Moodle for workplace learning
Moodle is well-known as a virtual learning environment in schools, colleges and universities. What is perhaps less well-known is that Moodle can also be used as an online learning space within a corporate environment, yet even those who use it may not recognise it, as it’s often hidden as part of a branded corporate intranet.
Moodle is used for induction training, compliance courses, health and safety training, team skills, and continuous professional development. It is also used for sales training, small business consulting, language courses, Six-Sigma process improvement, IT training, courses in energy, water, risk management, journalism, archaeology, and medical skills – and more.
It’s been used to support operational training for users of computers, lab equipment, software systems and many other processes, allowing a core team to offer focused training across a wide geographical area. This is particularly useful in a company selling niche products with customers spread around the world.
Small training companies, and training and development consultants often find uses for Moodle to provide an online backup to their face-to-face courses or to offer completely online course.
Corporate users value the look and feel of Moodle as with clever theming it can look “sexy”, attractive and professional, matching the corporate branded look. Customisation and integration are the key to use of Moodle as a Corporate University.
One caveat to the use of Moodle in corporate environments is that while companies often have excellent programmers who can extensively customise Moodle, this can sometimes be at the cost of learning or instructional design. Many companies won’t have an in-house online learning specialist to develop use of Moodle along good pedagogic lines, and may end up with a good-looking Moodle but with minimal use of learning and teaching tools, and minimal engagement of users.
This is where good Moodle training and/or use of appropriate consultants can steer the corporate learning strategy in the right direction. Moodle is an exceptional product, and being open source there’s no need to invest in expensive software, so resources can be focused on getting the most out of Moodle in the context of an effective corporate learning and development plan. Joining a forum like moodle.org is also a great idea so that Moodle developers and designers in small companies can learn from the best practice of others. There’s a course available on moodle.org to more intensively look into business uses.
6 Top tips for corporate VLEs (apply to all VLEs not just Moodle)
- Look out for best practice: learn from educationas well as other corporate users – ( e.g., on moodle.org benefit from the generous Moodle open source community)
- Explore all the possible tools within Moodle or your other VLE to see which are most appropriate for your needs
- Look to make the best use of social tools to bring learners together, not just using your VLE to deliver multimedia learning objects
- If you have your own developer resources, consider developing modules and themes and offering them back to the Moodle community (if you have a commercial VLE why not offer consultancy once you’ve made a success of it yourself)
- Use your VLE (Moodle is particularly good for this) to develop a community of practice for your staff to share
- Have a steering commttee made up of HR, IT, managers and learners to ensure a co-ordinated approach to the use of your learning environment