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Online Learning Management Systems have become a vital part of the teacher toolkit. As education trends shift towards distance learning and online assignments, it’s important that your learning solution meets your school’s needs. As a result, hundreds of schools are searching for a solution that can deliver great engagement with their students and staff; help staff meet teaching quality standards; and keep their data secure.

Without knowing it, many schools are already using a system that will enable them to do all this and more. WordPress websites account for more than 40% of the world’s websites, including thousands of school sites. WordPress is versatile, easy to use, and secure – so whether or not you’re already using WordPress, you can use it to build the ideal LMS for your school.

With the right support, you can transform your school website into a practical online learning hub that includes everything you need to give students a great learning experience. Here are 10 reasons to choose WordPress as your online education solution.

1. WordPress is highly versatile

WordPress is renowned for its versatility – which is what makes it such a great solution for schools. LearnDash, the leading LMS for WordPress, has inspired developers like us to help educators create bespoke learning environments that work for your students. With WordPress plugins available for everything from topic progression to self-diagnostics to leaderboards, there are a raft of features you can use to support teaching in schools.

The flexibility of WordPress makes it easy for teachers to provide learning materials for all kinds of learners. Video tutorials are perfect for engagement, while online quizzes and exercises that challenge learning through simulations, story-telling scenarios, or indeed fully fledged game-based experiences, are catered for in WordPress through gamification and problem-solving plugins.

At Discover eLearning, we create bespoke WordPress-based solutions for schools, colleges and universities, so all children can have a great online learning experience. Making use of the multitude of WordPress for education design opportunities, we’ll help you to create your entire school site from the ground up, so that it suits your staff and students to a T.

2. WordPress makes GDPR compliance easy

It’s vital that schools take their GDPR responsibilities seriously. Not only can breaches cost schools financially, it can also put their students at risk – so you’ll need to make sure your learning solution treats GDPR with the attention it requires.

WordPress has many built-in features to tackle GDPR compliance. Typically, a WordPress system will feed its data to a database held on the same server, so you don’t need to account for data transfer into external systems (unless this is how you’d like your learning management system to work). WordPress gives LMS administrators ultimate control over the data stored on your site. It includes built-in tools to allow you to export and delete personal data swiftly.

You can even set up user accounts with non-identifiable credentials, such as student numbers or unique IDs. This means you don’t need to hold children’s personal information on your WordPress site, helping keep their identifiable data secure.

3. WordPress offers support for anonymous access

Many schools use their LMS to upload student-only resources that can only be accessed by logging in to the system. This opens up a huge opportunity for creating engaging content for your students – but it also means creating personal accounts for each student.

Unlike some learning management systems, WordPress allows you to create anonymous accounts for your users. By default, all users need to have an email address. However, it is possible to circumvent this requirement if your students need access to your site without having access to an email address. This is particularly useful for primary schools. It also minimises the need to collect identifiable information from your students.

Our recent work for Gibber immediately put this requirement into action. Through its bespoke WordPress-powered digital learning platform which Discover eLearning helped to develop and implement, the organisation will soon be launching its unique and exciting range of learning opportunities for 151 schools in the North East and Cumbria area.

Planning the option for anonymous access in this project allowed us to create a bespoke learning experience for the students. Using reporting plugins such as Uncanny Groups for LearnDash by Uncanny Owl, teachers can use WordPress to track progress and engagement, and offer learning opportunities wherever it’s needed – from specific learning pathways to additional support.

Perhaps you are planning to launch something similar to our client? Be sure to talk to us for support and advice regarding your schools online learning project.

4. WordPress has strong security & encryption features

WordPress is supported by all good web hosts, most of which offer extensive security services to protect your data. From SSL encryption to rollback capabilities, using WordPress means your data is always stored securely. If your school hosts your site on your own private servers, this is also easy to manage with WordPress, although you’ll need to ensure you have your own security measures in place.

