A Shropshire company boss who took a gamble and exhibited at a London expo which attracts thousands of human resources managers and trainers, says he has been “overwhelmed” by interest in licence-free Moodle software.
Ray Lawrence is managing director of Telford-based HowToMoodle, which shows people how to take advantage of Moodle open source software – freely available on the internet – and use it for professional online training and learning.
The software is widely used by universities and other educational institutions, but is relatively unknown in the commercial world.
“I decided to introduce Moodle to HR managers at an expo organised by the Chartered Institute for Personal Development,” said Ray. “This is a prestigious event, attended by delegates from more than 70 countries.”
As the only Moodle organisation there, Ray had a captive audience.
“I was amazed at the amount of interest; HR managers and training companies were eager to know more. Many had heard something about it, but only had vague information.”
Moodle is used for online learning on some 40,000 web sites, but UK training managers have been slow to react.
“They are used to proprietary software, but this is very often costly to adopt, with heavy licence fees that can be expensive if large numbers of people are involved.
“They are looking for a professional alternative and Moodle is just waiting to be used. We show them how to do it, by designing and delivering a range of training courses and offer them on-going help that allows them to get the most out of Moodle,” added Ray.
HowToMoodle is based at the e-innovation centre at the Telford Campus of Wolverhampton University and has been trading for three years. It was the first business set up to focus exclusively on Moodle training.
“Moodle has been like a lot of open source software, where development has been left to individual innovation and training. We decided to introduce an element of professionalism into the business.
“We are now training and supporting organisations all over the UK as the recognised centre of Moodle support."