Moodle: The Best Free Online Learning Management System
LMS or Learning Management Systems are used by educators around the world for e-learning purposes such as providing students with a mechanism for taking online tests, receiving online education and sharing documents with them. For example, the LMS at my University provides students the ability to track their attendance, check course outlines, manage private files and more. When it comes to LMS, perhaps the best Online Learning Management System is Moodle.
What is Moodle?
It is a free cross-platform software which is available for free with community driven plugins and a wide range of customization options. Moodle is an open source Online Learning Management System, which makes it possible for organizations and individuals to tweak and enhance it according to very specific needs. As Moodle is distributed under the General Public License, you can use and freely modify it. In fact, my University also uses Moodle for their LMS to provide students everything from schedules, course related information, the ability to upload PowerPoint presentations and other types of files to a personal Dashboard, to fetch files saved on the server by teachers, to check attendance and weekly course outlines. The below image shows a screenshot of the LMS system at my University.
Benefits of Using Moodle As Your Learning Management System
Before I move on to the benefits regarding the use of Moodle, it is worth pointing out that Moodle is used by more than 70,000 institutes/organizations across 200 countries and is even used by the Buckingam Palace! If that’s not reason enough for you to consider Moodle as your LMS, then perhaps you wouldn’t mind using a software that is available for free and is highly customizable as its source code is freely available. The open source nature of Moodle not only leaves a lot of room for customization but you can even use the community driven Plugins for adding various types of functionalities to your website.
Using Moodle you can not only add the aforementioned functionality to your Learning Management System but also add and share tutorials via your website, create online courses using hundreds of built-in features, add gradable assignments, as well as conduct collaborative activities using forums and chat.
Setting Up Moodle
Moodle can be downloaded from the developer’s website (see link at the end of this post). Moodle can be installed on Windows, Mac, Linux and Server running PHP. If you are an educator, you can easily build your own private website with dynamic courses and extend your teaching anytime, anywhere. While you can install Moodle for free on your own server, you can even ask a Moodle partner to setup a site for you. Moodle has been developed after 10 years of development and has a lot of scope for providing you with a customized outlook for your LMS. For a demonstration of the Moodle LMS, you can also see this Moodle Demonstration Website. Simply login as a Teacher, Manager, Student or Parent and see what Moodle can do for you.
Moodle Introductory Video
For an overview of Moodle, see this brief introductory video.
You can download open source LMS Moodle for free from the project web page, associated plugins, themes, get instructions, documentation and associated resources from the link given below.
Go to Download Moodle