About Moodle FAQ
Below is a list of general questions many educators ask about Moodle. There are also Frequently Asked Question pages for many specific Moodle tools.
Starting with Moodle
What is Moodle?
Moodle is a free online learning management system, or LMS (also known as VLE.) You can read more about Moodle here or you might find it useful to watch the video: What is Moodle? . It is suitable for all ages and all sectors. Anywhere learning takes place, Moodle can be used. It is usually used online but may also be used on an 'intranet' within your organisation.
Where is the funny name from?
The word Moodle is an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, which is mostly useful to programmers and education theorists. It's also a verb (in the bigger English dictionaries) that describes the process of lazily meandering through something, doing things as it occurs to you to do them, an enjoyable tinkering that often leads to insight and creativity. A sort of cross between "muse" and "doodle". As such it applies both to the way Moodle was originally developed, and to the way a student or teacher might approach studying or teaching an online course in an ongoing, iterative way. Anyone who uses Moodle is a Moodler.
How do I start using Moodle?
I just want to try it out
- You can try Moodle's standard features on the Moodle Sandbox demo site, an empty out-of-the-box site.
- To explore Moodle in action on a site populated with courses, activities and users, visit the Mount Orange School demo site.
- You can obtain your own Moodle site on MoodleCloud - Moodle for Free.
- A further way to try Moodle out is to download your own copy and install it "locally", ie, on your own computer.
(Please note that moodle.org is not the place for setting up your courses, but for finding out information and asking questions.)
I want to use Moodle as an individual or set it up for my organisation
- You are welcome to use Moodle for Free for up to 50 users.
- Otherwise, our MoodleCloud solution, Moodle for School is perfect for multiple classes in K-12 teaching and learning environments.
- If you have the technical knowledge, you can download Moodle and install it on a server online.
- A further possibility is to ask one of our Moodle Partners to host a site for you.
Do I have to be really good with technology to use Moodle?
To use Moodle, you only need the basic web browsing skills. To install it you need a little more knowledge, but guidance is provided.
How much does it cost to download and use Moodle?
By way of its GNU General Public License, Moodle is and will remain free to download and use in any way you like. Consider it free like a 'free puppy' that needs care and attention to grow, not free like a 'free beer'.
How much does it cost to run Moodle?
Nothing to install, use and change. Of course, there are costs if you have your Moodle hosted with someone, and costs associated with maintenance and training in an organisation (like any other software). But no royalties, fees or user charges.
How much does it cost to have Moodle hosted?
There are many options for hosting. Cost is usually related to services provided and capacity (eg. a university site with 10 000 users will naturally cost more to host and maintain than a small community school). Ask your local Moodle Partner and keep Moodle going that way too!
Do I need my own server to run Moodle?
Only if you are going to host it yourself. (See the section on 'Starting with Moodle' above.)
Can I customise a theme to make it relevant to our school?
Yes, see Themes. You can customise themes down to a single course. There are many ways to make Moodle looks great too.
Can you use Moodle from anywhere and on any device??
- Moodle works well in all standard, modern browsers and different operating systems. If you plan to run a Moodle site, you should be aware of your audience, their typical bandwidth and web browsers.
- Yes, if it is on a web server attached to the internet and you have a computer, mobile device or tablet. Or if it is on a web server attached to the same intranet (internal network) as a computers or tablets which need to work it. There is an official Moodle mobile app.
Can access to Moodle be restricted to just our organisation?
Yes, several ways to do this. For example, it can be installed on your school's internal network, or limit the IPs to those assigned by your school, or only manually enroll your students are just a few ways.
I've come from a school that used a different VLE/LMS. Can I transfer my stuff over to Moodle?
Some VLE/LMS-specific activities may (not) be compatible, but you can zip your content files and unzip them in Moodle.
Help and support with Moodle
How do I use Moodle?
The Moodle documentation is a good place to start. Then if you get stuck, come and ask on the Moodle Community forums.
