|Original author(s)||Martin Dougiamas|
4.1.1 / 16 January 2023
|Type||Course management system|
Moodle is a free and open-source learning management system written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. Moodle is used for blended learning, distance education, flipped classroom and other online learning projects in schools, universities, workplaces and other sectors.
Moodle is used to create custom websites with online courses and allows for community-sourced plugins.
Moodle was originally developed by Martin Dougiamas with the goal of helping educators create online courses and a focus on interaction and collaborative construction of content. The first version of Moodle was released on 20 August 2002, and it continues to be actively developed.
The Moodle Project is led and coordinated by Moodle HQ, an Australian company, that is financially supported by a network of eighty-four Moodle Partner service companies worldwide. Development is also assisted by the open-source community.
Moodle is a learning platform used to augment and move existing learning environments online. As an E-learning tool, Moodle developed a number of features now considered standard for learning management systems, such as a calendar and gradebook.
Plugins, custom graphical themes, mobile responsive web design, and a Moodle mobile app are available to customize each individual's experience on the platform. Moodle's mobile app is available on Google Play, App Store (iOS), F-Droid (Android FLOSS repository), and the Windows Phone Store.
Moodle has adopted the following e-learning standards:
Users can download and install Moodle on a Web server, such as the Apache HTTP Server, and a number of database management systems, such as MySQL, are supported. Pre-built combinations of Moodle with a Web server and database are available for Microsoft Windows and Mac. Other automated installation approaches exist, such as installing a Debian package, deploying a ready-to-use TurnKey Moodle appliance, using the Bitnami installer, or using a "one-click install" service such as Installatron.
Certified Moodle Partners provide other Moodle services, including hosting, training, customization and content development. This network of providers support development of the Moodle project through royalties.
Moodle runs without modification on Unix, Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, MacOS, NetWare and any other systems that support PHP and a database, including webhost providers.
Moodle also has import features for use with other specific systems, such as importing quizzes or entire courses from Blackboard or WebCT. As of February 2010[update], Moodle did not import Blackboard courses, apparently due to changes in php code-releases.
In March 2012 Blackboard acquired two companies based on Moodle's software including Baltimore-based Moodlerooms Inc. and NetSpot of Adelaide, Australia. In August 2015, Blackboard acquired Colombia-based Nivel7, possibly the largest Moodle services provider in Latin America. The Red Hat site, Opensource.com, reported that Moodle will always be an open-source project, with clear delineation between Blackboard and Moodle.
Martin Dougiamas, who has graduate degrees in computer science and education, wrote the first version of Moodle. Dougiamas started a Ph.D. to examine "the use of open source software to support a social constructionist epistemology of teaching and learning within Internet-based communities of reflective inquiry." Although how exactly social constructivism makes Moodle different from other eLearning platforms is difficult to show, it has been cited as an important factor by Moodle adopters. Other Moodle adopters, such as the Open University in the UK, have pointed out that Learning Management Systems can equally be seen as "relatively pedagogy-neutral".
The stated philosophy of Moodle includes a constructivist and social constructionist approach to education, emphasizing that learners (and not just teachers) can contribute to the educational experience. Using these pedagogical principles, Moodle provides an environment for learning communities.
The acronym Moodle officially stands for modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment. When the project was first started, the "m" instead stood for "Martin's", after original developer Martin Dougiamas. Besides being an acronym, the name was also chosen because of the dictionary definition of Moodle, with connotations such as "tinkering", "insight", and "creativity", as well as to correspond to an available domain name.
Moodle has continued to evolve since 1999 (since 2001 with the current architecture). It has been translated into over 100 different languages and is accessible in many countries worldwide. Institutions can add as many Moodle servers as needed without having to pay license fees. The Open University of the UK currently uses a Moodle installation for their 200,000 users while the UK government uses a Moodle installation for their Civil Service Learning platform serving half a million employees.
