Use a WordPress Learning Management System to Create Courses
Students, professionals, and even researchers are looking for online courses they can study anywhere, anytime (SitePoint Premium is a perfect example!). However, if your WordPress website was already active and you want to use it to create an online course, do you want to pay a developer more to do it? Definitely not! As a freelancer or solo preneur, you want to create a safe and efficient platform with lower (or no) costs. Don’t worry, WordPress makes it easy to create an online course system using a learning management system plugin!
The term “Learning Management System” (LMS) is often used when discussing online courses. An LMS is a system for creating courses and training programs and usually also offers functions for managing these courses. There are many LMS available online, e.g. B. Moodle, Canvas etc. However, if you have a WordPress website then you can integrate your LMS into the same website. You can easily create safe and efficient online courses and then sell access to them to start building your e-learning business.
Why WordPress to Create an Online Course?
Since WordPress is free, reliable, and easy to expand with plugins, WordPress lets you create an online course at a lower cost. WordPress plugins for LMS have amazing features so you can easily use them to create a course from scratch.
As the courses develop, you need to maintain them. This can lead to maintenance costs. However, using a WordPress LMS plugin may take less time and money. You may need less maintenance for your course and lessons as these plugins have extensions to do some maintenance automatically.
Once you’ve planned the basics of your course – the title, content, membership, or access plan – it’s time to consider which LMS plugin to use.
Plugins for the learning management system
LifterLMS is a powerful LMS plugin that allows you to easily create and publish an engaging online course. It comes with a student dashboard where learners can review their profile, course progress, profile, certificates, etc. It also has a personalized certificate system. Both online and offline payments are available for learners who want to enroll in your course.
Courseware is a learning management plugin that comes with a system that provides a dynamic progress page, question labeling, etc. Your course participants can also download the quiz results with this plugin.
The courseware plug-in includes a tool called “Certificates” that has been integrated to create surveys and export grade books.
StudyPress helps you to easily create multimedia learning content. They offer distraction-free features in full screen mode so that learners can easily access the lessons. It also has a great drag and drop interface for creating a course and lessons.
The TeachPress plugin supports localization. Your course can be created in more than two languages, which gives it a wider reach. You can import the publications in BibTeX format. RSS feeds for publications are also provided.
The plugin also has shortcodes so you can provide a course overview for any WordPress post or site.
Sensei is an LMS plugin that offers different designs for different courses. This plugin provided by WooThemes can be easily integrated with WooCommerce to easily sell courses online.
Note: WooCommerce is considered to be one of the best platforms for building ecommerce websites. The integration in LMS works like a charm for both course creators and learners.
The Educator plugin offers shortcodes that make it easier for you to integrate into your WordPress page or postings. Several payment methods are supported by Educator, such as: B. PayPal, wire transfer, check, etc.
Choose the perfect plugin for course development. You definitely want to take a look at this one. Many LMS plugins have similar functionality, but the unique functionality of each plugin is what you need to make a decision on. I have used more than a few and find WP-Courseware and LifterLMS to be the most useful for my own projects.
Developing a course on your WordPress website
Now, let’s see how to start a demo course from scratch using an LMS plugin.
For the demo I will use the LifterLMS plugin, a powerful learning management system. Here is what can be done to create a valuable course for our audience, which could be engineers, professionals, researchers, etc.
Create a course
Suppose you want a course on Java. You can easily build it with LifterLMS.
Figure 1: Creating a course with the title “Java Development Course”
Create sections and lessons
A course consists of lessons. With the plugin you can easily create lessons. It can be helpful to break them down into sections. I’ve divided our course into two sections: “Core Java” and “Advanced Java”.
Figure 2.1: Creating the “Advanced Java” section in the “Java Development Course”
Create any number of lessons and add them under your course sections. Also mark the duration of the lesson.
Figure 2.2: Creating the first lesson
Figure 2.3: Adding a lesson to the section
Course categories / tags
Figure 3: “Java” category added
Assessment of the students
A student or professional comes to your website to take a course. After completing a course, you will likely want the student to assess what they have learned from the course.
The assessment can take the form of quiz questions. You can create questions for a quiz in the following forms:
- Multiple choice
- True wrong
- fill gaps
- Multi line
- Single line
Figure 4: 1 shows you how to create questions for a quiz to assess student performance.
Figure 4.1: Quiz
Figure 4.2: Settings for the quiz
Export price page
For example, let’s say you started some courses on your WordPress website for students and professionals. After the success, the number of courses created on your website has increased tremendously. To avoid chaos, you can simply export the course page in XLS / CSV format.
A course list with fields and details can be easily created at the push of a button.
Add-ons / extensions / integration
Add-ons create new features for your courses. You can use them to add other features to your course that will prove to be very beneficial.
Add-ons or extensions may contain features that allow you to easily check the course progress of each student. Extensions are also available to meet other requirements, such as: B. the ability to easily create media attachments.
Integration with other plugins is very important to extend the functionality of your LMS. Integrate with BuddyPress, WooCommerce, or any other plugins you might want to use on your WordPress site. For example, integration with Gravity Forms allows you to create amazing forms in no time.
In Figure 5 you can see some extensions that you can add to your LMS.
Figure 5: Add-ons
Free or paid
You can keep your course free to your audience for a period of time and after building your brand, sell it at a price that suits your audience.
Figure 6: Payment options for paid courses
You can easily generate certificates for learners manually or automatically after they have successfully completed the course.
Figure 7: Create certificates
Feedback / ratings for courses
Great feedback and good ratings are what a course creator strives for. Not only the course creators but also those who want to buy a course check the ratings and reviews. Therefore, participants have the opportunity to submit an assessment after completing the course.
According to a survey of internet users worldwide, English is the most important internet language. English is cited as the language of an estimated 25.5% of the world’s internet users. What about the rest? Target the global target group with the localization function of the WordPress plugins. Develop courses in different languages and get a wide reach.
Figure 8: Survey; Source: Internet World Statistics
In this article you learned how to create an online course in WordPress and deploy it on your website. You also learned how to add add-ons to the course. Start your journey on an easier way to create a WordPress-based course platform that you can, in turn, teach others!