I don't understand the terms
Moodle uses jargon words that you may be familiar with from other, non-Moodle contexts. Within Moodle, These words have specific (and potentially different) meanings, which you can read about on the page Moodle key terms
Is there an official support desk for Moodle?
- Moodle.org Community forums serve as an excellent support desk. Ask your question any time, in any language.
- Moodle Partners offer paid-for support as part of their service.
Are there any good Moodle tutorials?
- Get some help at Moodle.org in the Community forums or search the Moodle documentation There are also many books and manuals available for purchase.
- The Moodle HQ Youtube channel offers basic tutorials for teachers and walk-throughs of the latest features.
Where can I get Moodle training?
- For teachers beginning with Moodle, Moodle HQ offers a free MOOC Learn Moodle which is run twice yearly.
- A number of organisations offer training for Moodle administrators or course creators. Look for a Moodle Partner in your area for officially accredited training. You can also think of doing the Moodle Course Creator Certificate to improve your skills.
What about people with disabilities?
Are there any comparisons of Moodle with other Learning Management Systems?
See the Comparisons and Advocacy forum and also Moodle buzz.
How secure is Moodle?
Moodle is designed to be very secure. However, a lot depends upon the webserver, the way Moodle is setup and regular updates of the package by the Moodle Administrator.
Can Moodle get hacked into and student data stolen?
This is highly unlikely if your Moodle site has up-to-date security and the site administrator has not given away the keys. Anything is possible on any website, but Moodle makes it difficult for nasty people to cause havoc.
What if I did something wrong and accidentally broke it - could it be easily fixed?
Moodle can be backed-up at any point. If a backup was made 5 minutes before you broke it, chances are it can be fixed easily.
Is my student data safe on a cheap or free webhost?
While you do have some control of the security of a Moodle site on a free or cheap web host, the question is: How much do you trust your web host?
Can I track and search what people do and post in Moodle?
Assuming you are a teacher and it is your course, yes. Moodle Admin can do that for the entire site.
Can I backup Moodle so I don't lose things?
Yes, you can backup a Moodle site or as a teacher you can back up your course and download it (if your role permits it). With appropriate permissions, you can restore your course and/or import parts of courses elsewhere on your site or beyond.
Teaching and Learning
What is the best way to use Moodle?
The best way to use Moodle is the way which helps your students learn most efficiently. Moodle was designed on the principles of Social constructionism - see the page on Pedagogy for more information - but you do not have to use Moodle in that way if it is not appropriate to your needs.
Can Moodle be used for..... ?
The short answer is yes. Below is a list of just a few ways Moodle may be used. A dedicated forum Teaching with Moodle exists to discuss different ways of using the many Activities and Resources of Moodle to enhance your teaching.
- Peer assessment: see Workshop
- Discussion and debate: see Forum
- Sharing files and media: see Working with files
- Collaboration: see Glossary and Database
- Independent and personalised learning: see Lesson
- Submitting work online: see Assignments
- Assessment, summative and formative: see Quiz
- Gamification: see Gamification
Are there any good examples of Moodle use I can see?
Try the Mount Orange School demo, a working demonstration site full of examples for you to see and play with.
- By participating in many ways, either through events, Moodle Community Forums on Moodle.org and networks elsewhere.
- You can find and share courses and activities on our Moodle Community hub. You can download courses to use in your own site and publish course content to share with others.
- Within your own Moodle site, you can share courses with colleagues by using the Course import or Restore features.
Can Moodle be used in different subjects?
Yes. Moodle is used in a variety of fields. Users in some subject areas may benefit further from standard or compatible third-party modules and plugins:
- In maths, TeX notation filter (standard) or DragMath equation editor (third-party plugin)), and more than 10 third party question types. You can also use PhET simulations
- For language teachers, the contributed Hotpot and Poodll plugins are very popular.
- For chemistry there are many plugins for displaying molecular structures and making questions about them. You can also use PhET simulations
- For music there are question type plugins for key signature, music theory, music interval and musical scale.
- For computer programming there in an interactive assignment package and several question types.