Moodle for the Corporate Noodle
Robin Sargent | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated September 15, 2015

Moodle for the Corporate Noodle

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

2.7.5

Modules Used

  • 100

Overall Satisfaction with Moodle

At AmericanCybersystems we use Moodle as our training portal. We load all of our online training courses, our quick reference guides, our knowledge base articles, and our instructor led courses into the Moodle platform. Our training department is very small with only three members: the VP of HR, the Director of Training (me), and an Instructional Designer/Trainer. However, we are creating training at a fast clip and need a learning management system (LMS) that can keep up with the amount of content we want to put out, track the learners, and display the information in a clear and useful way.

American Cybersystems is an international staffing and solutions company. This means we have an accounting department, a billing department, vendor managers, recruiters, salespeople, customer service associates, and a solutions group. Our training department is responsible for the learning and development of the entire organization. There are many different skill sets that have to be taught and therefore there are several different mediums our training department likes to use in order to maximize the training effectiveness. Moodle has several different supports for all the different learning objects we like to use.
  • Reporting: Moodle does a great job of keeping track of all the users in the system. There are several different layers of reporting in Moodle. One can track user login time, interactions with course objects, activity logs, eLearning course (SCORM) scores, views of discussion boards, badges and more. Tracking in a training program is a chief concern for many reasons: ROI, engagement, improving future trainings, and insights.
  • SCORM packages: Loading a 1.2 SCORM package is easy and simple to do in Moodle. Also, the features for reports are really helpful if you have a course that needs to report variables. In many different LMSs it is nearly impossible to report variables (especially numeric ones) from a SCORM package. However, because Moodle reports "interactions" you can even create a survey and get the answers populated into Moodle for easy export to an Excel file. Not only is the reporting great, but all of the authoring tools that I have used are compatible with Moodle: Captivate, Articulate Storyline 1 & 2, and Lectora.
  • User Upload and Creation: In Moodle it is a snap to upload a ton of users. I have encountered other LMS programs that make user creation a burden. This is not the case with Moodle. All one needs is a username, password, first name, and last name in order to create a new user. A large group of users can be uploaded and created through a simple csv file. This has come in very handy when trying to load an entire department into the system. I just ask the department head to send me the csv file and press a couple of buttons and viola! Also, I can batch upload users to a cohort, so if it is a new department that is getting loaded because there is a new course created for them, I don't have to try to find each of the new users I just created and enroll them one by one. Instead, I can enroll the new cohort with the 'enroll cohort' button in the course. This has saved me so much time, so many times!
  • Support: Moodle is big and only getting bigger through the support and enthusiasm of the open source community. Anytime I have a question or an idea that I am not sure how to implement in Moodle I can always find an answer. There is the entire knowledge base of Moodle online, there are Moodle enthusiast sites, there are Moddle blogs, and there are instructional designers (corporate and higher education) who write, demonstrate, and talk about Moodle. There are also developers and tinkerers who create plugins, skins, and other applications to integrate specifically with Moodle. This means, if I have an idea and the function is not already in Moodle there is someone who has already created a solution and a plugin. There are even entire companies that are dedicated to making Moodle slick, like Moodlerooms.
  • Hosting: Hosting Moodle yourself is difficult. I wouldn't want to mess with all the things involved with hosting and maintaining Moodle on my own server. Hosting Moodle requires a web server with PHP and a database. However, this weakness is also a strength. Although it would be cumbersome to manage Moodle on one's own the fact that it can be done and freely really sets Moodle apart from all other LMSs.
  • Scheduling: The basic version of Moodle (no plugins) does not include a scheduling component. What I mean is there is not a way to schedule in person or webinar training sessions in the system and then track attendance. Unless of course it is all done manually and no one wants to do that. There is a face-to-face plugin that does just what I am talking about, but because of the way I have Moodle hosted plugins are not an option for me without going through a few hoops.
  • Cloning a Course: For one of my trainings there is a course that uses the local branch Director as the instructor. Therefore, I have to create the same course over an over again for each branch across the company. While there are a few ways to duplicate a course, there is only one way to duplicate the course and include all the badges, a backup file. This means I have to backup a course, create a new course, upload the backup, then go in and turn on all of badges. I want a magic wand button that clones a course exactly as it is; is that too much to ask?
  • Also, if I have to fix a typo in a SCORM package I have to reload that file to every single course that contains the file I fixed. My second wish is to have one place to load SCORM packages and then just point to them in the courses so there is only one place I have to go in order to upload a corrected file.
  • Moodle has allowed the business to track all training initiatives. Since, November 2014 we have loaded 54 courses, 339 users, 889 resources, issued 719 badges, and created over 100 course modules.
  • Our company just got a new applicant tracking system for the recruiters to use. In order to get all of the employees up to speed we created trainings that we loaded into Moodle. The participants and participation was tracked and we were able to find correlations between users engaged in training and their activity in the new applicant tracking system. This is a significant win for the training department, our learners, our company, and especially Moodle.
  • Moodle also provides great customer service for our internal employees. They now have one place to go to find all their resources, all their training, and all the help they need for any training questions. Instead of scattering information on the intranet. Training is more official when it has its own domain.
Moodle is free, it is supported, and it's modular. All three of these qualities make it a better choice than the other LMSs I have used. sumtotal breaks all the time and I was on the phone with the support team at least once a week. There is also a lack of online support for the system from a community of sumtotal users. The only redeeming feature about sumtotal was its ability to track online webinar registrations and participation. Blackboard is good for higher education, but even using it as a student, I found the organization of the pages difficult to navigate. There are too many layers. Moodle may have 'the scroll of death' but that long page can be remedied with anchor links and other workarounds.
Moodle is great for both corporate and education (I have used it in both environments). Moodle is suited well for those who are willing to get their hands a little dirty. Not everything in Moodle is intuitive and you'll need to be curious and a problem solver in order to figure out which settings to use and how to perform certain functions. However, it is rewarding to learn Moodle because there is an entire community that is also using it and willing to help you out.

If you want an easy interface that is intuitive then Moodle might not be for you. When you are looking to use Moodle you should ask yourself a few questions about your needs.

Who is going to host your LMS? Is it going to be in-house or through a vendor? The answer to these two questions will answer several other capability questions for Moodle. For instance, if you will need to add a bunch of plugins in order to make Moodle customized to meet your needs, you will probably want to go in-house because several of the cost efficient Moodle hosts like mdlspot.net do not add plugins for you. Also, if the majority of your training is face-to-face, then you might want to consider the LMSs that cater to that type of instruction.

Using Moodle

Moodle can be used on a tablet, on a mobile phone, and on a PC. It is easy to navigate for learners and figure out for administrators. The learners can easily complete tasks and the administrators can easily track completion. The last thing about Moodle that one may not realize is that it somewhat resembles Facebook in its layout. This means that users are already familiar with the interface and therefore they are more comfortable using it.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Convenient
Feel confident using
Lots to learn
  • Adding courses
  • Adding users
  • Adding activities
  • Updating themes
  • Cloning courses
  • Hosting
Yes - Great! Mobile is easy to use, looks great, and functions properly. The only trick is that if one uploads an Articulate Storyline SCORM package and h/she wants the users to be able to view it in a mobile device then h/she should not check the 'use articulate viewer' box when publishing. Otherwise, the eLearning course will not be able to be viewed on a mobile device. I call this out because it took me a lot of digging to figure this out and it is counterintuitive.