Comparisons and advocacy

Why Moodle is best?

 
Picture of Jitendra Jogeshwar
Why Moodle is best?
 

We are a new start up and looking forward to building a new LMS system for a client. We want to tell them why moodle is the best. We have done our own analysis and need more help to make our client absolutely sure that moodle is the way forward.


Can you please help us to tell them why moodle is the best? Any help is very highly appreciated.

 
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moi!!! it is what is is...
Re: Why Moodle is best?
Documentation writersParticularly helpful Moodlers

Moodle is a community. It is not just a program that you buy then use until it is replaced with the next version. Once into Moodle, you are also in the Community. You may never take advantage of that, but you are a part of it. That Community is a far more important and valuable source of support than a static, online knowledge base, or poorly maintained wiki that does not answer your specific question. 

Moodle is constantly changing. Most of the time those changes are easily seen as positive, but sometimes it takes a while for people to see the benefits of that change. New ideas and things are tried, old things are sometimes dropped, but Moodle is in a constant state of renewal. Anyone can contribute an idea, a modification of some sort, an improvement of an existing tool, and anyone else can use it, if they chose to. You might want to use a new tool or you don't like a particular tool, you can change it. Moodle is there to suit your need, it is highly configurable to what you want. If you want to add something, some functionality, that does not currently exist, and not sure how to do that, ask the Developers, they will help.  If that functionality does what you want, you may chose to give it away, sell it, or keep it for yourself. 

You may not like the look of the out of the box Moodle, so you can change it to suit what you think is better. There are themes and user guides that will help you do that. You try Moodle for a couple of years, but you don't like it. You like what it can do, but you think it should be better. So you make it better, more suitable for your own purposes. You do not get frustrated because Moodle is Open Source, that is, it is Free Software. You can even on-sell what you create, as long as you meet the Free Software Foundation's licensing conditions. 

You don't have to wait months, or years sometimes,  for a bug fix, you might be able to fix it yourself, or someone may suggest a way to be able to fix it yourself. 

For users, like any LMS, it takes a while to build the materials you want to deliver, but you can speed that process up - and there are some key benefits there as well. Working in teams to build whole courses rather than as individuals working on a single course, improves the collegiality of the course builders, improves individual knowledge of course materials, improves understandings of aims and objectives of each course. It also helps improve the skill base of the teams rather quickly when they are supporting one another, rather than working individually.   

I could go on and on, but there are a whole range of essential benefits that you will not get with a purchased, copyrighted, restrictive LMS. 

Some other products look a lot better than Moodle, but for two things. One, none of those products can match Moodle's extensibility, its flexibility nor the range of opportunities that Moodle offers. Secondly, none of them make use of the most important aspect of Moodle. Moodle is built on a range of essential web technologies. These technologies will not, I suggest go out of flavour, they will adapt to the changing word, and in many cases they will be driving that change. In this sense, Moodle will never be that far off the leading edge of that change, it will always be current, its very nature forces it to be that way. No other product I know about, or have used, does that.  


 
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Picture of Jitendra Jogeshwar
Re: Why Moodle is best?
 

Hi Collin,

Thanks for explaining how should we go about viewing Moodle. I understand that been part of any open source solution is not just take it and forget it but to contribute to the community with same passion as they existing members. My question was on the part how should I go about convincing my client about how Moodle is better than rest of the competitors.


Regards

Jitendra

 
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Picture of john Simpson
Re: Why Moodle is best?
 

I would think even existing members here are open minded in whether  moodle is the best or not the best. But we can't deny what is.

You can' t simply tell your client that moodle is the best for them, without weighing up the competition. Listen to them and see if moodle meets their requirements. Compare moodle like with like with the competitors. What opinions can you find on the internet as to where moodle stands? You will find Moodle is always mentioned, even the competitors mention moodle. Two key points of Moodle comes up, stability: Moodle will likely still be around in five years time. Can you say that for the others? And open source: Explain the importance and power of open source.

Here is a typical search of what you will find on the internet. And of course yet again moodle is at the top.

http://www.edudemic.com/the-20-best-learning-management-systems/


 
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Just wondering . . .
Re: Why Moodle is best?
Particularly helpful Moodlers

As john has commented, you need to check out the requirements.

Moodle out of the box install probably will not be enough.  But in what areas you need to add on bits will depend on the needs of the system.

