But how do you know if it’s the right option for you?
In this WP Courseware review I’ll take a closer look at this popular plugin to see whether it measures up to the buzz it’s received.
What Is WP Courseware?
WP Courseware, as its name might imply, is a plugin for the WordPress platform that allows its users to create online courses, so it is quite a handy tool.
It was developed by Fly Plugins, a company known for its various plugins for businesses that rely on the WordPress platform. Even though it is designed as a fully integrated learning management system, it can’t really rival the standalone giants such as Moodle or Blackboard.
It can handle quite a lot but it is best used for moderate-sized e-learning platforms. WP Courseware is very intuitive and easy to use, and even if you don’t have any experience with learning management systems, you will find it quite easy to design and set up your own courses.
The Key Features
The WP Courseware plugin for WordPress includes the following features:
- Unlimited number of courses and students
- Drip content in on a schedule
- Next module unlocked only when student completes the previous one
- Access to all modules immediately after enrolment
- All files need to be self-hosted
- Support for text files, audio files, and video files
- Sales page integration with WordPress or pre-existing e-commerce site
- All WordPress customisation options for pages
- Landing page integration with WordPress or pre-existing e-commerce site
- Integration with different payment processors such as PayPal or WooCommerce
- Integration options for payment plans, subscriptions, and discount coupons
- Integration with MailChimp and similar email marketing services
- Internal email service available
- Quizzes with Question Pool, randomised order, and Gradebook
- Various question options for quizzes and surveys
- Image files, video files, PDF files and Word documents for assignments
- Certification option included
- Analytics in CSV format available
- Individual tracking of students
- Agile and persistent customer support
How Does WP Courseware Work?
To show you how WP Courseware works, I’ll go through the key features one and by one and look at how they are organised inside the system.
Once you activate the plugin, you will actually have just two visible additions to your usual WordPress dashboard – Course Units and Training Courses.
Course Units is where you can add new course units or simply view the ones you’ve made earlier. Training Courses gives you a little insight into all the bells and whistles of the WP Courseware plugin.
Course content is arranged in a hierarchy:
- Course: the guide for a subject area
- Module: a sub-section of the guide
- Course Unit: a lesson inside the sub-section
- Quiz: an additional piece of content.
The whole system is based on a simple drag and drop interface which is very handy when it comes to ordering and reordering any of the elements that you want to include in your courses.
In order to do so you need to click on “My training courses,” and once you’re there you need to select a course you want to work on and then click the “Actions” button for that given course. When you’re there, you can simply click, move, and release to move any of the content around. Keep in mind that any Quizzes or Units that are not assigned to a specific course cannot be sorted this way.
Creating your own Course is simple with WP Courseware.
- Go to your WordPress dashboard and click “Training Courses”.
- Click “Add Course”.
- Once the course development page has opened, add a Course Title and a Course Description – these fields are required.
- Decide whether the students will be able to see all modules, or whether they will be revealed as they move through the course.
Once you save all the details, you can access the Course by clicking on “Training Course” on your WordPress dashboard. The accessibility of all Courses can be set to manual or automatic. The manual option gives you more flexibility when it comes to the availability of the Courses to individual students.
Here you will also find the settings for email notifications, where you can decide whether you and/or the students want to be notified when a Course is completed. The same goes for Certifications. All Courses can also be imported or exported by using a dropdown menu in “Training Courses.”
The next level of the WP Courseware hierarchy is Modules. You can easily create an unassigned Module simply by clicking on “Training Courses” and then choosing the “Add Module” option from the dropdown menu.
If you want to add a Module to any of your previously created courses, just go to “My Training Courses” and then repeat the same process for the given course.
When you create Modules you will be required to include titles, descriptions and indicate which Course the Modules are associated with.
Course Units are the nitty-gritty of your Course. They are custom posts which you can add to virtually any type of content to create different chapters or lessons.
