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How To Turn WordPress Into A Powerful Training Portal, with WP Courseware

This is Day 6 of the 30 Days, 30 Killer WordPress Plug-ins Series. Many people that sell online training use WordPress to deliver the content….

This is Day 6 of the 30 Days, 30 Killer WordPress Plug-ins Series.

Many people that sell online training use WordPress to deliver the content. You set up the training inside of WordPress, protect it all with something like Wishlist Member, then go to market.

But, sometimes you want more than that. And, that was the situation I was in here with the Academy itself.

See, when it came to the Academy, my ideal setup would include a few things:

  • The ability for students to mark modules completed when they are done, and track their progress.
  • The ability for me and my staff to track student progress so we can follow up if people aren’t moving.

Back in the day, I had set up a pretty powerful learning management system using a piece of software called Moodle. Moodle is an open source system for managing an online classroom environment. It is pretty powerful, but it is also kinda complicated. And… it isn’t WordPress. I really wanted to use WordPress for a variety of reasons.

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One day, a guy named Nate contacted me about checking out his WordPress plug-in called WP Courseware. I did… and I was impressed. Today, I have WP Courseware integrated into the delivery side of Blog Marketing Academy itself.

Some of the things it can do are:

  • Organize individual lessons into modules, then into individual courses. And, you can have as many as you want.
  • Create quizzes and surveys within your training. These can be set just for informational purposes, or you can even make it so that the student has to pass the quiz before moving onto the next lesson.
  • Access control, so you can control which users have access to which courses.
  • Email notifications to student and/or instructor on various events (such as student completing a module, etc.)
  • Progress tracking

Also, because it is using WordPress, it will work with a membership plug-in like Wishlist Member.

Let me show you around here…

The list of courses, showing modules for each one.

The list of courses, showing modules for each one.

Training units are set up as a custom post type. You can then use a drag-and-drop interface to put training units into the order you want, and move them between modules.

When it comes to quizzes, you have several different options:

The screen for adding a new quiz to the system. You've got several options to choose from.

The screen for adding a new quiz to the system. You’ve got several options to choose from.

What I really like, though, is the tracking ability. For example, students can mark off each unit as complete once they’ve done it. Each unit will show a box like this one where they can make it done and/or navigate around the training.

wpcourseware3Then, on the back-end, we can see where students are in their progress.

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In talking with Nate about it via email, some of what they’re going to have coming up in future versions sounds pretty cool. I was peppering him with emails about things I thought should be included, and he took the suggestions into account.

One such suggestion was to have a screen where instructors could easily share feedback to students on their assignments. Word is that will be done.

Overall, I was quite excited to find WP Courseware, and I think it will be useful to anybody who is doing training with content which sits inside WordPress.

WP Courseware isn’t a freebie. The good plug-ins usually aren’t. But trust me, if you’re in the training business, it is more than worth it.

 

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