Internship at Web Design and Development Company

Week 5 Blog: WordPress Learning Management Systems

A major goal of my internship is to re-launch a site called SEOQ. SEOQ has 3 main components: a directory of SEO professionals and SEO companies, a SEO analysis tool and an SEO education center. For the education center, we wanted to utilize a learning management system to help control everything from courses, quizzes and certificates.  The idea was that members could take these courses for our SEO certification and then anyone viewing their profile would realize they had a certain amount of SEO education.

First off an LMS is basically a software application that helps the administration, tracking and reporting of e-learning. WordPress can be used to create sites that have some sort of e-learning integration. Of course you could create everything from scratch, creating posts and then organizing them by menu structure into courses but it is rather tedious and takes great organization. There are many different themes and plugins available for LMS. Using these will allow you to focus more on the content of the lesson than the struggles of creating course lesson and quiz structure. Here is an overview of some of the one’s we considered.

WooThemes Sensei:

  • $129 single site
  • Create Lessons, Quiz, Course Analytics
  • user registration through WP account
  • Variety of Question types
    • MC, T/F, Gap Fill, Single Line, Multi Line, File Upload
  • manual/ automatic quiz grading (MC and T/F is automatic)
  • built in language localization
  • video support
  • free certificate extension

LearnDash

  • $79
  • Compatible with WordPress Multisite
  • Mobile Compatible
  • courses, lessons, lesson topics-3 levels
  • sell courses (paypal, 2checkout, jigo shop)
  • issue certificates
  • upload assignments
  • drip feed lesson content
  • real-time feedback to course/lesson
  • user’s activity report

Vibethemes WPLMS

  • $60
  • Theme with plugins
  • compatible with buddypress
    • Instructors and Students with different permissions
  • integrated with woocommerce
  • LMS
    • course>units
      • rate and review courses
      • free and paid courses
    • quizzes>questions
      • multiple choice, checkboxes, T/F, fill in the blank
  • front end and backend editing
  • multimedia support
  • LayerSlider plugin
  • certification

We ended up choosing Vibe theme WPLMS because the LMS was only a part of our site, not our whole site. From my experience using it, it is rather intuitive and easy to use. Each page has a page builder option too which allows for customization of pages and makes formatting easy. Vibethemes has a forum for Q&A if anything can’t be easily resolved. However, there are a few downsides. When the theme is installed, there are a lot of sample pages that need to be removed. Sometimes it becomes easy to delete a page that was actually crucial (for example Course status page is needed for the users to actually start the course). Additionally, because of all the options WPLMS offers, it can be confusing to find the location of certain things. While the LayerSlider is nice, it loads slowly and some of the transitions that are shown in the demo don’t work. Otherwise, the plugin has been working well and for those of you looking for a LMS plugin to complement a pre-existing site, this is a great option.