Summary: Moodle is a free software Learning Management System (LMS) that is taking the educational world by storm. It is bringing advanced features that used to only exist in expensive commercial products to the educational community.
Technically speaking, Moodle is a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that allows one to administer every aspect of student courses. The teacher can give exams, accept assignment submissions from students, and grade those assignments. Moodle also has built-in forums, chat rooms, and other ways for students and teachers to interact. Moodle has all of the features of commercial products like the popular Blackboard LMS, but Moodle is free (in price), and free (by license). It is released under version 3+ of GNU’s GPL.
I decided to take Moodle for a test drive to see what it is capable of. The first thing that I did was to head to http://moodle.org to test out a demo version of Moodle. I logged in as an administrator to see how one would create a course on GNU/Linux. It could not be any easier. Figure 1 below shows me creating GL-401, a hypothetical course on GNU/Linux system administration. Creating the course took me less than five minutes.
Enrolling students can be done with a couple of mouse clicks, and then the teacher is ready to launch the course.
Conclusions: Free software is revolutionizing every segment of society, including education. I was first introduced to Moodle at my college. A former college that I attended used Blackboard, the popular closed-source LMS. When I started attending my current college, I noticed that they had an LMS that seemed to have all of the same features as Blackboard, yet I noticed that it was open source. I contacted the school’s IT department, and they informed me that they were using Moodle. If you need to administer and/or teach a course, Moodle would be a fantastic choice for your Learning Management System.
Thank you for reading the Linux week in Review 55.