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?
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
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.
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