Creating an educational platform has never been easier (or more affordable) thanks to WordPress! Whether you are in need of a website for a school or college, a learning portal or a membership site – WordPress provides you with all the bells and whistles to get it done. Here is how you can make a secure, accessible and responsive educational platform for your students.
1. Pick The Right LMS Plugin
If you want to create a successful education platform, you are going to need to find the best WordPress LMS plugin for you. LMS plugins are vital to having a stress free experience when creating your platform. Unlike membership plugins, LMS plugins give you the tools to create professional courses, engage with your students’ progress, and offer certifications to those who successfully complete your course.
A trusted and highly rated LMS plugin to use is LearnDash. With LearnDash, you will have all the tools needed to run an efficient platform. Having this plugin will make it easier for you to maintain, make changes and improve your site as time goes on. LearnDash does come at the high price tag of $199, but – it is well worth the price because an added feature you get with LearnDash is that your students can unlock courses as they gain points. This tactic will increase engagement with your students and increase your revenue! If you want to go a more affordable route, there are plenty more LMS plugins that are free to use and just as efficient, but probably won’t come with as many added features.
2. Have PayPal as a Payment Option
Customers love paying for things through PayPal. They can pay for things with just the click of one button. If they have to go through and manually fill out their card information, it’s less likely they’ll pay for your course. A sad, but true fact in today’s world. Having the option to use paypal will easily increase your number of students and keep your educational platform running smoothly.
3. Set Up MailChimp
If you are going to create an educational platform, you will need an email list to easily send out information to your subscribers! Email is a great way to recruit more students and stay in touch with your current ones. MailChimp is the easiest newsletter platform to use and it’s completely free to use! Once you sign up for MailChimp, you are allowed up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 monthly emails.
You can write your emails in advance, and schedule times for them to be sent out. It even comes with an advanced tool to analyze your email list. It will gather reports and tell you who actually opened your emails, which links were clicked to most, and see what cities your readers are reading your email from. This plugin will make communication with your students easy and stress free.
If you want your students to stay motivated, this plugin is an amazing! WPComplete allows your students cross off assignments they have finished as time goes on, and will create a progress bar for each individual student as they work their way further and further into the course, prompting them to eventually get to the end. This is not only a great way to increase revenue, but it also will make your students feel good about themselves as they keep progressing. As an added feature, you can change the colors of the progress bar and checklist to match the theme of your site.
WPComplete is $59 a year, but will certainly increase the success of your educational platform and should definitely be downloaded if it fits the budget. The last thing that you want is your students leaving your courses unfinished. Since they will be learning online, they don’t have much structure when it comes to when it’s time to learn. But, with this tool – it will keep your students on top of their game so they can get the most for what they paid for.
5. Prepare Valuable Content
And lastly, if you are going to have an educational platform, you need accurate, professional content to add to your sit.! Every educational site should include video lessons, written informational content, interactive materials, and some sort of community engagement. Video lessons are a great way to easily teach to a large audience online. You don’t have to include videos, but students appreciate being able to put a voice and face to who is teaching them to retain the information better. The best part about online learning is that students are able to go back and rewatch or re-read the material they just learned. This is why you should have some form of written content, even if it is just the video being transcribed into a post!.
You can also use sites like OfCourseBooks to create fun, interactive workbook for your students to keep them engaged in the material! And lastly, forming a Facebook page or Slack channel with all of your students is a great way to give them that sense of community that you get through traditional schooling. Having a Facebook page will give your students a place they can easily ask questions, get help with homework and connect with some of their classmates from around the world who are learning the same material!
These are all essential tools to creating a successful educational platform that will not only engage students and increase revenue but also provide a rich learning experience! The most important parts to creating an educational platform is to have the right plugins, have a mailing list, proper payment options and, of course, valuable content they can learn!