As the most powerful site building platform with numerous advanced features, WordPress has been favored by webmasters for different purposes. That can be an individual blog, online store, e-commerce site, wiki page, forum, and so on so forth. By means of multiple rich-featured plugins and premium themes, there is nothing difficult to achieve all goals and that should include Learning Management System (LMS).
An LMS shows e-learning resources to your target readers in a systematic way, which collects all correlative information together for ease of search and reference. That is especially suitable for teachers who wish to give their students online guidance or for employers who wish to assign training to employees so as to improve vocational skills efficiently. If you plan to create a Learning Management System with a collection of resources for your readers, follow this guide that can help you use WordPress as an LMS with a few steps.
Preparations for a Learning Management System
Since some of you lack understanding of LMS and have no idea what to do before creating a Learning Management System, we would like to show you a satisfactory answer upon cutting to the chase. The following preparations should be taken into consideration before making your Learning Management System.
Before everything, you need to install WordPress on your website so as to make sure that the left steps go on wheel. The most recommendable way to do so is the use of Softaculous, a great application installer included in cPanel. Log into cPanel and go to Software/Services > Softaculous to complete the installation with a few clicks. In some cases, the 1-click installer can be SimpleScripts or Fantastico and that depends on the selected web hosting provider.
Be Fully Aware of Your Purpose
Think through your intention to create the Learning Management System and make clear what need to be included in your LMS. Keep in mind that the learning resources should satisfy the needs of your target readers.
For instance, we are running a WordPress hosting resources sharing website that helps visitors acquire knowledge about site building & development, and then we would like to create an LMS having to do with how to make a WordPress website, how to choose a suitable WordPress hosting provider, how to amaze visitors with great web design, and some other online tutorials.
Select a Powerful LMS Plugin
A big advantage of WordPress is that this great software enables a large number of plugins for users to add more functions to the websites. The creation of Learning Management System is no exception. In this guide, we select Namaste! LMS in this step-by-step guide and put it into good use to help you use WordPress as an LMS. And now, let’s get started to install this plugin and make it work for your site exactly.
Use WordPress As an LMS by Means of Namaste! LMS
Namaste! LMS is a free Learning Management System and that helps you create assignments, courses, lessons, and any other content without limitation. If you are running an educational institution or plan to start an education website, this tool is a superexcellent option for you. This is because it has the ability to manage students and lessons with ease.
Besides, by cooperating with some rich-featured plugins, like Watu, Namaste Reports and Namaste Connect, the Namaste! LMS enables you to run powerful reports, receive & send automated email and connect to exams without a hitch. Access to your WP admin and complete the installation via Plugins > Add New.
There are two items appearing in the sidebar, including Namaste!LMS and My Courses, which are used for the management of all content in the Learning Management System. A list of items is included under Namaste! LMS item and that should be disposed in turn. To begin with, you are required to get started with the first course.
Go to Namaste! LMS > Courses > Add New and enter the basic information of the course as required. Note that, the permalink of this newly created course is automatically generated as http://yourwebstie.com/namaste-course/course-name.
Scroll down this edit page and focus on “Namaste Settings” mode. There are two options available for you to customize enrollment, which enable logged in users enroll this course themselves or allow you to manually enroll students in courses. Make a choice according to personal needs.
Besides, the shortcode [namaste-enroll] is used to insert a button into the course content, which shows visitors enrolled messages strikingly. The shortcode [namaste-enroll course_id=105] can come into use if you want to display current course on other pages. To show assignees the tasks to be resolved, the shortcode [namaste-todo] comes in handy. If you want to display lessons in certain course, then you should go with the shortcode [namaste-course-lessons].
Note that, the Excerpt mode is where to leave a remark to that course and it is optional for you. “Publish” this course since you have confirmed all content filled out just now.
In the same way, you can create as many courses as needed. Name all courses properly and get started to create lessons for each course.
Go to Namaste! LMS > Lessons > Add New and go to the edit page for your first lesson. Give the lesson a proper name and enter specific content as planned. To do so as what you have done to create your first course.
