The last year has brought with it major developments in WordPress e-Learning options, often referred to as an LMS (Learning Management System). Such tools were previously only available at universities, most using the popular Moodle, that needed bands of geeks to keep it up and running. Now WordPress makes LMS viable for mainstream schools and any business providing training services for any sector – Be it for a hundred or thousands of students.
Learndash and Sensei LMS for WordPress
Learndash is the best of one of a half dozen superb e-learning plugins for WordPress. These low cost WordPress tools provide some incredible alternatives to other proprietary and open source options. The Learndash provides ideas and tips, telling us how this more affordable, user-friendly WordPress e-learning package is changing education. Learndash would suit those with more complex needs, wanting to grow. Their quiz tools are incredible and there are a dozen amazing third party add-ons for specific needs.
WooCommerce Sensei is another popular e-Learning plugin for WordPress. A different emphasis from Learndash, providing a slick built-in reporting system, plus nice integration with WooCommerce and related subscription or membership options. Both Learndash and Sensei have the Buddyboss social learner theme option, mentioned below.
p.s. Those currently lucky enough to be using GoogleApp tools and Dropbox can take their e-Learning to the next level, since WordPress allows tight integration with these systems and services…
Great themes and a cart for e-Learning
These plugins can work with most themes, however an eLearning website should not look like a marketing website. The layout and structure needs special care to keep students engaged. Pre-built LMS-styled themes are available, plus there’s a stunning community-learning package from buddyboss I love. Best of all, each can be linked into the powerful WooCommerce cart to help track transactions and take in money for the courses automatically.
Make getting paid easier with WooCommerce
The popular WordPress WooCommerce shopping cart add-on is critical, since any business selling training needs to be paid, online. And using Paypal is never, ever enough. The arrival of Stripe means that setting up monthly payments and regular subscriptions is easier and less costly now. You can have trial offers as well as provide vouchers to help bring in more students who would prefer to try, before they buy. Or with additional plugins, generate cart credits or vouchers, allowing say grandparents to pay for a month or full year as a surprise gift. To replicate this in tools like Moodle or other systems is hard work and costly.
Mobile apps make it magical…
A mobile app, bundled with WordPress e-learning portal outlined here could be an even bigger opportunity for training companies – But like any new system, it takes good planning and expert implementation to get the desired results. Not yet DIY territory to setup. But the good news is it’s easier than before and certainly more affordable.
Can we build it ourselves?
But an LMS site, like a eCommerce site is a lot more complex than a marketing website. Sometimes you will need help from those who build these complex sites for a living. We know all the tricks, often doing in a few hours or days what I’ve seen take newcomers take weeks or months. Certainly if your LMS site is being done as a hobby or non-profit use, then the DIY path can be fine – We’re still here if you get into trouble.
A good ‘social learner’ LMS site, built professionally, with a mobile app, can now be in the thousands, not tens of thousands of dollars. A system you can build your own business on. To discover the opportunities from Learndash, Sensei and mobile apps could do for your school, private tutoring or training business, just fill in the form below.