Monthly Archives: June 2017

Whither Moodle?

On e-Literate and even more so with our LMS market analysis service, we have called out many times the broad dominance of Moodle in terms of active installations worldwide. In every region outside of North America (US and Canada), Moodle has largest market share by far, and it is second place in North America.

But the trajectory of Moodle new implementations (higher education degree-granting institutions moving from another LMS to Moodle as the primary LMS) is striking, especially in the US and Canada as seen below, with Moodle highlighted (all data is from our partner LISTedTECH). (Update: Image link fixed – wasn’t showing in some areas)

Remembering that 2017 is partial-year data, this view still shows that Moodle’s selection as a new LMS has virtually ceased in the US and Canada after peaking in 2010. In that year 41% of new implementations were movements towards Moodle, yet by 2016 the number was down to just 2%. And for the first quarter of 2017, 0%.

If we look at a combination of Europe, Latin America, and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, surrounding island countries), we get a somewhat different story, however.

In this view, the data is not so clear, and the peak years are later. In 2012 and 2014 an astounding 76% of new implementations were movements towards Moodle. But we might be seeing a change. In 2016 the number was down to a still-healthy 49%, but for the first quarter of 2017 it is only 3%.

While we should avoid over interpreting 2017 partial-year data, the data seem to indicate a collapse of Moodle selections in the US and Canada, and potentially a significant slow-down in other regions.

While not shown in the data above, a large number of the non-North American Moodle selections are coming from movements from standalone Moodle instances to Moodle Partner offerings, especially to Blackboard’s Moodlerooms group outside the North America and to eThink in North America.

The Moodle community needs to wrestle with the question of whether having a large installed base but few new implementations is healthy for an open source project. After the US Moodle Moot last August in Los Angeles, I noted:

There was an interesting response from Martin during the Q&A after his keynote, when someone (from a long-time Moodle-using university) asked for his view on the competitive nature of Canvas. Martin replied (and I paraphrase; someone correct me if I’m wrong) that Moodle is not profit-driven and it doesn’t matter that much when schools move to Canvas. What? The community, at least in the US, cares quite a bit. Moodle Partners care about their business, Moodle advocates care about the adoption and health of the open source community, and the level of Moodle development staff depends on how many schools choose Moodle over Canvas or any other solution. I get the point that Moodle HQ may not care for the same reasons as a VC-backed profit-driven company, but they should care.

Instructure has signaled very strongly to investors that it plans to target the installed Moodle base for growth of its LMS, Canvas. Just last week the University of Minnesota, a long-time Moodle customer, announced that its 80k students and 6 campuses would be moving to Canvas. Ask Blackboard what happens when you take this company too lightly.
We are seeing markets outside of North America (Europe, Latin America, and Oceania) becoming more like the local market in terms of LMS vendors under consideration for institutional adoption. Four providers – Canvas, D2L Brightspace, Blackboard Learn, and Moodle – get the lion’s share of new selections across the four regions. If Moodle ceases to be a factor in higher education new implementations other than migrations to Moodlerooms and eThink, that is not healthy for the market. Four primary providers is already a small number – we need more, not fewer to keep all vendors honest and motivated to innovate.
Looking further at our data, over the past two years the vast majority of Moodle departing institutions in North America have moved to Canvas; outside North America most Moodle departing institutions have moved to Canvas and Blackboard Learn and secondarily to D2L Brightspace; outside North America most new Moodle adoptions have come from Blackboard Learn and Claroline.
When you combine the precipitous drop in new implementations with the observed movement from standalone or mom-and-pop Moodle installations to larger Moodle Partners like Moodlerooms, you see a broader movement towards cloud hosting and enterprise solutions. This is interesting in that Moodle is not feature-poor, but the support and hosting models of the big three proprietary vendors and the larger Moodle Partners seems to be a key driver for change.
Note that all of the above is focused on higher education markets and not for K-12 or corporate learning.

We don’t want to cause too much alarm for open source advocates and for the Moodle community, as there is no risk in the near term for the installed base to reduce to unhealthy levels. But these data seem to show a big change to the world’s largest LMS market position by a dramatic slowdown in new implementations. The question is where Moodle is going for higher education LMS usage.

This should be a trend to watch, and one that I believe the Moodle community should discuss more openly.



e-Jobs: Educational Consultant, GradPoint & Pearson Connexus Training & Support

Working remotely from a home office, the Educational Consultant, GradPoint & Pearson Connexus Training & Support serves the Academic Training and Support Services Team by providing exceptional training, support, and customer service to GradPoint & Pearson Connexus customers, who include school- and district-based teachers, administrators, and instructional-technology staff.


K-12 teachers with virtual teaching experience should consider this position.  Basic Requirements:  Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree in Education a plus.  Click through for details.

eJobs: TEFL Instructor – Online Class – HigherEdJobs

International TEFL Academy   ( is looking for an experienced TEFL Instructor to teach our online TEFL/TESOL Certification course. Our students are training to become English teachers overseas — for either short or long term contracts. Please note that this is not a position to teach ESL students, rather, you will be training teachers who want to teach English overseas.


Here’s a position in teacher training.  Help teachers gain skills in TEFL/TESOL. 

Best Practices for Online Discussion: 16 Quality, Timing, and Value Added Response Tips

Expertly facilitated online discussion is the driving force for community in e-learning classes. Creating norms for discussion quality and timing improve the dialog. This also helps the facilitator step back as students learn to deepen their online dialog.


Special thanks to Kathy Hayden of Cal-State San Marcos for the many of the ideas behind ‘Value Added‘ response techniques.  It’s always useful to mix up the types of responses you offer to your students (and peers)  in an online discussion. 

eJobs: Bowling Green University Online Adjunct Faculty – Fire Administration – 

Classes include: Fire & Emergency Services Administration, Principles of Emergency Management, Analytical Approaches to Fire Protection, Applications of Fire Research, Political & Legal Foundations for Fire Protections, Psychology of Disaster, Advanced Fire & Emergency Services Administration (Capstone).

Online teaching experience is required.

Practical management experience in a field related to the fire service, emergency management, or related field is required.

A master’s degree is required. A Ph.D. (or equivalent) is preferred.


Interesting work at a great university.  Teach what you know!

Synchronous Online Classes: 10 Tips for Engaging Students

So how do you teach in this odd virtual space? How do you keep participants from descending into that peculiar passivity characteristic of conference calls? And how do you help students fight the constant temptation of momentarily clicking away from class? While virtual classes are not without challenges, there are, in fact, concrete steps you can take to run class sessions that are energetic, interactive, and productive.


10 tips to make your real time online meetings soar.

The Learning House Online College Students 2017

Discover who is studying online. “Online College Students 2017: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences” explores a survey of 1,500 online students.


Gain insight to what potential online college students are searching for. 

25 Best Sites for Free Educational Videos

Directory of the Web’s best educational video resources. Includes 5min, Academic Earth, BrainPOP, Brightstorm, iTunes U, YouTube EDU, and many more sites.


This is a great resource to use if you don’t have time to make your own videos. There something for everyone here!