Wednesday, 2 April 2008

The future is Moodle

I must have a craze about Learning Management Systems at the moment. Last blog for a while on LMS! All the research reports show that the one dodgy area of learning and technology relates to sales of LMSs. They have been steady or declining for a while. Many organisations are moving over to FREE open source LMS. By many accounts, an open source LMS (called Moodle) is now number two worldwide (after blackboard). Over 100,000 organisations use Moodle. The Open University has invested £4.5M and it’s worldwide reputation in Moodle.

On a whole range of functionality, evaluators have rated Moodle as good or better than proprietary LMSs. It’s number 1 with Colleges and universities. With companies or some training providers (eg. work based learning providers), it requires some adapting. Even so, I believe Moodle must be seriously considered. I’ve heard some arguments against adapting Moodle, here’s my reply………..
1) Moodle is best to create a learning environment around traditional classroom style delivery. This is changing quickly. The Open University has invested loads to widen the functionality. It’s better than investing in a proprietary system which you may need to change again! The whole world can help improve Moodle – you don’t have to do it all yourself or tie yourself into a proprietary system.
2) I can develop Moodle or get an elearning company to develop it for me, but the Moodle editorial board could delete it. You do need buy in from the editorial board. I don’t think this should bother organisations as you do need some governance otherwise it is like a football match without a referee! Editorial boards are common on the internet, especially as tools become more professional (eg. see Wikipedia)

The one mistake I hear repeated from training providers is that if they use open source as part of their service, they won’t be able to make money. Rubbish. We now have the first £1 billion open source company.

I love open source stuff. Let’s all use open source as much as possible.


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