For many Moodlers and open education enthusiasts, 2017 was one of Moodle’s most momentous times since the launch of version 1.0. The 15-year anniversary, its first private equity stake, and a series of announcements signaling new approaches both internally and externally are just a few reasons to be excited about the future of the world’s largest, open source learning platform.
The optimism is widespread, and here it is no exception. Our very own Joe Thibault, founder of MoodleNews, spent some time last year interviewing key figures on the history of Moodle, EdTech, and open learning. Today, we reveal their answers to Joe’s first question:
“What is the single most important thing the Moodle community has accomplished in the last 15 years?”
Two words feature almost unanimously, if with varying ideas about their implications: “Free” and “Open.” For true believers in the mission of open source, the role of Moodle in making cutting-edge learning technology “available to all” is the LMS’s biggest accomplishment and source of pride. For others, Moodle’s success in contexts where industries and markets operate formally deserves further recognition precisely because of its open source nature. In competitive segments, such as the higher ed market in North America and Europe, Moodle is one of the reasons why users and procurement officers have put doubts and concerns about open software to rest, boasting high adoption rates, with a fraction of the competitors’ marketing budgets to boot. In many cases, its openness has made Moodle more inviting (or less threatening) not only to users, but to developers and contributors, many of whom have the LMS to thank for their professional success. Furthermore, the fact that the rate of volunteer contributions and technical development continues to grow is also a notable accomplishment, possibly owing to Moodle’s high degree of ownership.