One of the industries that have grown the most in recent years is that of online or e-learning education. By eliminating the traditional barriers of classroom education, e-learning is clearly a very attractive option.
Hence, there is such a varied offer of e-learning platforms; in fact, there are so many of these tools that it can be challenging to decide on one. Especially when you have no previous experience.
In the following lines, we will tell you a bit more about e-learning platforms and hopefully make you more certain about the best one for your needs.
Add-Ons That Will Make Your WordPress Page an E-learning Platform
WordPress is a free and straightforward tool designed for everyone to create their own web page. It can be said with absolute certainty that affordable web hosting WordPress services are internationally available all around the world.
On this basis, you can add different add-ons depending on the use you want to give to that page. For example, one of the best known is WooCommerce, which allows you to create online stores that are easy to manage. And from the same creators of WooCommerce, we get the Sensei complement, designed for learning.
Although apparently this time it has not worked out so well. Many users are not satisfied with Sensei. But that’s the right thing about WordPress plugins. If one of them does not fulfill the purpose, there will always be another one that does. In this sense, it seems that the general consensus is that the best LMS for WordPress is LearnDash.
What Is the Advantage of Using WordPress as an E-Learning Platform, and Who Favors This Option?
This option is especially attractive for those who already have a page managed with WordPress and WooCommerce. LearnDash will allow you to organize your courses without creating a new page from scratch. And also, the places for these courses can be offered from the WooCommerce online store.
That is, this option is the most comfortable for small businesses that want to offer courses as products. Imagine a pastry that intends to offer cooking courses with online components. If this confectionery already has an online WooCommerce store, accessories such as LearnDash will come as a cherry on their cake.
How to Choose E-Learning or LMS Platforms
If you want to choose between e-learning platforms, the first step is to know what it will be used for. Today, e-learning does not apply only to universities and schools. Many companies also use it to train their workers.
For example, a supermarket chain could organize its food handling training with an LMS, Or on a much smaller scale, a tutor can use these e-learning platforms to offer their services.
These factors must be taken into account since each user will have their own needs. And these needs will define which of the e-learning platforms is more convenient than others.
Blackboard Learn and Other Paid LMS
Blackboard is one of the most consolidated e-learning platforms, being one of the first successful LMS there is. It is especially widespread in universities and schools. Therefore it is compatible to be a student administration system or another type of administrative tool.
Over the years, Blackboard has made an effort to stay updated. Today it offers special functions for e-learning and gamification. Also, as its main clients have many students, Blackboard provides the option of installing on dedicated servers. However, many of its competitors focus on cloud servers. This is an advantage or a disadvantage depending on the perspective. But if you have qualified personnel, your own server will offer a more stable connection.
An excellent adaptation of Blackboard is its application – Collaborate. It can be integrable in the virtual classroom or independently installable on any mobile device. It allows communication with the teacher to be more direct and provides possibilities to hold online classes.
This application has a clear competitor in Adobe Connect which gains followers for those who have to conduct research. Another aspect that stands out about Blackboard is that it offers many tools to monitor students in detail. This allows teachers to know the progress of their trainees and adapt the curriculum to their needs.
In general, Blackboard lean can be seen as an e-learning tool for organizations dedicated exclusively to teaching. And the same could be said of other paid LMS. The main competitor of Blackboard in this category would be Canvas It is one of the most recent LMS, but it has managed to get a significant portion of the market.
We could talk about the differences between Blackboard and Canvas, but they really follow a similar model. Instead, it will be better to talk about e-learning platforms with a different philosophy.
Moodle is an open-source LMS, and anyone can develop add-ons for it. It means that, with the necessary knowledge, Moodle is very flexible and can respond to any need. Also, the Moodle user community is increasingly vast. And therefore, there are already many useful add-ons and tips to customize this platform.
Another advantage of Moodle is that it offers a free plan. This plan has its limitations, for example, when students enter the platform, they will be shown publicly. And on the other hand, the courses will have a limit of 500 students. These features make the free plan not an appropriate option for institutions such as universities.
However, this option can be attractive to small and medium businesses. Whether they are online training academies or companies that want to train their employees. To illustrate the Moodle style, a comparison can be made between this and Blackboard. While Blackboard focuses on keeping teachers informed, Moodle is focused on keeping students involved. Gamification techniques, high compatibility with mobile devices, and cooperative learning stand out more with this option.
But not all perks are advantageous with Moodle. Like all e-learning platforms, Moodle has its drawbacks. Precisely the modular design of Moodle that makes it so flexible can also make it complicated.
To this, we must add that it does not have the technical support service as Blackboard does. In case of any doubt, you will have to turn to the community for answers. Therefore it is advisable to approach moodle with some previous training.
Other alternatives offer an experience similar to that of Moodle, for example, Chamilo. But the majority prefers an e-learning tool to be as simple as possible. In this case, it is best to start with the famous ones and in the future to experiment with alternatives.
Each business model today and especially in the future will need a custom e-learning platform. The good thing is that there are many to choose from.
Although specialized training in LMS may be necessary for the most complete e-learning experience, that too isn’t much of a problem since it can be mastered in a short time.
Find the best solution for your particular needs and start mastering that much skill to create the best online courses that the global network can offer.