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Moodle trademark logo, version 2014.png
1 MyHomeExample.png
Screenshot of a Student's My home page from the Mount Orange demo site
Original author(s) Martin Dougiamas
Developer(s) Martin Dougiamas
Moodle HQ
Moodle Community
Stable release 2.8.5 / March 10, 2015; 38 days ago (2015-03-10)[1]
Written in PHP
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Course management system
License GPLv3+[2]

Moodle is a flexible, free software, open source learning platform.[3][4] With comprehensive, customizable and secure learning management features, it can be used to create a private website for dynamic online courses. Moodle (acronym for modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment), (stylized in lower-case as moodle) is classed as a learning management system or virtual learning environment depending on how and where it is used. The platform can be used for e-learning projects in University, Corporate training, School and Other sectors.


Moodle was originally developed by Martin Dougiamas to help educators to create online courses with a focus on interaction and collaborative construction of content, and it is in continual evolution. The first version of Moodle was released on 20 August 2002. Nowadays Moodle is built by the Moodle project which is led and coordinated by Moodle HQ, an Australian company of 30 developers which is financially supported by a network of sixty Moodle Partner service companies worldwide.

Moodle as a learning platform can enhance existing learning environments.[5] As an E-learning tool, Moodle has a wide range of standard and innovative features[citation needed] such as calendar and Gradebook. Moodle is a leading virtual learning environment[6][page needed] and can be used in many types of environments such as education, training and development[7][8] and in business settings.[citation needed]


Plugins are a flexible tool set, allowing Moodle users to extend the features of the site. There are hundreds of plugins for Moodle, extending the features of Moodle's core functionality. Each plugin is maintained in the Moodle plugins directory.[9] Moodle's infrastructure supports many types of plug-ins. Many freely available third-party Moodle plugins make use of this infrastructure.[10] Moodle users can use PHP to write and contribute new modules. Moodle's development has been assisted by the work of open-source programmers.[11] This has contributed towards its rapid development and towards rapid bug-fixes. By default Moodle includes the TCPDF library that allows the generation of PDF documents from pages.


Graphical themes for Moodle can be installed to change the look and functionality of a Moodle site or of an individual course. Many Moodle themes are available directly from Moodle downloads site,[12] ranging from BigBlueButton to Attendance.


Moodle has been translated in over 100 languages, available for any site administrator to install.[13][not in citation given] People in various countries maintain and contribute to the various language packs.[14]


Many Moodle themes, based on Responsive web design, allow Moodle to be used easily on mobile devices. A Moodle mobile app is available in Google Play,[15] App Store (iOS),[16] and the Windows Phone Store [17]

Elearning standards support[edit]

Moodle has adopted a number of elearning standards.

Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) is a collection of elearning standards and specifications that define communications between client side content and a server side learning management system, as well as how externally authored content should be packaged in order to integrate with the LMS effectively. There are two versions: SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004. Moodle is SCORM 1.2 compliant, and passes all the tests in the ADL Conformance test suite 1.2.7 for SCORM 1.2. SCORM 2004 is not supported in Moodle, however Rustici Software have a Moodle plugin which can turn any Moodle site into a fully compliant SCORM 2004 LMS.[18]

The AICC HACP standard for CMI was developed by the Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee (AICC) and is used to call externally authored content and assessment packages. AICC content packages are supported in Moodle 2.1 and later versions.

Experience API, also known as 'xAPI' or 'Tin Can API', was finalised in 2014 as a successor to SCORM. Moodle is an early adopter of the xAPI standard via community-built plugins for launching xAPI activities from a Moodle course [19] and exporting quiz results as xAPI statements. There is an ongoing community discussion about whether xAPI compliance should be built into Moodle core.

