Online courses have been growing in popularity, particularly now that it’s practically impossible to organise offline classes due to the social distancing regulations.
According to forecasts, the global e-learning market is expected to reach $238 billion by 2024, which means that we’re talking about a very lucrative industry.
Regardless of what your field of expertise is, you can easily transform your WordPress website into an online learning platform or a virtual classroom and offer your courses to people globally.
What you need is a learning management system (LMS) plugin, and voila! You can run your own version of Udemy or Treehouse without having to write code or build an entirely new website and start making money.
Here are some of the best LMS plugins that you should consider using.
What to Look for in an LMS Plugin?
A learning management system comes with several different features that allow you to create an online class setting. With an LMS plugin, you’ll be able to create and share classes, manage them, handle the paperwork, enrol students, and use tests and quizzes to evaluate your students’ knowledge.
To make sure that your e-learning website is effective and successful, pick an LMS plugin that offers the following functionalities:
- Course building. Having a decent course page builder as well as tools for uploading various kinds of content such as PDFs, videos, or links, is very important.
- Course progress information. This is important so that your students can see how well they’re progressing and stay motivated.
- Student enrollment and management. With this functionality, you’ll be able to see how many students are there in your courses and collect payments from them.
- Content dripping. This is a useful option that will slowly reveal the course materials as your students are progressing.
- Homework options. Make it easy for your students to submit their homework, and for you to grade it.
- Gamification. Offer your students incentives in the form of badges and certificates when they complete a task successfully or after the course is finished. Gamification plays an important role in making your students feel good about themselves and their accomplishments.
LearnDash is a popular online learning plugin – many universities and Fortune 500 companies use it thanks to its speed, powerful features, and professional-looking course design.
If you choose it, you’ll have more than just a basic set of features, meaning that you’ll have everything you need for selling courses, dripping content, gamification, and rewarding students, as well as action-based triggers.
It’s optimised for mobile, which means that learners will be able to attend your courses while on the go.
This plugin comes with a simple drag-and-drop functionality with which you can create multi-tiered courses together with lessons, quizzes, topics, and categories.
You can deliver all lessons at once, or you can use its drip-feed feature to schedule it for the entire duration of your course. Besides that, with this feature, you can also ensure that every learner spends the same amount of time on each lesson.
Other features include great monetisation tools, detailed reporting, support for different media types, and an option for running LearnDash on a network.
When it comes to pricing, you should know that there’s no free trial, although you can cancel your subscription after 30 days. You can have LearnDash for $159 a year for a single license together with support and all features.
This plugin is free, but to make the most of it, you’ll have to invest in some paid add-ons that will expand its functionalities.
Since there’s no set-up wizard, you’ll have to install and set it up on your own.
You can easily create a course together with lessons, quizzes, and questions. It’s worth mentioning that you can use the lessons and quizzes from one course into another, as well as that you can export your content and use it on another LearnPass-powered WordPress website.
LearnPress is a great option if you’re offering a course taught by multiple instructors. This can be useful for companies building courses for onboarding and training their employees, as these usually require different trainers for different fields.
When we’re talking about business training, the success of the entire effort depends on using business intelligence and data to scale training operations and aligning training metrics to key organisational objectives.
This plugin also supports the content drip option, assignments, quizzes, grading, and other standard learning features. It also integrates with WooCommerce and WordPress membership plugins.
You can use a WordPress theme, but to avoid compatibility issues and provide a better user experience, it’s best to purchase a dedicated LearnPress theme. Also, you’ll have to invest in a payment gateway integration, because by default, this plugin comes with PayPal as the only option.
3. Lifter LMS
Lifter LMS is a plugin that’s pretty easy to install, even on the existing WordPress websites.
Although its pricing starts at $299 annually, it does offer a full bundle for that amount. If you’d like to test it before committing to pay the full price, there’s a $1 30-day trial. However, it’s important to mention that the core plugin is free so that you can also choose to purchase individual add-ons at $99 each. In other words, you can choose to build a very simple e-learning course for free and invest only in a payment gateway plugin.
What you’ll get is support for multi-tier courses with training modules, lessons, topics, categories, and more. All this allows you to create both shorter courses as well as the entire degree programs. With the help of this plugin, you can make appealing courses with lots of multimedia content such as videos, audio recordings, text, and images. Besides that, there’s also a graphics pack with different backgrounds that you can use to make your courses more attractive.
The content-dripping feature allows you to control the delivery of your courses, while the import-export tool means that you can move your content between sites.
Another interesting feature is the so-called Social Learning, which allows your learners to create advanced profiles and learn together by leveraging a timeline similar to that of Facebook.
Regardless of which one of these three LMS plugins you choose, you can’t go wrong. It only depends on what kind of features fit the bill for your online courses, as well as the size of your budget.