The last 3 months have certainly been a busy time at Discover eLearning as we continue to explore the potential of LearnDash LMS as a fully-fledged learning solution for various types of organisation across the world. One of the greatest values of the plugin is that it allows companies to very quickly create online learning experiences as part of their already existing website or online identity, which is a very exciting prospect for many businesses. At the same time, we have utilised some of our down time(, and also some of our own spare time!,) into perfecting a plugin that we have wanted to create and share with the WordPress/LearnDash development community for quite a while now.
The ‘LearnDash Topic Progression Using Storyline/Captivate‘ plugin was designed by Discover eLearning to provide a solution to the ‘Mark Complete’ conundrum which many educators raised about the LearnDash platform when reviewing it as their potential LMS solution. For many, the prospect of putting the course progression power fully into the learners’ hands when taking an online course could potentially see hours of work put into creating learning material, or important areas of study, simply skipped over too quickly by the learner in pursuit of fast forwarding towards the finish line of the course.
Of course, the mark complete process is a tried-and-true function of many learning management systems, and has served the robust and long-standing Moodle LMS well for many years now. I believe that there is certainly merit and justification towards putting the learning journey as a responsibility of the learner themselves which is where the notion of self evaluation and review comes from, but I also believe that there are moments in most any the educational journey where the tutor really needs to know that a learner has grasped a core concept or has suitably demonstrated a new technique thoroughly before they should be granted access to the remainder of that learning journey process.
This is where our plugin really adds value, because through the power of learning experiences that can be developed using Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate, such as simulations or other interactive assessment, coupled with the robust course delivery platform of LearnDash, the LMS itself can now be instructed exactly when a topic has been completed by the action for which the tutor wants to see demonstrated. Progression is then handled automatically for the learner in order to make the whole process seamless and also personal.
This is a feature that we have wanted to utilise ourselves in LearnDash, and we have also received several comments about this from educators out there, but now we are happy to have a solution that we can share with the community. Now that our add-on plugin is complete and has been downloaded many times through our own site, we thought that the time was right to move it onto the WordPress global plugin repository to expand our audience reach even further.
This was by no means a straight forward process. There were some standard hoops which needed to be jumped through first that started with an approval process by the people managing the repository to make sure we weren’t looking to publish anything too ‘dodgy’. After a day or so of waiting we got the green light and it was at that point where we had to get to grips with the Subversion system that is used to upload and update plugins on the repository itself. Thankfully a couple of YouTube videos helped us get clued into exactly what we needed to do.
So now we have arrived at the moment where we can proudly see our work standing with the many other valuable plugins and additions that are available for WordPress developers all around the world, and it is great to already see the impact we are having with our download stats and a 5 star rating already being made for our contribution to LearnDash LMS.
We have also created a brand new video on YouTube, which should help people using the plugin for the first time get to grips with it very quickly –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBh-lkc4Riw
We hope that this continues to be a useful resource for course builders looking to take their LMS further to create unique and engaging online learning experiences.