The spurt of users over the years in favor of online learning has resulted in a relative increase in the number of learning management systems available in the market. In the WordPress domain, there are themes like eLumine, EducationWP, WPLMS and then there are plugins like LearnDash, LifterLMS, WP Courseware and Sensei that are dedicated to the concept of eLearning and are constantly innovating.
With the ever-growing competition in the industry, businesses are readily investing in high-tech features ranging from the implementation of AI and VR to e-learning mobile apps and all the other latest eLearning trends. But let’s face it, it’s not always feasible to offer a certain feature or functionality in your LMS because it’s trending.
However, this doesn’t have to affect the growth of your business. Your LMS may not necessarily need a complete overhaul. A couple of ingenious minor tweaks in your system could have a significant effect on your sales.
One such tweak that definitely deserves to be talked about is lowering the barrier to enrollment and creating micro-learning programs by offering paid lessons or topics, instead of solely offering paid courses.
Let’s discuss this in detail.
What is it?
Very often, the courses that are provided in an Online Learning Management System are extensive and have many lessons associated with them. What we’re suggesting here is that instead of having your students pay for the entire course, you could charge for certain lessons, topics or modules within the course.
Why Would You Need to Offer Paid Lessons?
Well, there are quite a few reasons:
#1 Create More Value for You and Your Customers
A user who needs access to only a single lesson from the course would not be in favor of buying the entire course as it would be an unnecessary outlay. This usually results as a loss for both – the course provider and the course taker. One loses a potential customer while the other doesn’t get access to the specific lesson in question.
Bridging this gap helps you convert it into a win-win situation for both the content provider as well as the student. All you need to do is add a feature in your LMS which allows you to create paid lessons that can be sold individually while keeping the current format of selling an entire course intact.
#2 Market your Course
Have you been able to focus on marketing courses individually on your LMS? Not very practical, is it? Especially once your LMS exceeds a certain number of courses.
Your website may have the best of courses and your content may be far better than what your competitors are offering, but what’s to stop your users from purchasing their course over yours? You need to showcase your offering well.
A great way to market your courses is to introduce their first few lessons for free. Your course takers can check out the initial lessons and then make a more informed decision about enrolling. Now, your prospects may not always convert, but they could prove to be great influencers and reel in users who would.
#3 Monetize your Free Online Course Website
If you’re running a free online course website, and advertisements are your primary source of income, here’s a great way to add to your revenue generation. You could lay out your course content for free while you charge your users for the quizzes and certification.
You can maintain your existing business model and add to your monetizing strategies.
#4 Acquire Better User Insights
It’s always good to get to know your users. The more you know about them, the better your remarketing and recommendations get.
When you let your users explicitly purchase the lessons they’re interested in, you know exactly what they’re looking for. This gives you an immense opportunity in terms of recommending relevant courses to your users and consequently improves their chances of enrolling.
A Work Around
As there is no LMS plugin that offers the feature to create paid lessons at this point in time, users can create individual lessons as courses in order to be able to sell them individually. However, this is not an ideal solution as there would be a need to connect all the lessons of a single course to each other. Also, the number of courses created would be needlessly resulting in overhead for website administrators.
How to Create Paid Lessons for your LMS?
So, if not the workaround, how do we incorporate the paid lessons functionality into an online learning management system? Well, to enjoy this functionality at its best, your WordPress LMS needs some tinkering.
We had the opportunity of customizing LearnDash and Sensei to make lessons paid. The customization mainly involved associating the lessons with products.
This is how it went. Once you figure out an e-commerce platform to use, we customize the related course options to add lessons, so that you could select the specific lessons within a course and convert them into paid lessons.
Your page settings page would then look somewhat like this:
To create a paid lesson, you would have to:
- Check the ‘Create Paid Lessons’ checkbox as shown in the above image.
- Next, select a course from a list provided on the product page. The list of lessons that belong to this particular course is fetched and populated in a separate list meant for lessons.
- Then, select a lesson from this list which will be displayed as a product on the shop page. Other attributes such as price, course description, product image etc can be added as usual.
One thing to note here is that if you want to sell an entire course in some cases instead of individual lessons, you would have to keep the ‘Create Paid Lessons’ option unchecked and sell courses as usual.
- As shown above, on the course page a purchase button would be provided to the users against every paid lesson in the course that has not been purchased by the user.
- Now, a user can buy a particular lesson from any course by clicking on the button provided against the lesson. The user will then be taken to the product page that has been created for the lesson. Once the user buys a lesson the user’s information for that course will be updated, he’ll be able to take the lesson that has been purchased.
So, the users of your LMS will be able to buy individual paid lessons while the option to buy the course as a whole remains intact. This feature not only saves the web admin from creating numerous courses – which are lessons in reality – in the LMS but also provides students with an option to buy only the sections in the course which they require.
Simple customizations could take you a long way ahead in meeting the needs of your students and acquiring a wider set of audience. Offering paid lessons on your WordPress LMS might not seem like a big deal, but the advantages are multi-fold. Are you considering adding this feature to LearnDash or Sensei? What are your reasons to do so? How have you thought about going through with it? Let’s get the conversation started!