Whether you’re an educational institution, corporate organization, training company, or even an independent eLearning and online course creator, you will be in the market for a Learning Management System that allows you to deliver learning content, manage the learning experience, and gives you tracking and reporting functionality.
You are likely looking for a customizable LMS, which is an important consideration. This gives you more control over the branding, user experience, and delivery of the learning experience.
However, a customizable LMS doesn’t have to be totally bespoke to your organization, nor does it have to break the bank. In this article, we’ll show you 10 areas of an LMS where customization is key, and how you can achieve a high level of customization using WordPress and Sensei LMS.
Why is a customizable LMS important?
Different organizations, such as eLearning professionals, HR personnel, business owners, and educational institutions, have unique needs and preferences when it comes to LMSs. A customizable LMS can effectively cater to these specific requirements by providing organizations with the flexibility to tailor the platform to their liking.
A customizable LMS caters to the specific requirements of users and organizations by allowing them to tailor the design, content, features, and user interface according to their brand and learning objectives. The adoption of LMS can be hindered by poor user experience and a lack of integrations with other platforms. However, a customizable LMS overcomes these issues and provides the following benefits:
- Improved training efficiency: Integrations with existing systems give educators greater control over the training process. This enhances efficiency by streamlining administrative tasks and reducing manual data entry.
- Increased learner engagement and retention: Personalized learning paths and interactive content lead to higher learner engagement and retention rates. This is beneficial for employee development as well as generating revenue from commercial eLearning courses.
- Streamlined workflow: A custom LMS facilitates the creation and delivery of engaging content in a more efficient manner. Instructors can quickly develop and deliver content, saving time and effort.
- Custom eCommerce functionality: Instructors can monetize their content through custom eCommerce functionality, generating revenue from their courses. Additionally, custom learning reporting provides valuable insights into learner progress, benefiting both students and instructors.
- Long-term stability and value: A custom LMS can evolve alongside an author’s course or business, ensuring long-term stability and value. It can adapt to changing needs and technological advancements, making it a superior option in terms of sustainability.
How custom do you need your LMS to be?
While fully customized LMSs may be ideal for large corporations, educational institutions, and government entities, they come at a significant cost. Additionally, many of the bespoke features may not be necessary for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or individual content creators.
If you are considering a completely customized LMS solution, it is essential to evaluate whether it can provide a higher return on investment (ROI). If the answer is negative, it is recommended that you explore customizable LMS options instead of investing in a fully bespoke product.
A customizable LMS strikes a balance between a basic LMS and a bespoke LMS. It is a cost-effective alternative that still offers advanced flexibility in terms of appearance, functionality, and integrations.
WordPress and Sensei LMS as a customizable solution
At this point, you may have determined that a fully custom LMS doesn’t make sense for your budget and business needs. So, how do you get a similar level of customization possibilities at a significantly lower cost?
Here’s a solution that will be powerful enough for most course creators and various educational, training, corporate, and government institutions: Create your own LMS website using WordPress as your Content Management System and pair it with Sensei LMS, a plugin that enables you to create online courses.
WordPress serves as an excellent foundation for a customizable LMS due to its open-source nature, extensive plugin ecosystem, and user-friendly interface. As an open-source platform, WordPress allows for easy customization and integration of additional features and functionalities through plugins.
Sensei LMS, a powerful and flexible LMS solution that seamlessly integrates with WordPress, empowers organizations to effortlessly create and manage their learning programs. It provides a user-friendly interface for both instructors and learners, making course management and participation simple and intuitive.
Sensei LMS offers key customization features that cater to the diverse needs of entrepreneurs, professional coaches, hobby instructors, academic institutions, and corporate trainers. Its seamless integration with WooCommerce allows for easy monetization of courses. Interactive lessons and easy course design tools enable the creation of engaging and personalized learning experiences.
For those seeking a comprehensive LMS solution, the Sensei Bundle provides a WordPress install on WordPress.com along with Sensei Pro and other essential tools at an affordable price. This package ensures organizations have access to all the necessary components for their LMS, making it a cost-effective solution.
Top 10 customization features you need for your LMS
Research shows that 44% of companies are unhappy with their current LMS due to a lack of key features. So, before you choose an LMS, you need to be sure that it truly meets your requirements.
Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 customization features that any professional LMS should include. We’ll also show you how to find these features with Sensei LMS and WordPress.
1. Aesthetics and branding
In the realm of training modules and eLearning courses, appearances hold significant importance. Whether your LMS-created content targets employees or consumers, the visual aspects greatly influence the user experience. An LMS that offers customization options to align with your brand identity fosters a cohesive user experience and establishes a professional tone.
When working with WordPress, your choice of theme provides a sturdy foundation. You can further customize web pages by modifying the color scheme, theme, templates, margins, padding on content sections, and other on-page elements. Furthermore, utilizing a theme that is compatible with Full Site Editing allows for even greater levels of customization.
WordPress boasts over 11,000 themes available in its theme repository, alongside numerous reputable third-party options. While there are many excellent choices, the Course theme by Sensei is specifically designed to cater to the needs of online educators, making it a fitting LMS to bring your content to life.
2. Embedding multimedia
User engagement is a priority for all course authors utilizing an LMS. Frankly, a text-only LMS would result in content that’s bland and boring. On the other hand, a customizable LMS that supports various multimedia types, including audio, video, and downloadable attachments, will enable educators to build far more engaging content.
The benefits of multimedia embedding aren’t limited to engagement either. Users retain up to 95% of a message when expressed via video compared to just 10% of text. Additionally, multimedia content can break down language barriers and enable users to learn through their preferred medium.
