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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wordpress LMS LearnDash - The greatest LMS in the World?

Well that is what I am betting on for the soon to be released WordPress LMS - LearnDash! Why would I bet on it or make a claim of such largesse when I have not even seen or used it.

First off we know that this LMS is built on the strongest of foundations - The brilliantly devised WordPress blogging platform. This platform is very mature with nearly 10 years of worldwide development and support. The open software architecture has been cleverly devised to allow for useful applications to be added to WordPress through the use of plugins making it very easy to extend the functionality either by installing ready made applications or by developing plugins yourself. In a nutshell we have an easy to use platform for developers, visitors and non-technical editors.

Secondly we have had nearly 14 years to observe the growing pains of modern day web based learning management systems. The LearnDash designers have had all this time to learn from the mistakes and design faults that these systems may have. Although the various current products on offer have varying strengths and weaknesses I cannot believe that many will be as tightly and efficiently coded as a product that is going to fit into the ultra sleek WordPress blogging platform.

As long ago as December 2006 I shared my dismay at mainstream LMS/VLE systems (see Embrace Web 2.0 technology or Die - that's an order!) and advocated the use of web 2.0 technology for ease of communication and thus ease of learning. More recently I really have started to appreciate the power and beauty of WordPress and thus with the launch of a Wordpress LMS - LearnDash this Monday 28th Jan I do believe this could be the launch of the greatest LMS yet.

Photo Courtesy of Ben Sheldon  under the CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.

I don't profess to know the full repertoire of features and how they fully work yet but building on the core features of student management, unlimited course creation and the 'Tin Can API' (which captures activities that happen as part of learning experiences),I am particularly looking forward to the easy certificate creation when students pass tests and quizzes, the powerful report generating module and the easy integration with any other WordPress themes and plugin applications.
Tin Can API
It lifts many of the older restrictions. Mobile learning, simulations, virtual worlds, serious games, real-world activities, experiential learning, social learning, offline learning, and collaborative learning are just some of the things that can now be recognized and communicated well with the Tin Can API.
It all sounds promising, looking forward to trying it out soon and keeping my fingers crossed that it truly is going to knock spots off all competitors. If it sounds interesting to you, take a look here for more information WordPress LMS - LearnDash.

Once I start working with it I'll let you know if it lives up to the Hype :-)


Patsy said...

Do you know if LearnDash is compatible with association management systems like iMIS?

Steve Mackenzie said...

Sorry Patsy, Don't know, never used iMIS

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