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Google Classroom vs. Moodle Comparison 2020

by Arthur Zuckerman

Distance learning has gone far to the point in its history, where learning management software or LMS has become more advanced and a lot easier to access. These days, the quality of LMS software has improved so much that a growing number of K-12 schools and even higher education and alternative learning institutions utilize LMS to optimize teaching and learning environments. This article, which is about Google Classroom vs. Moodle comparison, explores both the similarities and differences between two popular LMS systems.

Various vendors have emerged over the years, and we have compiled the top LMS software solutions known today. In this Google Classroom vs. Moodle comparison article, however, we will take a look at two of today’s most popular LMS software and see which one offers a better online education platform.

What Is Google Classroom?

Google Classroom is part of Google’s suite of applications for education. This free LMS software has a simple and straightforward interface and is readily accessible via Google account. Academic institutions, however, will have to sign up for G Suite for Education to get access to the full list of applications that they can use in their online classroom.

Exclusively a cloud-based software, Google Classroom is designed to enhance collaboration between teachers and students. Teachers can create classrooms and students can join the class via an invite or a code sent by the teachers. Teachers can also create a list of homework and set deadlines for submission. Students are encouraged to participate in class via discussion forums. When it comes to communication within the classroom, a group chat feature is available, and students can also privately message their teachers for concerns.

Schools and teachers using Google Classroom can also allow the students’ parents or guardians to have access to classroom information via email summaries. These summaries are automatically sent to the registered guardians and let them know if their student has missed submitting a homework; if there is homework or project that should be submitted soon; and other classroom activities, such as important announcements, etc. This LMS platform is also available on iOS and Android devices.

google classroom

Google Classroom dashboard interface.

Features

Google Classroom is a simple but well-equipped LMS and here are some of its core features:

  • Rubrics for teachers
  • Student progress tracker
  • Classwork page
  • Guardian emails
  • Calendar
  • Chat
  • Free access to Google Apps for Education

Integrations

When it comes to integrating with other applications, Google Classroom can integrate with hundreds of education applications and below are just some of them:

  • Squigi
  • Writable
  • Pearson Education
  • Activity Learn
  • Aeris
  • Google Apps for Education
  • G Suite

Customer Support

Google Classroom has a dedicated help page that guides new on how to use the platform. A community of Google Classroom users is also available–here, you can browse the posts made by other users for tips and other helpful solutions.

Pricing

Google Classroom is a completely free learning management solution.

Advantages of using Google Classroom

  • Free
  • Easy to set up use
  • Collaboration-friendly
  • Automatically keeps guardians up to date
  • Has more integration options

Disadvantages of using Google Classroom

  • Limited tech support for users

What Is Moodle?

Moodle is one of the top LMS software we have reviewed thus far. Moodle is designed to be modular, which allows teachers to build their curriculum that they can display on their private website. Its highly customizable interface gives teachers or admins more freedom to design their websites according to their brand. They can also decide what goes into the main dashboard (i.e., tasks due, current lessons, etc.)

Unlike Google Classroom, Moodle has both cloud-based and on-premise deployment. It also has a mobile application that supports iOS and Android devices. Also, while MoodleCloud is free to use, this version is only limited to the basic features and a maximum of 50 students. If you would like access to the more advanced features or increase the number of students you can accommodate, you have to opt for the paid versions.

moodle

Sample Moodle interface.

Features

Moodle is equipped with robust features that make the online learning environment seamless for both teachers and students. Below is a list of some of Moodle’s general features:

  • Personalized dashboard
  • All-in-one calendar
  • File management
  • Text editor
  • Customizable notifications
  • Progress tracker
  • Role-based permissions
  • Detailed reporting
  • Multimedia integration
  • Peer and self-assessment
  • Outcomes and rubrics
  • Integrated badges

Integrations

Moodle is an open-source platform and has a smaller list of integrations. These integrations are paid add-ons to enhance your online learning platform. Below are the certified integrations for Moodle:

  • BigBlueButton
  • Bongo
  • Intelliboard
  • SimCheck
  • GO1

Also, as of July 2010, Moodle has started supporting the following integrations with Joomla! which is one of the top CMS software on our list:

  • JFusion
  • Joomdle
  • Promoodle

Customer Support

Moodle has a page dedicated to educating users from ready-made responses to frequently asked questions, addressing common issues, and connecting with Moodle Partners, which are certified providers of high-quality Moodle services. You can also submit a request if you have further questions.

Pricing

  • Free (50 users, 200 MB file storage, and basic features)
  • Starter — $80/year (50 users, 200 MB file storage, additional advanced features)
  • Mini — $250/year (100 users, 200 MB file storage, more advanced features)
  • Small — $500/year (200 users, 400 MB file storage, same features as Mini)
  • Medium — $1000/year (500 users, 1GB file storage, same features as Mini and Small)

Advantages of using Moodle

  • Highly customizable
  • Offers unlimited course and activities
  • Provides custom certificates

Disadvantages of using Moodle

  • Has a low user limit
  • Small storage limit

Conclusion

While these two applications are created for the same purpose, this Google Classroom vs. Moodle comparison article highlights the differences in their approach to online learning. Google Classroom’s simple and straightforward structure is ideal for users who are not yet familiar to LMS, as well as schools that have more than 500 students. Moodle, on the other hand, might be preferable to users who have more advanced technical knowledge and budgets and do not have to accommodate thousands of students. 

Usually, LMS systems for private tutors and teachers use other support systems such as payment gateways and ecommerce tools. So, if you haven’t had the chance to check these out, you might want to compare ecommerce software reviews while you’re here.

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