Moodle vs Google Classroom Comparison

Help determine if using Google Classroom is an appropriate choice

Last Updated: October 9th, 2023

Moodle or Google Classroom?
A Learning Management System (LMS) Comparison

Learning Management Systems are vital pieces of software designed to disseminate, administer, document, track, automate and deliver educational courses and/or training. Most LMS platforms can be used by people at various levels of technical skill and roles (teacher, student, reviewer, non-editing teacher, tutor...ect). However, as platforms grow in complexity, they can be frustratingly cumbersome for users focused on utilizing specific features.

If an instructor decides that using an alternate system is in their students best interest — whether that be a publishers platform (i.e. Pearson, McGraw Hill, MyOpenMath) or some other content management system (Canvas, Google Classroom, Blackboard, Basecamp) — it’s important to consider how that decision may affect students as well as current college protocols/procedures.

  • Enrollment in Moodle is automatically synchronized to the College’s enrollment management (Banner) and student information systems (SIS). Users are automatically created, enrolled, and updated automatically. This includes name changes, email information, preferred name, dropped classes, and late enrollment. For a single instructor managing a class of 5 students, this may not appear to be of much concern but an enormous task even for a class of 20.
  • The use of Moodle is in compliance with Oregon State and Accreditation policies on data retention and security. This includes backup and archival of student submitted work, course participation as well as instructor created content and course materials. These materials might be audited or may be required if a discrepancy or lawsuit is filed. Single Sign-on (SSO) is utilized as well as other security measures to ensure user accounts are secure, maintained, and managed by the College.
  • Extensive LMS training and dependable support is made available to students and teachers. Instructor training resources include support documentation, forums, virtual and live support, classes, as well as peer support. The student help desk is able to provide fast, accurate, and personalized support for a wide variety of LMS based issues.

With those components in mind, the college does it’s best at remaining open to the use of other learning tools and platforms. This includes the use of a secondary LMS option.

Preferred Option - Moodle (OpenLMS)

Lane has been using various versions of Moodle for nearly a decade. While it is built with more features than what might be needed by a specific instructor, the platform is highly flexible and customizable. The platform is continually reshaped through several review processes and includes feedback from users locally and globally (software is open source).

Moodle is the preferred option as it brings consistency for the students at Lane. A lot of students already have had classes in Moodle. This means that those students who have been at lane generally already know how to submit assignments, reply to forums, check their grades, and other tasks on the student side. This also makes sure all of their classes are in one spot making it easier for them to track what needs to be done in all of their courses.

Secondary Option - Google Classroom

Google classroom is the secondary option for a few reasons. It has a simplified user interface that makes it easier to build an assignment or quiz. It has fewer customizations which can simplify what settings need to be changed and reduces setup time. With that in mind Google Classroom may be missing key features which you might want to use or start using in the future (you may start using a product that you can’t grow into). Finally, Google classroom can be very handy if you have someone you are including in your class that is not a student at lane or is part of continuing education as it only requires the participant to have a google account (ANY free or organizationally sponsored google account).

Features and Comparison Chart



Google Classroom

Easy for instructors to use



Easy for students to use

Highly dependent on instructors ability to utilize available tools.

Streamlined interface
supports K-12 skillset

Automatic enrollment of students

Enrolled through Banner & ExpressLane

Instructor individually invites studentsor provides link

Participation of non-credit or non-LaneCC students without an “L-Number”

* Non-LCC accounts provided on a limited case-by-case basis.

Any individual with a gmail ( or G-Suite (, + other schools) account can participate.

Access to materials without logging in

*LIMITED: can not participate in most activities (i.e. forum, quiz, questionnaire, lesson)

Roles: teacher or student

Basic course management features
(create, duplicate, delete, hide, download, ect)

Multiple teachers in a single course


Maximum: 20

Assign specific activities to a group of students

Integration of Publisher Materials
(single sign-on, grade passback, assignment embedding)

LTI and publisher specific platforms (i.e. Pearson, Mcgraw Hill)

LIMITED to Google specific partners and developers

Variety of activity types

14 built-in tools + 3rd party (H5P, Kaltura, GoogleDocs, ect)

LIMITED to Four Types: Assignment, Quiz, Question, Materials

Grading rubrics


Highly Customizable

Simplified. Points, percentages & categories

Student data kept private

Stringent Privacy policy

Google adheres to a privacy policy but some raise long term concerns.

Comprehensive College support
(training, technical assistance, system management/maintenance, data security & retention, backup/archiving)


Limited assistance and troubleshooting via ATC helpdesk

Extensive collection of self-help tutorials or ‘how to’ videos



Reporting and Analytics


LIMITED: audit Log, basic usage reports, assignment completion summaries

* With the increased push for online access of classroom materials, new features for Google Classroom are continually being added. Chart last updated: 10/01/20. 

ATC Support & Hours of Operation

Weekday Support, Monday - Friday

The ATC is open to in-person assistance. Support is available through the above remote options and on campus at CEN 208

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