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eLearning on WordPress: An Rising Expertise


WordPress, An Alternate Studying Platform

Expertise has come a great distance, bringing large societal adjustments. Nevertheless, earlier than COVID-19, face-to-face studying environments have been one of many most popular educational selections. Educational know-how has advanced from the instances of educational radio, tv, private computer systems, computer-based instruction, the web, net 2.0, eLearning, and mLearning, to the most recent technological innovation of our instances in AR/VR/Synthetic Intelligence and the metaverse. Nevertheless, the influence of the academic instruments and applied sciences earlier than COVID-19 has been considerably disappointing [1]. The one silver lining throughout COVID-19 was the significance of digital educational know-how, paving the best way for extra rising applied sciences to rework schooling, studying, and educating.

After I entered the sphere of educational know-how, I wished to create a website or a weblog to doc my learnings and reflections. I had heard about WordPress for a very long time; nonetheless, it appeared the preliminary studying curve was complicated. So, final summer season in 2021, I took on the problem of studying WordPress and making a website to publish my writings, my inventive portfolio, and eLearning content material. The extra I dove into studying WordPress, the extra fascinated I grew to become by the varied methods viewers/learners could be engaged on this platform, particularly for academic functions.

Because the early 2000s, WordPress has been round as an open-source content material administration system. In October 2021, it was utilized by 42.8% of the highest 10 million web sites [2]. The spectacular numbers are attributed to the WordPress group and upgraded options, with a number of priceless plug-ins atop the already achieved WordPress core.

Why WordPress Is An Rising Expertise

Though WordPress has been round for the reason that 2000s, we’ve identified WordPress as a running a blog platform. Lots of my colleagues and educators had seldom heard of its potential for use as a studying platform to create eLearning programs at a way more economical worth level than different obtainable Studying Administration Programs (LMSs). WordPress affords various flexibility, upgraded plug-ins to design and develop programs, and a number of methods so as to add media interactions to make studying partaking in comparison with a conventional LMS. The rising and upgraded options of WordPress have impressed a number of instructors, coaching organizations, academic establishments, and universities to ship sturdy on-line studying packages [3].

Schooling is a use case the place WordPress can shine. The upgraded model of WordPress is dynamic, versatile, scalable, and does not have a steep studying curve. Aside from its big selection of utilizations, WordPress can show to be a useful platform for freelance Educational Designers, trainers, and instructors, particularly to monetize and attain out to a broader viewers utilizing the distinctive capabilities of WordPress.

Primary Data About WordPress

WordPress can be utilized as a weblog, web site, or web site with a weblog. It offers the flexibleness to configure the location in any of those types. WordPress is at the moment obtainable in two paths, WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com hosts free running a blog websites or web sites, or each. It affords a cheap and cheap improve with plug-in options. WordPress.org, however, offers a bundle for downloading. Designers and builders then create and host their WordPress-powered web sites. This path affords way more choices, together with lots of of plug-ins, extra design themes, and entry to the code behind the location, thus making a WordPress.org website utilizing third-party internet hosting [4].

On this article, my focus will likely be on WordPress.com. The essential model of WordPress.com is free; nonetheless, for added options like plug-ins, storage, and advertisement-free content material, there are supplemental pricing plans. WordPress is accessible as a cell app on iPhone in addition to on Android. There are a number of methods content material could be introduced to the meant viewers or learners. Listed below are some examples:

  • Embedded movies together with YouTube, Vimeo, Animoto, TikTok, TEDx
  • Pictures together with {custom} gallery
  • Embedded audios together with Soundcloud, Spotify
  • Podcasts
  • Slideshow/SlideShare/PPT
  • Texts in numerous types like paragraphs, quotes, accordion
  • Maps
  • GIFs
  • Social media posts
  • eLearning programs from exterior sources like Articulate Storyline
  • Embedded hyperlinks, together with Tableau
  • HTML codes
  • Embedded Google docs/Google Slides

Safety, Privateness, And Moral Issues

Though WordPress is among the hottest content material administration programs, WordPress websites are weak to cyberattacks because of unauthorized logins and core software program points. In 2020, WordPress reported greater than 2800 assaults per second focusing on WordPress websites [5]. There may be additionally an age restriction for creating WordPress accounts if anybody is underneath the age of 13 or 16 in Europe. The corporate encourages utilizing two-factor authentication to reduce unauthorized logins and replace the system at common intervals. Nevertheless, WordPress does not take any accountability for utilizing third-party plug-ins, therefore there may be not sufficient readability to know the way third-party plug-ins use consumer data.