The page for editing Course Units looks like a much simplified version of the text editor in WordPress, so there are no vast amounts of options for customisation. However, you can convert any previously created page into one of your Course Units.
What I really liked is the option to make your own design templates for Course Units and save them for future use. You can even make adjustments in the CSS code if you like.
Quizzes are probably the main selling point of this plugin. Through a very unique approach you will be in charge of drip feeding any content you want and manage the progression of any of your online courses.
Quizzes help you identify how well a student is doing in any of your Courses that they might be following.
Creating a new Quiz is a fairly simple process. Click on “Training Courses” and then choose the option “Add Quiz/Survey.” Similar to the courses and course units, you can manage all the created quizzes from a dedicated page called “Quiz Summary.”
Once you start creating a Quiz, you are required to give it a title, but adding a description is optional. Further down the page you will find that there are three different types of quizzes available, and of course, you need to select one of those for each new Quiz.
The types of Quizzes are:
- The first option is the Survey Mode, which is only meant to collect information, so there are no correct answers to be given. This is useful when you need valuable feedback from your students, especially after they complete one of your online courses.
- Blocking Quiz Mode is used when you need your students to provide correct answers to any of the questions before they can proceed further. You can also define a minimum pass mark which has to be achieved before a student can proceed to the next course unit.
- The third option is a Non-Blocking Quiz Mode where each student must answer a certain number of questions before they can proceed further. As the name suggests, the students don’t have to reach a pre-defined minimum pass mark in order to progress to the next course unit.
When you’re done here, there are further options such as “Result Settings” or “Manage Questions” for you to add the actual questions and make further adjustments.
The types of questions include True/False, Open Ended, and Multiple Choice, and you can even Upload Files for use as answer reference.
For grading you simply access the Gradebook from the list of available actions, and you can send reports in the form of a CSV file to your students. You can also enjoy a detailed user progress report for each and every student.
If these aren’t enough, keep in mind that WP Courseware can be integrated with over a hundred different WordPress extensions.
You can also integrate it with a number of membership plugins to give you even more functionality. I’ve written a separate article on the difference between LMS vs Membership plugins but the bottom line is they are complimentary and are often used together.
WP Courseware Pricing
Unfortunately, WP Courseware doesn’t feature a free plan. There are three different plans, and the biggest difference between them is the number of licensed sites you get. You need to pay for one full year in advance, and each plan includes email support and all the usual upgrades.
The three plans are:
- Teacher: This is the most affordable plan. For $99 per year, it gives you a license for two sites.
- Professor: This gives you the right to own and run 10 licensed sites for $125 per year.
- Guru: Includes licenses for 25 sites, and it costs $175 for the first year.
If you renew your yearly plan at the end of the current one, you will receive a 30% discount for the next one. The pricing is also affected by the vast number of integrations that are available (108 of them). Each of the integrations gives you additional functionalities at an extra fee.
There is a Starter Package for integrations, which gives you a 30% discount for all the integrations that purchase separately.
For example, you can choose Freshbooks for your accounting, BuddyPress for building a community, and perhaps Slack for taking care of course notifications and other automated processes.
Pros and cons
- Easily integrated into existing WordPress sites
- Intuitive and easy to use
- Simple drag-and-drop content solutions
- Many quizzing options
- Implementation of drip-feed
- Provides over 100 integration possibilities
- Competitively priced
- Three different pricing plans
- Multiple discounts available
- Not meant for large e-learning enterprises
- Moderate lesson customization capabilities
WP Courseware Review: Conclusion
If you have your own WordPress website and are looking for a plugin that will enable you to create professional online courses with lots of handy features, you really shouldn’t look any further.
The plugin offers a plethora of customization options and easily adapts to your learning goals and teaching style.
The platform is very intuitive and easy to use, while a large choice of different integrations provides you with additional goodies, such as marketing, community engagement, accounting, and all sorts of payment options.
All things considered, this is an attractively priced online course plugin which offers a lot of flexibility and control over how you create and market your online course.