|Support Model||New Features|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 1.0||20 August 2002||1.0.9||30 May 2003||EOL|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 1.1||29 August 2003||1.1.1||11 September 2003||EOL|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 1.2||20 March 2004||1.2.1||25 March 2004||EOL|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 1.3||25 May 2004||1.3.5||9 September 2004||EOL|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 1.4||31 August 2004||1.4.5||7 May 2005||EOL|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 1.5||5 June 2005||1.5.4||21 May 2006||EOL|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 1.6||20 May 2006||1.6.9||28 January 2009||EOL|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 1.7||7 November 2006||1.7.7||28 January 2009||EOL|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 1.8||30 March 2007||1.8.14||3 December 2010||EOL|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 1.9||3 March 2008||1.9.19||9 July 2012||EOL (Maintained from March 2008 to June 2012. Third-party extended support until December 2013)||New gradebook, bulk user actions, tagging|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 2.0||24 November 2010||2.0.10||9 July 2012||EOL (Maintained from November 2010 to June 2012)||Integration with plagiarism prevention tools|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 2.1||1 June 2011||2.1.10||14 January 2013||EOL (Maintained from June 2011 to December 2012)|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 2.2||5 December 2011||2.2.11||8 July 2013||EOL (Maintained from December 2011 to June 2013)||Advanced grading methods including Rubrics|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 2.3||25 June 2012||2.3.11||13 January 2014||EOL (Maintained from June 2012 to December 2013)||Drag and drop files|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 2.4||3 December 2012||2.4.11||14 July 2014||EOL (Maintained from December 2012 to June 2014)|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 2.5||14 May 2013||2.5.9||10 November 2014||EOL (Maintained from May 2013 to November 2014)||Badges|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 2.6||18 November 2013||2.6.11||11 May 2015||EOL (Maintained from December 2013 to May 2015)||Annotate uploaded PDF, bulk course creation, multiple calendars|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 2.7||12 May 2014||2.7.20
|8 May 2017||EOL (Maintained from May 2014 to May 2017)||Atto HTML Editor, responsive design, log in with email address|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 2.8||10 November 2014||2.8.12||9 May 2016||EOL (Maintained from November 2014 to May 2016)||Text autosave, like rating|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 2.9||11 May 2015||2.9.9||14 November 2016||EOL (Maintained from May 2015 to November 2016)||Dashboard, view all grades|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 3.0||16 November 2015||3.0.10||8 May 2017||EOL (Maintained from November 2015 to May 2017)||4 new quiz types|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 3.1||23 May 2016||3.1.18 (LTS)||13 May 2019||EOL (Maintained from May 2016 to May 2019)||Requires xmlreader. Competencies, assignment grading, download selected assignment, recycle bin, pinned forum discussions, workshop enhancements, publish as LTI tool, tag course activities, easier section editing, search metalinked courses, competency frameworks, learning plan templates, global search, assignment file conversion using Universal Office Converter (unoconv), search file system repository, lesson default settings, tag collections.|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 3.2||5 December 2016||3.2.9||17 May 2018||EOL (Maintained from December 2016 to May 2018)||PHP 5.6.5 as the minimum version. New Boost theme, new Site Administration navigation, media player improvements, interactive report charts, discussion locking, assignment overrides, workshop portfolio export, select for students in Choice, negative scores for rubrics, user tours, competency frameworks import and export, new media player plugins, LTS 2 compliance, course end dates, user-friendly messaging and alerts, grading improvements, auto-login, sign-up improvements and SSO, new notification preferences.|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 3.3||15 May 2017||3.3.9||12 November 2018||EOL (Maintained from May 2017 to November 2018)||Requires openssl and fileinfo. Better Office integration, improved dashboard, FontAwesome for Moodle icons and general use, Emoji support, set a 'grade by' reminder, specify assignment file types, collapse comments in assignments, better activity completion management, drag and drop media, 'stealth' activities available but not shown, more tag areas.