About Moodle FAQ

About Moodle

Below is a list of general questions many educators ask about Moodle. There are also Frequently Asked Question pages for many specific Moodle tools.


Starting with Moodle

What is Moodle?

Moodle is a free online learning management system, or LMS (also known as VLE.) We can read more about Moodle here or you might find it useful to watch the video: What is Moodle? . It is suitable for all ages and all sectors. Anywhere learning takes place, Moodle can be used. It is usually used online but may also be used on an 'intranet' within your organisation.

Where is the funny name from?

The word Moodle is an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, which is mostly useful to programmers and education theorists. It's also a verb (in the bigger English dictionaries) that describes the process of lazily meandering through something, doing things as it occurs to us to do them, an enjoyable tinkering that often leads to insight and creativity. A sort of cross between "muse" and "doodle". As such it applies both to the way Moodle was originally developed, and to the way a student or teacher might approach studying or teaching an online course in an ongoing, iterative way. Anyone who uses Moodle is a Moodler.

How do I start using Moodle?

I just want to try it out

(Please note that moodle.org is not the place for setting up our courses, but for finding out information and asking questions.)

I want to use Moodle as an individual or set it up for my organisation

Do I have to be really good with technology to use Moodle?

To use Moodle, you only need the basic web browsing skills. To install it you need a little more knowledge, but guidance is provided.


How much does it cost to download and use Moodle?

By way of its GNU General Public License, Moodle is and will remain free to download and use in any way you like. Consider it free like a 'free puppy' that needs care and attention to grow, not free like a 'free beer'.

How much does it cost to run Moodle?

Nothing to install, use and change. Of course, there are costs if you have your Moodle hosted with someone, and costs associated with maintenance and training in an organisation (like any other software). But no royalties, fees or user charges.

How much does it cost to have Moodle hosted?

There are many options for hosting. Cost is usually related to services provided and capacity (eg. a university site with 10 000 users will naturally cost more to host and maintain than a small community school). Ask your local Moodle Partner and keep Moodle going that way too!

Technical queries

Do I need my own server to run Moodle?

Only if we are going to host it yourself. (See the section on 'Starting with Moodle' above.)

Can I customise a theme to make it relevant to our school?

Yes, see Themes. We can customise themes down to a single course. There are many ways to make Moodle looks great too.

Can you use Moodle from anywhere and on any device??

Can access to Moodle be restricted to just our organisation?

Yes, several ways to do this. For example, it can be installed on your school's internal network, or limit the IPs to those assigned by your school, or only manually enroll your students are just a few ways.

I've come from a school that used a different VLE/LMS. Can I transfer my stuff over to Moodle?

Some VLE/LMS-specific activities may (not) be compatible, but we can zip your content files and unzip them in Moodle.

Help and support with Moodle

How do I use Moodle?

I don't understand the terms

Moodle uses jargon words that you may be familiar with from other, non-Moodle contexts. Within Moodle, These words have specific (and potentially different) meanings, which we can read about on the page Moodle key terms

Is there an official support desk for Moodle?

Are there any good Moodle tutorials?

Where can I get Moodle training?

What about people with disabilities?

Moodle supports many assistive technologies such as screen-readers, screen-magnifiers, alternative mouse and key use, disabling of AJAX and JavaScript, and more. See the developer documentation Accessibility for further details.

Are there any comparisons of Moodle with other Learning Management Systems?

See the Comparisons and Advocacy forum and also Moodle buzz.


How secure is Moodle?

Moodle is designed to be very secure. However, a lot depends upon the webserver, the way Moodle is setup and regular updates of the package by the Moodle Administrator.

Can Moodle get hacked into and student data stolen?

This is highly unlikely if your Moodle site has up-to-date security and the site administrator has not given away the keys. Anything is possible on any website, but Moodle makes it difficult for nasty people to cause havoc.

What if I did something wrong and accidentally broke it - could it be easily fixed?

Moodle can be backed-up at any point. If a backup was made 5 minutes before you broke it, chances are it can be fixed easily.

Is my student data safe on a cheap or free webhost?

While you do have some control of the security of a Moodle site on a free or cheap web host, the question is: How much do you trust your web host?

Can I track and search what people do and post in Moodle?

Assuming we are a teacher and it is our course, yes. Moodle Admin can do that for the entire site.

Can I backup Moodle so I don't lose things?

Yes, we can backup a Moodle site or as a teacher we can back up our course and download it (if your role permits it). With appropriate permissions, we can restore our course and/or import parts of courses elsewhere on your site or beyond.

Teaching and Learning

What is the best way to use Moodle?

The best way to use Moodle is the way which helps your students learn most efficiently. Moodle was designed on the principles of Social constructionism - see the page on Pedagogy for more information - but you do not have to use Moodle in that way if it is not appropriate to your needs.

Can Moodle be used for..... ?

The short answer is yes. Below is a list of just a few ways Moodle may be used. A dedicated forum Teaching with Moodle exists to discuss different ways of using the many Activities and Resources of Moodle to enhance your teaching.

Are there any good examples of Moodle use I can see?

Try the Mount Orange School demo, a working demonstration site full of examples for us to see and play with.

How do I share ideas and content with other Moodlers?

Can Moodle be used in different subjects?

Yes. Moodle is used in a variety of fields. Users in some subject areas may benefit further from standard or compatible third-party modules and plugins:

See also