What is a learning platform?
The term learning platform (or teaching platform) can be strange to a person who is used to learning only from books or a lesson shared by a teacher. Today, however, the learning platform is even a trend phenomenon, understanding and exploiting it opens new doors to virtual teaching methods. The prolonged Korona era in particular has created pressures to digitalize learning environments, and learning platforms are responding excellently to these pressures.
The content of a digital learning platform is often diverse, mostly containing textual information, images and videos. Chronologically grouped, it gives the student a structure to internalize things in a certain order, just as happens in an “old-fashioned” live teaching situation. Depending on the platform you choose, there may also be exams, video conferences, or other assignments that should be performed in the order given. In a nutshell, the teaching platform is thus practically an emulator located in the digital world, mimicking real-life lessons, insofar as it is appropriate and well-proven.
The industries in which the learning platforms are currently used in particular are sports coaching, Personal Trainer guidance, therapy services, remote guidance for children and young people, and really all kinds of teaching situations that can be controlled remotely. Would your business model fit into this learning environment as well?
What kind of learning platforms are available?
Learning platforms are less often created from scratch. Of course, we can create articles in WordPress, for example, that guide students to internalize things in a certain order. But technically, the learning platform is smarter in functionality. Software has entered the market that includes all the components needed for an effective teaching event in bundled form. These components or modules are modified to meet the requirements of the teaching situation.
Perhaps the most well-known customizable learning platforms at the moment are Tutor LMS, Learndash as well as a slightly more closed environment Moodle. Learning platforms have very similar functions. The courses can either be created completely open and free to anyone who gets lost on the site, or they can be commercially integrated into WooCommerce and also the add-ons that manage memberships. In most cases, the party providing the learning platform wants some kind of registration system in the background so that students can be managed effectively.
Tutor LMS implementation
How is a learning platform created in practice and what features does it offer? We are now going through the step-by-step process of setting up a learning platform within the Tutor LMS provided by Themeum.
In the screenshot below, you will see a course introduction page. Source www.movementstick.eu
1. Buy website space and domain, as well as the learning platform itself
Everything is, of course, based on the website under the WordPress publishing system and its physical location where the information is stored. Then buy a web host and associated domain. In addition, you will need to purchase a learning platform. If you want the functionality of your site to be exactly what you want, while also having a variety of customization options, you should buy one Pro version. The free version cannot be used to run a commercial site. Learning platforms often have different pricing models. Choose the one that works best for you and download the plugin. You can buy it here.
2. Create a website
In practice, the learning platform requires a standard page-shaped front page where you can tell us a little about your courses and what you have to offer through it. Create this page in WordPress and install the Tutor LMS at the same time.
When Tutor LMS is installed, the learning platform also forms the page templates you need, so after installation you basically already have a working tutorial with no content! But in practice, perhaps less than 10 percent of the work has now been done. From now on, you should focus on creating the educational content yourself, and hand over the technical adjustments to the site to a professional.
3. Create content
Tutor LMS has editing facilities dedicated to the course creator, where you can create lesson structures for different courses according to your curriculum. Editing is in the form of “drag-and-drop” and “wysiwyg,” so you can easily compose the components of your lessons, while also looking at the structure created with the student's eyes in mind. However, in order for the site itself to be fully prime and the settings in order, you should check them out by a professional and try out the functionality of the whole process several times.
There is a lot of room for maneuver and dots in the learning platforms, and especially when combined with the payment add-ons and member management add-ons, the whole is really comprehensive and requires thought. For example, Tutor LMS offers a diploma system, an email system, a differentiated membership management add-on, various enrollment and approval options, and all sorts of little things that require a little familiarity to take advantage of in order to be action-packed. In addition, it should be noted that if the platform is to be in Finnish, this also requires, for example, the Loco add-on, which can be used to run texts in Finnish. Even after this, the site needs to be slightly corrected to make the language completely understandable and flawless.
In the screenshot below, you will see the course learning page. On the left is the course structure and lessons, on the right is a content area with instructional video and instructions. Source www.movementstick.eu
4. Manage students and fees
You should pay attention to student management and, of course, the earnings model if your site is commercial. A workable solution is to combine a learning platform WooCommercee-commerce, in which case the student can only enter to study for a fee. The tutor also has a commission-based earnings model, which means that if there are several instructors, they can also be allowed to create their own courses. In this case, for example, they can be awarded a 30% commission on all sales that go to the WooCommerce checkout during their courses. All kinds of coupon benefits will also be available with WooCommerce.
5. Sell and market
Now that your pages are ready, they only require students to enter! Tell your potential students about your course, and guide them to buy your product. From now on, almost everything on the website is automated, which means that if the teaching content is completely ready and the platform works as expected, it will guide the students themselves in your studies without your active input. Of course, the task of maintenance is always to take care of the updates of WordPress and its add-ons, the smooth running of purchase transactions and also to respond to students' support requests, but the learning platform itself works technically on its own.
What does a learning platform cost?
The installation of a professional and tested learning platform usually costs € 3000-10000, depending on the options you want and also the extent to which the client is ready to be involved in the process. The cost of maintaining a web host and domain, as well as the learning platform add-on itself, costs a few dozen to a few hundred euros.
While this blog post practically explains how to successfully create a Tutor LMS learning platform, a person unfamiliar with it will not be able to implement it smoothly. In practice, you should ALWAYS have your learning platform adjusted by a professional, especially if the course involves commercial connections. With paying customers, the operation of the online store and the educational platform must be bomb-proof, so it is not worth taking risks. Even for a professional, it takes several days, if not a week, to complete the learning platform, especially if various additional options have been checked and their functionalities are to be verified.
Ask for the Tutor LMS installation package and websites for their maintenance From Vep! Veppi has already installed a large number of large-scale learning platforms, so all important adjustments and functionalities must be reliably ensured.
The article is written by Veppi.fiArt Director Matti Kataja