|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 3.4||13 November 2017||3.4.9||13 May 2019||EOL (Maintained from November 2017 to May 2019)||PHP 7.0.0 as the minimum version, intl required. Better calendar management, category calendar events, drag and drop calendar events, private file storage display, improved global search, easier activity navigation, more efficient user management, teachers can now override activity completion status, helpful filetype selector, tag database entries, Inspire Analytics in core, new filters for user tours, HTTPS conversion tool, OAuth2 services trusted email verification, manage all tokens, clearer site registration.|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 3.5||17 May 2018||3.5.18 (LTS)||17 May 2021||EOL (Maintained from May 2018 to May 2021)||Moodle 3.5 focuses on GDPR compliance, enhanced usability and accessibility. Includes privacy and policy area in Profile, course images on the dashboard, clearer icons and accessible fonts, direct record sound and video, choice results display, more efficient user management, award badges based on other badges awarded, filter questions by tag, quiz essay question type, GDPR features, simple global search (without external engine), LTI Advantage 1.1 support, more badge criteria, cohort themes, new capabilities.|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 3.6||3 December 2018||3.6.10||11 May 2020||EOL (Maintained from December 2018 to May 2020)||Moodle 3.6 focuses on Improved course overview, Useful new dashboard blocks, New messaging interface, Nextcloud integration, Clearer privacy links in your profile, Hide yourself in the online users block, Message your groups, More information on your badges, Record assignment feedback, Quiz improvements, Easily find duplicated items, Hide page last modified dates, Privacy enhancements, Message access control, Nextcloud integration, Context freezing, PayPal support Rupees, Control audio/video recording.|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 3.7||20 May 2019||3.7.9||9 November 2020||EOL (Maintained from May 2019 to November 2020)||PHP 7.1 required. Forum improvements. Ability to hide course lists depending on user role. Support for LTI 1.3. Learning Analytics improvements. Group messageing improvements. Accessibility improvements in forum, Boost theme and general accessibility improvements.|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 3.8||18 November 2019||3.8.9||10 May 2021||EOL (Maintained from November 2019 to 10 May 2021)||Navigation and accessibility improvements, forum emojis, anonymous posting|
|Older version, yet still maintained: 3.9||15 June 2020||3.9.12 (LTS)||17 January 2022||Active LTS (Maintained from June 2020 to 10 May 2021, sustained status to 13 November 2023)||PHP 7.2, 7.3 or 7.4 required. Integration of Safe Exam Browser, Accessibility improvements, Usability improvements, Activity chooser overhaul, Content bank, Full H5P integration, MoodleNet integration, Improved participants page filtering, Course copy, Support for Open Badges 2.1, third party integrations|
|Older version, yet still maintained: 3.10||9 November 2020||3.10.9||17 January 2022||Active (Maintained from November 2020 to 8 November 2021, sustained status to 9 May 2022)||PHP 7.2, 7.3 or 7.4 required. Download course content, Payment subsystem, Implement LTI 1.3 Dynamic Registration. Selectable backpack, new scrolling timer for quizzes, ability to import and export language customizations.|
|Older version, yet still maintained: 3.11||17 May 2021||3.11.5||17 January 2022||Active (Maintained from May 2021 to 14 November 2022, sustained status to 13 November 2023)||PHP 7.3 or 7.4 required. Improved student activity completion, Brickfield accessibility toolkit, OpenBadges 2.1, IMS OBv2.1 OAuth 2 service, Plagiarism support to essay quiz questions. Replaced hard-coded social media profile fields with a new custom social profile field type.|
|Current stable version: 4.0||19 April 2022||4.0.4||12 September 2022||Active (Maintained from 19 April 2022 to 8 May 2023, sustained status to 13 November 2023)||PHP 7.3 or 7.4 required. Improved navigation, course page and rejuvenated dashboard. BigBlueButton has been incorporated.|
Older version, still maintained
Latest preview version
The MoodleMoot is a conference for Moodle community members to learn about Moodle, share experiences of the learning platform, discuss research in related educational technologies and contribute ideas to future Moodle development. Held around the world, MoodleMoots are organised by universities or other large organizations using Moodle, Moodle Partners, Moodle associations or Moodle HQ. 2020 saw the #Moot move to a virtual conference.
Moodle has over 50% of market share in Europe, Latin America, and Oceania.
In the U.S. higher education market as of fall 2018, the top three learning management systems (LMS) by number of institutions were Blackboard (31%), Canvas (30%), and Moodle (18%). --- In 2013, Moodle was for a time the second largest provider with 23% market share, following Blackboard (41%). However, by 2017, Moodle had dropped to the third largest provider, due in part to increased adoption of Instructure's semi-open source Canvas platform. In March 2016, Blackboard became an official Moodle partner, although this partnership ended in 2018.
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