Why Use WordPress For ELearning

elearning-wordpressGiven my elearning industry background I have had the opportunity to interact with the leading elearning development and management tools that are available.

Everything from rapid elearning creation programs, instructional design theories and best-practice, and countless learning management systems. I remember working with Moodle, Oracle LMS, modified versions of eFront, and homegrown systems developed from scratch.

Interacting with all these tools was not only fun, but also taught me a lot about the industry. One of the most important lessons I learned was that there is no such thing as the “perfect” tool.

Maybe this is due to our human nature. We always believe that something better is out there and we refuse to settle. In many ways this is beneficial as it forces us to keep improving at everything we do. At some point though, too much of this thought pattern can disrupt productivity.

I’m often asked why I consider WordPress the best LMS? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you think because the truth is that there isn’t a tool out there that is the best solution for all situations.

Still, I strongly believe WordPress as an LMS is the most applicable piece of software across the largest variety of use-cases.

Many enterprise solutions out there suffer from feature-bloat. With WordPress, you can add (or remove) features as needed.

By way of example, there are some instances where forums are needed for the elearning program. For people who don’t need forums, they really don’t need any of the forum functionality visible within the software as ultimately it just leads to confusion.

With WordPress, you can add a forum if you need it and using an LMS like LearnDash makes it easy to associate to your courses. If you don’t need it, you’ll never see it nor will it have any impact on your site performance.

This is just one example of course. The reason I stand by WordPress as an LMS is because of its flexibility.

But there are instances where it won’t be ideal. WordPress learning management systems are not yet evolved to the point where they could handle the demands of international conglomerates. I think with extensive configuration it could certainly be used (in particular around role management), but I am not convinced yet that it would be the absolute best option for these large corporations.

The first question any organization needs to answer prior to procuring an LMS is whether or not they wish to have it hosted for them or if they prefer to self-host. The answer to this question alone will help to narrow down the options, and there are clear benefits to both choices.

If you’re looking for a flexible system to manage and deliver your online courses, then you should certainly consider WordPress. Sure, it might not be the best solution for you, but I think you’ll be surprised at how applicable it can be to most projects.

If you’re curious as to whether LearnDash would work for you, send us a note and we can discuss your goals in more detail.

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

5 Comments
  1. Andrew

    It would be interesting to know people’s opinion regarding where wordpress based LMS are placed in relation to sites such as Udemy.com.

    I know what Udemy is and does, but I have never used it before. However, I imagine it would be nowhere as customizable as say Learndash. Not sure if it has the ability for quizzes either.

    For myself, I feel that Learndash is a far better fit for my business as my courses are in such a specific niche which is also only for a specific country.

    Cheers,

    Andrew

    • I’ve played around with Udemy. I think it’s pretty good at doing what it was built for, but the use-case is pretty narrow. There are other ‘business’ reasons why I wouldn’t use it (i.e. you promote Udemy’s brand and not your own, prospective customers may go to purchase your course but get distracted by all the offerings and purchase another, etc.), but it’s a decent option for someone looking to make one-off sales here or there without the desire to build a brand.

  2. Aaron

    Hello Justin.
    “WordPress learning management systems are not yet evolved to the point where they could handle the demands of international conglomerates”
    …might I ask the reason behind your remark? I kind of stumbled upon this post when I was(and is) standing on a crossroad leading to moodle, edmodo etc and one of them to learndash. Would really help to get some expert advice.
    Cheers and thanks in advance,
    Aaron.

    • Hi Aaron-

      There are a few reasons. One is with regards to the advanced role management and assignments that occur in these companies. Courses are then mapped to the roles accordingly and robust reports at the role based level are often needed. It’s not that this is *impossible* with WordPress, it’s just not at that point yet.

  3. Andrew

    Hi Justin,

    I think you make a good point that you can’t build a brand when you use a site such as Udemy. I hadn’t thought of that aspect.

    Also I had another look and yes you are right, it is very easy to become distracted by all the other offerings.

    Andrew

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