Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 3.0. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be available here: Decision FAQ.
Frequently asked questions about Moodle asked by people who are deciding whether Moodle is right for them.
- 1 What is moodle?
- 2 What do you need to run moodle?
- 3 I don't understand this LAMP thingee... how can I use moodle?
- 4 Is moodle complicated?
- 5 Is moodle for teachers or administrators?
- 6 Why would a school trust their enterprise work to a free software package?
- 7 How can moodle be free?
- 8 What's a moodle partner?
- 9 How many people are using moodle?
- 10 How do we know moodle will still be in business in the future?
What is moodle?
Check out the About Moodle page at https://docs.moodle.org/en/About_Moodle
What do you need to run moodle?
If you want to try Moodle out, you can easily install it on a standard Windows computer on your desktop (or a Mac).
If you want to run a stable Moodle service for (e.g.) a school or college, you should really invest in a dedicated server (typically a Linux computer). Moodle runs on a variety of platforms, the most preferred being Linux, Apache, mySQL and PHP (also known as LAMP for the acronym). Please read the installation guide for more specifics.
I don't understand this LAMP thingee... how can I use moodle?
Any organization with more than a few computers likely has a Technology person who understands this. If you are not running a large operation, many website providers include an optional moodle install on their site. Usually this comes with a package called Fantastico - so if you're site provide includes Fantastico you can probably install moodle. Contact them for more information. You can even run moodle off a laptop, but then it would be hard for all your students to get to anything you built with it. It really needs to run as part of a website.
Is moodle complicated?
Moodle is very powerful, and with power comes complexity. However, it is designed to be easy for teachers to use, and for technicians to install, and for administrators to manage. There are however a lot of options and settings, but getting started is easy if you're not afraid to explore on your own, or if you get some training from a moodle partner or someone who knows moodle well.
Is moodle for teachers or administrators?
Moodle is a Learning/Course Management Systems (LMS/CMS) which helps individual, groups, schools, institutions, business, and even boards of education and school districts manage courses for anyone involved in teaching. These course can be from 5 minutes to 5 years, from 1 person to 500 (or more!), and for everyone from first-graders to senior-citizens. The tools built into moodle are appropriate for everything from social groups to professional development to traditional students in class.
Why would a school trust their enterprise work to a free software package?
You might not know it, but almost 70% of the world's websites run on Apache, which is a free webserver. That's SEVENTY out of one hundred. Moodle is open-source, and while this FAQ is not the appropriate place to discuss open-source software, a quick google search on the viability of open-source products should provide ample material. Other great examples of widely-used open-source software include Linux, Sendmail, and numerous other packages that you probably use daily that you don't even know about.
How can moodle be free?
Moodle.org, the organization responsible for improving moodle, is supported by donations, by consulting generated by clients who need specific enhancements and are willing to pay for them, and by dividends paid by moodle partners.
What's a moodle partner?
Moodle partners are companies around the world that have been certified by moodle to deliver high-quality moodle services to customers that use moodle. You can read up on and see a list of them at http://www.moodle.com (note this is .com, and not .org)
How many people are using moodle?
Because moodle is free, there is no simple way to count it's "customers" since anyone can use it any time with no record. The statistics from users and installations that have registered are linked to from the main page of moodle.org and show over 7000 worldwide installations as of the end of 2005. Worldwide users are in the millions. Countries are at about 140. There are a number of large installations of Moodle which cater for thousands of users each.
How do we know moodle will still be in business in the future?
If you note the installed base- that is the number of organizations and people using moodle, and note that all the software is open, you'll realize that even if the supporting organization were to drop off the earth, others would quickly network and step in to continue improvement of the product. There are already numerous partners around the world who make their living off helping clients with moodle and improving the product and contributing to the community. One coming or going does not have a tremendous impact on the product as a whole, and it's openness assures that people will always be able to access, modify, and support the code - at least for as long as people are teaching with technology.