Moodle (acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) is a free software e-learning platform, also known as a Learning Management System, or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). As of June 2013 it had a user base of 83,008 registered and verified sites, serving 70,696,570 users in 7.5+ million courses with 1.2+ million teachers.
Moodle was originally developed by Martin Dougiamas to help educators create online courses with a focus on interaction and collaborative construction of content, and is in continual evolution. The first version of Moodle was released on 20 August 2002.
The Moodle project comprises several distinct but related elements, namely
Moodle Pty Ltd (also known as Moodle.com and Moodle Headquarters, based in Perth, Western Australia), an Australian company which performs the majority of the development of the core Moodle platform.
the Moodle Community, an open network of over one million registered users who interact through the Moodle community website to share ideas, code, information and free support. This community also includes a large number of non-core developers, with Moodle’s free source license and modular design allowing any developer to create additional modules and features that has allowed Moodle to become a truly global, collaborative project in scope.
the Moodle Partner network, which forms the commercial arm of the Moodle environment and provides the bulk of the funding to Moodle Pty Ltd through the payment of royalties.