Moodle Logo

Moodle is an open source learning management system (LMS), to simplify it for you; think of Moodle as a WordPress for teachers and instructors. Moodle helps teachers and instructors who have no prior knowledge to programming (if you can use a web browser then you can use Moodle) build a website that contains the course material (Videos, animations, books, etc.), quizzes, allow students submit their homework, wiki and many other things that teachers/instructors need in order do their job more effectively.

The name Moodle stands for “Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment”. Many universities and schools worldwide rely on Moodle to deliver a better learning experience for their students. There are many alternatives to Moodle that are also free, Claroline is of them.

If you’re wondering why would you be interested in learning Moodle, the answer is quite simple; if you’re a teacher or an instructor then Moodle will empower you with tools that will make learning more appealing for your students and will allow you as a teacher/instructor track the progress of your students and will give you the ability to provide more resources than the ones you would normally use in class. If you’re a web developer Moodle can be a powerful module that you can integrate to the websites you’re building for an educational institutions. Finally, if you’re a photographer, designer or even a cook, Moodle can help you build a website where you can create courses that are paid or free; yes, this can be your first step in creating your Lynda.com or Udemy.com. The aim of this post is to present and compare between various sources that beginners can rely on to learn Moodle, at the bottom line section at the end of the article you shall find a beginners’ road map to learn Moodle.

Hint: You can try Moodle while you’re learning either by downloading Moodle on top of XAMPP/WampServer that you can download for free, or you can use one of the following free Moodle hosting companies; MDL2.com and Gnomio, your website will be for example MyAwesomeCourse.MDL2.com.

If you just want the bottom line (the road map to learn Moodle) and you don’t wish to read the entire article then go to the “Bottom Line” section at the end of the article.

How to Start Learning Moodle for Free from Scratch

Learn Moodle

Learn Moodle is the first outlet where you can learn Moodle for free through video tutorial and step by step screenshot explanation. The course is well-structured for beginners and covers the majority of the topics that a Moodle beginner would need to learn.

Structure: The course is divided into 4 weeks (sections) as seen below, each week is divided into lessons that covers certain topics is Moodle. Each week (section) has its own video tutorials, screenshots walkthroughs and text based tutorials.

Learn Moodle Moodle Course, learn moodle online, learn moodle free, how learn moodle, moodle tutorials

Interface: the interface isn’t that intuitive for beginners, you click on the green book like icon and you’ll be directed to the page that contains the available lessons. Each lesson has a video tutorial and the walk-through screenshots as seen below.

 Learn Moodle Moodle CourseNow to the pros and cons

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course is well-structured for beginners.

Cons

  1. The interface might be confusing for some.

Verdict: This will be your first and main outlet where you can start learning Moodle.

New Jersey Institute of Technology

NJIT provides a free tutorial for Moodle, part of the tutorial is video and the other part is in the form of a PDF. The course is properly structured but not consistent as some tutorials are video while others are just PDFs, though it should be noted that the tutorials are targeting NJIT existing Moodle system, which might be a problem for some.

Structure: The tutorial consists of 50 lessons; each lesson covers certain topics in Moodle.

Interface: The interface is very simple as the available lessons are listed under each other as seen below, just click on the lesson and either a video will start or you’ll be able to download a PDF.

New Jersey Institute of Technology Moodle Course, learn moodle online, learn moodle free, how learn moodle, moodle tutorialsNow to the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The tutorial is well-structured for beginners.

Cons

  1. The tutorial is targeting NJIT Moodle system.
  2. The tutorial is inconsistent (some lessons are PDF and some are video).
  3. The tutorial covers an old version of Moodle.

Verdict: The tutorial available is well-structured but not consistent; it also targets NJIT Moodle system.

University of Montana

The University of Montana provides a free video tutorial for Moodle. The course is properly structured for beginners, though it should be noted that the tutorials are targeting the University of Montana existing Moodle system, which might be a problem for some.

Structure: The tutorial consists of 13 lessons; each lesson covers certain topics in Moodle. The course was prepared for Moodle 2 which is an old version of Moodle. It’s worth noting that there are many tips available with the tutorial.

Interface: The interface is very simple as the available lessons are listed under each other as seen below, just click on the lesson you’ll be directed to a YouTube video.

University of Montana Moodle Course, learn moodle online, learn moodle free, how learn moodle, moodle tutorialsNow to the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. It provides some tips for Moodle 2.
  3. The course is well-structured for beginners.

Cons

  1. The course targets the University of Montana existing Moodle system.
  2. The course covers Moodle 2 which isn’t the latest version of Moodle.

Verdict: Though the course is well-structured and there are many tips for Moodle 2, but it’s not recommended for beginners as it’s explaining on the existing Moodle system of the University of Montana, so you won’t know how to install a fresh copy of Moodle and modify it according to your preferences.

SiteGround

SiteGround is actually a web hosting company that provides a free tutorial for Moodle. The tutorial is a screenshot step by step walk-through that covers many of the topics that you’d need to learn about as a beginner.

Structure: The tutorial is divided into 10 lessons; and each lesson covers certain topics in Moodle. The tutorial is well-structured for beginners.

Interface: The interface is very simple; the lessons are listed under each other, you click on the one you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to its page.

SiteGround Moodle Course, learn moodle online, learn moodle free, how learn moodle, moodle tutorialsNow to the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course is well-structured for beginners.

Cons

  1. The course isn’t available as a video tutorial.
  2. The tutorial doesn’t cover everything you need to know as a beginner.

Verdict: the course is properly structured but it doesn’t cover everything you need to know as a beginner.

Paid only Sources

Lynda: Lynda is an online outlet where you can learn anything there through videos made by professional instructors. Lynda is a monthly subscription service (I shall provide a promo code that will make you eligible for a free 7 days trial). Lynda promo code is: Lynda.com/gizwiz (courtesy of the GizWiz show on TWiT.TV network, just click on “Lynda” stated at the beginning and you’ll be directed to it).

After registering (I’ve to warn you that even with the above promo code you’re required to input your credit card info) you can search for the topic you’re interested in, which is Moodle in our case then you’ll be prompted with a list of available courses

Verdict: If you didn’t feel comfortable with “Learn Moodle, the first outlet”, then use the promo code above to have access to the Moodle tutorial on Lynda.com.

Bottom Line

  1. Learn Moodle will be your first and most important source.
  2. Visit the University of Montana’s tutorial for the tips available there.
  3. If you want a book to study from, then the free book “Using Moodle” is your way to go.

Remember that the first step is always the toughest step, and the aim of this post is to provide you with resources that will help you take your first step in Moodle.