that. Initially, when the external provider set Moodle up, they were there for a while until this administrator got his comfort level up. After that, he was on his own.

    What was our ROI?

    We did see an ROI while using this product.

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

    The enterprise pricing range is very good. I'd recommended Moodle at one point as it's open-source. The base features are available regardless. It's not like you pay for anything. It's the enterprise solution and tech support that you really pay for. Therefore, it's reasonably priced for what you get with it.

    The only additional were setting up deployment, offering initial tech support, and customizing it. Out-of-the-box it is regular pricing, however, if you want it customized, then you will be paying something additional for that. Also, integrating it with the CRM, which is Salesforce, had an integration cost component.

    What other advice do I have?

    I was just a customer.

    I'd advise potential new users to play around with the free version first.

    Test it prior and get the blueprint right. Whenever the deployment happens, what people do, is they go for what looks like the easiest possible way to deploy it for a bandaid solution. That's what most frequently happens. They don't consider scalability, for example. They don't consider potential future states and so they build a blueprint. They don't consider potential future integrations with CRMs and other software. So plan. Plan it properly. Have your blueprint ready, follow a scenario. A lot of forward scenario planning is good.

    Otherwise, it's a lot of cost overhead if you want to change the blueprint since you have data. Imagine if we had to change the organization's blueprint now with 20,000 people's ongoing certification data, and their compliance requirements with the government and other medical bodies. Therefore, depending on what the organization is, there's a lot to lose if you don't blueprint it properly. Get the functional specs right.

    I'd rate the solution at a seven out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    Susan Nash - PeerSpot reviewer
    Director of innovation at AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PETROLEUM GEOLOGISTS
    Real User
    Top 5
    An open-source, robust, and flexible learning platform with numerous third-party solution providers
    Pros and Cons
    • "A really nice thing about Moodle is that it is very robust and flexible, and one of the big advantages of Moodle is that it is open source. It also has a lot of free documentation."
    • "Moodle Mobile is a really good area for improvement. All of 4.0 hasn't been released yet, and Moodle Mobile is not yet available for all different devices."

    What is most valuable?

    A really nice thing about Moodle is that it is very robust and flexible, and one of the big advantages of Moodle is that it is open source. It also has a lot of free documentation. 

    The other big advantage is that it has numerous third-party solution providers who are constantly working on cool plugins.

    What needs improvement?

    Moodle Mobile is a really good area for improvement. All of 4.0 hasn't been released yet, and Moodle Mobile is not yet available for all different devices. 

    Some of the activities can be deprecated. These activities are not very useful, and there are so many other ways to accomplish the same thing. Even after ten years, they have them, but they aren't updating them.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using it for over ten years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is extremely scalable. It can be as small a solution or as large and complex as you want.

    How are customer service and support?

    If you download Moodle 4.0 and install it on-prem, the support would be through Moodle docs through the website and their videos. The support is also available through different libraries of books, but there is not going to be a staff supporting you. However, if you go to a Moodle partner and you use their solution, there can be staff for support. It just depends on the kind of package you get.

    How was the initial setup?

    It depends on your level. If you are an administrator, there is a steep learning curve. It is not going to be all that easy to set up, but if you're familiar with it, it is pretty easy after you've done it once or twice. 

    If you are an instructor or an instructional designer and you're getting started and just setting up the entire curriculum with an organization, you definitely need to do some training. I would recommend getting a book to help and not just go by Moodle docs. That's because you need to understand how to storyboard and plan in order to achieve your learning goals because it can be pretty easy to make a big mess of things.

    If you are working with a provider and they've created templates and you like them, it is easy, but if you're starting from ground zero and you don't have any instructional design background and no learning management system background, it would be complicated. You need to purchase a book. Coincidentally, I have a book that has just come out last week. There are many different books. Packt Publishers have a number of books that are available.

    It can be deployed in the cloud and on-premises. Moodle Cloud, moodlecloud.com, is a hosted service, and it is owned or associated with Moodle. It is free at first, and individuals can open up their own accounts. It is public, and you can even use some of the plugins to integrate it with PayPal or credit cards. It can also be on-premise, which can be completely private, and it can also be through a private solution. It just depends on how public you want to make it. Usually, you'd have to authenticate through your organization.

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

    It is open source, and it has a lot of free documentation. It can be by far the least expensive option, but it depends on how one decides to use it.

