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What is Moodle? The ultimate guide to Moodle LMS

9 min reading time

At Hubken Group, we’ve been successfully delivering e-learning solutions since 2004. Moodle has been integral to our quest to help our clients implement effective e-learning strategies at organisations across a myriad of sectors.

Over that time we’ve become Moodle experts and this ultimate guide to Moodle LMS should help you become experts in delivering powerful Moodle learning, too.

We’ll start with the all-important question - 'what is Moodle?' - before focusing on how it can work to bring successful e-learning outcomes to your organisation.


Table of Contents



What is Moodle LMS?

Moodle definition, Moodle learning

So, just what is Moodle? Put simply, Moodle is a Learning Management System (LMS) used to manage, deliver and measure training and learning online.

Moodle is perhaps the most well-known LMS platform of its kind and is certainly widely used. Launched in 2002, it provides a way for those who manage training to deliver it flexibly and efficiently to different audiences.

You could think of it as the virtual equivalent of an online training provider – a self-contained learning environment used initially by educational institutions. It has since developed to become a hugely beneficial tool for organisations across all sectors, from retail and healthcare to local government and charities.

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What does Moodle LMS do?

The short answer is a Moodle LMS allows you to build and upload e-learning content, deliver it to your learners, assess them on that content, track their progress and recognise their achievements.

Obviously there’s more to it in reality, but Moodle is the ultimate system when it comes to simplicity and delivering e-learning content to users.


Build & manage courses

One of the key benefits of Moodle software is the way it enables you as a system administrator or course creator to build and manage your course content.

You may create content yourself using Moodle’s standard course activities, upload SCORM files or acquire ready-made, off-the-shelf content from a provider.

Either way you can easily upload it to your Moodle LMS and organise it with ease using the drag and drop functionality.


Manage assessments

Providing content for your learners is one thing, assessing them on it is another. Moodle LMS allows you to create and manage assessments for your learners, ensuring they are engaging with their learning content and achieving the desired outcomes.


Track learner progress

The ability to track learner progress is another big advantage of using Moodle LMS vs cumbersome and often chaotic offline or manual ways of managing remote learning or simply using a Content Management System (CMS).

Some of the main ways of tracking learner progress within Moodle include activity and course completion, course reports, analytics and gradebooks.


Recognise & reward achievements

Once you’ve assessed your learners on the content and tracked their progress, you can reward them based on achievements to recognise their progress.

Moodle offers shareable badges that you can award to users, keeping them engaged and helping you quickly identify who has completed which courses.



What are the benefits of Moodle LMS?

There’s a reason Moodle is as well-known and well regarded as it is. It’s an incredibly simple and powerful tool that offers a lot of benefits to organisations. Here are just a few:



Moodle is an open-source LMS platform, which is something that offers huge advantages.

It means the code in which it’s built is free, enabling you to invest budget saved from the lack of license fee with a Moodle expert like Hubken.

The advantages of open-source include:

  • No licence fee

  • No vendor lock

  • Easily scalable


Easy to use

Perhaps the most important benefit of Moodle and what has set it up for so much success is just how easy it is to use from an administrative standpoint.

Functionality from simple drag-and-drop course builders to progress tracking makes every step of your e-learning strategy simpler and quicker than any offline system and most other LMS options too.

browser icon representing easy to use LMS courses


Moodle’s flexibility is one of its key strengths. It can be configured, whether using the standard functionality, additions such as plugins or managed solution services, to meet your organisation’s requirements.

Whether that’s branding your Moodle site to reflect the look and feel of your organisation’s brand, delivering specific types of e-learning course content or staying on top of best practices in the e-learning sphere.

online moodle learning guide

Multi-device compatibility

One of the big attractions of e-learning and online training, especially for organisations with deskless workforces, is the accessibility it offers for employees to access their learning content when and where it suits them.

Moodle LMS can be accessed on any device and is mobile responsive, meaning your users will still get the same user experience regardless of which device they access Moodle on.


Integration options

While you can use Moodle LMS as a completely standalone platform, there is much to be gained through integrating it with other in-house platforms.

Moodle can often be integrated seamlessly with platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom for video conferencing functionality, as well as data integrations with existing HR or CRM systems.