IMS Content Packages can also be imported into Moodle. In addition, Moodle Book activities can be exported as IMS Content Packages.[20]

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) is a standard way of integrating rich learning applications (often remotely hosted and provided through third-party services) with educational platforms. Moodle uses the External Tool activity to act as an 'LTI consumer' as standard, and will act as an 'LTI provider' using a plugin.[21]


Users can download[22] and install Moodle on a Web server, such as Apache HTTP Server, and a number of database management systems, such as PostgreSQL, are supported. Pre-built combinations of Moodle with a Web server and database are available for Microsoft Windows and Macintosh. Other automated installation approaches exist, such as installing a Debian package, deploying a ready-to-use TurnKey Moodle appliance,[23] using the Bitnami installer, or using a "one-click install" service such as Installatron.[24]

Some free Moodle hosting providers allow educators to create Moodle-based online classes without installation or server knowledge. Certified Moodle Partners[25] provide other Moodle services, including hosting, training, customization and content development. This network of providers support development of the Moodle project through royalties.[26]


Moodle runs without modification on Unix, Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, Mac OS X, NetWare and any other systems that support PHP and a database, including most webhost providers.

Data goes in a single database. Moodle version 1.6 could use MySQL or PostgreSQL. Version 1.7, released November 2006, makes full use of database abstraction so that installers can choose one from many types of database servers such as Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server.

Electronic e-learning systems can have many dimensions of interoperability. Moodle's interoperability features include:

  • authentication, using LDAP, Shibboleth, or various other standard methods (e.g. IMAP)
  • enrollment, using IMS Enterprise among other standard methods, or by direct interaction with an external database
  • quizzes and quiz questions, allowing import/export in a number of formats: GIFT (moodle's own format), IMS QTI, XML and XHTML (NB although export works very well, import is currently not complete). Moodle provides various types of questions: calculated, description, essay, matching, embedded answers, multiple choice, short answer, numerical, random short answer matching, true/false.
  • resources, using IMS Content Packaging, SCORM, AICC (CBT), LAMS
  • integration with other Content Management Systems such as Drupal, Joomla or Postnuke (via third-party extensions)
  • syndication, using RSS or Atom newsfeeds; external newsfeeds can be displayed in a course, and forums, blogs, and other features can be made available to others as newsfeeds.

Moodle also has import features for use with other specific systems, such as importing quizzes or entire courses from Blackboard or WebCT. However, these import tools are not perfect. As of February 2010, Moodle will not import Blackboard courses, apparently due to changes in php code-releases. Some available utilities help convert Blackboard courses to a Moodle-friendly format.[27]

In March 2012 Blackboard acquired two companies based on Moodle's software including Baltimore-based Moodlerooms Inc. and NetSpot of Adelaide, Australia.[28] The Red Hat site,, reports that Moodle will always be an open source project, with clear delineation between Blackboard and Moodle[29]



Martin Dougiamas, who has graduate degrees in computer science and education, wrote the first version of Moodle. Dougiamas started a Ph.D. to examine "the use of open source software to support a social constructionist epistemology of teaching and learning within Internet-based communities of reflective inquiry." Although how exactly social constructionism makes Moodle different from other eLearning platforms is difficult to show, it has been cited as an important factor by Moodle adopters.[30][31] Other Moodle adopters, such as the Open University in the UK, have pointed out that Learning Management Systems can equally be seen as "relatively pedagogy-neutral".[32]

Pedagogical approach[edit]

The stated philosophy of Moodle[33] includes a constructivist and social constructionist approach to education, emphasizing that learners (and not just teachers) can contribute to the educational experience. Using these pedagogical principles, Moodle provides a flexible environment for learning communities.[34]

Origin of name[edit]

The acronym Moodle stands for modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment. (In the early years the "m" stood for "Martin's", named after Martin Dougiamas, the original developer). As well as being an acronym, the name was chosen because of the dictionary definition of Moodle[35] and to correspond to an available domain name.[36]

"Moodle" is a trademark in many countries around the world registered to Martin Dougiamas. Only certified Moodle Partners may legally use the trademark to advertise any Moodle-related services such as hosting, customization, training and so on.

