For many organizations today, Moodle is the cornerstone of their learning program. From Moodle, they launch courses, administer quizzes, manage users, and much more. When it first hit the scene, it was applauded for the flexibility it gave the everyday user to establish a learning management system.
Today, not so much.
Moodle is still very popular, but this is arguably driven because of the brand and the way that they have preferred partners implementing their platform.
In fact, I would argue that popularity is decreasing, and for two primary reasons:
- It is ugly.
- It is not user friendly.
Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder?
Okay, so I understand that preference in design is (somewhat) subjective. Despite this, I would still venture to guess that the majority of users would find Moodle to be extremely dated. Here is their demo site:
Not exactly what one would consider modern. Keep in mind too that this demo site is designed to get you excited about what Moodle has to offer. If I were looking at this for the first time, I would run the other way. It looks out of touch.
The out-of-box set-up isn’t much to look at – here is an example of what a logged-in student would see when logging-in to take a course:
I will concede that design is often dependent on a variety of factors, but neither of these examples has even the slightest relevant design elements. We have long progressed past the boxed look.
What About Themes?
Since Moodle is open-source, there are themes that are available as well. Before you get too excited though, understand that the themes do little to bolster the appearance as they are still subjective to Moodle’s grid-like structure. They can also pose quite the challenge to implement.
If you’re going to implement Moodle in any effective manner, it is in your best interest to hire a firm to set it up properly from both a configuration and visual standpoint. At the very least this will set you back a few thousand dollars.
It is because of Moodle’s general lack of pleasant visuals, clunky navigation, and overall complexity that I am adamant about using WordPress as an LMS – in fact there are many benefits to doing so.
The two pain-points I mention are immediately removed when using WordPress, and with the advent of Tin Can API, you can easily launch Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate courses – removing the need for Moodle altogether and opening up a world of possibilities through WordPress’ plugin repository and overall user-friendliness.
If you are still using Moodle, you should strongly consider removing the Moodle handcuffs and exploring the exciting alternatives.