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Moodle is an active and evolving product. This page lists just some of the many features it contains:

Overall design

Moodle's overall design:

  • Promotes a social constructionist pedagogy (collaboration, activities, critical reflection, etc)
  • Suitable for 100% online classes as well as supplementing face-to-face learning
  • Simple, lightweight, efficient, compatible, low-tech browser interface
  • Easy to install on almost any platform that supports PHP. Requires only one database (and can share it).
  • Full database abstraction supports all major brands of database (except for initial table definition)
  • Course listing shows descriptions for every course on the server, including accessibility to guests.
  • Courses can be categorised and searched - one Moodle site can support thousands of courses
  • Emphasis on strong security throughout. Forms are all checked, data validated, cookies encrypted etc
  • Most text entry areas (resources, forum postings etc) can be edited using an embedded WYSIWYG HTML editor

Site management

  • Site is managed by an administrator user
  • Site is defined during setup. Defaults can be edited during setup or globally accepted
  • Site can be modified by a robust Site administration block.
  • Plug-in "themes" allow the administrator to customize the site colors, fonts, layout etc to suit local needs
  • Plug-in activity modules can be added to existing Moodle installations
  • Plug-in language packs allow full localization to any language. These can be edited using a built-in web-based editor. Currently there are language packs for over 70 languages.
  • The code is clearly-written PHP under a GPL license - easy to modify to suit your needs

User management


  • Goals are to reduce admin involvement to a minimum, while retaining high security
  • Supports a range of authentication mechanisms through plug-in authentication modules, allowing easy integration with existing systems.
  • Standard email method: students can create their own login accounts. Email addresses are verified by confirmation.
  • LDAP method: account logins can be checked against an LDAP server. Admin can specify which fields to use.
  • IMAP, POP3, NNTP: account logins are checked against a mail or news server. SSL, certificates and TLS are supported.
  • Students are encouraged to build an online profile including photos, description. Email addresses can be protected from display if required.
  • Every user can specify their own timezone, and every date in Moodle is translated to that timezone (e.g. posting dates, assignment due dates etc)
  • Every user can choose the language used for the Moodle interface (English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese etc)


  • Teachers can add an "enrolment key" to their courses to keep out non-students. They can give out this key face-to-face or via personal email etc
  • Teachers can enrol students manually if desired
  • Teachers can unenrol students manually if desired, otherwise they are automatically unenrolled after a certain period of inactivity (set by the admin)
  • External database: any database containing at least two fields can be used as an external authentication source.
  • Each person requires only one account for the whole server - each account can have different access
  • Meta courses can group together related courses so participants can interact with each other


  • Roles for specific participants can be defined for each course
  • An admin account controls the creation of courses and creates teachers by assigning users to courses
  • Course creators can create courses, teach in them, and assign others to teacher roles.
  • Teachers are a role in a specific course.
  • Non-editing teacher roles are available for adjuncts, and part-time tutors.

Course management


  • A full teacher has full control over all settings for a course, including restricting other teachers
  • Choice of course formats such as by week, by topic or a discussion-focussed social format
  • Course Themes. A course can have its own theme of colors and layout.
  • Flexible array of course activities - Forums, Quizzes, Glossaries, Resources, Choices, Surveys, Assignments, Chats, Workshops
  • Groups - teacher(s) and students can be placed in one or more groups
  • Recent changes to the course since the last login can be displayed on the course home page - helps give sense of community
  • Most text entry areas (resources, forum postings etc) can be edited using an embedded WYSIWYG HTML editor
  • All grades for Forums, Quizzes and Assignments can be viewed on one page (and downloaded as a spreadsheet file)
  • Full user logging and tracking - activity reports for each student are available with graphs and details about each module (last access, number of times read) as well as a detailed "story" of each students involvement including postings etc on one page.
  • Mail integration - copies of forum posts, teacher feedback etc can be mailed in HTML or plain text.
  • Custom scales - teachers can define their own scales to be used for grading forums and assignments
  • Courses can be packaged as a single zip file using the Backup function. These can be restored on any Moodle server.

Assignment Module

  • Assignments can be specified with a due date and a maximum grade.
  • Students can upload their assignments (any file format) to the server - they are date-stamped.
  • Late assignments are allowed, but the amount of lateness is shown clearly to the teacher
  • For each particular assignment, the whole class can be assessed (grade and comment) on one page in one form.
  • Teacher feedback is appended to the assignment page for each student, and notification is mailed out.
  • The teacher can choose to allow resubmission of assignments after grading (for regrading)
  • Allowing resubmissions can allow the teacher to progress monitor student projects/assignments as they evolve.
  • Advanced assignments can allow multiple files to be uploaded. This could keep together preplanning maps, outlines, research papers and presentations. (Not for beginners)

Chat Module

  • Allows smooth, synchronous text interaction
  • Includes profile pictures in the chat window
  • Supports URLs, smilies, embedded HTML, images etc
  • All sessions are logged for later viewing, and these can also be made available to students

