MOODLE (short for: Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) is the software solution designed especially for creating and holding the educational courses via the online platforms supported by the usage of computer and internet (otherwise known as ˝e-lecture, e-learning˝). It is the network application installed to a server, and then it can be accessed easily from any networked computer via internet. It offers its users the possibility to lecture, learn, check their knowledge, meet, network and cooperate.
The author of MOODLE is Martin Dougiamas, who is the pedagogue and also a computer scientist at the Pert´s University in Australia. Moodle is a free platform and is available as an open source code under the GNU Public licence. That means, in general, it is protected by copyrights, but it is allowed to be shared, used and even changed under one condition which would be that others can access the open source code, that the original licence cannot be changed, nor the information about the copyrights.
Moodle is constantly under development by the community which consists of proximately thousands of members around the globe. At this very moment over 70 000 educational centres in over 200 countries around the world, have registered Moodle web pages. The Moodle system owes its huge success and popularity to its simplicity, quick installation process, it does not need to use large amount of server´s data, it easily integrates into the already existing systems, and its interface is easily understood and handled by both professors and students alike. It can be used by either Windows, Linux, Mac and can be based upon any PHP supported server.
Moodle acquired its popularity among the teachers thanks to its good pedagogical bases and flexibility it offers to the academic environment. This software gives the teachers the possibility to freely publish all of the teaching materials and study sheets which are created already in the digital format, like texts, pictures, multimedia presentations… It also gives the teachers opportunity to follow the activities of their students, as they can observe the patterns of students applying to Moodle to access the materials, it precisely records the timings of the check ins and check outs and timings of accessing the materials by students, also shows the success of the educational steps and presents professors and students with the final results. The acquired knowledge and performance testing, as well as evaluation are done by the developed testing software system. The information is then stored in the databases which can later be accessed and used for analysis or presentation in different forms.
The Universities of Serbia, which are the members of the Academic Network of Serbia, which is in turn the public information communication service (CSP) provider founded by the Government of Serbia, also use Moodle. Anonymous entity and the Pirate Party of Serbia are the extreme forms of open source code usage in our country.
Looking backwards, it could be said that Moodle history started in a way through Dougimas´s childhood, as he attended a form of distance based educational systems created in Australia to help those who lived in a faraway areas and were unable to educate themselves through existing, formal ways. Important idea Martin incorporated into Moodle is actually a social constructivism, the sociological idea based on interactive patterns created within one group, serving as means of socialization between the members and the ways of learning.
The possibilities Moodle offers are:
• Possibility of creating large number of courses;
• Open sharing of the multimedia educational materials;
• Effective communication and mutual collaboration facilitated by available Moodle tools;
• Simultaneous knowledge checking and evaluation;
• The system´s very flexibility and easy handling;
• It continually keeps evolving and developing;
• Suitable for independent online courses and/or an addition to face-to-face courses.
It surely facilitates the lives of all of those around the globe who are for one reason or the other unable to attend formal lines of education. And when it comes to Moodle, it is the number one reason behind its popularity.