  1. If you want some sort of between-courses dashboard you will need to add some coding or buy some of the products out there.  There are some progress indicator tools you can add in.  eg https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=block_progress
    However, Moodle has made some new reporting/logging functions and these will eventually lead to easier creation of such reports.
  2. Managing files.  Probably you will need a repository.  
    1. There is no basic video management for MP4's you need to install plugins or use lots of hand coding.  https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=253094
    2. Drag and drop is there for everything except the editor for images.
    3. Most of the time people recommend Vomeo or Youtube (etc) but these are not always possible be ause of instituti9onal policy.
  3. Forums.  Forums are difficult to mark/grade, they do not have "edit in place" or drag and drop.  But you can install forumNG (however only available to Moodle 2.6) 
    We are getting rply bu emailand subscribe at the discussion level.
  4. The new editor - Atto.  Again, depending on your needs, this can be a problem. 
    1. For instance there are 70 posts here as people try to sort out the chemistry editor: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=269149 
    2. And colour, font size, stripping code have been issues as well.  https://docs.moodle.org/27/en/Text_editor#Atto_HTML_editor  it's not really al there yet, but there are plugins coming.  Plus theads like this: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=270495#p1167960

This is just a few examples.  There are things that can come up as "gotcha's" that are quite unexpected.  As Colin says, you can fix them yourself, but it can take a lot of time.  You will have challenges.  It's just not sure what challenges you will face, because these depend on your context.

As to thinking about showing Moodle is the 'best'.  Not sure if this is possible.

-Derek

 
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moi!!! it is what is is...
Re: Why Moodle is best?
Documentation writersParticularly helpful Moodlers

As said elsewhere, statistics do not make a good product. Time does. 

Moodle has been around for over 14 years, and in computing terms, that is what, 9-10 generations?  It is not a "flavour of the month" product. It is, however, like any product that has been around for a while, it is the most used product right now, and in future years something else may take over, but there does not seem to be any one product that is a likely candidate, yet. This is more telling than anything else I suggest. 

The statistics show that Moodle is popular is some segments of the market, while it doesn't rate as well in others. Big surprise that is. The one thing that Moodle is that other things are not, right now, it is a trailblazer. It is developing the basic tools and discovering the issues confronting the LMS for the user, no matter how the user wants to use it.  

It doesn't surprise me that Moodle is not rated in the corporate sector, the attitude there has always been "nothing is free" or "it's free, so it must be rubbish", something I have had a great deal of personal experience with. And companies are going broke because of their insistence on using proprietal software and paying exorbitant prices for products of uneven quality, particularly companies dependent on a certain, somewhat costly, accessible database product for their web sales portal.

As Derek points out, Moodle is excellent in some ways, but it is not that good in others. And this is different to any other product in what way? 

I prefer Moodle because it does what I want it to do, mostly. Some issues will always crop up, like the repositories, like the video, like the backups. As the surrounding technology changes, the PHP, the database, the OS, the server software, and improves, so should Moodle. And that has been the biggest failing of some rather good products in the past, the surrounding technology changes, but Moodle has kept up where other, more fanciful products have failed. That is the great strength of Moodle.  

 

 
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Picture of john Simpson
Re: Why Moodle is best?
 

Moodle might be the best or might not be. But you need to know more about your client and their needs. Or is this a hypothetical question?

 
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Picture of Jitendra Jogeshwar
Re: Why Moodle is best?
 

No its a very valid question. 

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Why Moodle is best?
Documentation writersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators

Just to let you know the off topic conversation about use of the word Moodle has been moved to https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=272814#p1173278 and I have messaged all those who contributed and to whom I was able to send messages so they/you are aware of it. We can now get back to the topic in hand of why Moodle is Best smile

 
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moi!!! it is what is is...
Re: Why Moodle is best?
Documentation writersParticularly helpful Moodlers

Jitendra, my original reading was that you were looking for a framework of business reasons as to why your client should adopt Moodle. So yes, this is a very valid question and relevant discussion. 

Everything I said above can be adapted to make the education argument, but I would add in these points here: 

1. It is easily scalable. From 100 to 100,000+ users, or however many the Open University has, being the largest Moodle consumer. The only limitation I am aware of is your client's investment in hardware.

2. No licensing fees make ownership cheap and Open Source Agreements means you can adapt the product in anyway you want to suit your own real need. (A variation of what is said above.) This is something that cannot be done that well with most proprietal products as you are confined by what they think your need is. Most producers of proprietal tools will do anything you want, as long as you pay for it, then pay some more, then again, usually because they give you a low estimate that does not meet their costs, but they still pass the whole cost on to you, after all, that is what they have been contracted to do. 

3. Easily adaptable to any technology, highly portable. Moodle runs in any server environment, so if your client starts with, say, Windows Server, and then chooses to go to  Linux server, or a MacServer, the database can be swapped without losing any work, any course materials, any student work, any important materials.   

4. It is more cost effective in setup, maintenance and EOL issues than any other product I am aware of. 

5. Learning curves are really not steep, a non-user can become a confident user in a few minutes, actually. Advanced techniques take a few days, and some effort, but again, that is different to any other product how? I suggest though that apart from a few items, the UI is still largely intuitive and, (with speed depending on theme selection), can be mastered quickly even by computer neophytes and small children. 