Setting Up A WordPress Account

WordPress could be put in in a neighborhood server atmosphere utilizing WordPress.org. Nevertheless, this text will discover tips on how to construct a web site for schooling and studying functions utilizing WordPress.com with out the necessity for set up and ongoing upkeep.

  • Step 1
    Go to http://wordpress.com/, and click on “Get Began.” After you have clicked, you’ll be redirected to a signup web page.
  • Step 2
    As soon as signed up, you’ll be requested to create a site title and activate the location.
  • Step 3
    As soon as the account is activated, WordPress will ask you to decide on a design for the homepage structure. The structure could be custom-made or chosen from the built-in choices.
  • Step 4
    This step is a further choice to customise the location’s look, theme, and total data structure. The positioning could be custom-made to alter the colour scheme, typography, website icon, menu navigation, structure for various units, and so on.
  • Step 5
    End the method by clicking end, and the location is prepared.

Creating Posts And Pages On WordPress

Posts are the primary content material materials on a typical WordPress weblog website. They’re particular person chunks of content material and are typically learn in reverse chronological order or by subscribers in feed readers. Pages make up the person net pages of a website. Pages could be accessed via a menu checklist. For instance, an academic WordPress website can have a web page with the course syllabus, whereas posts could be tagged and arranged to be sorted or searched by material or key phrases. College students or learners also can use an RSS reader (RSS is just an aggregator that aggregates syndicated net content material equivalent to on-line information, blogs, podcasts, and video blogs in a single location for simple viewing) to subscribe each time a brand new publish is revealed.

Demonstration Of A Course Design

As defined earlier, WordPress has upgraded its options with upgraded plug-ins. Programs could be developed utilizing patterns, themes, texts, media, widgets, polls, even within the free model. Moreover, the paid model affords extra alternatives to create partaking and visually interesting course designs for higher studying experiences. The upgraded plug-in options present choices so as to add a membership administration perform to register learners for programs and cost for entry. Moreover, the plug-ins can be utilized to create social media areas and occasion calendars.

There are a number of methods content material could be introduced to the viewers/learners in WordPress. Right here is an instance of a course designed on WordPress utilizing the accordion characteristic. Within the following instance, a course is chunked into chapters, and a number of media sorts like video/audio/picture/textual content are added. Moreover, plug-ins are used to create quizzes/assignments. Right here is an instance of a course design utilizing WordPress’s options.

Determine 1: Pattern course design utilizing accordion and a number of media sorts (personal design)

Utilizing WordPress Plug-ins

WordPress affords quite a few third-party plug-ins to boost the viewers/learner engagement and expertise. Among the plug-ins that I discovered useful for academic functions are:

  • Elearningfreak
    This plug-in helps content material from Articulate Storyline, Captivate, Lectora, Camtasia, iSpring, and different instruments.
  • ScholarPress
    This plug-in means that you can create a course schedule, publish course assignments simply, and develop a course bibliography.
  • WP Survey and Quiz Device
    This plug-in allows the creation of quizzes, surveys, and polls with limitless questions. Quiz questions can tackle a number of codecs, together with a number of alternative, single reply, and free textual content.
  • IntenseDebate
    This feedback plug-in goals to extend dialogue throughout the WordPress remark part. It really works by permitting customers to rapidly reply to feedback, like or dislike different feedback, and subscribe to a remark thread via e-mail or in style RSS readers [6].
  • BuddyPress
    This can be a plug-in that permits us to show our course website right into a fully-functioning social community.
  • GrassBlade xAPI
    This allows you to add and host xAPI, SCORM, HTML5 content material on a WordPress web site in a number of methods. The perfect half is you could test stories, like scholar engagement, or scholar efficiency, and create custom-made metrics for studying analytics stories.
  • IBM Watson Assistant
    This can be a plug-in that helps create chatbots via the IBM Watson platform, by coaching Watson to reply often requested questions, present useful data, and assist the viewers/learners navigate the location.

