If you were a computer programmer the term “Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment” (Moodle) might make your heart skip a beat. If you were a teacher you might recognize the word as a verb that describes the process of lazily meandering through something, doing things as it occurs to you to do them, an enjoyable tinkering that often leads to insight and creativity. As such it applies both to the way Moodle was developed, and to the way a student or teacher might approach studying or teaching an online course. Anyone who uses Moodle is a Moodler. The Australian developer of Moodle (Martin Dougiamas), is both an educator and computer scientist. This combination brings unique qualifications to the art and science of using technology to reach learners in the 21st century.
Moodle is a course management system (CMS) – a software package designed to help educators create quality online courses and manage learner outcomes. Such e-learning systems are sometimes also called Learning Management Systems (LMS), Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) and Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS). Students need only a browser (e.g., IE, Firefox, Safari) to participate in a Moodle course. Moodle is Open Source software, which means you are free to download it, use it, modify it and even distribute it (under the terms of the GNU General Public License). Moodle runs without modification on Unix, Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, Netware and any other system that supports PHP, including most web host providers. Data is stored in a single database: MySQL and PostgreSQL are best supported, but it can also be used with Oracle, Access, Interbase, ODBC and others.
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