WordPress is one of the most popular, flexible, and light-weight content management systems out in the marketplace.
Recently, there has been lots of discussion going on about using WordPress as a viable learning management system by way of LMS centric extensions, modifications, and plug-ins.
Since then a few offerings have emerged for extending the functionality of WordPress into an LMS.
Listed below is a quick summary of the advantages and disadvantages of 3 of the best solutions available currently:
- Fully mobile out of the box
- Third party API integrations
- Issue certificates when learner completes course
- Can be hosted by Docebo
- SCORM and Tin Can API compatibility
- User Enrollment functionality
- In-depth Reporting
- Multilingual Interface
- Native support for sequential and conditional learning paths
- Per student license ($4.50 – $5.80 per user depending on volume of users)
- Can’t modify or alter code
2. WooThemes – Sensei
- Fair pricing ($99 dollars per site license)
- Easy to use
- Integrated with eCommerce plugin WooCommerce
- Looks great out of the box
- Simple reporting features
- Quizzes and Tests only support multiple-choice
- Only linear learning paths
- No multilingual interface
- No certificate option upon completion
- Simple enrollment options, lacks more advanced enrolment capabilities
- Fair pricing $69 per site to host it yourself
- Ability to issue certificates
- Ability to host it yourself
- Will work with any WordPress theme
- Various advanced extensions like (Gradebook)
- Support for Articulate Storyline extension
- Grant access to a course based on a schedule/semester
- Fully mobile
- Out of the box theming is not impressive
- More complicated to implement vs Sensai
- Only linear learning path at this time
- No multilingual interface
While a large number of learning management platforms exist in the market today, each with their own unique features and uses, the overwhelming majority of these systems are perhaps not suited for smaller organizations looking to create simple courses. Many of these full-scale commercial and open-source systems available today offer a large number of features that smaller institutions won’t use or are too costly for smaller budgets (either implementation and hosting costs for open source systems or licensing costs for proprietary systems).
However, when it comes to smaller needs, we find that WordPress coupled with an e-Learning extension could be a winner.
We would recommend these setups if your need matches any or a combination of the follow:
- You have simple learning content (level I) with perhaps just text, images, and videos
- Your courses are independent learning courses and your users don’t have to interact with each other or an instructor
- You only need simple testing options such as multiple choice question based quizzes
- You only require simple reporting (basic tracking of users, grades, and scores)
- A full scale LMS is out of your budget
- A full scale LMS would be too complicated for your learners
- You’re trying e-Learning for the first time and want a solution to “test the waters”
So while we truly don’t think any of these extensions can transform WordPress into a full blown LMS as there are so many missing features at this time, these systems can be a great compromise for budget conscious businesses that want to deliver simple content where in-depth reporting and user interaction is not a must.
If you have any questions or comments about how you can use WordPress as a LMS, feel free to get in touch with us.