Determine 2: IBM Watson assistant chatbot to reply often requested questions on WordPress (personal design).

WordPress Vs. Different LMS Platforms

There are a number of Studying Administration Programs obtainable out there immediately like Canvas, Moodle, Workday, SAP Litmos, and Cornerstone, with various options, and there’s no one-size-fits-all resolution. WordPress offers a chance to make use of the location for academic/studying functions utilizing a number of themes and plug-ins. It offers seamless integration between a course and web site and weblog, or each. Whereas there’s a substantial studying curve for designing, creating, and managing programs in an LMS platform, WordPress affords limitless flexibility in designing and managing the web site. Moreover, an LMS comes at a hefty worth level in comparison with WordPress, which may very well be a novel promoting level, particularly for non-profits, smaller academic establishments and firms, and freelance instructors.

WordPress is among the finest content material administration programs with a clean studying curve and can be utilized with minimal coaching [7]. It additionally affords a simple Consumer Interface, with straightforward navigation and a chance to work together and interact with learners in comparison with different in style LMSs. On the similar time, devoted LMSs present a lot better in-built native options like course creation, quiz, project, gamification, progress trackers, and scholar analytics choices, whereas WordPress has restricted choices for scholar analytics, progress trackers, and safety points with plug-ins.

WordPress For Studying Case Research

Whereas on the lookout for WordPress websites which were used optimally, I discovered the next two that may be taken as a case examine to develop WordPress websites for academic functions.

1. Canada Studying Code

The Canada Studying Code WordPress website has used a delightful coloration scheme, utilizing WordPress’s design theme. The positioning has divided the programs into chunks utilizing the plug-ins and sample characteristic. The positioning is a benchmark to view how WordPress can be utilized as a web site and a weblog for designing and creating eLearning programs. Moreover, the pages are uniquely organized as studying experiences and lesson plans, the place learners can view programs in a number of modules, together with experiences like assessments, quizzes, and so on.

2. Ladybird Schooling

The Ladybird Schooling WordPress website is designed to cater to a youthful viewers, therefore the colour scheme is shiny with typography chosen rigorously for the meant learners. The positioning has used WordPress plug-in options to their optimum by including a number of media like pictures, movies, and different interactivities to interact learners. This website impressed me as a result of they’ve given significance to accessibility options by including transcripts, alternate texts, closed captions, and so on. The positioning menu is rigorously organized as classes and assessments, making the navigation extra user-friendly.

Conclusion

To conclude, WordPress has super potentialities for use as a studying platform as a substitute of only a running a blog website. The upgraded options and plug-ins for growing eLearning programs at a way more economical worth level is its USP (distinctive promoting level) as in comparison with different Studying Administration Programs (LMS). This flexibility and variety make it attain a wider viewers and makes it best suited for freelancers, educators, instructors, organizations, and academic establishments.

References:

[1] Cuban, L. 2001. Oversold and Underused: Reforming Colleges via Expertise 1980–2000. Cambridge, MA: Harvard College Press.

[2] Utilization statistics of content material administration programs

[3] WordPress Makes an Affect in ELearning

[4] Seven Causes to Use a WordPress eLearning Platform

[5] 13 WordPress Safety Points & Vulnerabilities You Ought to Know About

[6] Scott, Adam D. 2012. WordPress for Schooling: Create interactive and fascinating e-learning web sites with WordPress (1st version). Packt Pub. Ltd.

[7] The Professionals And Cons Of Utilizing A WordPress Studying Administration System



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