As time is passing, more and more of our education is going online. Even before this pandemic, we were already headed in that direction, and now COVID-19 has only put that transition to e-Learning in top gear.
The future of education is online schools, and if you too are thinking about creating one then you’re thinking right.
However, the most important choice that you need to make while setting up your online school is that of choosing a Learning Management System (LMS).
Now, there are plenty of options available in the market of LMSs.
However, WordPress combined with LearnDash is the most popular choice among them.
Why? Well, for a lot of reasons. In this article, we’re going to explore 22 features that make WordPress + LearnDash the right choice for any e-Learning site (including your own future school site). Let’s get started!
#1. Ease of Setting up WordPress and LearnDash
If there’s one thing that makes WordPress the most popular CMS in the world, it’s the ease of use and setup. Setting up a site with it is super easy, and anyone with little knowledge of computing can do that.
The same goes for the LearnDash LMS plugin too – it’s extremely easy to use and to set up so that anyone who has some knowledge of WordPress can use it to create an e-Learning site in little to no time.
Even if you don’t have any experience with it, there are plenty of video tutorials as well as explanatory articles available online (like this tutorial) to help you set up your site easily.
Both LearnDash, as well as WordPress, come with powerful features that may be required by an online school site. You can easily set up course pages, student accounts, instructor accounts, forums, communities, classrooms, and dashboards.
You name it, WordPress and LearnDash have got it.
And for features that are not included in the core plugin, there are extensions to add them. You’ll understand this in greater detail as we’ll move on in this article.
#3. Admin-friendly, engaging themes
The third biggest advantage of choosing WordPress and LearnDash to create your e-Learning site is that the combination comes with admin-friendly themes that allow you to set up your pages and course content easily in a streamlined manner.
Due to tight integration with LearnDash, many of the WordPress themes don’t require you to spend too much time in understanding how to use any particular feature.
You also don’t run into compatibility issues – a situation in which some of the features included in LMS don’t work because the theme lacks corresponding functionality to support them.
In addition, the best LearnDash themes have highly engaging designs and quick-setup demos which help you take your school online in the least possible time. All of these are highly customizable which ensures that your website looks exactly as you want it to, and reflects your school’s spirit and values.
#4. Easy addition of functionality
While both LearnDash and WordPress provide you with all the necessary features that you may need to create an online school, there are also hundreds of free and premium extensions that can be integrated with LearnDash to add the features that you need.
- Some of those popular extensions include:
- Event Espresso for event management,
- Elementor for building course pages,
- Yoast SEO for SEO optimization,
- WISDM Instructor Role for adding multiple instructors,
- Uncanny Owl toolkit (for a variety of other functions),
- Stripe (for accepting payments)
- LearnDash Gradebook (for grading your students),
- WISDM Group Registration for LearnDash (for creating classroom-like groups of students with separate group leaders)
There are hundreds of plugins for other uses too, which you can see here.
#5. Intuitive User Interface
The simple yet intuitive user interface of WordPress and LearnDash makes it super easy to manage almost every aspect of your site.
It helps you as an administrator and also your students to manage their courses and interactions with your site in a better way as they learn. Every feature of the LMS has been organized very neatly in relevant categories so it’s not difficult to find them, and a polished design gives you the feel of using a very premium quality LMS built specifically for your needs.
The explanation of every function has also been hidden behind small buttons having a question mark so you can find your way around the LMS without needing a lot of help if you have some knowledge of using software.
#6. Ready website demos to get started
Starting an online school website can be tricky. You may spend dozens of hours trying to figure out how to fit your content in the best possible way on the pages to make it look best.
However, that’s not the case with WordPress and LearnDash because popular LearnDash themes, like eLumine and Astra, come with multiple ready website demos that can be imported to give the desired look to your site. A core LearnDash theme like eLumine also features Neo layouts that have enhanced UI, better graphics, a butter-smooth experience, and full compatibility with LearnDash 3.0.
You can import the exact same design of a theme that you see in the demo to get started with your online school site. Just replace the demo content with your own content, and you’ll be good to go!
#7. Easy course creation with a drag-and-drop course builder
With the drag and drop course builder included in LearnDash and most of the LearnDash themes, you don’t need to think much about how to format your course content.
Just copy and paste all your content in the editor and then you can arrange various sections by dragging and dropping them from one place to another on the page.
You also don’t need to refresh your course pages every time you make a change to see how your changes look, everything shows up in realtime.
#8. Savvy student management options
LearnDash comes with many student management options that you can use to manage your students and their progress easily.
You can create groups and add Group Leaders to your school site for managing students, drip-feed content based on a preset schedule, send automated emails to students based on their learning preferences whenever you post something that they may like, and much more.
You can gamify your courses and set up Instructors who can create and manage their own courses to reduce your load and manage students. In addition, you also get detailed reports about your students in the form of Course Analytics, quiz performance, gradebook, and a variety of other reports.
#9. Various types of quizzes and assignments
You can set up your quizzes, assignments, and rewards given on their completion in a variety of different ways if your online school is set up with LearnDash.
There are 8 different question types included in this LMS for creating your quizzes, and you can also set up a question bank for each of your courses.
Messages that show up after completion of a quiz can be modified, and quiz timers can also be included to encourage your students to respond quickly.
#10. Extensive quiz reports and progress trackers
LearnDash provides you extensive details about the quizzes taken by your students and the progress made by them in their courses.
You can get details about how many attempts someone took to complete a quiz, where they’re in the course at the moment, and how they’re interacting with the course content through a Live Course Stream.
You can also find out how much time someone is taking in completing a course, so you can pay special attention to students who are having trouble learning their lessons. Quite like how you would give extra lessons in school to the students who needed help.