Moodle statistics and market share[edit]

As of 31 August 2011:

  • Moodle had a user-base of 55,110 registered sites with 44,966,541 users in 4,763,446 courses in 214 countries and in more than 75 languages.[37]
  • The site with the most users,, has 66 courses and 1,090,234 users. Following a £5 million investment in 2005, The Open University, UK is the second-largest Moodle deployment by user-base, with 714,310 users and 6,093 courses. A comprehensive list of the top ten Moodle sites (by courses and by users) is maintained at[38]

As of 31 August 2014:

  • Moodle had a user-base of 88,070 registered sites with 76,675,352 users in 8,324,096 courses in 241 countries.[37]

You can find the updated statistics at:


Moodle has continued to evolve since 1999 (since 2001 with the current architecture). Major improvements in accessibility and display flexibility were developed in 1.5. The current version can be seen at the top of the table of releases, below. It has been translated into 82 different languages and is accessible in many countries worldwide.

Not having to pay license fees or to limit growth, an institution can add as many Moodle servers as needed. The Open University of the UK currently uses a Moodle installation for their 200,000 users [39] while the UK government uses a Moodle installation for their Civil Service Learning platform serving half a million employees.

It is often known for individual departments of institutions to use the unlimited feature, such as the maths department of the University of York.

The development of Moodle continues as a free software project supported by a team of programmers and an international user community, drawing upon contributions posted to the online Moodle Community website that encourages debate and invites criticism.

Users can freely distribute and modify the software under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 3 or any later version.[2]

Because Moodle is an open source software, it can be customized to fit the needs of e-learning projects for University, Corporate training, School and Other sectors.


Branch Original
release date
Version Version
release date
Support Model Release notes
Old version, no longer supported: 1.0 20 August 2002 1.0.9 30 May 2003 EOL
Old version, no longer supported: 1.1 29 August 2003 1.1.1 11 September 2003 EOL
Old version, no longer supported: 1.2 20 March 2004 1.2.1 25 March 2004 EOL
Old version, no longer supported: 1.3 25 May 2004 1.3.5 9 September 2004 EOL
Old version, no longer supported: 1.4 31 August 2004 1.4.5 7 May 2005 EOL
Old version, no longer supported: 1.5 5 June 2005 1.5.4 21 May 2006 EOL URL
Old version, no longer supported: 1.6 20 May 2006 1.6.9 28 January 2009 EOL URL
Old version, no longer supported: 1.7 7 November 2006 1.7.7 28 January 2009 EOL URL
Old version, no longer supported: 1.8 30 March 2007 1.8.14 3 December 2010 EOL URL
Old version, no longer supported: 1.9 3 March 2008 1.9.19 9 July 2012 EOL (Maintained from March 2008 to June 2012. Third-party extended support until December 2013)[40] URL
Old version, no longer supported: 2.0 24 November 2010 2.0.10 9 July 2012 EOL (Maintained from November 2010 to June 2012) URL
Old version, no longer supported: 2.1 1 June 2011 2.1.10 14 January 2013 EOL (Maintained from June 2011 to December 2012) URL
Old version, no longer supported: 2.2 5 December 2011 2.2.11 8 July 2013 EOL (Maintained from December 2011 to June 2013) URL
Old version, no longer supported: 2.3 25 June 2012 2.3.10 11 November 2013 EOL (Maintained from June 2012 to December 2013) URL
Old version, no longer supported: 2.4 3 December 2012 2.4.7 11 November 2013 EOL (Maintained from December 2012 to June 2014) URL
Old version, no longer supported: 2.5 14 May 2013 2.5.9 10 November 2014 EOL (Maintained from May 2013 to November 2014) URL
Older version, yet still supported: 2.6 18 November 2013 2.6.11 11 May 2015 Active (Maintained from December 2013 to May 2015) URL
Older version, yet still supported: 2.7 12 May 2014 2.7.8 11 May 2015 Active (Maintained from May 2014 to May 2017) URL
Current stable version: 2.8 10 November 2014 2.8.6 11 May 2015 Active (Maintained from November 2014 to May 2016) URL
Old version
Older version, still supported
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release


Since 2006 there has been an official certification available for teachers using Moodle. Initially called the Moodle Teacher Certificate (MTC), this was renamed in 2008 to the Moodle Course Creator Certificate (MCCC). MCCC is available only through Moodle Partners, and through Central Certification Services. Discussion is ongoing regarding an official Moodle Administrators Certificate.

