What Is Moodle and How Can I Use it to Deliver Online Learning?

What is Moodle?

Moodle is a free, open-source learning management system (LMS), launched in 2002 by founder and CEO Martin Dougiamas, who identified a need for a dynamic way for educators to provide learning online. It is made of countless plugins and themes. These are constantly evolving, making it an incredibly versatile and customisable solution.

Moodle is widely recognised as one of the best learning management systems available. It is used by over 870,000 organisations worldwide to deliver online learning.

SkillSet currently hosts and supports Moodle for 18 clients. This includes the Welsh Government, for whom we developed, implemented, and continue to maintain and enhance the BOSS (Business Online Support Service) portal.

How Does it Work?

Moodle is a platform for online learning. It enables you to create online courses, add assignments, and keep an eye on learners’ progress. Moodle also allows you to communicate with learners and encourage communication between them in forums and discussions.

Responsive Interface

Moodle is compatible with all common browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge, running on all common platforms. Users can access content on a full range of devices: PCs, mobile phones, tablets, laptops etc. Moodle also offers an official smartphone app for iOS and Android, which allows users to access the course content offline. This means that your learners can access the course content in a way, and at a time, that suits them best.

Personalised Dashboard

On logging into Moodle users are presented with their own dashboard, which can be customised to their individual preferences. Items commonly selected for display include details of the user’s courses, deadlines for upcoming assignments, and important dates such as examinations or assessments.

A customised dashboard creates a feeling of ownership for the user, and further motivates them to engage with the content. It makes it easy for the user to find content that is relevant to them, and can act as a useful encouragement for them to return to the site to further their learning.

Collaborative Tools

Moodle has been designed to facilitate collaborative learning. This is reflected in the range of tools available for users to share information and work together on assignments. Forums, wikis, glossaries, database activities, and an easy-to-use messaging system ensure learners stay in touch with peers and course leaders. Providing a channel to ask questions will allow your learners to quickly find answers and access any additional support that they may need.

Tracking and Reporting

Moodle features advanced tracking and reporting. This includes a drag-and-drop builder to create custom reports, which can be automatically emailed to managers or team leaders. Data can be shared in real-time with other systems, such as HR programs or management information systems, or it can be exported in bulk, in a variety of formats, for long-term storage and auditing.

What Value Does SkillSet Add?

Aesthetic Features

SkillSet can configure Moodle to use any branding requested by our clients. The system is highly customisable, with many options for colours, fonts, images, and navigation. We work closely with our clients to agree any appropriate customisations that fit the clients’ needs and allows the system to be used effectively by all users.

Here’s an example of a branded Moodle site that we built for Peppermint Technology Ltd:

Custom Plugins

SkillSet has developed numerous plugins to support our customers’ Moodle systems. One example is a conferencing plugin, which combines Zoom integration with a means to manage, report, and track completion data on multiple individual meeting or webinar instances. This means that, as the Zoom organiser, you don’t need to worry about whether all participants joined the Zoom call: Moodle makes a record of all participants that joined and also how long they stayed on the call. This information will automatically complete the relevant section or module for the learner, and you can see that they have completed it satisfactorily.

We have also developed a notification plugin to allow clients to define specific actions or events within Moodle that can trigger customisable notifications to be sent to end users or managers. These can be configured, as required, to help users stay on top of their required learning. Some default notification triggers include:

  • User enrolled on course
  • X days after user enrolled on course
  • X days after user enrolled on course without any activity completions (e.g. you need to finish this course)
  • User completed course (e.g. what to do next)
  • X days after user completed course (e.g. recertification will soon be required)
  • User completed activity (e.g. a workflow trigger to let a manager know that a user has got to a certain point)

Here’s an example of the notification plugin SkillSet built for the Compassionate Leadership Academy’s (CLA) Moodle site:


SkillSet host Moodle LMS solutions using Amazon Web Services (AWS). We are an AWS Consulting Partner and have certified consultants able to advise on the most appropriate services and solutions for you. You can find out more about our AWS partnership here.

System Availability

SkillSet uses the AWS Cloudwatch monitoring tools with all the hosted system components. This alerts SkillSet if there are any issues with running services, memory/CPU/disk usage, or if errors are encountered on the servers.

Here is an example of our disk space usage graph for CLA:


SkillSet holds ISO 27001 certification for our information security management. All of the technology and processes used to manage our LMSs are covered by this certification. You can read more about this and our Cyber Essentials accreditations here.

We hope this article has given you some insights into what Moodle is and how it can be used. If you decide to move forward with your Moodle project, please give SkillSet a call to discover how we can help you meet your learning objectives.