#11. Create membership options for students
While each student enrolled in a particular course is considered a member of that particular course, you can also use membership add-ons and integrations developed for LearnDash to create traditional memberships that enroll them in multiple courses.
You can associate courses related to each other that require a certain level of knowledge with a particular membership level, and whenever anyone purchases that membership he’ll be automatically enrolled in all courses associated with that particular membership level.
Enrolling students in your courses is super easy with quick enrollment features of LearnDash and WordPress.
You can enable individual enrollments, bulk enrollments, and group registrations. You can even enroll students manually on your own without going through any long and tedious process. All you need to do is add the user ID of all students whom you want to grant access to the course in the ‘Course Access List’ option on the edit screen and update the course page.
In addition, there are several bulk enrollment plugins that give you a variety of options to enroll your students in LearnDash.
#13. Ability to add teachers and divide lessons
LearnDash not only allows you to add instructors who publish and manage their own courses but also to share the modules of your existing courses with them.
You can add multiple teachers to your online school and divide the lessons of every course between them based on their expertise and interests. In fact, you can also add more than one class teacher for a particular class, so they can divide subjects, lessons, and/or assignments between them.
By adding multiple instructors and teachers, you can share the burden of student management with other teachers and manage student progress in a better way. In addition, you can include professional and customizable Instructor Profile pages that can be used to share all the necessary information about instructors on your site. Instructors can use this space to add details such as their photo, bio, expertise, qualification, courses created, ratings, and so on.
With LearnDash it’s super easy to build a community and classroom-like experience in your online school.
You can set up forums around each of your courses where both students, as well as teachers, interact to solve the doubts, to learn from each other and to build connections.
The forums can be both public and private, and this can be done by adding the bbPress LearnDash add-on to your site.
P.S. bbPress is the WordPress plugin developed for creating forums by the same company that developed WordPress.
#15. Video lecture integration
Text-only lessons can get boring real fast. Half the fun in school is because the teachers can interact with students there in real-time. To replicate this live-learning experience online, you can integrate video lectures.
You can easily integrate video lectures into your course content with your WordPress and LearnDash-based online school because it supports integration with Zoom and many other video conferencing services.
So, your students can take online video lectures easily without having to leave the interface of your site. Even if you don’t want to integrate the functionality through a 3rd party service, there are several video-conferencing plugins available in the WordPress ecosystem, to help you add this functionality on your own online school!
#16. Social platform integration
Sharing achievements on social media gives students a boost and that appreciation goes a long way in making them work harder and better.
In your LearnDash-based school, you can integrate the platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others, to let your students showcase their academic and co-curricular excellence on social media.
Social login and posting of user activity to social media have long been a part of WordPress and there are numerous plugins to add both these features to your site, but if you wish then you can also add a number of other social platforms to your online school through various plugins.
#17. Ability to organize class events and activities
With a LearnDash and WordPress based online school, you can easily organize various all such events and activities online.
There are many WordPress add-ons and plugins available to assist with the same (i.e. Event Espresso, WP Event Manager, Event Organizer, etc.), and the best thing is that almost all of them integrate seamlessly with LearnDash.
#18. Virtual rewards like badges and certificates
LearnDash also includes features that can be used to reward your students for completing their courses.
Upon completion of a quiz, you can reward students with certificates, badges, awards, and reward points; all of them are already included in the core LearnDash plugin.
You can also add more functionality to all these features by installing gamification plugins for LearnDash. These features help simulate the real-time experience of winning a contest or scoring well on a test, on your online school!
We have seen how LearnDash allows you to create memberships that enroll people in multiple courses at the same time.
However, if you want to enable that functionality without creating memberships then that is also possible.
You can create course bundles that include multiple courses, and then enroll students into multiple courses at once. This saves you from the effort of enrolling students in courses one by one.
For example, say you create a course bundle for Grade 7. It will include all the compulsory subjects like English, Maths, Science, Social Sciences, Languages, and so on. Now, when you are enrolling students in Grade 7, you can simply enroll the entire class into this course bundle; they will be simultaneously enrolled in all the subjects.
#20. Set up email notifications and text messages for parents
In your online school, it is necessary to keep the parents of your students informed about their progress.
To help you with this LearnDash includes email and text notification functionality.
Parents can add their emails and phone numbers to receive notifications about the progress of their children. That way you don’t need to manually notify them about how their kids are doing – the whole process can be automated.
#21. Absolute mobile compatibility
In your school, you have students from different financial backgrounds and not all of them might always have a laptop. In such a scenario, the student will be learning on his mobile phone. So, your course content and website should be easily readable on multiple devices.
Both LearnDash and WordPress are mobile-compatible platforms. This ensures that your students can enjoy a great learning experience on their smartphones. Plus, you – the teachers and instructors – can manage their course progress and your courses easily on your mobile devices.
There are few LMS options that are as mobile-friendly as them. In addition, you can also create a mobile app for your LearnDash based online school and it can be integrated with your site seamlessly.
#22. Have various media formats for lectures and lessons
Finally, LearnDash and WordPress support all media formats for the content of your lectures and lessons. Ergo, you don’t need to stick to one particular type of content in your courses.
You can create multiple types of content, including text, graphics, animations, and videos.
You can also include each of these content types in multiple formats. Video content can be in the form of explanatory videos as well as live lecture sessions. Text content can be in the form of PDF files, as well as articles, and so on.
As the world transforms post-COVID-19, education is going completely online, considering the health and safety of students. It’s therefore important to have an online alternative to your traditional schooling business.
Fortunately, creating this alternative is quite easy with the power of WordPress and LearnDash. As you can see, these platforms have collectively got everything you need to run your online school.
We have personally worked with LearnDash for over 7 years now; trust us, there is any better LMS platform available in the market. However, if you still have any queries, feel free to share them in the comments below!