Moodle is, bar none, the most popular learning management system out there.
But it is also, by and large, optimized for an academic environment, and for users at educational institutions, rather than for a corporate training department.
However, that doesn’t mean if you’re a corporate trainer that you can’t bend it to your needs.
Moodle has an extensive directory of free plugins, modules, and add-ons that do everything from allow integrations with specific tools and platforms, to make the user experience better looking. They can even be used to turn Moodle into a business training machine.
Below are the top eight Moodle plugins for corporate trainers looking to get the most out of this LMS:
Microsoft actually offers a whole suite of plugins for Moodle, including Office 365 and OneNote integration. This particular module allows you to access all your OneDrive Business files from within Moodle, turning it into a repository for eLearning, as well as access SharePoint sites for individual courses.
2. Corporate-Optimized Moodle Theme
When using it for corporate training purposes, you’ll want the appearance and feel of your Moodle installation to look less, well, “Moodly.” Three particular themes do a good job of looking professional, and allowing white-labeling and customization.
- The Essential Theme: The most popular Moodle theme with 288,000 downloads and the stated desire to allow Moodle to “potentially serve as a company homepage rather than just a course list.”
- The Rocket Theme: A very customizable theme with easy white-labeling and over 40,000 downloads to date.
- The Contemporary Theme: A responsive theme especially designed for academic and corporate use with 16,000 downloads.
3. Login with LinkedIn
The ability to allow corporate learners to login using their already existing LinkedIn accounts means they’ll be more likely to sign in and engage with training materials. With this extension you’ll actually need to download two different add-ons, the back-end authentication module and then the front-end user interface “block.”
This plugin is aimed explicitly at people using Moodle in professional development environments, and so is ideal for tracking and assessing corporate learners. This report can be run based on individual users or groups, and can be exported to Excel.
Speaking of reports, this module is the most popular reporting one on the site, with 128,000 downloads. Trainers and onboarding managers can pull all sorts of customized reports using this tool, broken down by categories, users, or timeline. It also allows custom SQL queries.
6. Gamification Options
Gamifying your eLearning is the Next Big Thing, and there are several Moodle plugins to help you do this.
- Level up!: A tool to track experience points for learners and give them a visual representation of progress.
- Ranking block: A module that will publically display the ranks of trainees based on how many points they have.
- Badge Awarder: Award custom badges to learners per course.
7. Live Training Integration
Web conferencing and live sessions can be crucial to quality training programs. These two Moodle addons allow integration with some of the most popular business tools for online meetings:
- Webinar: Allows integration between Moodle and Adobe Connect.
- WebEx Training Center Connector: Lets trainers link WebEx meetings to courses in Moodle.
Not all training and professional development activities can be measured inside the classroom. The Tin Can API tracks learning experiences that take place through informal or experiential learning. This plugin lets you launch Tin Can activities from a Moodle course, so you can track phone and on-the-job training easily.
We would be remiss in not mentioning Totara here, which is a distribution of Moodle aimed squarely at the corporate market. Totara is open source as well, however it does charge for support, while the extensions above are free. But for around $3,000 a year you get a ready-made corporate learning system with support, white-labeling, face-to-face management, and the stability of being based on the proven Moodle foundation.
Other corporate Moodle plugins?
Have you found any other great Moodle addons to make it work better in a business learning environment? Share them in the comments!