WordPress developers can really make a difference in the e-learning industry with the use of various WordPress LMS products.
The internet has changed everything. Wouldn’t you agree? I mean, now, you can work from anywhere you want, run a business wherever you are, and you can learn from a remote location in any country in the world. For most of us, that is where we are, running a business and working where we want. You probably even learn what you need to from your laptop.
Elearning is poised to be a $325 Billion industry by 2025. The upside is superb for freelancers and web entrepreneurs. And, with WordPress being the most used platform for websites, the need for WordPress consultants who can teach or help other entrepreneurs teach will only get stronger.
Now, you may remember e-learning as a boring endeavor. I can remember when I worked for a corporate bookstore (yes they had those back then), I was often scheduled to go through training modules. Yawn
Corporate training was executed via a flash-based (remember those?) learning module on the computer. The company I worked for invested in an e-learning module to train workers. E-learning has many uses, and WordPress entrepreneurs are at the forefront of helping other entrepreneurs execute training online.
What is e-learning?
E-learning is learning that takes place electronically, or on the computer. According to a government website on e-learning,
“Understanding eLearning is simple. eLearning is learning utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom. In most cases, it refers to a course, program or degree delivered completely online.”
Expanding on that definition, According to Webopedia,
“Education via the Internet, network, or standalone computer. e-learning is essentially the network-enabled transfer of skills and knowledge. e-learning refers to using electronic applications and processes to learn. e-learning applications and processes include Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms and digital collaboration. Content is delivered via the Internet, intranet/extranet, audio or video tape, satellite TV, and CD-ROM.”
So, it is not hard to see, education delivered electronically via one of the mentioned methods is the crux of e-learning.
For website developers, a learning management system (LMS) is frequently used to execute e-learning. This is where we come in, and WordPress developers can benefit.
What is LMS?
LMS is, of course, a learning management system used to deliver courses and training modules for the purpose of e-learning.
A learning management system (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses or training programs. They help the instructor deliver material to the students, administer tests and other assignments, track student progress, and manage record-keeping. LMSes support a range of uses, from supporting classes that meet in physical classrooms to acting as a platform for fully online courses, as well as several hybrid forms, such as blended learning and flipped classrooms.
Therefore, we WordPress developers have a couple of different ways we can be involved in the LMS industry. First, we can help clients set up their own LMS for training, and next, we can teach clients what they need to know to run a business with online marketing successfully.
Third-party SaaS LMS tools
Fortunately, for many, there is a host of cloud-based LMS tools available. The advantage of these SaaS tools is the host company handles all of the back-ends including hosting videos and security. Frankly, if you are testing a course, it might be a good idea to use one of those tools to see how your course works.
Third-party software is utilized in some different scenarios including university and various traditional education settings. Thus, many are familiar with software such as Blackboard.
Some other third-party tools cater more to businesses. Teachable is a very popular LMS tool and makes it easy to get started in setting up your courses.
How can I use this model?
There are various ways that an LMS can be used for e-learning. Below we will look at four different ways you can use an LMS for e-learning.
Internal Training – for team
Companies often have the need for internal training. Imagine how profitable it might be for a smaller company to create a second WordPress install and build an LMS with one of the WordPress products. Do you run an agency? You can also setup your own LMS for internal documentation and training.
An LMS can also be helpful in executing Performance Support. What is Performance Support? According to Masie.com,
Performance Support (PS) is any learning modality, resource or asset that is accessible and applicable at the moment of need. It is embedded in the work process such that the learning is accessed in the context of the work flow and helps solve a very specific business problem. Fundamentally, PS can be grouped into two categories: Paper-based or Electronic. Paper-based is the oldest form of Performance Support and one that’s taken an unfortunate backseat to its more “flashy” counterparts. Paper-based PS includes job-aids and quick references.
It is similar to having your own wiki, which a lot of companies do, but you can build one hub for all your training and add these types of documents to your LMS.
Do you have the training you can share with clients, other entrepreneurs, or freelancers? You can use an LMS to execute this information and lead your students through the material.
We have already mentioned it before, but an LMS can be used for classroom learning. Students at different levels can benefit from using a platform for information and training resources. There is a great opportunity for traditional and non-traditional schools alike to use a WordPress-powered LMS.
I once worked for a customer service operation. The company I worked for was an outsource for the real client which, in our case, were mortgage companies. Because it involved a regulated industry, we had to complete compliance training each year. In many cases, it was the same training that workers in banks had to take.
Any company that has to have compliance training can make use of an LMS to manage and track the training of their clients. Companies in heavily regulated industries can benefit from this kind of platform.
Have you ever purchased or decided to try a new piece of software? Of course, you have; we all have. You may have chosen to sign up with Buffer or HootSuite for your social media, maybe something like Freshbooks or Wave for your accounting, and many other Software-as-a-Service products.
Companies with online products can utilize an LMS to help train customers. Every SaaS has to include training as part of its onboarding process.
Wrapping it up
The e-learning industry including learning management systems will become even bigger than it already has and WordPress entrepreneurs will be a large part of the success. Whether you are building platforms for others courses or internal company training, or building courses for yourself, there is ample space available for those who have lots of ingenuity.
There is a host of WordPress products available to help manage an LMS. What is your favorite LMS WordPress plugin?