    It can be free if you download it and host it on-prem, and you don't count your time as being worth anything. So, it can be almost free, or it can be very expensive just depending on if you get a package with a provider and if it is a huge solution. It depends on how big the organization is and its deployment model in terms of:

    • Whether you want to install it on-prem and have individuals on staff to administer it or have an IT department.
    • Whether you want to use one of the Moodle solution providers. There are a lot of them.

    What other advice do I have?

    My experience has been very positive. Before the last available release 4.0, which is a major update and release, I was getting a little bit bored with Moodle. Moodle was getting a little bit outdated, and I was thinking Canvas was a better solution, but now with 4.0, I'm very excited about it again.

    I would rate it an eight out of ten. Moodle 4.0 is not completely out. So, I can't really give it a full ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    Francisco Ñato - PeerSpot reviewer
    E-Learning Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Open source, easy to integrate with other products, and is ideal for making customized learning solutions
    Pros and Cons
    • "Since it's an open-source product, you can integrate it with many other things."
    • "They need to have a better way to illustrate competencies so that, when people go through the programs, they can actually show they are competent in the subject matter."

    What is our primary use case?

    The solution is used for corporate and education purposes for sure. In corporate, in human resources, it can be used in order to train all the employees in different topics like soft skills or even regulations such as safety compliance and stuff like that. In educational situations, it can be used for classes. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have 80% educational usage of Moodle. It's used a lot in university institutions and colleges. The other 20% is for corporate. 

    For corporate, one of the benefits is they can deploy all their courses around the world. They can do synchronous training. They can upload a lot of materials and they can track who saw the content, who did not, how many attended sessions, et cetera. The customer can do the test and have reports about various aspects of the program.

    What is most valuable?

    They integrate with Zoom and maybe with Teams. In Moodle, they make forums and assessments such as the evaluation of tests. 

    Since it's an open-source product, you can integrate it with many other things. There are no limits. If you know the product, you can use many features, and make some solutions. We like Moodle due to the fact that all the features, actually, are really common in different LMS. You can make a lot of deploy developments over Moodle.

    What needs improvement?

    They need to offer insights, such as, for example, identifying which question was the most difficult. Maybe they are not training well or maybe there is a hard topic and they have to make more training about it. If they had more insights into who had trouble where it would give them more insights into how to further develop topics and pieces of training.

    They need to have a better way to illustrate competencies so that, when people go through the programs, they can actually show they are competent in the subject matter. Other platforms like Canvas or Blackboard do a better job in this regard. 

    The reporting could be a bit better, a bit more in-depth.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using the solution for 12 years. It's been well over a decade at this point. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is good. It's pretty reliable in general. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution does offer scalability, however, it is something you need to work at. It's not something you just download. You have to work at it and implement it correctly.

    We have a number of different customers that use the solution. We have a customer base and implement Moodle for them and manage it, administer it for them.

    We have 50 plus customers. Then, each customer has thousands of users. For example, the smallest one will have 1,000 users and the biggest one will have 15,000. The largest client has users that I believe are around 60,000.

    How are customer service and support?

    We don't need technical support from Moodle as we have our own team. 

    How was the initial setup?

    While I know how to do implementations, I do not actually handle them directly.

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

    We take it as an open-source product. We downloaded it from the Moodle dashboard and then we sell it.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are not in partnership with Moodle. 

    New customers have to understand that even though it is open-source, they will have to spend money. They'll need to rebrand it, however, they need to work with people who understand the product. If you just install it as it is, the user experience will be a disaster if you don't understand what to do. It's not refined. It's not user-friendly for new users. If you have a really good team helping you, you can design some really good classes and programs. 

    Overall, I'd rate the product at an eight out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    Josh Willcock - PeerSpot reviewer
    Head Of Technology at a non-tech company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Provides a number of permissions and different ways to report, and it is incredibly wide in what it can do
    Pros and Cons
    • "The number of permissions that are available and different ways to report and get the information out are the most valuable features. We have been able to get precise bits of information out, and we have also been able to delegate a lot."
    • "The biggest area for improvement is the UI. They should also make the navigation simpler to understand. They've recently introduced a new way of having navigation work in Moodle, but they all look very similar."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for organizational governance and training.

    What is most valuable?

    The number of permissions that are available and different ways to report and get the information out are the most valuable features. We have been able to get precise bits of information out, and we have also been able to delegate a lot.

    What needs improvement?

    The biggest area for improvement is the UI. They should also make the navigation simpler to understand. They've recently introduced a new way of having navigation work in Moodle, but they all look very similar.

