Dougiamas said he based Moodle on a sound pedagogical principle: that people construct new knowledge as they interact with each other. He said he found he could not use Blackboard, a leading commercial CMS, in a way that permitted him the freedom to manage online courses as he wanted.
Dougiamas said Moodle, in contrast, gives educators and students the chance to collaborate in the construction of online learning environments.
Moodle, Dougiamas explained, is based on open standards, which means that it is completely interoperable with other systems, works by a set of common protocols, and has a defined workflow structure with a well-explained sequence of activities that permits the user to build and modify community web sites. The proprietary Blackboard model, he said, locks the user out of such opportunities for collaboration by not allowing access to the base code.
"Administrators need to be convinced that they can take the money they save from having to pay for a proprietary system like Blackboard and use it toward support," he said, addressing concerns about how schools can support open-source technology platforms.