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With the overall rise in e-learning, Course Management Systems (CMS) are becoming a common requirement in educational environments, serving both as a distance learning tool and as a Web-based classroom extension. One platform that has steadily built a reputation as a cost effective and versatile CMS is Moodle, an internationally developed open source solution. While Moodle is free software, representing potential annual savings of tens of thousands of dollars in licensing fees, its instructor-oriented approach and overall flexibility are also key differentiators against leading commercial offerings.
A Brief History of Moodle
Moodle, an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, was created by Martin Dougiamas on the LAMPplatform as the focus of his Ph.D research at Curtin University in Western Australia. Since its initial release in 2002, the open source and academic communities have embraced the platform and extended its features to the point that, functionally, it sits on a level playing field with leading commercial offerings from ANGEL Learning, Blackboard and Desire2Learn. The newest version of the software, Moodle 1.9, was released in March 2008.