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
This article focuses on plugins that will help you create an effective Online Learning Experience (OLX).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Completion Tracking, Analytics and Reporting
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 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.
Certificates and Grading
Here are some additional plugins that can enhance the certification and grading of learners.
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.
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.
Webinars and Video Conferencing
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.
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.
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.
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.