Technology has completely transformed how we learn and how training is delivered. Physical presence in a physical location is no longer necessary. Technology has not done away with the instructor or the student though. Instead, it has made how and where we access and interact with learning material easy, dynamic, and flexible.
In fact, it has made instructor-to-student and student-to-student interaction more dynamic. Students learn from each other because there is greater collaboration between students.
Training is now commonly delivered and administered through learning management systems. Lessons are created and uploaded on these systems and can be accessed anytime, anyplace. Learning can happen by from desktops or mobile devices, from websites and apps.
In this article we will explore WordPress learning management systems (LMS) plugins.
Let’s get started.
Why is eLearning Popular?
The future of learning has been with us for a long time now. Learning accessible from anywhere anytime, at your own pace, using wide variety of devices from desktops to tablets to mobile phones. Learning delivered by systems that host large directories of courses. These large directories of e-courses utilize learning management systems.
As a result, there is an explosion in learning. Online learning platforms have responded to users educational needs and preferences for learning anywhere anytime by using responsive websites and apps. This makes sense since over 70% of users go online using mobile devices. And 90% of users spend their time in apps.
Many companies have also embraced online training for their staff. Some deliver their training to an externally-managed platforms that their staff can access. They don’t get involved in running the platform. Other companies have their own self-hosted learning management systems where they create, manage, and deliver training content.
The upside of this is saving on the logistical costs of planning location-based training or seminars for hundreds of employees.
Online learning platforms are very popular and profitable. If you want to get in the game so you too can host courses, or if you’re a company thinking of hosting your own training, or a developer tasked with implementing learning management infrastructures for your clients, then WordPress is your ally.
The fact that WordPress is a content management system makes it a perfect foundation on which to build learning management systems. It has a powerful and stable base, and its functionality can be extended a thousand fold through use of plugins.
But building learning management systems from scratch is extremely costly. This should not dash your hopes of managing your own self-hosted learning management system.
Here is where learning management systems (LMS) plugins for WordPress come in. There are developers who have specialized in catering specifically to this niche.
What is a Learning Management Systems Plugin?
A learning management systems plugin is a cloud-based software that delivers online learning. It allow instructors to create, manage, track, and deliver learning content or e-courses.
WordPress, which is already a comprehensive CMS, is the perfect platform for creating and hosting your Learning Management System. To offer online courses you just need to download and install an LMS plugin. This will provide functionality to several classes of user:
- Administrators can manage different learners, teachers, and take care of other administrative tasks from the LMS dashboard.
- Teachers can access tools for creating courses, quizzes, grading, and uploading.
- Students can select what they want to learn from the directory and immerse themselves in learning.
Components of Learning Management Systems
An LMS is made up of many components enable different users to achieve their objectives.
Automated Administrative and Communication Tools
Communication is key to any successful venture. Automating communication takes a load off administrators’ shoulders. Communication to teachers and students can include notification about accounts and payments, email reminders, weekly course summaries, real-time onscreen progress indicators for each and so on.
Administrative tools include tools for registering teachers and calculating teachers commissions,
Diverse Course Options
An LMS should combine different learning methods. For example, learning content can delivered via audio, videos, powerpoint, multimedia, written text, games, social learning, and more.
Course Content Creation Tools
An LMS comes with built-in authoring tools that allow for easy creation of course content.
Chats, forums, and other kinds of online community software tools integrated into the LMS offer opportunities for students to engage with their peers. They are not limited by location. They can collaborate on assignments and projects.
Assessment and Testing tools
Test to see how students are learning and retaining material in the courses through quizzes and exams.
Teachers can give learners feedback to show them where they need to improve.
Grading and Scoring
Allows yracking student progress and performance over the duration of the course.
An LMS should come with the ability create certificates for students that complete a course.
Gives you access to data like number of students taking a particular course, individual reports for each student, and how much time students spend on each lesson and quiz.
The only way to improve is through user feedback. An LMS system should offer tools for gathering feedback and suggestions from students and learning what they think about the quality of the courses and the system itself.
An LMS system should offer students tools to review and rate their learning experience for courses. This will be helpful for others who want to take the course.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Learning Management System
Ease of Use
A user-focused LMS system should be intuitive and simple to navigate and customize.
Compatibility With Mobile Devices
80% of users go online using their mobile devices and prefer to use them for everything including learning. LMS should have companion apps in iOS and Android.
A good LMS should offer different payment models like:
- one time payment
- subscriptions for regular access to courses
- course bundles
- coupon codes
A WordPress LMS system should integrate with software you already use like CRM software, accounting software, and more.
In addition it should be able to integrate with:
- payment gateways like Paypal, Stripe, or 2Checkout
- email marketing gateways like MailChimp
- eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce, or Easy Digital Downloads
If you want to offer online courses to a wider international audience your LMS plugin should offer translation support files.
