Moodle (/ˈmdəl/ MOO-dəl) is a free and open-source learning management system written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License.[3][4] Moodle is used for blended learning, distance education, flipped classroom and other online learning projects in schools, universities, workplaces and other sectors.[5][6][7]

Original author(s)Martin Dougiamas
Developer(s)Martin Dougiamas
Moodle HQ
Moodle Community
Initial release20 August 2002; 21 years ago (2002-08-20)
Stable release
4.4.1[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 10 June 2024; 36 days ago (10 June 2024)
Written inPHP
TypeCourse management system

Moodle is used to create custom websites with online courses and allows for community-sourced plugins.[8][9][10]


Martin Dougiamas

Moodle was originally developed by Martin Dougiamas to help educators and scholars create online courses and focus on interaction and collaborative construction of content. The first version of Moodle was released on 20 August 2002 (21 years ago) (2002-08-20), and it continues to be actively developed.[11]

The Moodle Project is led and coordinated by Moodle HQ, an Australian company, that is financially supported by a network of eighty Moodle Partner service companies worldwide. Development is also assisted by the open-source community.[12]

Moodle is a learning platform used to augment and move existing learning environments online.[13] As an E-learning tool, Moodle developed several features[14] now considered standard for learning management systems, such as a calendar and gradebook.[15]

Plugins, custom graphical themes, mobile responsive web design, and a Moodle mobile app are available to customize each individual's experience on the platform. Moodle's mobile app is available on Google Play, the App Store for iOS, the F-Droid Android FLOSS repository, and the Windows Phone Store.

E-learning standards support


Moodle has adopted the following e-learning standards:

  • The Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) is a collection of E-learning 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 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 has a Moodle plugin that turn any Moodle site into a fully compliant SCORM 2004 LMS.[16]
  • 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 - Moodle 4.2.
  • IMS Common Cartridge packages can also be imported into Moodle. In addition, Moodle Book activities can be exported as IMS Content Packages.
  • 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.



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

Certified Moodle Partners provide other Moodle services, including hosting, training, customization and content development.[17] This network of providers supports the development of the Moodle project through royalties.[18][citation needed]



Moodle runs without modification on Unix, Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, MacOS and any other systems that support PHP and a database, including web host providers.

Moodle also has import features for use with other specific systems, such as importing quizzes or entire courses from Blackboard or WebCT.

In March 2012 Blackboard acquired two companies based on Moodle's software including Baltimore-based Moodlerooms Inc. and NetSpot of Adelaide, Australia.[19] In August 2015, Blackboard acquired Colombia-based Nivel7. The Red Hat site,, reported that Moodle will always be an open-source project, with clear delineation between Blackboard and Moodle.[20]





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 constructivism makes Moodle different from other eLearning platforms is difficult to show, it has been cited as an important factor by Moodle adopters.[21][22] 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".[23]

Pedagogical approach


The stated philosophy of Moodle includes a constructivist and social constructionist approach to education, emphasizing that learners (and not just teachers) can contribute to the educational experience.[24] Using these pedagogical principles, Moodle provides an environment for learning communities.[25]

Origin of name


The acronym Moodle officially stands for modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment. When the project was first started, the "m" instead stood for "Martin's", after original developer Martin Dougiamas. Besides being an acronym, the name was also chosen because of the dictionary definition of Moodle, with connotations such as "tinkering", "insight", and "creativity",[26] as well as to correspond to an available domain name.[27]



Moodle has continued to evolve since 1999 (since 2001 with the current architecture). It has been translated into over 100 different languages and is accessible in many countries worldwide.[28] Institutions can add as many Moodle servers as needed without having to pay license fees.

Moodle conferences


The MoodleMoot is a conference for Moodle community members to learn about Moodle, share experiences of the learning platform, discuss research in related educational technologies and contribute ideas to future Moodle development.[29] Held around the world, MoodleMoots are organised by universities or other large organizations using Moodle, Moodle Partners, Moodle associations or Moodle HQ. 2020 saw the #Moot move to a virtual conference.



