Moodle’s North American Higher Education Market Share Dwindles

Moodle's North American Higher Education Market Share Dwindles

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EdTech blogger Phil Hill shares data analysis for Moodle about universities and colleges in the US and Canada. Moodle’s market share is still second, but new adoptions have continued to decrease. In 2015, the rate fell below 10%.

Speculatively, some the reasons that could explain this low rate of new adoptions are:

  • The move to the cloud
  • Aggressive strategies from other companies, especially by Canvas
  • An unwillingness from institutions to consider alternate options–Moodle Partners and MoodleCloud offerings are often out of the selection processes even before it begins
  • An absence of education professionals in the LMS selection or low weight given to features, personalization, flexibility, and similar aspects, during procurement
  • The particular role and influence of for-profit business models and policies, and the structure of the higher education system in the United States

Even though the data includes Canada, a previous report by e-Literate shows Moodle’s total domination. Between 2011 and 2016, Moodle kept more than 50% of the share in Higher Ed institutions.

Hill also recognizes Moodle’s dominance virtually everywhere outside the US.

Moodle’s success metrics are not the same as commercial LMS. According to Moodle creator and CEO, Martin Dougiamas, the fact that schools in the US are moving to Canvas is not too much of a problem for the company. Moodle recently reported 100 million registered users worldwide, a feat without contest. Hill has expressed doubts about this figure, which comes from volunteer self-reporting. (LISTedTECH’s sources, methods, and data treatment practices were not readily available.)

Hill reiterates this dynamic is not including segments such as K-12 or corporate markets. He stresses the importance of a serious discussion about Moodle’s “dramatic slowdown.” It might be more productive to consider this data in the context of ‘US Higher Ed institutions with more than 2,500 users.’

Read the full post at

ecreators logoThis Moodle Governance related post is made possible by: eCreators. Moodle for the enterprise, K12 and corporate. Australia and Singapore. To learn more about eCreators, click here.

2 Responses

  1. Maybe Moodle should consider the Pareto principle in terms of its features. Focus is hard to manage in open source, when developers are mainly volunteers. The hidden costs of creating content (eg clunky quiz and question creating due to all the complexity of features) makes a difference. Plenty of usability improvement requests are in the Moodle JIRA, yet development is not really prioritized to improving usability for content creation. Canvas doesn’t have to be too aggressive to convince any school that’s used Moodle for a while that there are costs (aka excessive clicks) to overly complicated features.

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