What Do You Call Your Courses?

comp-deskGiven that we sell and support a WordPress learning management system, we have seen quite a few different learning programs.

One thing we have found is that learning programs are defined differently by nearly everyone.

By “defined”, I mean what a learning program should entail – but I am also referencing the nomenclature.

Some people call their courses, well, “courses”.

However, there are others that prefer different terms. Over the years we have seen many different names for courses, including but not limited to:

  • Courses
  • Modules
  • Exercises
  • Training
  • Programs
  • Learning Paths
  • Studies

The list goes on-and-on.

This isn’t just limited to the courses, but also lessons and quizzes. For example, some people prefer “tests” or “exams” instead of “quizzes”.

Sticking with the naming convention for a moment, the advice I personally give in this area is to not get too creative with what you call the courses and associated content (i.e. the lessons, topics, and quizzes).

By in large, most people understand what is meant by “lesson”. It’s probably best to use that somewhere within your courses (whatever you decide to call them). But naturally it’s not a requirement as long as everything is explained clearly.

The last thing you want to do is to confuse your learners.

They should be focusing on the content while the naming protocols are just a way for them to understanding the overall structure.

If people have different ideas as to what to call a course – the foundation of any online learning program – you can imagine the differences in opinions when it comes to desired functionality!


Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Let's Talk! | Twitter

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