There are lots of reasons to use Moodle instead of any other e-learning platform (commercial or not). This is my "Top ten" (in no specific order):
1) About e-learning STANDARDS: there is already an SCORM module
for Moodle (a contributed one). Moodle 1.2 can also import IMS QTI quizzes (and also WebCT and Blackboard ones). There is also a WebCT/IMS to Moodle conversion tool
. You can also use external SCORM
players and SCORM module creators (such as Reload
). On the other hand, huge improvements in accesibility and e-learning standards are planned
for Moodle 2.0 and 2.1 by the middle of this year.
2) It HAS EVERYTHING any e-learning platform has to have: good Forums, content managing (Resources), Quizzes with lots of different kind of questions and 9 more out-of-the-box activity modules (v1.2) (Assignment, Chat, Choice, Glossary, Journal, Label, Lesson
, Survey and Workshop) and many other contributed ones (Appointment, Attendance, Dialogue, Excercise, Scheduller, Webwork, SCORM,...). It is so because Moodle is modular and can be easily extended creating activity modules.
3) It is VERY EASY to work with for teachers, students and admins. It is also easy to install and upgrade. It is even easy to develop new modules, since they are written in PHP, an easy script language.
4) It can be INTEGRATED with any corporate system via external database
authentification. There is even a Postnuke
plugin to integrate Moodle with it.
5) It was designed from the beginning by an unsatisfied WebCT admin, who has a degree in Computer Science and a Master in Education and wanted to make a much better system than WebCT (the best commercial one, in my opinion). So, its design involves both TECHNOLOGICAL AND PEDAGOGICAL thinking.
6) It is OPEN SOURCE. That means very fast development and bug fixing, and no tricks (you can see everything). Of course, it means also that it is free, and it has no license costs, so you can install as many servers as you want with no aditional cost. With commercial platforms, you get caught by closed technology and it is them who choose the prices. For example, WebCT grow a lot with low prices and then raised them a lot, when their customers had a large number of courses that were very difficult to move to another platform. They got lots of money with this policy, but now many WebCT ex-admins (as me) are moving towards other e-learning platforms. I have seen lots of WebCT and BlackBoard ex-admins in these forums that have moved their courses and users to Moodle.
7) It it TOPIC ORIENTED, instead of being funcion oriented as most of e-learning platforms are. This means that everything is organized around topics, wich have their own tools (such as forums, contents and quizzes). Most e-learning platforms are organized around tools: ALL the contents here, ALL the quizzes there, ALL the forums in another place,... Moodle approach is much more related to the modern concept of Learning Objects (though they are not really that)
8) Its main strenght: There is an AMAZING COMMUNITY of more than 1,200 very active people from all over the World working together in order to improve Moodle (Using Moodle). There are also a Documentation project, a Language teaching community, a place to Exchange Moodle courses, etc.
9) RELIABLE. It has been evolving since 1999 (since 2001 with the current architecture). 911 sites from 70 countries have registered their Moodle installation (that means that those are really serious production ones, since if they are not, they are rejected). The number of real Moodle installations is unknown, but there may be thousands. It is translated into 36 different languages. The biggest reported active site has 1,400 courses and about 17,000 students.
10) If you want, you can get COMMERCIAL SERVICES, such as inmediate support from Moodle developers, professional Moodle hosting and customized development for anything related to Moodle at: http://moodle.com
. Anyway, you can develop your own Online training system without having to pay a single dollar for it.
I think it is enough to beat any other e-learning platform (and I know and have been working with many, including WebCT and Blackboard). Just use the facts and compare side by side with the commercial alternative and it would be very difficult for you to loose.
Hope this helps, and hope you and Moodle win another battle.