Sensei LMS is the ultimate choice for building an online learning platform that provides an engaging and memorable user experience across all media types. The Sensei Blocks feature makes it possible to include interactive videos, flashcards, image hotspots, task lists, and questions. Moreover, it includes integration with Videopress, one of the best video players for WordPress, and you can customize the video player to match the look of your website.
3. Assessment and grading
The way you assess learners will depend on the type of course and information, as well as the overall skill level of the learners. For this reason, you want an LMS that can support different approaches to grading. If you’re teaching a course on English literature, you may want to assign long essays, but if your course teaches English as Foreign Language, you might prefer to focus on multiple-choice questions.
Sensei LMS has a total of 7 quiz types, ranging from multiple choice for simple tests to file uploads for large assignments. Moreover, it is possible to add different weighting to individual assessment questions or set quiz timers to conduct timed assessments. You can set automatic or manual grading for certain quiz types, depending on how hands-on you need to be.
And for inspiration when setting up assignments, you can choose to generate quiz questions automatically using AI!
4. Learning paths
Personalized learning paths in an LMS are important as they enable organizations to tailor the learning experience to individual learners’ specific needs and preferences. In Sensei LMS, this can be achieved by creating different groups of students within the same course based on their skills and preferences.
By utilizing this feature, course creators can design conditional content for each group. This means that content can be dripped over a schedule, and specific content can be restricted or shown to certain groups. This ensures that each type of learner maintains ultimate focus and avoids getting sidetracked with information that may not be relevant to their learning objectives.
With personalized learning paths, learners can progress through a course at their own pace, accessing content that is most relevant to their needs. This tailored approach enhances engagement, motivation, and overall learning outcomes, as learners receive a customized learning experience that addresses their individual requirements.
5. Group and cohort learning
We’ve just mentioned how group learning can be used to create personalized learning paths, but the benefits don’t end there! Any educational institution or training corporation should opt for a custom LMS that offers group learning as a means of facilitating collaboration, promoting peer-to-peer learning, and simplifying learner management.
Sensei LMS boasts an advanced Groups and Cohorts feature, that allows course creators and organizations to efficiently track and ensure consistency in training and progress across different groups of learners. Additionally, the ability to set access periods for groups provides educators with the option to have multiple students start the course simultaneously. This feature proves highly advantageous for pre-selling courses or implementing in-house training for entire teams.
6. Role management
Having effective role management makes administration easier. It lets designated admins handle tasks like creating content, managing courses, and enrolling users, and also improves data security by controlling access to sensitive information, so only authorized people can do certain things in the LMS.
Sensei LMS offers powerful role management options. It allows organizations to effectively manage user roles by assigning different roles to admins and teachers. This way, each person has the right permissions and access tailored to their responsibilities. It helps with collaboration, smooth administration, and keeping data secure.
Customizable reporting features in an LMS are essential for tracking learner progress, identifying areas for improvement, and making informed decisions based on data. It helps course creators understand how learners are performing and enables them to optimize the learning experience.
Sensei LMS offers comprehensive reporting options, allowing creators to monitor and analyze learner performance and progress effectively. With reporting features on students, courses, and lessons, creators can gain valuable insights into learner engagement, completion rates, quiz scores, and more. This data helps identify areas where learners may be struggling or excelling, allowing for targeted improvements and personalized support.
Customizable certification features in an LMS offer valuable benefits, including recognizing learner achievements, motivating learners, and providing tangible proof of course completion.
Sensei LMS simplifies the process of generating and distributing personalized certificates, ensuring that learners receive well-deserved recognition for their achievements.
By customizing the design and content of the certificates, organizations can align them with their branding and create a sense of accomplishment for learners. These certificates act as valuable credentials that learners can showcase to demonstrate their skills and dedication to potential employers or colleagues.
9. Multi-lingual options
Offering multi-lingual options in an LMS provides numerous benefits for organizations and course creators. It allows them to cater to a diverse user base, opening doors to new revenue opportunities and facilitating global training initiatives. Moreover, it promotes inclusivity and enhances the learner experience by allowing students to study in their native language.
Even if you don’t currently need multi-lingual support, it is likely to become necessary as your LMS operations expand. Sensei LMS has been translated into 16 languages, and any course created with Sensei can be translated into any language using WPML or Polylang. This simplifies the process of supporting a larger student audience and is considered one of the most important features to ensure sustained success and growth in an LMS.
The success of an LMS is not only determined by its platform but also by its ability to connect with existing systems, streamline workflows, and utilize integrations to improve training efficiency.
This is one of the reasons why we recommend a WordPress-based solution since this CMS provides instant access to thousands of plugins and tools. Sensei itself integrates seamlessly with various other plugins, including WooCommerce. This integration allows you to easily monetize their content and sell courses through one-time payments, subscriptions, or memberships. Managing payments and growing the online course business becomes hassle-free with WordPress and Sensei.
Get all the customizability you need with WordPress and Sensei
Customizability should be an integral aspect of your LMS solution when creating online courses. It enhances the user experience by aligning the content with your brand and learning objectives, leading to increased earnings, improved student retention, and better reporting for future development.
Instead of opting for a costly bespoke LMS, you can achieve the desired level of customizability with WordPress and Sensei. By utilizing WordPress’s flexibility and a wide range of third-party plugins, combined with the customizable features of Sensei, you can achieve your goals in a cost-effective manner.
For optimal results, consider the Sensei Bundle, which enables you to quickly set up an engaging LMS website and offer compelling courses. Ready to harness the power of a customized LMS? Start creating your course today with Sensei!