Search for an LMS system - remote teaching - Learning Management System

Has anyone got any experience of building an LMS system they could reccomend?

I am not expecting this to be a RW solution but if it is then great. There are many WP plugins but they all seem to promise everything.

Some examples:

Wow, when I was a university lecturer, LMS was an historic railway company and I managed my courses and research students with a series of box files and plenty of roll ups. How things have progressed. (I had to google to find out what it was!)

One thing though - don’t do it in RW, totally inappropriate choice of tool.

Ha. In some ways things probably havn’t changed a bit.

I have now added the full title of the TLA.

What about Grid Plus Pro?

Too quick and the resulting code would be so small I wouldn’t be able to charge enough for it.

That’s an easy fix: Latch on you a few users, listen to their every whim, add in a load of bloat. Sorted.

(BTW- This isn’t a pop at Stuart, just a bit of genal banter: I’m in a silly/windup mood!)

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Why would anyone want to do this in a website? Why not just use one of the SAAS apps available and have it on a subdomain or better still intranet.

Even using WP for this seems insane, the privacy and data security issues seem to be completely unsuited to it (or RW for that matter)

The only thing I can think is that they are trying to do it on the ultra cheap.

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LMS is not a very good label and can mean many things. In this application, it is to setup and manage an online learning system, for multiple searchable courses, that are paid for online and accessed and delivered on line. the whole thing needs to be managed by the client to add, edit, remove, control the content display and delivery and also manage the password setting and recovery for customers, offers, bundles and also payment.

Did you ever get very far with this?

I’m looking at Moodle to maybe implement as a training record system, wondered if you’d come across it or had a play with it?

This particular application has not prgressed any further. During further discussions it became evident that the client didn’t know what in any detail, what they wanted, and when then became more aware of what they would need, they decided not to proceeded any further.

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@Webdeersign This is a comment for the future if you run into any similar clients. I create course websites all the time. RW works great for this. But the bottom line is: what do you really need? In my case Sitelok takes care of all the “protection” end of things. I use Repository extensively for students uploading course work. And then the basic instruction: easy enough to do with whatever stacks you prefer. Essentially I create a page for each “class” in the semester.

There are some things this approach won’t do well … but they are things I don’t need. For example, many LMSs make it super simple to do “grading” and provide feedback. I do that through more conventional means. Scaling is the biggest issue. My courses are typically 20 to 30 students. But if you have 150 to 300 students it may not work well. It also depends on how often you meet: my courses meet 10 times a semester. But if you met 3 times a week for 15 weeks: well that’s 45 pages. Doable but becomes a bit of a burden. (Caveat: if it’s a course you offer often then the extra elbow grease is worth it as it’s easy to use same setup for future courses.)

I’m in education and when somebody says they want an LMS I have no idea what they mean. Yes, I’m familiar with a few of them. But what a specific person really wants varies tremendously from educator to educator. LMS is a sort of shorthand that means very little until you dig deeper.

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Usually they don’t know either! The term LMS is indeed a very wide encompassing title.

The one I was originally looking for a solution for, was growing and it was clear after a while that it would need to scale into 1000’s of users and generate exams, mark them and grade them and issue certificates. It wasn’t a conventional education system but was more geared to proffessional trademens qualifications for electricians, etc…

Got it. It seems LMSs are a bit of the Wild West right now. That’s the bad/confusing news. I’m guessing over the next 5-10 years these offerings will get a lot better because there’s a need for them. But I’m not expecting them to get a lot cheaper. And in those kinds of cases RW is very unlikely to ever be the best solution.

Moodle was the darling of the LMS world for awhile because of its price. Then when individuals and institutions realized how much extra elbow grease they’d need to supply … the shine quickly wore off of the Moodle patina.

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That was a really useful answer. I want to offer courses on my sites, but keep them relatively simple. I found it very difficult to discover what LMS products were really offering. So it’s really helpful to know that you manage all of the ‘protection’ side within Sitelok (I’m wary, these days, of starting down a particular route and then finding some way down that it’s just not going to hack it). I’m using Sitelok for membership, so it is the best option anyway!

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Did you use Moodle and find it a bit burdensome to setup/use?

From my exposure to the LMS system providers, they are not good at clearly differientating what they provide and tend to be full of missleading marketing crap, exaggeration and LMS jargon, so it is often difficult to figure out what they really offer. Even more difficult to gauge the effort required to get started. This is common of course but seems particularly bad in the LMS world. What makes evaluation more difficult is that you realy need to signup/buy into a live system, to evaluate it.

LearnDash seems to be a popular reccomendtion in the abundance of “Best LMS Solutions” sites. It is only $159 and has integration within Elemantor for example, so it would be difficult not to at least jump in and try it, because you will soon eat up more than $159 of your time playing about building someting like this from scratch.

LifterLMS has a 30 day free trial so even harder to resist trying Lifter even if you are just trying to figure out what you want. I.e. you could install WP and try this plugin for no cost and have it up and running in 30 minutes.

Completely agree. IMHO you need to select the system to meet your current and future requirements and then choose the page builder to build that system, i.e. WP with a fully pre configured LMS theme or a WP page builder.

@pmjd I did test run Moodle a few years ago and quickly gave up. There’s a learning curve with anything: so that wasn’t the issue. But it became clear that it did not offer me the benefits that RapidWeaver did from a design perspective. So I ditched it. If Sitelok did not exist then I’d be singing another tune! But Sitelok and RW have been just fine for my needs.

… but the problem is we are speaking in generalities. If you have very specific needs maybe Moodle is your better option. Or WordPress. If you can clearly set out your needs then we can provide more useful feedback as to what the best options are.

I find people saying they need an LMS is a bit like saying they want to travel. I know what they mean, and yet I don’t. Where do you want to travel to? Why? How? How long? The specifics are really important in cases like this.