WordPress can often be a complex and frustratingly multi layered system to evaluate, and it doesn’t get any better with respect to e-learning. While its amazing capabilities as a content manager and publisher will let you create cutting edge e-learning websites, getting there is by no means an easy task.
This guide is for every person who’s looking to tap into WordPress as a potential Learning Management System, and needs to understand LMS at its very core before picking a viable solution. You could be anyone: an edupreneur looking to start a new venture, a solopreneur wanting to generate side income by giving out online training courses, a corporate trainer, or even an a large university with plans implement e learning programmes; if you’re new to the world of e-learning and your weapon of choice is WordPress; this guide is for YOU.
E-Learning is not just about reading informative stuff online, it’s a multifaceted process that works best when each of its components is aligned towards achieving a defined set of goals. Factors like user engagement, reporting, course architecture come into play when you look at things practically, and it’s important you understand these before you embark on your e-learning voyage.
Going through this guide cover to cover will give you a detailed understanding of all the factors that affect the process of e-learning, and how they fit in with respect to your needs and specifications. Covered in each section is a breakdown of features as per the functionality of an LMS, that one can come to expect from a top notch system, and how the top plugins available fare with respect to each feature. One can easily narrow down the search of a viable solution by cross checking the feature with its relevance to your goals and its availability in the plugin.
Picking the right LMS is not just a matter of browsing through the feature lists of popular LMSes and settling for the one with maximum green ticks, it’s about carefully assessing your specific requirements and considering a whole lot of factors that are just as crucial as selecting the LMS. You should be able to identify with more than one of these variables:
“How much am I willing to spend?”
“Who am I creating courses for?”
“Will I be selling courses?”
“What miscellaneous features will my LMS have?”
Analyzing factors like these may not automatically decide the right system for you, but it will definitely eliminate a lot of ill suited options and thin the herd for you. Make sure you’re clear on these 3 fronts:
- Target Audience: As often is the case, identifying a demographic also gives you a fairly good idea about the kind of functionality you ought to be looking at for your system. A LMS for an age group of 9 – 15 need not have advanced quizzing features and integrations deep analytics, but will need to have additional user roles for parents to keep track of progress. Similarly, social media and collaborative learning would play an important role for LMS at workplaces. Know your audience and know them well and you’re halfway home.
- Costs: The good news is there’s no particular cost associated with setting up an online course with WordPress. You have solutions that will let you just that for absolutely free, all you would need to pay for is possibly the domain. The bad news is there’s no particular limit associated to what you may have to spend to get your system to work exactly how you want it to. It could be at most a couple hundred dollars if you needs are basic, a theme here and a couple of plugins there and you’re all good to go. Or it could be thousands of dollars invested in bespoke developments to achieve the exact level of customization that you’re looking for.
- Business Strategy: WordPress has hundreds of ways via which you can monetize your courses, and all the popular solutions covered in this text have tie-ins with ecommerce systems that will let you productize your courses. Alternatively, you can set up a membership based website, where your customers buy a membership level to access premium content and also implement content dripping. Choosing either strategy will have you deviating more towards a plugin or a theme that adapts better to your business model.
All said and done, this guide is just us doing our best to explain to you the ins and outs of elearning on WordPress. To arm you the requisite knowledge and share our hands-on experience to decide the best LMS plugin because at the end of the day, nobody else but you can decide what’s best for you and what isn’t.