It is to date the largest experiment in online learning in history. The Moodle project, launched over 20 years ago as a “prototype of a new web course development that uses constructionist referents to model engagement of the participants with course content and each other” is now the LMS of choice for 200 million users worldwide, dominant in K-12, Higher Ed, Corporate, Government and NGOs, the most popular in every country, and the first LMS experience for new learners today by far.
The open source LMS had been on steady growth in users for years, but clearly the conjuncture of school lockdowns and move to learning online gave them a definite push. Moodle CEO, Martin Dougiamas, indicated that thousands of additional new sites were registered, accounting for a considerable chunk of the over 151,000 sites on record.
Searching for quick and cost effective alternatives, it is likely that small schools around the world have realized Moodle is the way to get started into online learning. Open Source LMS like Moodle or Sakai offer a unique form of flexibility, customization and personalization that proprietary software simply cannot match, and one that does not rely on the monetization of user data to remain sustainable. Anecdotally, Moodle Partners close to LMSPulse have confirmed an onrush of requests, particularly of free Moodle solutions, in the past couple months.
Other interesting developments include Spain becoming the number one Moodle country, overpowering the United States which led for most of Moodle’s history. Colombia is back to the top 10, giving more credence to the speculation of Spanish being the dominant Moodle language.
- Minor releases Moodle 3.8.3, 3.7.6 and 3.5.11 are scheduled for May 11, 2020. There is no indication that they are high priority but may bring fixes to some small issues you might have encountered.
- The one you should definitely be looking forward is Moodle 3.9, coming up June 8. Highlights mentioned include further improvements on the H5P integration, MoodleNet, Participants filter, Accessibility and Safe Exam Browser.
- For Moodle 4.0, coming up a year away, work is already underway. A UX survey is open for everyone with opinions on how the next generation of Moodle should look like.
- A Mobile portal apps.moodle.com is up. It will allow you to learn more and register your site in case you want to bring back some or all the features you used to get for free. Read more about it here.
- On location MoodleMoots are kind of up in the air, except perhaps for Stichting MoodleMoot Benelux this October. Several are planning on moving online. In fact, the originally planned as an “itinerant Moot,” MoodleMoot India 2020, was held to arguable success over BigBlueButton. On the forums, talk on reviving the “iMoot” is only gaining steam. Moodle held a series of live session for the impromptu “Learn Moodle” MOOC session, and Dougiamas suggested there would be an online MoodleMoot Global as early as July.
- A specially disheartening Moot to see go online is the always surprising MountainMoot. But fear not, as the team that made this a beloved and fun experience is on the case for the virtual version.