Moodle conferences[edit]

A MoodleMoot is a conference for Moodle community members, held to learn about Moodle, share experiences of the learning platform, discuss research in related educational technologies and contribute ideas to future Moodle development.[41] Held around the world, MoodleMoots are organised by a university, Moodle Partner, Moodle associations and Moodle HQ.[42]

Moodle Calendar[43] has announcements of MoodleMoots.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Releases". Moodle. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Moodle License". 
  3. ^ "TFD Encyclopedia - Moodle". 
  4. ^ The Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Vol1. 
  5. ^ "Technology that puts the classroom in students' laptops". Adam Stanley, The Globe and Mail. 
  6. ^ "2014 Survey of Technology Enhanced Learning for higher education in the UK". UCISA Richard Walker, Julie Voce, Joe Nicholls, Elaine Swift, Jebar Ahmed, Sarah Horrigan and Phil Vincent. 
  7. ^ "E-learning". Information Technology Unit (itu). Retrieved 2011-03-01. Moodle is a well-known e-learning platform in tertiary institutions. Many universities and colleges use Moodle as the online learning system in their daily teaching and learning. Moodle is a free open source software it means developer can make modification based on their needs. CPCE decides to use Moodle as a e-learning platform for HKCC and SPEED from 2009/10 academic year onwards. 
  8. ^ "E-Learning Features". Information Technology Unit (itu). Retrieved 2011-03-01. Moodle serves as an online e-learning platform to facilitate the communications between teachers and students. Some typical features provided by Moodle are listed below. 
  9. ^ "Moodle Plugins". 
  10. ^ "Modules and Plugins". 
  11. ^ "About Moodle". Documentation. 
  12. ^ "Moodle Themes". 
  13. ^ "Moodle Translations". 
  14. ^ "Language pack maintainers and contributors". 
  15. ^ "Moodle Mobile app on Google Play". 
  16. ^ "Moodle Mobile app on iTunes App Store". 
  17. ^ "Moodle Mobile app on Windows Phone Store". 
  18. ^ "SCORM Cloud Moodle Integration". 
  19. ^ "Launch externally Tin Can API activities from Moodle and track on any LRS.". Andrew Downes on Forums. 
  20. ^ "Using Book". 
  21. ^ "External Tool". 
  22. ^ "Moodle Downloads". Moodle. 
  23. ^ "Moodle Appliance". TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "List of Moodle Partners". Moodle. 
  26. ^ "How do the Moodle Partners work?". Moodle. 
  27. ^ "Blackboard migration". 
  28. ^ "Blackboard makes Moodle acquisitions". 
  29. ^ "Moodle will always be an open source project". 
  30. ^ Weller, M. (2006). "VLE 2.0 and future directions in learning environments". Proceedings of the first LAMS Conference, Sydney. 
  31. ^ McMulli & Munroe (2004). "VMoodle at DCU". 
  32. ^ Sclater, Neil (2008). "A Large-scale Open Source eLearning Systems at the Open University". Educase. 
  33. ^ Moodle Philosophy
  34. ^ "Open-Source Learning Management System". Moodlerooms. 
  35. ^ "Moodle definition". All Words. 
  36. ^ "The chicken or the egg". Lounge. 
  37. ^ a b Current Moodle Statistics
  38. ^ Moodle Statistics
  39. ^ Case study in Linux Pro magazine
  40. ^ Marsden, Dan (2 April 2012). "Moodle 1.9 Long Term support". Moodle. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  41. ^ MoodleMoot at
  42. ^ "MoodleMoot hosted by Moodle HQ". 
  43. ^ The Conference Center at

External links[edit]