Using single sign-on (SSO) for these integrations allows your users to access all systems using a single log-in, thereby reducing login fatigue.


Collaborative nature

Collaborative learning can be an incredibly effective tool for increasing engagement and outcome success amongst your learners.

Moodle encourages collaboration through forums, Wikis, chat functionality and groups, so your learners have lots of collaborative areas to share thoughts and ideas, as well as work together on projects.

Moodle pricing



Who uses Moodle LMS?

Moodle’s flexibility means it’s an LMS used by organisations across the globe, regardless of sector.

Companies large and small all face challenges that can be alleviated with the help of a Learning Management System like Moodle, and the notion of modernising training processes is one that more and more organisations are getting behind every day.

Some of the sectors that deliver Moodle learning with huge success include:

  • Education & training organisations

  • Charities

  • Healthcare

  • Local government

  • Retail

  • Veterinary

Our sectors page has a comprehensive list of all the sectors we work with, and we also have case studies from many organisations in a myriad of sectors to display how LMSs have helped them achieve their e-learning goals.



How do organisations use Moodle LMS?

Many Moodle administrators will already have their own e-learning content and courses and simply need an LMS platform to manage its delivery simply and efficiently online.

Others may choose to buy off-the-shelf content which can be uploaded directly onto Moodle, or alternatively, they may use Moodle’s course builder functionality to build new Moodle learning content.

Regardless of how the e-learning content is generated, because of its flexibility Moodle can be used for a multitude of different training needs and organisations use Moodle for various purposes. Some key examples are listed below:


Compliance training

Many organisations use a Moodle LMS to ensure their employees understand the laws, regulations and policies that are essential for their job role.

Carrying out compliance training in Moodle LMS allows you to keep a clear, centralised record of your learners’ progress and knowledge. This makes proving that employees have received the necessary training simple.

Moodle LMS compliance training

Competency training

You’d also use Moodle to develop key skills and knowledge for those in different job functions or specialist areas to help them achieve competency.

This is where Moodle’s ability to deliver training to different audiences comes in. Different departments, teams and individuals within your organisation may require different competency training and this can be managed and measured with Moodle LMS.


Induction Training

Inducting new members of staff into an organisation can be a hassle and involves a lot of resources. Bringing this process online with a Moodle LMS simplifies the experience for all parties.

You can provide online access to relevant, structured induction training to help them settle in and hit the ground running.

Icon of person teaching induction training

Continued Professional Development (CPD)

If you identify skill gaps within your organisation, these can be fixed quickly with Moodle. Courses can be developed or purchased that focus on specialisms or interests for specific departments or teams, allowing you to offer CPD.

Aside from the obvious benefit of a more knowledgeable and skilful workforce, CPD can be a great tool for keeping employees engaged and loyal to your organisation as they see you are investing in their development.


Product & service launches

Moodle is a great vehicle to ensure your teams are fully clued-up before new products or services go to market. This is particularly important in sectors such as retail where products change almost constantly.

Keeping staff up to date with these changes is very effective when the training is delivered online and accessible on any device at any time.

Essential e-learning with Hubken



Hosting your Moodle LMS

Due to its open-source nature, Moodle LMS offers a couple of different hosting options depending on your needs and expertise.

The main two options are managed hosting solutions with a Moodle expert like Hubken, or self-hosting on your own server. Both are viable, but it’s important to be aware of what each entail.


Managed LMS hosting solutions

Managed LMS hosting means hosting and supporting your Moodle site on a cloud server offered by a Moodle provider like Hubken.

The Moodle provider would look after the technical side of hosting the LMS and provide ongoing support, ensuring your site stays up and running as it should, as well as keeping you updated with the most recent versions of Moodle and looking after data security.

This ensures you can focus your time on creating engaging content for your users.


Self-hosted Moodle sites

Self-hosted Moodle sites put the control completely in your hands. You own and manage your site’s source code and install plugins and themes yourself.

While this sounds at first like an appealing option, it’s important to note that this should only be undertaken if your organisation has expertise in maintaining and upgrading a Moodle site, as well as offering support to your end users.