    Its updates should be stable, and the support and documentation should also be improved.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I use it every day, and I have done that for the past seven years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Moodle at a period of time is very stable, but each upgrade is quite unstable because of the sporadic changes that are made and the sheer number of releases they do.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is very scalable. It is used throughout the organization by content creators, site administrators, and standard learners. We have a team of about six people who do content creation, and we have another team of six people for site administration, and then we have a couple of thousand learners. Its usage would not be more than what is currently being used, but as we grow, it continues to grow. We're not planning to take on much more.

    How are customer service and support?

    The support is pretty bad. There isn't really any support for Moodle unless you pay an astronomical amount. It seems to be their intention to keep adding complexity to things and not providing sufficient documentation unless you go through a Moodle-certified partner. Unless you go down that route, you are in the dark quite a lot, and you have to work things out.

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

    We've used Moodle since we needed this kind of tool.

    How was the initial setup?

    We have a copy of it on GitHub that is deployed through AWS's tooling to the servers. We have a variable spot in AWS for the database and things like that by using infrastructure in code to scale that out throughout the organization. So, we have a central team that manages it and uploads the users, managers, and people like that, and then we have another team that looks after the content, which is then just used throughout the organization for onboarding and training.

    Its deployment probably took about two to three months.

    What about the implementation team?

    Our in-house development team looks after it, and we have about eight people who work with this solution. Two of them have a first-line technical support background. Two of them have a developer background, and the rest of them are learning and development people.

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

    Moodle is free. It should probably stay free. There isn't really any support for Moodle unless you pay an astronomical amount, which is weird.

    What other advice do I have?

    I'd recommend using what you need and not trying to use everything because Moodle is incredibly wide in what it can do. It's like a Swiss Army knife. If you try to use everything, you get lost and confused, and it gets messy. So, just keep things simple.

    I would rate it an eight out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Amazon Web Services (AWS)
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    Saranya Kanagaraj - PeerSpot reviewer
    Moodle Administrator and Developer at Enphase Energy
    Real User
    Allows us to train employees and provide certification based on their training
    Pros and Cons
    • "Almost all the activity modules are available inside the courses, so that makes our training easier and more comfortable."
    • "For a first time user, especially someone who is non-technical, Moodle is difficult for them to understand and they often need assistance."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a solar manufacturing company. In our organization, we provide training to employees and have a few courses that we have developed for installers. We also have trainers who train installers on the system. We have installers all over the world, so we use Moodle to train them and provide certification based on their training.

    I'm into the development of Moodle plugins and data and team developments. We customize a few things on Moodle based on our requirements. My company doesn't want to use what is out of box of Moodle, so we have to develop a few other plugins because our requirements are beyond that, but Moodle supports that pretty well.

    There are currently more than 5,000 users in our organization.

    The solution is deployed on-premises.

    What is most valuable?

    I like the activity modules. Almost all the activity modules are available inside the courses, so that makes our training easier and more comfortable.

    The security is good. You aren't able to access Moodle without logging in. Then, it creates a session. After some time, you will be logged out of the session, and it keeps a log of everything. We can check all the data and maintain it.

    What needs improvement?

    It has to be more user friendly. I have been using Moodle since version 1.9. For a first time user, especially someone who is non-technical, Moodle is difficult for them to understand and they often need assistance.

    I would like to see multi-tenancy support in the sense that courses can be created and handle more than one organization. If I want to manage multiple organizations within Moodle, I am able to do that, but Moodle has a third party called Iomad that provides this multi-tenancy. But they have totally changed the Moodle course to support the multi-tenancy system. If we upgrade Moodle and we're going to use multi-tenancy, we have to wait for Iomad to release the latest version.

    We can add a new major course level, but it is not available at category level. It's only able to show the course level and not the category level. 

    For roles and capabilities, it has to be more strict. For example, if I'm a teacher and a student, and I am switching my role to a student, I'll have the capability of a teacher also. But when I switch a role to student, I should only be a student.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Moodle for more than 10 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The current version is stable. Even though Moodle is being upgraded, there are a few minor bugs each time. I cannot say that it's 100% stable, but it's fine.

    How was the initial setup?

    Setup is very easy.

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

    It is a one-time registration with the Moodle site. There isn't a yearly or monthly fee.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate this solution 8 out of 10.

    Moodle has many other features apart from the courses and activity models. There are various plugins, block plugins, and gamification, which has been introduced recently in Moodle.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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