Taking a page out of the WordPress model, Moodle’s free and open-source offering is an attractive option for organizations big and small… but is it the best? The learning management system industry is relatively new and like most new industries, there are major players and then there are the bottom feeders. Moodle is a major player, but that doesn’t always equate to the best option.
I am by no means claiming that WordPress based LMS should be chosen over Moodle in all situations – that’s silly as we all know that a one-size fits all approach isn’t really practical. But I can think of three immediate reasons why I would choose a WordPress LMS over Moodle – hear me out:
1. CMS integration – there are already thousands of organizations out there that use WordPress as their CMS, and who can blame them? The interface is intuitive, it is constantly being refined, and the support community is second to none. Naturally, if an organization is already running WordPress CMS, then integrating a WordPress based LMS just makes sense. The learning curve is nearly zero, users are already populated, and integration takes all but 10 minutes.
2. Intuitive – I touched on this briefly in my first point, but I think it warrants to stand alone. Simply put, WordPress is user-friendly, even for the amateur with no experience… and it was designed this way on purpose. It doesn’t take a technical genius to get any WordPress platform up and running, and then customized (layout, colors, plugin functionality). This makes WordPress especially ideal for medium sized businesses who thrive on their ability to be flexible and cost-effective.
3. Social – This is an area that really stands out to me as far as why I would choose WordPress over Moodle. The WordPress culture is engrained in social interaction (heck, that’s the whole premises of a Blogging). We are entering an era where people expect the ability to be engaged with their learning, including the system it is hosted on. “Facebook-like” walls can be set up in a snap, dialogue can be encouraged by administrators, forum formats aren’t clunky, and video capabilities are just a plugin away. The amount of flexibility with integrated social learning is staggering, and at this point completely unmatched by Moodle.
Perhaps there are other reasons why you would choose a WordPress LMS over Moodle, or, maybe you believe Moodle is the be-all, end-all for open-source learning. In either case, I strongly believe that WordPress LMS addresses the needs of a particular segment that Moodle isn’t capable of meeting. This is not to say that Moodle isn’t a viable option for LMS – quite clearly it does a great job. But hey, it could be better.