We Talk With Moodle’s Martin Dougiamas and eThink’s Brian Carlson About The Effect of Open Source In Education.
Moodle is the most used learning management system in the world. While it’s fourth in the United States behind Blackboard, Canvas and BrightSpace, Moodle’s open source LMS holds the lionshare of the world market. The biggest factor to their global success is the fact that Moodle is Open Source. The second biggest factor is it’s rockstar founder Martin Dougiamas.
Dougiamas is brilliant, engaging and passionate about Moodle, the company he founded fifteen years ago in Australia. He travels the world speaking with Moodle users, utilizing the learning management system in a wide variety of ways. It’s hard to stop him for a sit down interview, but at EDUCAUSE we were fortunate to get about ten minutes of his time at a special event with eThink Education, the fastest growing Moodle partner in North America.
Prior to our interview Dougiamas gave a 40 minute talk about the state of Moodle and what to expect from them in the coming year. When we sat down we talked about creating Moodle, their first user and some really interesting users.
Companies like Shell and Google are using Moodle for enterprise training and e-learning. The most interesting though is the United Nations. When we asked Dougiamas in the interview video above he tells us one of the most interesting things he’s done in the 15 years since launching Moodle, was having a meeting with users at the United Nations. After going through the rigorous security procedures to get into the UN building he found out that 11 departments were using Moodle in a variety of ways.
Dougiamas is humble and quite approachable but said that when he’s doing a Moodle Moot or speaking to a large conference group there are sometimes upwards of 100 people standing in line just to take a selfie with the founder.
He knows that being open source is the key to their success. It means that changes and customizations can be made in minutes rather than months. Carlson agrees that the open source factor to Moodle is a key to great customer service.
Carlson became involved with Moodle while working at Ellucian. He saw how the open-source environment would not only help customers but help students as well. Baltimore based eThink Education has built their entire company around customer service. “Open Source kind of keeps us in check, our customers can go anywhere but they stick with us because of our customer service” Carlson told us. “… If a client needs a change we can have it done in an hour, that’s hard to do in a closed source environment”.
Check out our exclusive interview above with both Carlson and Dougiamas. For more information check out ethinkeducation.com but Carlson says if you’re a smaller or independent user, like a home school parent, Moodle has their own solution for you at moodle.com