You may have heard of Moodle. We mention it several times on our site because we’ve worked on many projects that use Moodle. If you’re not familiar, check it out here. It’s an open-source learning management system (LMS) used by thousands of organizations. I’m not here to convince you to use Moodle instead of another LMS. There are thousands of them. Try a quick Google search for learning management system – I got over 2.8 BILLION results. Instead of giving you the feature list of Moodle, let’s talk about Moodle for business users. If you’re interested, you can find feature lists here and here.

How Do I Know Moodle?

I’ve been an administrator for different Moodle installations for the last 15 years. Some have been very small (1-10 users) and some have been very large (500 – 2500 users). I started out with Moodle like may other tools I now use a lot. Someone told me I needed to learn about it. Over time, I’ve explored many aspects of Moodle and now consider myself an expert in many features. I won’t claim to know every feature though. There are too many features for any one person to be an expert on everything. All of my experience is using Moodle for business.

One thing I love about Moodle is that the software itself is open-source. They have easy-to-follow instructions on how to host a Moodle site on your own web domain. It doesn’t need to cost a lot. It isn’t a “free trial” or a “limited-feature” version. You can use every feature of Moodle for FREE.

How Can Business Users Use Software with Academic Roots?

Many business users dismiss Moodle because it has roots in academics – not the business world. Academia and corporate often have very different needs for software. LMSs are no different. But Moodle CAN be used by businesses.

So, how can a corporate client use Moodle when its roots are for academics? Let’s look at some examples. These are based on real-world scenarios that we have helped clients set up. Keep in mind that I’ve changed some details to protect client confidentiality.

Departmental Training

A department inside a larger organization needs to offer a standard set of training to their employees. They set up a series of courses in Moodle. They included checklists, manager information, training schedules, suggested meeting agendas, and other content.

New employees receive a job aid to get them started. A series of courses in Moodle walks them through various parts of their orientation. Managers review assignments and confirm that they’ve had meetings and check-ins with new employees.
Impact? Having a standard onboarding and orientation program for a department of 50+ people ensured new employees had a consistent experience. This improved new hire satisfaction.

How does Moodle help? In this case, the department can implement Moodle at a low cost and effort. They don’t have to rely on a corporate training team to enrol their employees in training. They also don’t have to wait for others to update their content. Individual managers work together to ensure that smaller tasks don’t become more complicated.

Company-wide Online Learning

A company wanted to deliver eLearning courses to all employees in various regions. The company needed to track when each course is complete for audit purposes. Employees can build courses using rapid development tools like Articulate Rise or Storyline and upload them to Moodle. They can attach quizzes and acknowledgements for employees to confirm completion. Reports show when employees have met the criteria for each course (completion).

Impact? Over 2000 participants take eLearning even though they’re spread across an entire province. This saves both time and money as employees don’t have to travel to attend mandatory training. One organization we worked with saved over $50,000 a year by using an eLearning course instead of having an in-person course.

How does Moodle help? Moodle’s robust course features allow the organization to start an online learning program as a trial without a a lot of time or money. The savings in time and cost mean that the organization stayed with Moodle for almost 10 years before outgrowing it. In the end they looked for another system so they could integrate with other corporate systems.

Field Sales Training Collaboration

A field-based sales organization wanted to have a place for employees to share ideas and a central location for technical information.

A forums-based course was set up in Moodle. The course was pre-loaded with job aids, links to manufacturer websites, and other information. Employees can reference the content but can ask and answer questions in the related forums. New employees can go in and learn from experienced workers in the forums.
Impact? Employees who don’t normally have an opportunity to share or interact with their peers can  build relationships and share relevant, job-critical information, regardless of location.

How does Moodle help? Moodle’s built-in course building tools include fully functional forums and the ability to upload documents, presentations, and other resources. Moderators can organize content into categories on the “course” page and attach relevant forums for each type of content. Facilitators can monitor forum posts and also move conversations around to keep things organized.

Blended Learning

A large organization with a cross-country audience wants to enhance the training they offer at conferences and other trade events. Their audience wanted the chance to take training outside of the limited training times offered. The organization doesn’t have the staffing or funding to offer more in-person sessions so they turn to online possibilities.

The organization wants to continue offering the in-person sessions but wants to enhance them by also having an online option. Using Moodle and Articulate Storyline they were able to build an online training catalog and offer it to their members.
Impact? Members now have more options for taking optional and required training. The organization receives more funding from training initiatives because they can offer year-round training even when a conference isn’t happening.

How does Moodle help? The organization didn’t have a lot of expertise in online learning. Moodle’s easy-to-use features allowed them to get up and running quickly and at a reasonable cost compared to other tools on the market. They also now have a tool that can expand as their need for online learning increases.


How Does Moodle Help?

Moodle supports these use cases, and many more, right out of the box. Of course, in the above cases, procedures and support needed to be in place to support what was in Moodle. However, Moodle is a tool but that tool still needs the right support in place. For any learning management system to work, you need champions who can encourage others to use it.

Here are a few things I’ve found helpful to know when I’m working with Moodle:
  1. Know what you need – have you done a needs analysis or system scoping? Do you know exactly what features you need and how you’ll use them? Explore use cases, reporting, support, etc.
  2. Understand some of its limitations – every LMS is different and each has pros and cons. Your full needs analysis will help you see what tool matches those needs but also where the tools fall short. Moodle does a lot and then even more via plugins and specialty add-ons. Knowing what comes with the basic installation and what’s missing will help you narrow down choices
  3. Know who will provide support – someone on the team needs to spend time learning what Moodle can do and how you’ll use it. The better they know the needs of the organization and what Moodle is capable of, the more equipped you’ll be to get what you need. This is the same for any system implementation.
  4. Get help with implementation – LMS implementation is a big job with lots of steps. It’s not about installing the application. If you’re not a web administrator then installing Moodle can be daunting. The instructions are straight forward but it’s not the same as installing an app on your computer. Help is available through consultants like us at Hemeon Learning.

How Can We Help?

Screenshot of Hemeon Learning Moodle portfolio

I’m a HUGE fan of Moodle for business. I’ve been using it and administering it for years. I’m the first to admit when Moodle can’t do what a client needs. With creativity, the proper support, and planning, Moodle is a powerful tool that even the largest corporate clients can use.

Not only do I support clients using it, Hemeon Learning uses it too! Our detailed portfolio with live examples is set up using Moodle. For privacy and confidentiality, it’s protected by a username and password. If you’re interested in seeing more, please reach out to us. We’d be happy to give you a tour!

If you’re interested in learning more about using Moodle for business or about implementing it in your company, drop us a line. We be happy to discuss your needs and see how we can help!

Moodle for business