Course analytics is a direct indicator of how well your online training venture is performing. As stated earlier, stats like number of users enrolled, completion rate of course, recent renewals/purchases let you analyze what works best for the website and what doesn’t, and capitalize on the information.
LifterLMS does course reports really well. Apart from number of courses and general figures on the dashboard, course stats can also be viewed under analytics. Here you can see reports for individual courses, with respect to parameters like all students, current students, completion rate etc. Other plugins for short in terms of inbuilt capabilities for reporting. Courses in WP Courseware have a gradebook each, which contains basic stats like number of users and progress for each user.
While the base plugin for LearnDash has no reports for per course, it does have an extension called the LearnDash ProPanel which brings per course reporting right to your back end, complete with graphs and pie charts.
Just course analytics, user reports let you map progress and performance for individual users and take actions accordingly. They’re essential for scenarios like when your target audience is on the younger side i.e. for K-12 e-learning websites. In such cases, one needs to pay individual attention to all users and identify the ones who aren’t performing well. Parents can also be given access to these reports for them to keep track of their child’s progress.
LearnDash has provisions for generating user reports, but there’s a catch. These reports can only be exported as .csv files and viewed as a spreadsheet, there’s no way to view them right within your system. That shouldn’t be a deal breaker, because these reports are pretty elaborate; one can view all the course taken up by each user along with completion status and number of steps completed.
WP Courseware’s take on user reports is rather convenient. What is does is add a progress bar right against the name of the user under the User settings on WordPress; one for each course taken up by the user. All you’d need to do is navigate to the User setting to get a quick take on how your users are performing. Sensei has learner courses where you can filter students to see what course a particular individual is enrolled in and what his average grade for course is.
What good are quizzes when you can’t make heads or tails out of data generated every time a user takes a quiz? What if a quiz created by you is way too tough or way too easy? Will that be fair to your learners? How will you find out?
The answer is quiz reports. These are generated as an aggregate of every attempt made by your users for a particular quiz or a set of quizzes, and give you statistics about the marks obtained by each user, percentage of users who chose a particular response, the percentage of users who passed the quiz in first attempt and so on.
As important as all of this may sound, it isn’t a feature that is NOT taken up by a lot of plugins within the WordPress ecosystem. LearnDash does have the option to import quiz statistics, but it’s limited at best. It is essentially a spreadsheet that will only tell you about the quizzes that a user has attempted.
Engagement with the system is just as important as engaging with other users. Simple emails reminders for events like when a course is updated with fresh content, when next course unit is made available, grading of quizzes, summary of quiz results go a long way in building interest within learners and adds to the drive to keep going with the course.
WP Courseware has extensive provisions for the system to engage with the learner over an email. One can easily schedule emails for events like when the next course unit is unlocked, when a module is completed, on completion of a course, when a quiz is graded and a lot more. Apart from these, the code will also let you define your own events easily with relevant hooks and actions. LifterLMS comes a close second with it’s own event based mailing system. The fields are dynamic, and are populated automatically as per the course or the lesson associated with the event. Sensei, surprisingly, has no provisions for alert mails.