8 Reasons Why Moodle Is Still Awesome

Key Features Of Moodle - 8 Reasons Why Moodle Is Still Awesome
Summary: In this article, I have highlighted the key features of Moodle that makes it a competent learning platform even as learning experience platforms are trending in 2018-2019.

8 Key Reasons Explaining Why Moodle Is Still Popular Today

Today, there are a number of Learning Management Systems offering various features to fulfill current learning needs such as:

  1. Social Learning
  2. Adaptive learning
  3. mLearning
  4. Cloud hosting
  5. Microlearning
  6. Gamification
  7. Analytics
  8. eCommerce

Of course, new technology and innovative approaches in using the same to leverage learning initiatives is a welcome sign, and most of the new players in this domain are doing exactly the same. But the versatility and affordable scalability offered by Moodle is seldom matched by them; which is not surprising given the flexibility of Moodle’s core architecture. Let us quickly probe and see what makes Moodle the best and most preferred eLearning platform for enterprise learning even today.

1. Social Learning

A course includes topics that learners engage in, take assessments, collaborate, etc. and then move on to a new topic. Yeah, that’s boring. But it is just a choice, and most of them are stuck with this choice, unfortunately, and then Moodle takes the grudge of being boring.

What people do not realize is that Moodle offers customization that can allow an interface similar to popular social tools with a timeline of posts, filtering of the timeline, and integration with the learner’s activities and resources. It can include easy-to-distinguish pieces of information that quickly provide context and a call to action such as comments, likes or votes. That’s a cool way to learn online, isn’t it?

2. Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning is the buzzword used by modern LMS providers which can deliver customized resources and learning activities to address the unique needs of each learner. But the fact is that adaptive learning can be achieved through effective Instructional Design and not just using technology. If the Instructional Design is not done for adaptive learning, then the course cannot adapt as per the learner’s ability. This can be achieved in Moodle through Instructional Design meant for adaptive learning through flexible course creation features like activity access restrictions, course completion conditions, lesson activity using branches/clusters, quiz adaptability etc.

Remember, if your course content is not adaptable, then no LMS can make the learning adaptable. So wake up your Instructional Designers and ask them to create adaptive course content so that adaptive learning doesn’t get restricted only to proprietary LMS providers.

3. mLearning

Moodle has its official mobile app which can be used to browse the courses, even when offline, receive instant notifications of messages and other events, track learning progress, and much more. The mobile app is also customizable like the desktop version and delivers state-of-the-art learning features anytime, anywhere. But again, does any content viewed on a mobile app qualify for mLearning? Of course not! mLearning requires specific design principles to be applied during the content design stage so that the content can be delivered through mobile apps and still not feel overwhelming.

4. Cloud Hosting

Moodle as such is not free but is extremely affordable. Though the source code is free, there is a cost involved towards the server and the customization which is fairly cheaper compared to the costs involved with any other commercial LMS.

But rather than purchasing expensive systems and equipment for your business, you can further reduce your costs by using the resources of cloud computing. You will be able to reduce your operating costs when the number of users and courses increase because you won’t have to spend on system upgrades or new hardware to enable such scaling.

5. Gamification

Gamification is one of the most effective ways to engage and motivate learners, by using game mechanics and games. There is a difference between game-based learning and gamified learning which is an entirely different topic all together but the key here is that both can be accomplished using Moodle.

Games such as hangman, Crossword, Cryptex, Millionaire, The Hidden Picture, Snakes and Ladders etc., can be included to induce recollection of content delivered. Gamification mechanics such as points, challenges, badges, achievements, leaderboards, levels, timers, stories and characters, freedom to fail (lives/chances), and badges can also be achieved through various Moodle plugins.

6. Microlearning

Microlearning lets learners select and use assets most applicable to their current needs on whatever device is most handy, making the training even more relevant to their work. This learner-driven nature of microlearning increases engagement, improves training and job efficiency, and builds learner interest in seeking out additional training opportunities.

One of the great benefits of Moodle is that it gives you access to lots of different interactive, reusable content types. And microlearning is all about swift learning content that can be easily customized and reused to save publishing time. Add to that the super easy content creation ability which is the core of Moodle, and you can create short interactive courses with the blink of an eye.

7. Analytics

Moodle analytics allow you to track compliance, course completions, and competencies, which is valuable when considering employees for promotions or succession planning in general.

Apart from basic tracking, Moodle analytics offers a description of learning engagement and progress, a diagnosis of learning engagement and progress, plus a prediction of the learning progress. With a set of student engagement indicators, it is possible to provide proactive notifications to administrators who can easily communicate to learners identified by the model, or jump to the report for that student for more detail about his/her activity.

8. eCommerce

Though this is not of a great priority as far as enterprise learning is concerned, it is not impossible to accomplish it by using Moodle. If, at any point in time, you decide to sell your courses online, you don’t have to regret having chosen Moodle, because it is very much possible. There are plugins available which can be integrated into Moodle to set up an online store to sell courses with payment gateways, enrollment automation, course reviews and ratings, coupon codes, gift cards, course recommendations etc.

Final Thoughts

There is a huge difference between using a taxi for commuting and owning a car. It is always prestigious to own a car. Similarly, using a proprietary LMS may seem to give a sense of ownership which is only short-lived (with a lot of downsides). But the real prestige is derived from the sense of ownership. With Moodle, you have the sense that you own the LMS instead of subscribing to it. You have the sense that you can mold it the way you want, and as you see fit.

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