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 technology... 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 is a Moodle Partner?
- 9 How many people are using Moodle?
- 10 How do we know Moodle will still be around in the future?
What is Moodle?
Please see 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 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. Please see Installing Moodle for more specifics.
I don't understand this technology... 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. Contact them for more information.
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. Courses 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?
Almost 70% of the world's websites run on Apache, which is a free webserver. 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?
What is a Moodle Partner?
Moodle Partners are companies around the world that have been certified to deliver high-quality Moodle services to customers. Please see moodle.com for further details.
How many people are using Moodle?
As Moodle is free to download and use, there is no simple way to count its "customers" since anyone can use it any time with no record. However, please see Moodle statistics]. There are a number of large installations of Moodle which cater for thousands of users each.
How do we know Moodle will still be around in the future?
Moodle has a strong installed user base (the number of organizations and people using Moodle), so there are many individuals and organisations who have a vested interest in Moodle enduring long into the future.
Moodle has a number of key strengths which when combined make a powerful case for its continuing presence and success:
- A corporate structure which co-ordinates development, finances etc.: This entity (Moodle Pty Ltd) employs the core team including the Founder and Lead Developer Martin Dougiamas. Although, the loss of any of the core team members would be a blow to Moodle this corporate body would remain intact and functional.
- Moodle Partners: The growing global network of Moodle Partners provide commercial support services which help sustain Moodle users. Crucially, Moodle Partners contribute financially to support Moodle development and the organisational aspects provided by Moodle Pty Ltd.
- Moodle community: Last in this list, but by no means least. The Moodle community, combined with the well funded and organisationally stable elements above is a powerful force in itself in maintaining the momentum and longevity of Moodle.