Moodle, an Australian EdTech Success Story

This session took place on Entrepreneurship day at Melbourne EdTech Summit 2021. Martin Dougiamas, CEO of Moodle, and Jack Goodman, CEO of Studiosity, spoke about the Moodle journey and what’s next for education innovation.

Moodle is the most popular open source LMS in the world and has more than 110+ million users globally.

In this Melbourne EdTech Summit 2021 conversation, Moodle founder Martin Dougiamas and Jack Goodman, CEO of Studiosity, will explore the different stages of the Moodle journey and the next areas of EdTech opportunity. 

The session’s key topics were:

The Next Wave of Education Innovation
Open EdTech Movement
Open Source and a Sustainable Business Model
Next Steps for Moodle

The Next Wave of Education Innovation

Moodle hasn’t grown very fast — it’s been slow, gentle, ever-increasing growth. Martin Dougiamas explains that it’s not the growth most investors are looking for. If your business becomes centrally focused on profitability, there is a pull away from the intention for the solution in the first place: to positively impact learners.

Education is not just a commodity. It is the thing that makes us human.
Martin Dougiamas, Founder of Moodle

Education, Martin says, is how we drive humanity forward. Open source, therefore, aligns with this idea. It is free for all to use, eliminating boundaries for furthering collective human knowledge. 

There’s always this takeover mentality and of infinite growth among many corporations. 

Open EdTech Movement

Moodle was hit very hard, in a good way, by the pandemic last year. They were swamped. At that point, the focus was more on supporting Moodle and educators rather than Open EdTech.

However, Open EdTech is Martin Dougiamas’ plan to bring together similarly-minded organisations. This association is in Brussels. Each member has to fit specific criteria that they really are open, have a sustainable model, have an open development community, and listen intently to educators.

My dream would be that anyone who starts a school or university can say “ok, it’s software time. I need to organise my software”, and then pick up everything off the shelf. These different software would plug together.
Martin Dougiamas, Founder of Moodle

He is interested in a sort of storefront for open education technology. It shouldn’t be a privilege of the wealthy to have a quality education. 

Open Source and a Sustainable Business Model

Jack Goodman wonders what Martin’s thoughts were on the Sustainable Development Goals and how they are incorporated into Moodle values. 

The Sustainable Development Goals are the best thing we have to a global agenda, says Martin Dougiamas. Education is fundamental to solving all of these different problems, and helps enable these other goals. 

Jack agrees, articulating that it is particularly important for women and girls across the world to have access to education in order to improve their lives. 

Providing opportunities to learn anything you want should be our goal.
Martin Dougiamas, Founder of Moodle
Next Steps for Moodle

As we become more hyper-connected and have more devices, Martin says he would build a learning platform differently for this time. Through Open EdTech and other relationships, he is asking the question: ‘What would a global learning platform really look like?’

Jack asks, what do the next 3, 5, 10 years hold for Moodle and for EdTech?

Moodle, Martin says, should be a structure or an organism that keeps moving forward.

If you’re an organisation that has a sustainable model, and is listening to educators, and involving developers, you’re going to do the right thing. 
Martin Dougiamas, Founder of Moodle


EduGrowth Melbourne EdTech Summit Geoff Masters 200 x 200

Martin Dougiamas

Martin Dougiamas is the founder and CEO of the open-source Moodle software project he started in 1999. The Moodle platform consists of a number of products, but the best-known is Moodle LMS, which allows educators in all sectors to create private educational spaces online, filled with tools for collaborative learning. Martin has a mixed academic background with multiple post-graduate degrees in Computer Science and Education, two honorary doctorates and is a member of multiple boards around the world.

EduGrowth Melbourne EdTech Summit 2021 - Jack Goodman speaker

Jack Goodman

Jack Goodman founded Studiosity, one of Australia’s first internet-driven edtech companies,  in 2003. At the time he had two children under three and another on the way, and looking back,  it’s unclear what he was thinking. Jack has been involved in startups since the mid-1990s and has experienced first-hand both successes and failures. The value of these experiences cannot be overstated. He has an M.Phil. in political theory from Cambridge University and a B.A. from Princeton University. He is also the president of Friends of Libraries Australia, and a mentor for EduGrowth.