Moodle Review from a SysAdmin/Developer in an Academic Setting
June 06, 2014

Moodle Review from a SysAdmin/Developer in an Academic Setting

Mike Holzer | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Overall Satisfaction with Moodle

I was a system administrator who supported an academic department's use of Moodle. They were establishing a 'teach-the-teacher' program for clean energy technologies, specifically solar and smart grid. The academic institution had their own e-learning suite, but could not accept outside users. Moodle solved this problem by being modular and having multiple ways to accept users into the system.
The instance of Moodle I supported had roughly 30 courses running at various times and for various durations.
  • Free - Moodle is free, especially if you can support it in-house. Especially in academic settings, money is very tight and Moodle helps to alleviate some budgetary concerns.
  • Open Source - Moodle is open source, so if there is a feature that Moodle doesn't have, or doesn't support well, you can have a developer create or expand upon the feature you need.
  • Multiple Authentication methods - Moodle supports (out of the box) many different authentication methods. It's also not too difficult to develop new methods as needed.
  • Documentation - Moodle has some features which are very poorly documented. Developing for Moodle is often very frustrating. Also, I have often found answers to my questions about how a particular part of Moodle works in the forums section, and not in the documentation where it should be. The documentation does not seem to be well maintained.
  • Community - The community mods are often very curt and dismissive of others' concerns, especially when it comes to reporting bugs.
  • API - Moodle's developers API is not always the most straightforward or easy to use.
  • Being an academic institution working on limited grant funds, Moodle was really the only choice.
  • The students using Moodle seem to be doing well, with many returning to take additional classes.
  • The course content being delivered is organized in a useful and straightforward manor.
  • ELMS (Drupal),Angel,Blackboard
To deliver course content, ELMS is actually significantly better. But ELMS does not have the capability to offer assessments as part of the learning process. Moodle has very good assessment delivry as well as reporting.
Angel is the institution's e-learning suite which does allow for assessments, but it is only open to students of the university. Angel didn't fit the requirements of the program.
Blackboard isn't free.
Moodle is a good choice if you have major budgetary constraints or if you run an open-source shop. Moodle is also very good where in-LMS assessments are a requirement. If you do not need to assess the progress of your students, then there are other options (such as ELMS on Drupal) that deliver strictly content in a better format.

Using Moodle

I do not currently work with Moodle since I have since left that position, but if I ever have a case to establish some sort of elearning tool, I would probably recommend it to my managers.