Move to “Namaste! Settings” mode and customize this lesson as required. Firstly, you need to assign this lesson to a certain course and that should be the one you have created just now. Here, we assign our first lesson to the course 1. Besides, the “Lesson Completeness” option is used to modify the requirements of a completed lesson. In this way, you can determine whether to manually approve a lesson.
The shortcode [namaste-todo] displays a to-do list on that lesson and let students into the tasks to be completed. To allow students to mark each lesson completed by themselves, you are required to insert the shortcode [namaste-mark] to a lesson.
Click “Publish” to make this lesson public. And then, create more lessons as you need and assign to certain courses.
After creating all courses and lessons as planned, you should set about starting some assignments and assigning homework to all students. Go to Namaste!LMS > Assignments and access to the “Assignments/Homework” page. Select a course from the drop-down list and pick out a lesson as well. Create new assignment by clicking the link “Click here to create new assignment”.
And then, you are turned to an edit page where requires you to enter a title of this assignment and give it a description to the point. You can add some media files to this assignment by clicking “Add Media” and that can be a link to certain page. “Create Assignment” if you have all settings done.
A shortcode is generated automatically since you have confirmed all settings. You can copy & paste the shortcode to certain pages or posts and make the assignment public on the website frontend.
For example, we copy & Paste the shortcode [namaste-assignments lesson_id=”113″] to a sample page and test if it runs well on the website frontend.
Having created courses, lessons and assignments as expected, you should take up student enrollments for the mean time. Access to Student Enrollments setting page via Namaste!LMS > Students. Before everything, you are required to select a course from the drop-down list. And then, enter email or user login of the student who is going to be enrolled in this course. You can enroll as many students as needed. Click “Enroll” and proceed to the next step.
You can filter students according to four statuses, including Pending, Enroll, Rejected and Completed. Perhaps, leaving it as Any Status is also feasible here in this case. Note that, the “Cleanup” option allows you to remove certain student from this enrollment if needed. To get more advanced functions, you can go with the Namaste! Reports plugin.
If you cannot enroll student in the course and get the notice said “This user’s role does not allow them to use Namaste! LMS”, then you should go to Namaste! LMS > Settings and check all user roles under “WordPress roles with access to the learning material” mode. “Save Options” and start over the uncompleted steps.
To reward the students who successfully complete a course, you need to issue a certificate and that is a great way to encourage students to do better in the future. Create some new certificates via Namaste!LMS > Certificates. Click “Create new certificate” and enter the Add/Edit Certificate page.
Name the certificate formally and give it a proper description as needed. There are variables available for you to enrich the certificate content. Take a good use of those variables and assign this certificate to certain courses upon saving all changes.
Create as many certificates as your requirement and then come to the Manage Certificate page. This is where to view students who have won this certificate and enable you to modify the certificate if needed. The PDF Bridge plugin enables each certificate to be generated as PDF. Give it a try and integrate each certificate with a more professional looking. If this plugin cannot satisfy your needs, there are more rich-featured PDF plugins available for you to choose from, like WP Post to PDF, PDF & Print, Post PDF Export, and so on.
The “Namaste! LMS Help” shows you a list of shortcodes that enable more flexibility for you to customize your Learning Management System. The “Enhance Namaste! LMS With Additional Plugins” page recommends some premium plugins for you to add more functions to the LMS.
“My Courses” is where to check all courses that you have enrolled in and click to enroll certain courses according to personal needs. Since you have finished a course, you can check the certificate information via My Courses > My Certificates.
By the way, for most readers running an educational website and looking for an eye-catching web design, we would like to recommend some WordPress education themes for you to choose from, such as Educator, Campus, Park College and so on. Select a premium theme from numerous options and make your site as unique as possible.
Best WordPress Web Host Worth Going
After getting the feel of using WordPress as Learning Management System, you may wish to strut your stuff of no delay. However, since an unreliable hosting provider is more likely to gets you in trouble, choosing a credible WordPress web hosting company should be at the first consideration. So, for most readers planning to start an educational website, we would like to list some recommendations to take their fancy. The following table shows the top 3 education hosting in the industry.