The eLearning space is competitive. As an educator wanting to take the online route, you’d want to stay ahead or at least be on par with your competition.
Well, out of many, two factors can make your eLearning website special – 1) content and 2) appearance!
While you must’ve mastered the first factor- content, the second can be tackled by choosing an apt e-learning theme, that’s functional and offers contemporary styling.
Surely, you can go with a standard, multipurpose theme just as well. But a carefully selected e-learning theme can bring to light the best elements your LMS has to offer. After all, a theme is integral to student experience on your website.
The Importance of Choosing a Suitable eLearning Theme
There are several reasons why you should stop and think, before picking a theme for your e-learning website. Ask yourself the following questions:
#Question: Is my e-learning theme compatible with my LMS?
Your LMS is the foundation of your website. Naturally, you need to select every other element that blends well with it. Your theme is NOT an exception! You wouldn’t want issues due to LMS incompatibility, would you?
#Question: Is the theme meant for learners?
The design or layouts offered by the e-learning theme should complement the learning process. You do not want designs and graphics that overwhelm students or distract them from learning as that would beat the purpose of your website.
#Question: Is the theme optimized?
Most multipurpose themes have one major problem – they’re heavy and sluggish because a large amount of functionality is included in the theme. A lightweight theme especially tailored for e-learning can be loads better.
Along with these, there are several other factors that make picking the right e-learning theme important.
Let’s explore the definitive guide to help you pick the perfect theme for your e-learning website.
The 7 Point Guide to Picking the Perfect eLearning Theme
Picking the perfect e-learning theme is based on your specific requirements. But here are 7 points to help you get thinking.
#1 LMS Compatibility
A theme might be appealing and have good layouts, however, the most important step to picking a suitable theme is to check if it is compatible with your LMS.
You can easily find out if the theme is LMS compatible, from the theme features list.
A theme that’s compatible with your LMS platform will integrate with it seamlessly.
Let’s say, for example, your LMS of choice is Moodle, then compatible themes include RemUI, Edutech, Learning Zone and others. If you have a WordPress based eLearning site, say with LearnDash, then theme options are eLumine, Social Learner, Pathshala, among others.
#2 eCommerce Support
As an eLearning administrator, you’d certainly want to monetize your website. eCommerce support is a must to incorporate convenient payment options and broaden the reach of your brand.
Popular e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce, define their own layouts. In such cases, you would want the e-learning theme to support them, or rather seamlessly integrate them into the website. A theme being e-commerce ready also means that when your e-commerce platform is updated, there are no issues with theme incompatibility.
#3 Social Networking Incorporated
Social networking has gone beyond mundane activity or simply connecting with friends. It is rapidly expanding in the educational sector. And the fact is, professionals have started appreciating the potential of social tools.
Course faculties and learners have become more interested in using these tools. It improves learning process by facilitating course material sharing and forum discussions.
Students discuss their doubts and difficulties freely on social discussion forums such as bbPress. Integrating social networking software like BuddyPress with your LMS strengthens your social existence. It enables you to build online communities, teams, and groups as required by your courseware.
Clearly, your e-learning theme needs to be all set for social networking.
#4 Gamification Ready
Gamification is an integral part of the learning process. With the help of rewards, ratings, scorecards, and badges – gamification plays an important role in engaging learners, boosting interest and creating a sense of competition. So, if you intend to use gamification options, then your e-learning theme must be gamification ready.
You need to pick a theme that supports your gamification needs with templates to display leaderboards, engaging layouts for quizzes, widgets to display points/badges, and so on.
#5 Theme Options
While setting up any theme, you’d surely want to fine-tune the styling such as colors to go with your branding, update your logo and more. Moreover, you’d prefer all these settings to be available without the need to meddle with code. Let’s call this “easy and quick theme personalization”.
To pick a theme with adequate customization options is what you need. Focus on the word adequate; that’s because an abundance of options might be overwhelming and might affect the theme’s performance.
#6 Easy Navigation
Overall student experience on the website is important and the ease of navigation plays a vital role. An easy-to-locate menu with important pages easily accessible can ensure hassle-free navigation.
Breadcrumb navigation is a great plus! It simplifies navigation and enables visitors to understand their current location on your website. It’s more like a “You are Here” marker. And interestingly enough, it boosts SEO as well.
#7 Demo Content
Not every theme provides you with demo content. But then if you want to get your website up and running in less amount of time, go for a theme that includes the option to install demo content.
Now, installing demo content might install some unwanted pages on your website. Just be sure to delete unnecessary content before you go live!
Selecting an e-learning theme should be one of the first steps towards building your website, once you’ve selected the LMS of course.
Picking the right theme is about understanding your requirements and choosing a theme that supports them well. If not anything else, it certainly ensures a headache-free website setup experience.
Think about features you’d want to include on your website, maintain a clear list and pick a theme that meets those needs. Keep a lookout for this new theme eLumine as well.
We hope we’ve shed some light on your theme selection woes. For any questions, use the comment section below, to get the conversation started!