Creating an e-Learning website with a great LMS and wonderful theme is just the tip of the iceberg. It is kind of like opening up a library and waiting for people to walk in. The real challenge is increasing the footfalls.
When it comes to online training, we start by worrying about choosing the right platform to create our perfect e-learning site. Then we worry about creating top-notch learning content. We set up processes to manage student progress, answer their queries, and increase engagement, among other things. But what we often miss out, is thinking about how to get students on the site!
Building the site and the content is important. But catching the attention of potential students, giving them a wide-range of courses to choose from, getting interested students to enroll, is not as easy.
Growing the business requires a lot of work. So let’s understand with an example.
Case Study: Web Development & Online Training
John is a WordPress developer who wishes to put his expertise and free time to good use. John wants to start offering WordPress website development training, online. Awesome idea! Considering the WordPress expert that he is, he quite obviously goes with creating a WordPress website for his online courses, and chooses LearnDash as his choice of LMS.
He creates videos of his courses. It’s all going great. He’s getting sign ups and people are showing a lot of interest in his course. That is, until, the number of students flatlines. Students are signing up, but the number of sign-ups do not seem to grow, and considering the effort he has to put in to manage the existing students and the content, his profits are on the low.
John needs to take some action, quickly!
The path most taken.
The most obvious next step for any business wanting to grow is marketing. John agrees. He dives deep into all possible marketing activities—blogging, social media marketing, Facebook remarketing, paid ads, email marketing, affiliate marketing.
Some approaches work, some don’t.
He realizes the problem isn’t about the extent of marketing but rather the subject matter itself.
Given that WordPress is such a popular topic, students have a lot of options already. There are a lot of courses offering WordPress development training and some even for free. The WordPress courses market is saturated, and paid campaigns are burning a hole in John’s pocket.
So what can John do?
The path less taken.
Now, John realizes he needs to offer his students something more to keep them interested, and to increase course sign-ups. He thinks of offering “value-add courses” for students who take up WordPress website development.
Along with website development, he thinks of adding layout designing and SEO courses among others. What this effectively does is gives potential students a wider set of courses to choose from. And since the courses are related, a student who has signed up for one course, finds other courses useful too.
It’s even better than John hoped for. The courses are getting him more students and not just that, WordPress website development sign-ups are increasing too.
But John’s not an expert at layout designing or SEO. So, how was John able to manage all of this? How did he create more courses and more value for his students?
He got some help from fellow instructors.
A little help goes a long way.
We all need some help to grow our business, and when marketing fails, increasing your offering to get more eyeballs, seems like a logical solution. But like John, we aren’t an expert at multiple subjects. So how do we build courses on different subjects?
We approach fellow instructors like us, looking to find an audience for their courses.
Manage a Multi-Instructor LearnDash Website Effectively
LearnDash is a simple LMS because it’s easy to understand and use. The course structure is quite straightforward, so you can create courses with no hassle or confusion, even within a few hours.
As the website admin, being familiar with the WordPress backend, and WordPress in general, is important. It isn’t a hard and fast rule, but you will need to learn and use it eventually. There are a lot of important settings and features in the WordPress backend that you need to be adept with, so it’s always a good idea to start understanding it sooner than later. And once you are comfortable with WordPress, using LearnDash is a breeze.
However, with a multi-instructor website, you will be adding more people to the site. With the way LearnDash is currently built, these people will need access to the backend to create their courses. And if they are not familiar with the WordPress backend, then it can be overwhelming. For those who are familiar with WordPress, admins might face a different problem- giving backend access might compromise the website’s security.
In both cases, the backend complexity and providing access to multiple outsiders becomes a problem. And a solution is sought.
1. Use a Multi-instructor Management Plugin
The best course of action is to use a plugin that lets you add multiple instructors to your website and allow them to create courses in LearnDash, without giving them access to the backend. And like all things WordPress, there is a plugin that works to this end. Lo and behold, the Front End Course Creation for LearnDash!
Front End Course Creation allows LearnDash admins to create “Course Authors” on their site. As the name suggests, these Course Authors can create courses only from the front-end. Here are a few details of how a plugin like Front End Course Creation can help creators like John.
2. Restrict Course Author Access
With the Front End Course Creation plugin, admins can restrict website access for instructors or course authors only to the front end. They don’t have access to WordPress settings. Instructors can have their own BuddyPress profile pages with options to create courses directly from there. It’s as simple as that!
3. Offer a Simple Course Creation Interface
The Front End Course Creation plugin has a course builder interface that’s very easy to use and offers a lot of functions, like easily adding new courses, lessons, topics, saving drafts, auto-publishing content, etc. quickly and without any complicated procedures. John’s instructors can create the complete course hierarchy along with quizzes on a single screen with a drag and drop course builder. Beats having to navigate across multiple LearnDash options anyday! An all of this, without worrying about the complexity of WordPress backend. It’s okay if course authors aren’t familiar with WordPress altogether. There’s no learning curve involved; course creation is as simple as filling up a form.
4. Sell Courses with Ease
As the website admin, John can sell courses created by guest authors or fellow-instructors. The Front End Course Creation plugin is compatible with WooCommerce too. This means, John can even add those courses as WooCommerce products, so that his students have better payment options. Courses by an instructor can be bundled and sold as a single product, if needed.
5. Keep Track of Commissions
With Front End Course Creation, John can manage instructor commissions as well. The plugin allows him to set up commission percentages for the paid courses of individual course authors. Every time a purchase is made, Front End Course Creation keeps track of the commission each instructor earns for the course. The commissions report can be exported too, as and when needed.
6. Always Be in charge!
The best part of it all, is that John’s instructors do not have any backend access at all. This ensures that John has full control. John can choose to review courses by new authors before he publishes them or he can choose to auto-publish courses of experienced authors. As the LearnDash admin, John has the final say!
When it comes to e-learning (or any business for the matter), help—to scale your business without compromising on the quality—is always welcome!
Having an extra pair of hands means you can distribute your responsibilities and focus on what’s important. All you need, is some technological assistance to back you up!
In case of website owners like John, simple plugins can be make a difference and ease management woes. A multi-instructor plugin goes to prove that just because a LearnDash website has more than one instructor added to it, doesn’t mean that the maintenance and management needs to become complicated or tedious. There is a way to take care of everything and it’s just a matter of finding the right plugin to grow your training business smoothly!
Happy teaching! 🙂