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Delivering Courses

Hey. I was wondering on what strategies people have used to deliver courses. Do you use:



- wpcourseware?

- Just restrict posts/pages

- drip content schedule

- any other Learning management system like Learndash?
Hi Robert,

I like to use bundles to deliver courses, and just protect pages.
I am using WP-Courseware which I think is a really good product. At the moment I am using it with Wishlist Member (and no eCommerce functions). It integrates with Wishlist Member so a logged in Member can see into the course modules content, while a non-logged in member sees only the skeleton of the course.

I am in the process of switching to Membermouse (and will enable eCommerce), and will use WP-Courseware for some things. I have not decided whether I will simply post the WP-Courseware courses behind a protected page, or whether I'll expose the course but integrate it with Membermouse so that prospective buyers can see the outline.

I like everything about WP-Courseware except the inability to change the labels "Module" and "Unit" - would prefer these were configurable to fit my audience's terminology.

I like the completion certificate creation function, however for my current needs it doesn't work because I need alot more data on the certificate, including a custom member field. It would require hacking the code to fix and that is beyond me.

Sensei by Woo looks interesting, although a little pricy.
Kelly,
Glad you're switching over from Wishlist. I did that 6 months ago and haven't been happier. It was a hard breakup with Wishlist, though. They sure make it hard to quit, like a bad habit! I promise it's worth the time and effort.
Chris - I think Wishlist is pretty good feature-wise, and it integrated with WP-Courseware, but did not meet all of my very particular needs for a major membership site I'm developing. I was also a little uncomfortable with their coding and the encryption of their core code; my web host actually warned me about some things it was doing when I had to get their help to see why it wasn't licensing properly (Wishlist had hard-coded incorrect IP addresses to their server in one release).

Membermouse is the only membership solution that I've found that meets all of my detailed critical requirements. I can't tell you how many weeks of effort I have spent testing probably every WP membership solution, almost to the point of thinking I might need to hire a development team to write one from scratch for big $$$. I could honestly write a book on the state of membership plugins in Wordpress after all of the testing and analysis I've done. Murphy's law would have it that Membermouse was the last on my list to test, and I am absolutely blown away with the feature set, as well as alot of very nice capabilities that were not requirements for me or that I didn't even think of. For instance, the whole gateway testing setup that makes it easy to test is phenomenal; the support for Authorize.net CIM is great, and not common. Custom fields for members was very important to me, and multiple non-tiered memberships (via bundles) was critical. The ability to import members and manage each member's account was very important (hard to believe some major membership plugins won't let you manually create, or import members!). Coupons that can have rules so they apply only to certain products - brilliant!

The only things MM can't do that I wish it could are: 1) Protect content in posts after the "More" tag (similar to using MM_Access_Decision but a little simpler) - so I can more easily expose teaser content; 2). protect content with TAGS, not just Categories, 3). Have a built-in "force-ssl on checkout pages" checkbox so I don't have to use an extra plugin. But none of this little items on my wishlist (no pun intended) are critical for me, just nice to have's.

Kelly
Dan Caron,

Can you explain how you use Bundles for courses. I'm interested in that, but don't know where to start.

Taylor Marshall
Taylor - I think you addressed your question to Dan Caron, but I'm happy to share how I will be using bundles to sell courses. In effect, bundles work just like membership levels...they grant access to post categories and/or pages. The main difference is that a member can have many bundles, whereas a member can only have one membership level. Since they work basically the same, you can ignore membership levels all together, if you want, create a "product" (holds the pricing), and associate it with a "bundle" (holds the rights they are given when the buy the associated product). As a side note, actually every member has to be assigned to a membership level just so they have an account; this is what you can do with the default "free" membership. So technically, even if you will only use bundles, all members will be assigned to the "free" level behind the scenes - you just won't necessarily use this level to assign any access rights.

The site I am developing will have a single recurring paid subscription that unlocks premium posts, based on the category they are assigned to. The posts are essentially articles or videos and are NOT courses. I will probably use a membership level to handle this since I really will only have 1 premium membership level.