6. From install to Vanilla in a few minutes, to first courses can be accomplished in less than a day, with Students starting the next day. (If you like I can tell you how that can be done, it works, I did it off the top of my head with one organization and they were really happy with the outcomes, but they allowed a really good lead-in time. Shocked me they actually did it, and shocked me even more to find out it actually worked, surprise I had put no thought into it, it was a knee-jerk reaction to an unexpected question.)

 

 
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Picture of Jitendra Jogeshwar
Re: Why Moodle is best?
 

That's really great reply and really appreciate your comments it's going to help me a lot. Having said that did you ever faced a situation where you felt technology it uses may create constraint it's usage?

 
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moi!!! it is what is is...
Re: Why Moodle is best?
Documentation writersParticularly helpful Moodlers

No, but the hardware used has been sufficient in every case, Moodle likes lots of HDD space, for lots of courses, and storage, the more RAM the better, the higher the bandwidth the better-all the usual hardware wishes. The server software, is whatever package you want, Apache in a Linux, Windows or Mac server, IIS in Windows Server, or MacServer, or almost anything you could want, Moodle is adaptable. 

If you are thinking of User technologies, like a tablet or PDA or Smartphone, Moodle will work on those devices, and there are different versions of Moodle to allow that to happen. I have no idea how it works, never bothered with it. As a default position, the use of such devices has been somewhat discouraged in schools here, for security reasons. More likely, students can have unfiltered access to the Net with these tools, which worries a lot of people. The last three schools I have worked in have all recommended as the smallest device a Chromebook. The reason for this is that this is the smallest device that has a dedicated keyboard which does not grab screen real estate from a 2000 word essay, which obviously ignores the Bluetooth keypads that can be purchased for just about all tablets now. 

<noveltyitem>

As you can build a Wiki server on a Raspberry Pi, it does not take a large leap of imagination to think that a set of, say 10, such devices, in an array, connected to a 32TB Network Attached Storage  device would also make a Moodle environment, (mmm seriously inexpensive too). I am sure that could be set up by any semi-qualified network technician and could be scalable to a level far beyond anything that could be reasonably foreseen.  Might take a bit of tweaking to get working properly, but if the NAS is nothing but a file server, and the real processing is done on the array, well 10 x 850MHz  processors provides a lot of processing power... But this is not a realistic option for anyone being serious I expect, they want something more obviously a server, not a bunch of toys... (even if they each contain more computing power than was ever used in the US NASA Apollo programme.)  </noveltyitem>

The technology, hardware and software, (apart from obvious internet connectivity issues) will only limit Moodle when the Moodle is updated but the hardware is not, I would suggest.  

 
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Picture of javed malik
Re: Why Moodle is best?
 

Because it's themes are really beautiful.



(Edited by Mary Cooch to remove link- original submission Sunday, 12 October 2014, 1:12 PM)

 
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Picture of javed malik
Re: Why Moodle is best?
 

You have removed link that I had placed. May I know, what is the condition to plant link here because I have seen links in many replies here.   

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Why Moodle is best?
Documentation writersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators

Hello Javed. I sent you a message explaining about the removed link. Advertising is mentioned in our Site policy here https://moodle.org/mod/page/view.php?id=7080  and it is OK to post links to commercial products if they are relevant and not part of a signature. However, your site (unless you are a Moodle partner) breaks the Moodle trademark and so I thought it would be better not to display it. See http://moodle.com/trademarks/

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Why Moodle is best? Better than all the rest
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

There is one area in which 

"Moodle is the best, better than all the rest
Better than the others, every one I ever test "

And that is in the area of quizzing. It has more question types (counting in contributed questions), more options, more flexibility than any alternative paid for or or free.



 
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Picture of Germán Valero
Re: Why Moodle is best? Better than all the rest
Documentation writersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTestersTranslators

Another area in which 

"Moodle is the best, better than all the rest
Better than the others, every one I ever test "

Is in the area of languages support, with over 100 language packs available for an administrator to install on a Moodle site. Also, the Multi-language content filter enables resources to be created in multiple languages.
 
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me
Re: Why Moodle is best? Better than all the rest
 

Muitos tentam comparar as diversas soluções de lms. Sem duvida o moodle é a mais completa e mais adaptável. O grande problema das instituições é de saber como montar seu modelo de negócio. Quando bem especificado, com certeza todas as necessidades sao atendidas com o moodle.


Many try to compare various solutions lms . Moodle is undoubtedly the most complete and adaptable. The major problem of the institutions is to know how to assemble your business model . When well specified , sure all needs are met with Moodle .

 
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