Paper: Looking at how Moodle was adopted in Higher Education by Eamon Costello

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This paper from Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and eLearning discusses the early LMS market dominance by Blackboard and how Moodle garnered popularity across the world at institutions of higher education. The author, Eamon Costello looks at published rationale for LMS adoption to tell the story of the changing marketplace for virtual learning environments.

Get the full paper (about 27 pages) from

Some interesting tidbits:

  • by 2007 a LMS was nearly ubiquitous as a campus library
  • in 2007 Blackboard systems (WebCT included) accounted for 2/3rds of LMS in the US and 4/5ths in the UK
  • interesting commentary on hacker ethos vs “corporate ethos” and the sense of identity from using open source as a contributor to adoption
  • “Because the database and operating system for running Moodle can be open source and free, the cost
    of set-up can be as little as the hardware.”

The paper, which based on the sources is definitely written from the perspective of Moodle users, further discusses the history of Moodle, Moodle Trust and Martin’s early work on the project which helped to codify a few early decisions such as the open source license type, the use of Moodle to coordinate community efforts and later the Moodle Partner program which has grown to help support the efforts of Moodle HQ.

If you’re interested in the history of Moodle and LMS adoption overall in the last decade and a half, give it a read.

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