Using WordPress as a learning management system

Last week I had another serendipitous event letting me learn something new. I stumbled upon a job offer, had a glimpse on the company’s website, and saw that they use WordPress as an LMS (learning management system). So here I am, working with WordPress for years now, and never thought about using it to present content for learning like articles, presentations and videos, do tests and quizzes, display learning paths and personal learning progresses. Of course I immediately had to check out what LMS plugins are available for WordPress and what value they have compared to a stand-alone LMS like Moodle.

One advantage of WordPress is definitively its easy installation and usage. I have to admit that I never installed Moodle myself, but (warning, WordPress lover speaks) what can be easier than using WordPress? Even installing the necessary LMS plugin is not rocket science, and looking at the commercial plugins available, one can be faithful that the plugins will be well maintained and updated.

But that’s only the base, the prerequisite. More intriguing is the possibility to implement an LMS seamlessly into a platform that offers way more than learning content and controls. When using WordPress as the underlying CMS, one can create a unified platform that for example includes microblogs for internal collaboration and communication. Or one can add an internal calendar, a glossary, a picture gallery, or whatever you desire- block by block, with one login and with one design. This greatly enhances usability, especially when people have to work on or use multiple online tools.

Of course Moodle offers tons of options too. A glossary can easily be established, and its terms are automatically linked in any text to the respective entry in the glossary. Moodle has a wide variety of quiz options with endless grading possibilities and immediate feedback. And there are badges and discussion tools and many more. So this article is not against Moodle, not at all. If the primary cause is to provide students with content for learning and with tests, then Moodle is very valuable. But if you want more, if e-learnings are just a part of your initiative, then you definitively should consider using WordPress as your platform and add a LMS plugin.

For a comparison of different LMS plugins for WordPress, I refer you to this article by Chris Lema or this comparison by Capterra.

Picture by Sandra Schön on Pixabay.

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