Founder of Learning Management System, Martin Dougiamas just announced Moodle Cloud at MoodleMoot Australia 2015. The new service is hosting of Moodle sites, direct from the Moodle core team. This announcement will certainly b e controversial as it steps on the traditional partner model that hosts sites for education and businesses.
Dougiamas says the service which is available now from http://moodlecloud.com. It’s designed for small classes (less than 50 users) or for Administrators to do testing.
Sites created on MoodleCloud will have a user-selected prefix and the system will work on a first in-first served basis for names. While sites are free, you are restricted to one site per mobile number, weird this isn’t email address.
You get the sense that the core Moodle team are feeling disconnected from their users. Moodle Cloud is a strategy to get direct feedback and usage data from real users and the hope is that they can create a better product as a result. Currently they have feedback mechanisms like the Moodle tracker, but they need more.
All sites will be automatically updated to the latest stable build of Moodle in a Windows10-style policy. This definitely has it’s pros and cons, especially if users are not easily adaptable to change.
To offer the service for free, Moodle Cloud will be ad supported. That advertisement thankfully isn’t too egregious, ads located at the bottom of the site, for teachers these will be Moodle-related, for students, they will see Google Ads.
If you’re want customisation, you’re out of luck, this will be stock Moodle, the same you could get from Moodle.org and install yourself, but Dougiamas says many users don’t have these skills. This means the only 3rd party plugin will be BigBlueButton, an open source video conferencing, this open-source solution will be integration for free, but limited to 6 simultaneous users.
Here’s some more details for MoodleCloud
- The database size is unlimited.
- There are no limits on number of forum posts..
- There is a limit of 50 users per site (Enough to do a class, or testing).
- 200Mb disk space limit, suggestion to link to files on 3rd party source
- One site per phone number
There currently is no way to pay to remove ads or get extra storage, but these options will be considered in the future.
Go try it out at MoodleCloud.