Choice Module

  • Like a poll. Can either be used to vote on something, or to get feedback from every student (eg research consent)
  • Teacher sees intuitive table view of who chose what
  • Students can optionally be allowed to see an up-to-date graph of results

Forum Module

  • Different types of forums are available, such as teacher-only, course news, open-to-all, and one-thread-per-user.
  • All postings have the authors photo attached.
  • Discussions can be viewed nested, flat or threaded, oldest or newest first.
  • Individual forums can be subscribed to by each person so that copies are forwarded via email, or the teacher can force subscription for all
  • The teacher can choose not to allow replies (eg for an announcements-only forum)
  • Discussion threads can be easily moved between forums by the teacher
  • Attached images are shown inline
  • If forum ratings are being used, these can be restricted to a range of dates

Glossary Module

  • This is one of the modules that best illustrates the way that Moodle can fundamentally improve upon the experience of a traditional classroom
  • When students contribute to a course in a public place like the glossary, their ideas are given weight and attention and often result in a greater pride or ownership of the assignment
  • Allows participants to create and maintain a list of definitions, like a dictionary
  • Student entries can be previewed by instructors before publishing
  • Entries can be searched or browsed using alphabet, category, date, and author
  • A glossary of terms can be easily referenced by students
  • Almost any module of Moodle can be set to hyperlink - automatically - to any word or phrase that is stored in or added to the glossary
  • Glossary items can be grouped in categories
  • Participants can comment on glossary entries
  • Entries can be rated using teacher-defined scales
  • Glossaries can be easily exported and imported via xml
  • Glossaries can be fully searched
  • Glossaries can be viewed with different display formats

Lesson Module

  • A lesson is a series of pages which can be presented in a linear fashion, like a slide show, or in a non-linear, branching manner, or in a combination of the two.
  • Navigation through the lesson can be straight forward or complex, logical or random
  • Pages can allow students choices through answers to teacher directed questions or descriptions
  • Each choice can be associated with jumps that link to other tables
  • Offers different scoring and grading potentials
  • Interfaces with Grade and Glossary modules
  • Lessons can build upon each other through conditional dependencies upon one another
  • Question pages include Multiple choice, Multi-answer, T/F, numeric, short answer and essay.
  • Pages can be imported either as questions in a variety of formats or from PowerPoints
  • Student attempts, time limits, minimum score and retakes can be set.
  • Page content is HTML compatible, with a full set of edit tools for the teacher
  • Students may see progress bars, running score, reinforcement to student questions
  • Password, start and end times, and other restrictions can be placed on students.

Quiz Module

  • Teachers can define a database of questions for re-use in different quizzes
  • Questions can be stored in categories for easy access, and these categories can be "published" to make them accessible from any course on the site.
  • Quizzes are automatically graded, and can be re-graded if questions are modified
  • Quizzes can have a limited time window outside of which they are not available
  • At the teacher's option, quizzes can be attempted multiple times, and can show feedback and/or correct answers
  • Quiz questions and quiz answers can be shuffled (randomised) to reduce cheating
  • Questions allow HTML and images
  • Questions can be imported from external text files
  • Quizzes can be attempted multiple times, if desired
  • Attempts can be cumulative, if desired, and finished over several sessions
  • Multiple-choice questions supporting single or multiple answers
  • Short Answer questions (words or phrases)
  • True-False questions
  • Matching questions
  • Random questions
  • Numerical questions (with allowable ranges)
  • Embedded-answer questions (cloze style) with answers within passages of text
  • Embedded descriptive text and graphics

Resource Module

  • Supports display of any electronic content, Word, Powerpoint, Flash, Video, Sounds etc. that are stored locally, or remotely
  • Files can be uploaded and managed (zipped, unzipped, renamed, moved, etc..) on the server
  • Folders can be created and managed on the server and linked to
  • Internal web pages (html formatted) can be created with WYSIWYG editor and linked to
  • Internal text pages (no formatting) can be created and linked to
  • External content on the web can be linked to or seamlessly included within the course interface.
  • External web applications can be linked to with data passed to them
  • Linked MP3 audio files will display with elegant flash player

Survey Module

  • Built-in surveys (COLLES, ATTLS) have been proven as instruments for analysing online classes
  • Online survey reports always available, including many graphs. Data is downloadable as an Excel spreadsheet or CSV text file.
  • Survey interface prevents partly-finished surveys.
  • Feedback is provided to the student of their results compared to the class averages

Wiki Module

  • Wiki is a web page that anyone can add to or edit
  • It enables documents to be authored collectively and supports collaborative learning
  • Old versions are not deleted and may be restored if required

Workshop Module

  • Allows peer assessement of documents, and the teacher can manage and grade the assessment.
  • Supports a wide range of possible grading scales
  • Teacher can provide sample documents for students to practice grading
  • Very flexible with many options.