How to create online courses with Learndash LMS and WordPress

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The LearnDash WordPress LMS plugin is a very powerful online course creation and learning management add-on to build online learning WordPress sites.

A big benefit of using WordPress is the ease of extending your site’s online learning functionality through additional plugins. Depending on your needs, you can further enhance your sites online learning or marketing capabilities.  These are relatively easy to install out of the box. This article draws out a blueprint of various suggested plugins for building and selling online courses with LearnDash. 

The various elements of an online learning site are discussed in the following posts. We will be looking at how you can implement these elements with LearnDash and WordPress.

Sell online courses with this online learning blueprint

Branding, Sales and Marketing for online courses

Effective student management on your platform for online courses

 

 

How to create online courses for effective learning
Elements for a effective online learning site

This article focuses on plugins that will help you create an effective Online Learning Experience (OLX).

Course Content

Course Structure

A good course structure helps guide learners and divides your content into sections that make it easy to understand and remember. LearnDash does a good job of this by allowing you to create lessons and topics under a course.

Interactive Course Content and Media

Out of the box, you can create your course content by using the WordPress editor.

Enhance course, lesson and topic pages with Page Builders

If you want to enhance the layout and design of each course, lesson or topic page, you have the option of installing page builder plugins.

Page Builders allow you to easily visualise and design your LearnDash course pages and the posts and pages of your entire website. You can customise layouts, easily add images, image galleries, tables, embed videos from Vimeo, YouTube and more.

Recently, elementor is a very popular page builder. I’ve found it easy to use and have not encountered any issues with LearnDash. 

Another page builder. Was previously popular until elementor took over.

Using  eLearning Authoring tools to develop interactive course content  and advanced quizzes 

Using eLearning Authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline, iSpring, Adobe Captivate or H5P to develop your course content, can enhance the interactivity of your course content. These tools come with many online learning content development features. You can create scenario-based learning, interactive video quizzes, games and advanced quizzes.

These tools output the content in the following formats SCORM, HTML5 or xAPI. You can embed this content within your LearnDash pages, with the following additional plugins.

eLearning Freak

GrassBlade xAPI Companion

Note that LearnDash only tracks progress and quiz results of content created via the LearnDash plugin. When it comes to courses and content created by these eLearning Authoring tools, you will need additional plugins.  You can’t track how your learner has interacted with your embedded content. Content progression will not be saved or tracked. If you have quizzes within your content, these results will also not be tracked or saved.

 

Student Progression

Control Learner Course Progression

LearnDash allows users to mark their course lessons or topics complete.

If you are embedding interactive content developed by the earlier stated eLearning tools, you can extend this capability by controlling a learner’s course progression by how they interact with your course. Using the following plugins, you will be able to automatically mark a topic or lesson complete based on a quiz result or interaction with your course.

Uncanny Toolkit
Autocomplete a lesson when learners complete all its topics. Auto-advance to the next step when a learner licks “Click here to continue” on the final quiz page of a lesson/topic.

 

 

 

 

 

Analytics and Reporting in online learning
Interactive learning content developed by eLearning Authoring tools such as H5P, Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline/Rise or iSpring allows for advanced student progression tracking, analytics and reporting. However, to enable this, one requires a Learning Record Store (LRS) or LRS-like solution or plugin. These solutions actively collect and store the learning data that is generated when a learner engages with the eLearning content. Here are some useful plugins.
 
Control Course Progression when Using H5P Interactions
Embed interactive H5P content in a lesson, topic or quiz pages within your LearnDash course. Use the results from a learner’s interaction to automatically mark a course complete. If you embed H5P quizzes with your LearnDash quiz, the results will also be recorded by LearnDash.
 

Tin Canny Reporting for LearnDash

With TinCanny Reporting, not only can you embed Articulate Storyline and Rise, H5P, iSpring and Adobe Captivate content, you will also be able to track course content completion and generate learner reports for your embedded courses as well as content created via LearnDash. I personally use TinCanny and have found it to be useful and the best reporting tool if you are using embedded content.

GlassBlade LRS
GlassBlade LRS is another solution that stores all eLearning data as well as allows you to track learner progression.  Using GlassBlade xAPI companion and GlassBlade LRS allows you to embed Articulate Storyline and Rise, H5P, iSpring and Adobe Captivate content and track learner data.

Issue certificates in your online course

Here are some additional plugins that can enhance the certification and grading of learners.

Certificate Tracker

If you require unique identifiers for your certificates, this is the plugin to have. Unique identification of certificates is required in certain industries for audit and proof of certification purposes.

Certificate Verifier

With this plugin, you can provide verification services for certificates that are issued from your site.

LearnDash – Gradebook 
Assign and manage student grades through your learning site. Automatically assign grades to students based on their LearnDash quiz performance and assignments. Display their grades on your site on any page.

Learning Delivery

Zoom webinars in your online learning site

Video conferencing via Zoom is becoming very common. eLearning evolve’s Zoom WordPress Plugin allows you to conduct Zoom meetings via your LearnDash course pages.

Adaptive Learning

Provide learners with a customised learning program by providing them with a learning experience based on their progress in your course and quizzes. Using automation plugins, you can provide your students with a personalized learning path based on how they interact with your courses.

Here are some plugins that support the implementation of adaptive learning.

Uncanny Automator

AutomatorWP

 

Student Engagement

 

Gamification

Badges, points and awards are a great way to get learners engaged and motivated to complete your courses.

GamiPress is a plugin that is highly integrated with LearnDash and allows you to award points for site activities, course participation, quiz attempts and more. You can provide leaderboards and progress maps to get your learners motivated to learn.

Additional Engagement Features

Enhance the learning experience or capability with these plugins.

Student Notes

Allow students or learners to take notes and engage with your course instructors

Student Rating, Reviews and Feedback

Provide students to rate, review and provide feedback on any of your LearnDash courses. Student ratings and reviews help create credibility. There is also a feedback system to help you improve your course content.

 

I am an Australian-based online learning solutions consultant whose primary focus is on creating interactive digital content and solutions to help schoolchildren learn. elearnxp.com is where I share my experience in using technology to help others learn.

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