Separately, I will have courses available for sale; they are going to be available to members and non-members; it does not matter whether the person has subscribed to the premium posts or not. Each course will live on a single page. There will be a "course product" created that holds the price (and I may do a payment plan since my courses will be in the $3000-5000 range), and the course product will be associated with a "bundle". The page on which the course lives will be set via the "grant access" button to only allow people with this particular course bundle. If they have the bundle, the page will be unlocked and appear as a "my courses" menu item (MM hides the page if you don't have rights to it, so only the courses you've bought show up as menu choices).

Optionally, I may use WP-Courseware to hold the course content; this is not required. Basically you can just fill the protected page with your content, videos etc. If I prefer, I can place the WP-Courseware course on the protected page and in that case do not necessarily have to integrate it with Membermouse. Although I haven't tested this yet, I could also leave the course page unprotected, but instead integrate Membermouse with WP-Courseware using the optional plugin - this should protect the content within the WP-Courseware course, but still display the outline so prospective buyers can see it; if they purchase the course, it will unlock the content within the WP-Courseware modules/units.

Hope this is helpful
Kelly
Hi everyone

I thought for those of you interested, there is plugin add on developed by WP Courseware that makes it unbelievably simple to map your courses in WP Courseware to bundles you create in MemberMouse. I recently helped a client set up their site using this plugin, and once they had their courses set up, it took all of about 20 minutes to configure the bundle mapping

http://wordpress.org/plugins/membermouse-addon-for-wp-courseware/

E
Interesting stuff! WP courseware allows members to see their course progress, and the admin can see how many users are on each course and how far they have got. Also if you fully integrate with membermouse you can use WP coursewares shortcode to display all available courses in a nice drop down. The member can keep track of what they have done and what they havent.
Protecting pages to me at first thought seems too basic. I can't visualise what the user will see when they log in and go to the memberhome area.
I do a free membership with a few nice freebies to encourage new walk-in members, then offer about 24 separate courses as purchase-at-any-time bundles.

My courses run from instant access to 33-weeks of drip content , and I use MM for access.

I've never heard of WP Courseware. At this point my site is already so complex and large that I cringe at the idea of another plugin. But it does sound interesting.
Holly, how do you do the multiple drip schedules? Do you NOT use the protected content widget?
What does WP Courseware bring to the table that MM lacks on its own?
WP Courseware brings a structure to your courses; you create a 'course", then modules and units of content. WPC then tracks when users complete a unit, and you can tie successful completion of quizes (using quized generated by WP-Courseware) to unlocking the next unit. There is also the ability to generate simple certificates of completion (although for my needs to feature is way too limited). So think of membermouse as handling the eCommerce and page/post security, while WP-courseware handles the presentation and some management of the course content itself. WP-Courseware does not have eCommerce or security/access restrictions built-in. Also, note that you can choose to use the "Integration" plugin or not with Wp-Courseware. If you don't use the plugin, the whole course will be available but can be secured behind a restricted page or post. If you do use the integration plugin, you can post the wp-courseware course on an unrestricted page or post, but only if the person is logged in and has rights to the specific course will the content sections become visible/accessible.
Danno, in my humble opinion, the differences are: Course progress - see how far along each course you are (percentage), organise courses in a structure - display a course on a page with a shortcode. Course navigation - course navigation shows the next unit and all other units available. You can make it so they HAVE to complete a unit before they go on to the next unit. As the admin you can see how many people have taken what course, and how far along they are. Quizzes and certificates that are matched to the courses. It can be done with membermouse but it would be a more basic - protect posts/pages. If you have a lot of big courses then it would become hard to manage
I've posted twice on this tread about wp-commerce and the integration plugin. I now feel I need to report that I have abandoned the use of WP-Commerce. It appears in my limited testing that there are circumstances where a member, who SHOULD have rights to an integrated wp-courseware course doesn't get them. In fact, even if you then disable the wp-courseware integration, the member is still, and forever unable to get access to the course content. Additionally, the support I received from Fly Plugins was unhelpful (they did not bother to read my detailed support request) and very slow. If you plan to use this, test all of your use cases, including granting access to courses to users that existed BEFORE the course was created, as well as after.

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