When bugs are left unattended they make the system vulnerable to attacks. Regular updates mean the system is reliable and secure.
Users want to know that their personal and financial data is safe.
Consider seriously what other users have to say. Users trust the word other users. They have used the system and seen how it works and what its strengths and weaknesses are.
LMS plugins available on CodeCanyon
CodeCanyon has some of the most feature-packed and lowest cost LMS plugins on the market. Here are a few of the very best.
1. Good LMS
Good LMS has many great features for creating and selling online and onsite courses.
It has an easy-to-use interface that makes creating courses a breeze. Teachers can offer quizzes, including timed quizes, and give students the option to take quizzes again.
Students can earn badges as they progress and they get a certificate at the end of each course. They will also have the ability to review and rate the course.
- pay with Paypal, Stripe, Paymill or Authorized.net
- admin can also provide other methods such as bank transfer
It makes it easy to create and sell courses to millions of students. Teachers can register to teach courses and you can approve them. You can have multiple teachers for one course.
It has an easy-to-navigate interface where important information needing your urgent attention is arranged in tabs.
You can offer lesson previews, set lesson durations, and set up lessons drip content so you can release lessons at regular intervals. Students can take notes, receive badges, gain points, see their grades.
You can create quizzes, give hint to questions, set quiz duration and passing grade. Also questions can be multiple choice, essay, or fill in the blanks.
In addition to accepting multiple currencies, it supports many payment options including PayPal, Stripe, 2CheckOut. It can also be integrated with platforms like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.
This is an amazing plugin! Easy and powerful 🙂 The best plugin for e-learning on my site. Thanks for all, especially to your fantastic support team!
WPLMS Student app is a mobile app developed for the WPLMS Learning management system so students can learn anywhere and anytime.
To use this app you must have the WPLMS Learning Management System WP Education Theme. This is great because it allows for a consistent look between the website and the app you create. And most importantly, you can easily sync data between apps and websites.
Some best features of this app include:
- Students can register directly in the app and their account is created in the site.
- Students can browse courses in the app’s directory and subscribe to the courses.
- Students can enroll themselves in free courses or pay via a WooCommerce checkout system which supports multiple payment gateways.
- Students can keep track of their courses through the app or your website.
- Students courses are loaded and available in offline mode.
- User dashboards with course and quiz graphs, and a quiz results section.
- Quizes with multiple choice questions, multiple correct choices, fill in the blanks, dropdown selection, and text answers.
And so much more.
Check out the free live preview of this LMS and see why this is the perfect app for you.
Other Top LMS Plugins
LearnDash is one of the top learning management systems on the market. Its list of users include Fortune 500 companies, universities, training organizations, entrepreneurs, WordPress developers and designers, and more.
It has with all kinds of tools you need to build a thriving business by selling courses.
Its powerful course builder where you can create multilayered courses and even reuse the lessons. It takes into accounts different learning styles so you can engage learners by using all kinds of media from video, audio, images, Google docs. You can also break up courses into sections, lessons, topics, quizzes.
Features on the Admin side include: front-end registration, detailed reporting on student progress, creating user groups and allowing others to manage them, email notifications to learners, ability to approve, comment, and award points for assignments.
You can sell courses by offering one time price, subscriptions, memberships, and course licensing.
5. Sensei LMS
Sensei LMS is made by the same company that brought you WordPress and WooCommerce. And the basic edition is free, so you can get started using it today! However, to sell your courses you’ll need to purchase a paid extension from the WooCommerce site.
This LMS is very simple to use. No coding skills are required and it works with your preferred WordPress theme.
Some of this easy-to-use LMS plugin’s interesting features include:
- Learner management and analysis allows you to view reports on learning progress, set up two way communication between teacher and learner, and set up notifications.
- Protect your downloadable files and videos by making them available only to specific users.
- Teachers have the ability to create a question bank for quizzes
- Easily add shortcodes to any content areas of your page.
- Ability to create multilingual courses when combined with WPML.
- And more…
Sensei also has very extensive Documentation.
6. WP CourseWare
WP Courseware is a powerful plugin that allows you to create and sell online courses.
Features that come with this plugin include:
- easy-to-use drag-and-drop course builder
- drip content so you schedule your courses to be released at particular intervals
- powerful quiz creation functionality with great options for creating quizzes
It comes with built-in shopping cart support. You can sell courses as a one time purchase or monthly membership subscription, or schedule installment payments.
It integrates smoothly with:
- eCommerce plugins like EasyDigitalDownloads and WooCommerce
- payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe
- membership plugins like MemberPress, Paid Membership Pro and others
- most WordPress themes and plugins
In addition, it has great documentation resources to get you started.
While these among the LMS plugins that caught my eye, there are many out there in the market today.
The following articles will help with ideas about how you can expand your online course platform.