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Preface > What Is Moodle?

What Is Moodle?

Moodle is an open source course management system (CMS) used by universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, businesses, and even individual instructors to add web technology to their courses. Moodle is currently used by more than 2,000 educational organizations around the world to deliver online courses and to supplement traditional face-to-face courses. Moodle is available for free on the Web (http://www.moodle.org), so anyone can download and install it. More on that later in this chapter.

The name Moodle has two meanings. First, it's an acronym (what isn't these days) for Modular Object Oriented Developmental Learning Environment. Moodle is also a verb meaning "to let the mind or body wander and do something creative but without particular purpose."

Moodle was created by Martin Dougiamas, a computer scientist and educator, who spent time supporting a CMS at a University in Perth, Australia. He grew frustrated with the system and learned that engineers, not educators, had built it. He realized that a system built by someone who started with the educational process, rather than an engineering process, would be infinitely better than what he had to work with. He put his graduate degrees in education and computer science to work and started developing Moodle as an alternative. He now works on Moodle full-time. A community of dedicated open source developers from around the world works with him in a collaborative effort to make Moodle the best CMS available. He still lives in Australia with his wife, daughter, and son.

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