Comparisons and advocacy

Moodle Over Other eLMS in 2015

 
Picture of nick mahoney
Moodle Over Other eLMS in 2015
 

I compared Blackboard, Sakai, Moodle, edX and a variety of other eLMS solutions last year and implemented Moodle and have been very satisfied. I educate a small group of physicians every year and provide lectures, videos, quizes and a variety of other content and have found the system perfect.

I've decided to discuss my success with Moodle with a similar group of educators and am wondering if I could get some up to date community's opinions on the advantages of moodle over the other available systems.


For instance, for us, Tomcat and Java servlet installs for Sakai was prohibitive. I also didn't like semi-open source nature of the platform. I couldnt quite figure out how much Blackboard Learn would cost but felt our small group made this prohibitive as well. Any thoughts would be interesting to me. Thanks!

 
Average of ratings: Useful (1)
Mary Cooch
Re: Moodle Over Other eLMS in 2015
Documentation writersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators

Hello Nick. I'm just about to move you post to the Comparisons and Advocacy forum where you'll find other discussions comparing Moodle with various LMS.

 
Average of ratings: -
Matt Bury
Re: Moodle Over Other eLMS in 2015
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Hi Nick,

One advantage of Moodle is the massive and broad user base. This means institutions, government agencies, NGOs, universities, colleges, schools, businesses, and small ad-hoc organisations are using Moodle and bringing their voices, needs, suggestions, and other contributions to the Moodle community. This has resulted in a large number of extensions, themes, adaptations, etc. that would be hard to find anywhere else.

You can see from the number of 3rd party plugins in the Moodle plugins database: https://moodle.org/plugins/ and a number of experimental plugins and people just playing around with ideas in places like GitHub: https://github.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=moodle

Just my €0.02! smile

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Josh Simon
Re: Moodle Over Other eLMS in 2015
 

Did anyone ever do a cost of implementation analysis for Moodle?


I have used Moodle for years, and now the large orthopedics company I work for is potentially interested in it.  The first question they will always ask is how much does it cost to implement?


Being open source, that certainly eliminates a lot, but not all of the cost.  Any experience to share?

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Moodle Over Other eLMS in 2015
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

More information would be needed to answer that question. For example how many students, how customized, what level of support (e.g. service level agreement) etc etc.  I'd be curious to see some estimates about how much of the cost is eliminated in not having to pay a financial cost for the license.  For medium to large sites I suspect the percentage would be quite small.

 
Average of ratings: Useful (1)
Matt Bury
Re: Moodle Over Other eLMS in 2015
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

If you host Moodle on a cloud server and do everything yourself, the price starts at $5 per month.

But as Marcus has pointed out, you need to specify the level of responsibility you're willing and able to take on within your own organisation (e.g. your own Moodle sysAdmin? - Make sure s/he really knows what s/he's doing!) and what responsibilities you wish to delegate out to 3rd party support services (e.g. Moodle hosting services, user support and training services, curriculum development services, etc.).

It's always the human element that turns out to be the most expensive and time-consuming.

 
Average of ratings: Useful (2)
Picture of Josh Simon
Re: Moodle Over Other eLMS in 2015
 

A typical sales rep training course would be 8 to 20 people offered quarterly.  Typical materials would be powerpoints, videos, and interactive flash-type games that we already have, etc.  The actual content for the courses could be figured separately from the moodle framework.  A typical sales rep would take 4 to 5 courses annually, and his or her progress would need to be tracked and certificates issued to the rep.  Some courses would have a live component, which I'm sure moodle can handle, or at least link to something like Google Hangouts that could handle it.


For regular employees, there are always annual courses for things like HIPAA, bloodborne pathogens, compliance, etc. that they need.  This could be a couple of thousand people, but a typical course like this lasts about an hour tops and would be completely automated.  


I'm sure that our company would commission a custom-made theme.  Interfaces would vary per course and I don't see why the current plugins and core capabilities would not be sufficient.


Probably the biggest cost would be helping users with their tickets for various issues.  Whatever their problems wind up being would need good support.  This would probably go through our IT people as intermediaries.


What would it cost to hire a moodle sysadmin vs. training one of our people as one?


Are not the current training videos on moodle usage and administration enough to get by without having to train every course attendee on the interface?

 
Average of ratings: -
Matt Bury
Re: Moodle Over Other eLMS in 2015
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Hi Josh,

It sounds like you could use a minimal server setup to run your Moodle courses. One of the important aspects is how many concurrent users you expect. With 8 - 20 people taking courses at a time, the requirements are minimal ($5 per month for 512M memory, 1 core CPU, 20GB storage).

Re: "Some courses would have a live component" -- Moodle has several options for integration into online classroom services and platforms. One of the more popular platforms is the free and open source BigBlueButton (BBB). In case you haven't seen it already, you can try Moodle and BBB out for free as long as you like on: https://moodlecloud.com/en/ The UK's Open University uses Blackboard Collaborate for it's OU Live sessions.

Re: sysAdmin, a system administrator isn't a Moodle admin. They're two very different but equally important jobs. A sysAdmin looks after your server, typically Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP upon which Moodle is installed. If you need to modify or adjust any settings, e.g. change the frequency of the cron job, increase/decrease the server memory limits and script timeout restrictions, database settings, deals with malware and attacks/hacks, etc. this is what a sysAdmin does, as well as updating all the software including Moodle when new releases, bug fixes, and security vulnerability fixes are released.

If you want someone to do both jobs, I think it's easier for a sysAdmin to learn to be a Moodle admin than vice versa.

I hope this helps! smile

 
Average of ratings: -