Managed vs self-hosted Moodle sites: the key factors

  • Cost effectiveness: while self-hosting is ‘free’, it requires internal expertise that takes hours away from other tasks, such as creating and delivering engaging e-learning content. Managed hosting can free up time and manpower.

  • Data security: a self-hosted Moodle would mean you’d be tasked with keeping your users’ personal data secure and complying with GDPR. A managed solution offers added cloud-based security.

    Settings icon representing LMS data security
  • Integration: one of the benefits of a Moodle LMS is that it can integrate with existing systems. If you self-host you will have to integrate these systems yourself and ensure they all work correctly together. A managed solution provider would take care of this for you.

  • Updates: Moodle is regularly updated thanks to feedback from the community, which means you’ll want to ensure you have the latest version. Managed hosting providers should upgrade you automatically.



Is Moodle LMS right for you?

Moodle’s popularity and widespread use is a testament to its strengths, but it is not suitable for every need.

Hopefully, this guide will have given you an idea of whether Moodle could be a good fit for your organisation.

If it sounds like you need something more from an LMS, Hubken have other solutions to meet your requirements, so don’t panic just yet!

Moodle LMS users computer smiling

Need more? Introducing Totara Learn

Totara Learn is fundamentally a more advanced LMS than Moodle. It includes functionality like automation, multi-tenancy and rich reporting, as well as the ability to add performance management and a Learning Experience Platform (LXP) all in one platform!

Consider Totara Learn instead of Moodle if:

  • You need to automate your training

    Totara Learn’s automation relieves your administrative stress by delivering the right e-learning content to the right people at the right time.

    The automation is particularly useful for organisations with high staff turnover, where onboarding employees with the same courses repeatedly is required. Recurring training for compliance is also much easier with Totara Learn and the system will produce a strong audit trail to prove completion.

    Using Totara Learn’s audiences feature you can create dynamic lists of users based on characteristics such as job title and length of service. You can use these audiences to automate which courses and certifications users are enrolled into, as well as which reports they can access.

    Laptop with arrow icon representing LMS automated training
  • You want multi-tenancy options

    With multi-tenancy, different sections of your Totara Learn LMS can be branded and accessed by specific users.

    This means different departments within your organisation can have their own branded sections of the LMS. External organisations and subcontractors can have sections too with their own access.

  • You want to add performance management and social, collaborative learning

    Totara also offers a performance management system and a Learning Experience Platform (LXP) that can integrate seamlessly with Totara Learn LMS to create a suite of learning and development tools all in one system, meaning it’s an incredibly powerful tool.

    The performance management system allows you to modernise your performance management processes, prioritising regular employee check-ins and informal discussions over fixed, often annual performance reviews.

    The LXP encourages social, user-driven learning by promoting the most successful, engaging content to users and building a library of content curated by your own employees.

If you're looking for good examples of Totara and how it's being used by a wide variety of customers, find out more by reading their Case Studies.



Hubken’s LMS solutions

If you’re thinking about implementing a Moodle or Totara LMS at your organisation, it’s important to choose the right provider.

All Hubken Moodle and Totara solutions come with super reliable cloud hosting and unlimited support as standard.

In addition to all of the functionality that a basic Moodle LMS offers, our solutions offer some key value-add services to help you get the most out of your system:

  • Implementation: We’ll make you feel like an expert so you can really maximise how your system is working for your organisation.

  • E-Commerce: If you’ve got content, you think others would benefit from or you can sell. We have the solution for you to get a return on investment (ROI).

  • Single Sign On (SSO): Our SSO option allows you to minimise login fatigue for your users and keep them engaged with their learning content.

  • Integration: Need to integrate and sync data to other systems in your organisation such as CRMs, HR systems or membership portals? We can do it!

  • Off-the-shelf content: If you need off-the-shelf content to get you started with online training right away, there are plenty of content providers with thousands of ready-made courses. Courses in key areas like health & safety can be purchased and used immediately.


With the recent Moodle 4.0 upgrade, there are even more incredible features and technical innovations to get excited about. To bring you up to date with all that the new and improved Moodle LMS has to offer, we’ve compiled a full functionality breakdown of what you can expect from the latest update. Read it here.

Want to implement Moodle LMS at your organisation? Get in touch!

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