With the web and SaaS poised to overthrow several ancient models of doing things (especially where training is concerned), we’ve seen a rapid increase of competition, where once any given niche only had one dominant label going. In CRM, we saw the dominance of Force.com over all who would defy them, and in training, we saw Moodle sit at the peak of the mountain, looking down from on high. But, this isn’t the same world of a few years ago, and now all of the kings must defend their castles. Will the outcome of Moodle vs eFront learning see a change of ownership of the crown?
Probably not …
Why Moodle Rocks:
Moodle is so popular because it’s accessible to every business size and organizational type out there. Its open source nature makes it very easy to customize and brand, and with its multiple forms of data retention, communications and course delivery, it opens up a whole array of learning models which abate so many of the classic training tedium and obstacles.
Among its applauded features is a completely customizable wiki system, forums, resource indexes, and multimedia course models that can be completely reshaped depending on the style and materials the instructor wishes to use.
All the while, grades are automatically tallied, tracked and logged as well. These grading systems can also be customized, meaning that traditional oppressive letter grades are not necessarily binding.
Moodle, of course, wasn’t the first thing of this basic type, that title belonging to Blackboard (currently in version nine, and absurdly expensive), but it more than defined the LMS as we currently perceive it. So, anything competing with Moodle has to meet its standards while exceeding them in some way. These two things are often mutually exclusive so … eFront has its challenges to overcome, doesn’t it?
eFront is intended for small and medium businesses primarily. Like Moodle, it takes advantage of the scalability and flexibility of open source licensing under specific circumstances, and that does a lot in its favor when it comes to competition with a giant like Moodle.
But, what of the other features? Does it have the flexible courses and dynamic grades allowing for alternative learning models? What about wikis and information sharing, and co-op capacity?
Why yes, it does in fact support pretty much the same set of features. They’re not as nuanced as they are with Moodle, and the base code intended to be worked with for open nature is a little harder to come to terms with. As someone with programming background I can say it’s a bit of a tangled mess. It works just fine, but expect some work to get into that part initially.
They go a different direction on purpose, forsaking a bit of nuance for ease of use and attractive GUI. I have to admit, while it’s possible to make Moodle pretty, its out of the box interface is actually pretty darned ugly and dated.
Well, Moodle is intended for every scale, where eFront is intended to target the smaller half of the business world. It’s also designed to run out of the box more nicely than Moodle, but at the cost of not being quite as strong in any one feature set, by compare.
So, I can’t actually declare a winner in Moodle vs eFront learning, because they’re not completely competing for the same market. That said, I still kind of recommend Moodle, because you’ll outgrow eFront eventually, and the annoyance of migration may be greater than the convenience of scale targeting..