Moodle has over 50% of its market share in Europe, Latin America, and Oceania.[30]

In the U.S. higher education market as of fall 2021, the top three learning management systems (LMS) by number of institutions were Canvas (30%), Moodle (21%), and Blackboard (20%).[31] In 2013, Moodle was for a time the second largest provider with 23% market share, following Blackboard (41%).[32] However, by 2017, Moodle had dropped to the third largest provider, due in part to increased adoption of Instructure's semi-open source[33] Canvas platform.[34] In March 2016, Blackboard became an official Moodle partner,[35] although this partnership ended in 2018.[36]

In the UK, the Open University currently uses a Moodle installation for their 200,000 users[37] while the government uses a Moodle installation for the Civil Service Learning platform serving half a million employees.[38]

See also



  1. ^ "Moodle 4.4.1 Release Notes".
  2. ^ "Official Moodle git projects - moodle.git/blob - COPYING.txt".
  3. ^ "Moodle". – via The Free Dictionary.
  4. ^ Rogers, Patricia L. (31 January 2009). The Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Vol1. Idea Group Inc (IGI). ISBN 9781605661995.
  5. ^ Costello, Eamon (1 November 2013). "Opening up to open source: looking at how Moodle was adopted in higher education". Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning. 28 (3): 187–200. doi:10.1080/02680513.2013.856289. S2CID 54976320.
  6. ^ Krassa, Anna (4 October 2013). Gamified Moodle Course in a Corporate Environment (PDF). 2nd Moodle Research Conference (MRC2013). Sousse, Tunisia. pp. 84–93. ISBN 978-618-80889-0-0.
  7. ^ Horvat, Ana; Dobrota, M.; Krsmanovic, M.; & Cudanov, M. (2015). "Student perception of Moodle learning management system: a satisfaction and significance analysis". Interactive Learning Environments. 23 (4): 515–527. doi:10.1080/10494820.2013.788033. S2CID 205708644.
  8. ^ "A Pedagogical Evaluation of Moodle Extension" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 October 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  9. ^ Gavin W. Porter (7 June 2013). "Free choice of learning management systems: Do student habits override inherent system quality?" (PDF). Interactive Technology and Smart Education. 10 (2): 84–94. doi:10.1108/ITSE-07-2012-0019. hdl:10722/188170.
  10. ^ "Welcome -" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 November 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Releases - MoodleDocs". Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  12. ^ Gartner, Samantha (1 April 2015). "How Moodle is driven by user and community feedback".
  13. ^ Stanley, Adam (18 November 2014). "Technology that puts the classroom in students' laptops". The Globe and Mail. Adam Stanley, The Globe and Mail.
  14. ^ Jordan, Sally (2013). "E-assessment: Past, present and future" (PDF). New Directions. 9 (1): 87–106. doi:10.11120/ndir.2013.00009.
  15. ^ "Online Grading to Make Teaching Life Easier with Moodle". 19 November 2014.
  16. ^ "SCORM Cloud Moodle Integration".
  17. ^ "List of Moodle Partners". Moodle. 25 June 2021.
  18. ^ "How do the Moodle Partners work?". Moodle. Archived from the original on 22 July 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  19. ^ "Blackboard makes Moodle acquisitions".
  20. ^ "Moodle will always be an open source project".
  21. ^ Weller, M. (2006). VLE 2.0 and future directions in learning environments (PDF). Proceedings of the first LAMS Conference, Sydney.
  22. ^ McMulli & Munroe (2004). "VMoodle at DCU". Archived from the original on 13 May 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
  23. ^ Sclater, Neil (2008). "A Large-scale Open Source eLearning Systems at the Open University". Educause. Archived from the original on 26 July 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
  24. ^ "Philosophy - MoodleDocs".
  25. ^ "Open-Source Learning Management System". Moodlerooms. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  26. ^ "Moodle definition". All Words.
  27. ^ "The chicken or the egg". Lounge. 16 July 2005.
  28. ^ "Language packs - MoodleDocs".
  29. ^ "Events". Moodle. 3 April 2019.
  30. ^ "Academic LMS Market Share: A view across four global regions". e-Literate. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2019
  31. ^ Ménard, Justin (8 November 2021). "How Moodle Overtook Blackboard". ListEdTech. Retrieved 12 January 2024.
  32. ^ A Profile of the LMS Market (page 47) (PDF), CampusComputing, 2013.
  33. ^ "FAQ · instructure/canvas-lms Wiki". GitHub. 16 January 2022.
  34. ^ "LMS Data--Spring 2017 Updates". Edutechnica. Client Stat. 12 March 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  35. ^ "Blackboard Is Now An Official Moodle Partner". Moodle News. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  36. ^ "Moodle ends partnership with Blackboard". Moodle. 27 July 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  37. ^ Kehrer, Anika. "Simply the Best: Case Study for Moodle at Open... » Linux Magazine".
  38. ^ "Case Studies | Innovative Digital Learning | LEO Learning".