August 19, 2016 at 9:24 am #6685JoeGardhamKeymaster
Because of the relative complexity of learning management systems, most come with a premium price tag. LearnPress is the obvious exception, offering the core plugin for free from the official repository.
But how does this free option compare with the premium alternatives? Pretty well, actually. LearnPress is easy to use, comes with plenty of useful features, and, as with many free plugins, is fully extendable, too.
Courses are created by navigating to LearnPress > Course > Add New. This will look like the default WordPress visual editor, but the important course details are configured using meta boxes directly below.
For a start, you can outline the course curriculum by adding course sections, then splitting them into individual lessons and quizzes. Each lesson/quiz is added with a single mouse click.
From the visual editor screen, you can also configure other important settings for your course, including final assessment details (including pass mark), maximum enrollments, course duration, and number of retakes permitted. You can also use this section for setting an enrollment price — the free core supports PayPal payment out of the box, with extensions available for Stripe and WooCommerce integration.
Students may want to help each other out, communicate with teachers, or just plain socialize, and this can be achieved by creating a dedicated course forum. Adding a forum will require you to install one of the free add-ons, though, with either BuddyPress or bbPress integration available.
Talking of add-ons, the LearnPress developers have released a whopping 17 to date — six free and 11 premium. The free core is impressive in its own right, but these extensions — particularly the premium ones — let you add the fancy functionality that brings LearnPress in line with the premium alternatives. Some of my favorite add-ons include:
- LearnPress Prerequisite Courses (FREE) — lets you create advanced courses that can only be enrolled into after prerequisite courses have been passed.
- LearnPress Co-instructors ($30) — lets you assign multiple teachers to a course.
- LearnPress Assignments ($30) — lets you set assignments for your courses that students submit by uploading to the website.
- LearnPress Collections ($20) — lets you bundle courses together and sell them under one price tag.
- LearnPress myCRED ($30) — integrates LearnPress with myCRED, enabling students to earn badges and points for their progress.
LearnPress is compatible with any WordPress theme, however the developer has launched two dedicated LearnPress themes on ThemeForest: Education WordPress Theme – Education WP and eLearning WP. Both look stunning, so I strongly recommend checking them out: WordPress LMS – LearnPress – The best WordPress LMS Plugin.
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