WordPress is an open source software. This means its source code can be accessed and used by anybody, free of charge. The accessible nature of open source software has led to a common misconception that it’s less secure than paid-for solutions – but this isn’t the case. Because so many developers access the source code, WordPress swiftly picks up and fixes any leaky security flaws. That means every inch of the code is often reviewed and tested to ensure it is as secure as possible.

For schools, security is of utmost importance. Protecting children’s data, minimising data loss and keeping quality records secure are paramount. WordPress has great security credentials – and Discover eLearning optimises these by working with cloud-based hosting providers with UK datacentres to keep your data under wraps.

5. You can allow parents access to their child’s progress

Parental involvement in education has a proven positive impact on children’s learning. That means it’s crucial for schools to help parents engage with their children’s education wherever possible. With WordPress, this is simple. Plugins like Patent Access For LearnDash by Immerseus allow parents and caregivers to access their children’s reports, progress, submissions and certificates, giving them insight into their child’s learning activities. The system is totally GDPR compliant, allowing parents to access the records for their children only.

WordPress developers are always creating useful plugins to enhance learning for kids. At Discover eLearning, we can recommend and install a variety of WordPress plugins to help schools engage with parents, staff and students to create a better learning experience.

6. WordPress increases accessibility

Accessibility is a hugely important part of website development, particularly in schools. To create an inclusive, accessible online environment, you need to cater to the needs of all your students. Using WordPress, you can ensure your website meets web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) so that all your students can access the resources they need.

WCAG-compliant systems offer accessible, user-friendly content that all users can perceive. This includes captions for video content, using correctly contrasting colours to ensure users can easily read your site content, and including text alternatives for non-text content.

If you’re looking to make your school website WCAG-compliant, we’ll be happy to talk you through the requirements. This will help you make your LMS a more inclusive, enjoyable learning environment.

7. WordPress allows bespoke design & branding control

WordPress is among the most flexible platforms for learning. At Discover eLearning, we design and tailor sites to the needs of your school. We’ll make sure the site matches your school branding, and can be accessed easily from your main school web domain so it’s simple for students to log in, meaning better learner engagement, and better results.

User experience is key to achieving better learner engagement. For schools, this is particularly important, since your learning content should be optimised for the age group it’s aimed at. Discover eLearning will work with you to configure the right sitemap and user experience for your students – from primary school pupils to sixth formers, we’ll help you create a site that’s engaging, informative, and optimised for learning.

8. You can gamify learning using WordPress

WordPress makes it easy for schools to implement and offer game-based learning opportunities for students. Gamified learning can increase knowledge and learning retention rates, so it’s a vital tool that’s only going to become more widely used in schools.

At Discover eLearning, we build game-based leaderboard systems for LearnDash LMS, which are easy to integrate into your WordPress site. It’s a great way to engage learners, and reach those who may not find it easy to adapt to traditional online learning.

9. WordPress is scalable

When you use WordPress for school websites, you’re not limited by per-seat models or student numbers. Your LMS can scale up or down at no extra cost, so you’re not subject to increasing per-seat prices. This gives you greater control over your technology budget, allowing you to spend your funds on what matters most: more resources to help your students and staff.

10. Discover eLearning can make and manage your WordPress online education solution

Using WordPress for your school LMS is a great option – but implementing the system yourself may seem daunting. At Discover eLearning, we do all the technical work for you. We’ll work with you to design your ideal online education solution, then build it from the ground up so it includes all the features you need.

Whether you’re looking for a highly accessible LMS system, a site to increase engagement with your students, or a learning environment that blends seamlessly with your existing school website, we can build a WordPress solution for you. To discuss your online education solution requirements for your school, please get in touch with our team.

Rebecca Munton

Rebecca is a creative content writer for Discover eLearning. With a background in marketing for eLearning, she writes useful content to help staff and students get the most from digital technology and Discover eLearning's award winning WordPress-based solutions.

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