The section about Moodle on its website www.moodle.org also defines to moodle [verb]:
The process of lazily meandering through something, doing things as it occurs to you to do them, an enjoyable tinkering that often leads to insight and creativity. As such it applies both to the way Moodle was developed, and to the way a student or teacher might approach studying or teaching an online course.
The original version of Moodle was developed by Martin Dougiamas as part of his research on social constructionist pedagogy or, for us mere mortals, learning by doing, communicating, and collaborating. If you wish to learn more about Moodle's underlying pedagogical framework, please refer to http://docs.moodle.org/en/Philosophy.
In a nutshell, Moodle is a web-based software system that facilitates learning and teaching. It is learning-centered and not tool-centered, which appeals to educationalists as well as learners. Moodle is now the most popular open-source virtual learning environment worldwide, and its uptake is growing steadily. Its modularity (remember, that's what the "M" stands for) allows us to configure the system flexibly and also to extend it if we wish to do so.
Before we cover Moodle in more detail, let's have a look at its unique development and business model.