In the fall of 2011, my business partner, Ben Arellano, and I set out to create a new membership-only training course for internet marketers. We had great content, both in written and multi-media formats, and we wanted to present the material in a sequential, step-by-step format that was easy to consume for our students without them becoming confused by hopping all over the place.
However, we had one small problem…
WordPress was developed as a blogging platform and this made it a real challenge to structure our content the way we wanted.
We installed a membership plugin which was great at accepting payment for front-end WordPress users registrations, but once they were logged in behind the membership wall, we wanted them to engage with an attractive, easy to follow course outline.
We then discovered another problem…
There was no plugin on the market that would allow us to create a course outline, modules, and units and then simply drag and drop them into place.
After several months of development, we finally ended up with exactly the code we needed, which became our newest premium plugin, WP Courseware.
WP Courseware was born out of our need to effectively engage with students in our own training course and as such, it includes several handy, powerful features for site owners who need to structure their content for:
- membership training courses
- online e-learning courses
- consulting courses
- personal development programs
- private coaching
- educational institutions
- training employees or VAs
Once WP Courseware is installed, you have the ability to create unlimited courses, which are the foundations of the plugin. Once you have created a course, you can add unlimited modules within each course. Modules are designed to help you organize individual course units into groups, or themes.
Think of it like this:
Course: Using Social Media to Grow Your Small Business
Module: Introduction to Facebook
Unit: Creating a Facebook Ad Campaign
Creating a Course
The first step is to create a new course in WP Courseware. When creating a new course, you have a few steps and options:
Create the course title and description
- Choose whether you want all units available for access or only make units available as students complete the previous unit
- Choose whether you want to automatically or manually assign newly registered users to a course
- Choose whether or not you want to send students emails when they complete modules and/or units. Email templates are completely customizable.
- Choose whether you (the instructor) want to receive notification messages when students complete modules and courses. Again, email templates are provided.
Creating a Module
The next step is to add modules to your course. Again, you can add custom titles and descriptions to each module within the course. If you have multiple courses, you will have the option to choose which course the module should be associated with.
Creating Course Units
A course is made up of modules and modules consist of individual course units. Course units within WP Courseware use a custom post type structure, so anything that can be added to a standard post or page in WordPress can be integrated within a course unit.
Course units can be created three ways:
Creating a new unit from scratch, just like creating a post
- Converting existing posts or pages to course units with one-click
- Importing units from other WP Courseware courses
You can add text, video, files, forms, or audio to a unit; again, anything that can be included in a standard WordPress post or page can be published in a course unit.
Structuring Your Course
Once a course has been set up, modules have been created, and units have been created, converted, or imported, you can simply drag and drop them into the appropriate modules, change the order of units within a module, and change the order of modules within a course.
Placing Your Course On Your Site
Once your course is all set up and ordered, the course outline can be placed anywhere on your WordPress site you choose, using either shortcode or the custom WP Courseware widget.
The shortcode allows you to display a sequential course outline to students with several variables, which are all described in the documentation within the plugin:
- Course: choose which course to display
- Course Title: choose whether or not to display the course title
- Course Description: choose whether or not to display the course description
- Modules: choose which specific module to display, or display all modules
- Module Description: choose whether or not to display the module description
These variables allow you to create one page for your entire course outline, create separate pages for each course module, or create pages for both the entire course and each individual module.
Tracking Student Progress
Administrators or instructors also have the ability to track a student’s progress through a course. This is done by simply clicking on the default “Users” tab in the WordPress admin sidebar.
Importing and Exporting Courses
Again, WP Courseware has the ability to export and import entire courses and their content as XML files. This is a useful feature for transferring courses between domains or duplicating courses for other instructors to use.
Membership Plugin Compatibility
WP Courseware was designed to work seamlessly side-by-side with existing membership plugins in the event that course creators want to require users to pay prior to registering in WordPress.
Currently, WP Courseware will integrate with any membership plugin that allows you to assign specific content (ie. posts or pages) to a membership level. There are tutorial videos for integrating WP Courseware with most popular membership plugins on the support page of our website (http://flyplugins.com/support/)
WP Courseware license holders will receive lifetime updates, pushed automatically, to ensure ongoing compatibility and stability with future WordPress versions.
Currently, WP Courseware is available to purchase with a single-site license, as well as a developer’s license for unlimited site use.
If you’re interested in leveraging your content to create user-friendly training courses in WordPress, whether for free or for profit, WP Courseware is a cost-effective solution which is both robust and easy-to-use.
WPMayor readers can also receive 10% off either the single-site or multi-site license by entering the coupon code GETWPC10 at checkout.
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