I have been using and writing code for Moodle since version 1.8, producing the first version of Collapsed Topics for 1.9. This is now over fourteen years ago and yet I still believe in Moodle. In this post I’ll say a few words about why this is the case.
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I came across Moodle as a part of my job, I was teaching ICT and had taken on a new additional role as an ‘eLearning Coordinator’. One element of this was to evaluate and coordinate the implementation of an eLearning system, where we’d previously been using just network drives. I had taken things further and was publishing my own static webpages with information and links to make things easier for the students, but both methods were still not accessible outside of the institution. That’s were an eLearning system can come into play as you can have managed internal and external access with a user account.
We tried one product for a while, but found that the workflow was painful and when I evaluated Moodle, I discovered that I could do in minutes what took half an hour in the other product. In addition to the fact that I am very technically skilled and confident with technology. Therefore we thought that for less skilled staff then using the product would be difficult to say the least.
We went for a self hosting solution as that meant that we could manage the platform ourselves and in the event of the internet connection breaking, a single piece of hardware, then at least the platform would still be available within the institution during working hours and lessons not disrupted.
For me the ethics and ethos of ‘open source’ and the ‘Moodle community’ where we all pull together for the benefit of all underpins my passion for the product.
The open source nature, especially with the GPLv3 licence, means that you have full control of the software you are running. Nothing is hidden, you can inspect the code and see at every point how it works and operates. You can make improvements and create your own plugins, then sharing with everybody else, if you choose to do so, what you’ve done.
There is empowerment, as anyone can implement their own installation and start to provide training to educate their students regardless of any bias.
There is scalability, as you can operate an installation for as many students as you have (or access to) hardware to support.
You are not forced to follow any particular workflow to organise your content. And so Moodle adapts to you rather than you adapting to it.
Why do you believe in Moodle? Please let me know in the comments.