Overall Satisfaction with Moodle
- Content management - Moodle has a strong database structure that allows for content to be stored locally and used in multiple instances without corruption of the data.
- Customizations - Moodle is highly customizable, with over 1000 plugins available, a very transparent API, and customizations available directly inside the platform, such as language, themes, and structure.
- Notifications and reminders - With the ability to customize who, when, and how notifications are sent and the ability to write custom notifications, students are always kept in the know.
- Static pages - One area in which Moodle is not very strong is acting as a website, meaning not a CMS, but instead presenting static pages, such as faculty information or help documents.
- eCommerce - Although there are many add-ons and plugins available, many of which are inexpensive, Moodle does not come out of the box as a full fledge eCommerce site.
- Integration - Moodle has over 1000 plugins and you can write using their API relatively easily, however, Moodle does not, out of the box, integrate with other systems, such as how Sharepoint LMS or Oracle does.
- ROI - Using Moodle as our LMS platform has allowed us to cut over $100,000 out of our development budget as Moodle, as a platform, does not cost any money or require special development work to set up. Our in-house developer spun up a server farm, installed Moodle, and we were on our way.
- Credibility - Using Moodle as our LMS has allowed us to develop credibility with staff, vendors, and volunteers. Online learning has become the norm and without Moodle, we were not keeping up with the times.
- Efficiency - Because Moodle is mobile friendly, our theme is responsive, and all of our content is viewable on mobile devices (not flash based) we have been able to extend the learning environment, not only out of the typical classroom, but away from the computer as well.
Moodle met almost all of our needs, except two: eCommerce and multiple portals. For this, we used a Moodle overlay called Totara. As it was built on Moodle, we got to keep all of our current classes, the administration was the same, and our server needs remained unchanged. Totara offered the features we were missing at extremely low prices ($5000/yr for 5000 users).
Cornerstone and Blackboard offer very little customization as they are marketed as a ready-made, vendor managed solution.
Sharepoint LMS and LMS 365 did not offer near the amount of customization and freedom of Moodle and were extremely expensive considering the lack of features out of the box. In order to get the same experience in either system as we had with Moodle, we were looking at over $25000 worth of customizations and an incredible amount of downtime.
Moodle is great for college and corporate settings alike. I have yet to see an instance where Moodle could not be customized to fit a particular need, all while not having the overhead of other LMS systems and still having the ability to be managed centrally by the agency deploying it (meaning you are not reliant on another company to manage). Moodle can be installed locally for testing, on a server farm, or in the cloud, depending on the need and scalability.
Moodle does require nesting of activities, which can be time consuming, however, this is by design to offer the most custom and specific learning and setup outcomes.