Moodle is a free open source course management system that is easy to install and configure. Moodle (acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) (stylised in lower-case as moodle) is a free software e-learning platform, also known as a Learning Management System, or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). As of June 2013 it had a user base of 83,008 registered and verified sites, serving 70,696,570 users in 7.5+ million courses with 1.2+ million teachers. Moodle was originally developed by Martin Dougiamas to help educators create online courses with a focus on interaction and collaborative construction of content, and is in continual evolution. The first version of Moodle was released on 20 August 2002.
Flexible Learning Management System
If you need a high level of graphic design, customization Moodle may not be the tool for you unless you are willing to get into the code and work with an existing theme or attempt to create your own. If you can be fine with using existing themes and just changing the header/footer and colors (depending on the theme) Moodle is the tool for hosting asynchronous e-learning.
Moodle is easy to learn if users are relatively software savvy. However, I find that it lacks some ease of use and sophistication for dealing with a university classroom and grading interface. Its group work functions are clunky, and even individual student records and assignments take several steps to access. As a user, I spend far too much time scrolling and clicking intermediate steps and scrolling again compared to the amount of actual information I submit. In short, Moodle is easy to learn but not always easy to use.
Tips for using the product
There are a lot of steps to follow for each process in Moodle, so it's cumbersome. The most cumbersome part of the process is the gradebook, which mimics the layout of a spreadsheet but lacks all of the ease of one.