The coming of web technology and its sensational development has made it possible to use few refined tools for learning and offering knowledge. One such tool is e-Learning. Over the last decade, E-learning has been successfully implemented in educational institutes and corporate houses. It has proved itself an excellent solution for organizing, strategizing and conducting learning procedures by just creating a virtual learning atmosphere. This is where we need an LMS and the perfect e-Learning platform, Moodle.
With this post, we will explain you what happens when the best e-Learning platform is combined with the best e-Commerce tool. Let’s find out why Moodle WooCommerce integration in an excellent combination!
LMS AND MOODLE
(Disclaimer: We’re not really going deep into everything about LMS because that would require us to write an entirely new post! However, just the basics can help you get a hold of this perfectly.)
LMS or Learning Management System is a web-based technology used to arrange, execute and analyze a learning procedure. An LMS allows instructors or an expert in any field to structure and deliver content, supervise how and in what manner a partaker is participating in the learning method and then evaluate how each participant is performing in the process.
Here’s a simple infographic from moodlenews.com that tells you about the future of e-Learning
But, the components of a virtual learning environment, like hypothetical classrooms, assessments, gradations, study materials, must be established or built on a platform that provides a high-level solution to all these. And whenever we have to talk about the best e-Learning platform, Moodle takes the cake.
Here comes Moodle…
Moodle is an open source, free and a customizable e-Learning platform that powers more than 70,000 universities, schools and corporations in over 200 countries in more than 100 languages. This killer web application lets you create your own online classrooms, conduct classes and distribute study materials or sell them.
Not only will it allow you to create a learning environment, but also would let participants communicate through forums, message boxes and events. As the software is open source, it constantly goes through enhancements and upgradations, owing to which it is always ready to meet all your educational requirements. Here is what the numbers say about Moodle –
Using Moodle you can simply create a learning environment of your own, educating attendees from every corner of the globe. To begin with, all you have to do is upload the content, add those gradable assignments and quizzes you have. In this process you can also include collaborative activities, use forums, glossaries and do much more to make online learning measurable, valuable and amusing.
Moodle has around 955 open source plugins or modules (also known as mods) to customize the platform as per specific requirements. Try it, to discover the amazing features of a wonderful LMS platform. However, for advanced features or high-end customization, you may need third-party help.
SELLING COURSES ONLINE
So, you are an expert in a certain field and you want to set up your own e-Learning site and offer courses to students in a dynamic learning environment. Well, an open source platform like Moodle can be the perfect option to begin with.
But, what if you wish to sell these courses?
WordPress, one of the most powerful CMS tools in the world, is so efficient that you can easily set up an e-Learning site with it. You’ll get plenty of WordPress LMS plugins to choose from, like
But, a specific LMS like Moodle is always a better choice as it’s a specialized system by itself which takes care of all your e-Learning needs. After all, if you were to sell only courses, a simple WordPress site installed with the very famous WooCommerce plugin would have served your purpose perfectly. But, your aim is not to set up an ecommerce site selling courses; it is to build a fully-functional, specialized, virtual training centre that also sells courses.
A number of educational or non-educational organizations are nowadays integrating these two super platforms for the outstanding features the combo offers. Before, moving on to the integration part, lets tell you a little about
I suppose, most of you reading this article know about this plugin, but let’s enlighten the starters a li’l about it before they step into Moodle WooCommerce integration.
WooCommerce is highly popular WordPress ecommerce plugin built by the geniuses at WooThemes. This free plugin transforms an ordinary WordPress site into a multifunctional ecommerce platform, allowing you to sell anything and everything under the sun. A plethora of free as well as premium WooCommerce extensions / ad-ons are available in special marketplaces to increase the functionality of a WooCommerce based store.
So, that’s the reason for why we believe nothing can be the perfect solution other than Moodle WooCommerce integration if someone is trying to integrate a Moodle setup with WooCommerce. This is going to result in the ultimate business for those who are looking to sell courses online.
A WooCommerce Store to Sell Courses
A WooCommerce based e-learning store will be extremely flexible in nature. It will allow you to add study materials like PDFs, DVDs and books along with the courses you have to offer. There will also be an option to automatically enroll students for the specific courses they purchase. They can even avail a membership package.
The biggest plus point for using a WordPress site to sell courses is search engine optimization of the contents used in the site, which eventually results in more conversions, registrations and subscriptions. So, the advantages of using such a system are:
- Sell courses along with other products through your site
- Search engine optimization of contents of your website
- You can offer plenty of subscription and membership options
MOODLE WOOCOMMERCE INTEGRATION
For the e-commerce part, either Moodle itself can be used or WordPress can be applied in the frontend to have more visually enriched appeal and better UI.
Since Moodle is a set up in itself, it cannot be installed into WordPress to achieve Moodle WooCommerce integration.
No matter whether you want to start everything from scratch or you already an existing site on any one these platforms, this integration can be achieved through two basic processes – (i) two custom plugins for both WordPress and Moodle or (ii) specialized premium plugins built by experts. Since, we are WooCommerce & Moodle support providers; we will deal with the first option. However, please be advised that in any case, you’ll need third party help if you are not an experienced Moodle-WordPress developer.
Suppose you have a Moodle site and you want to sell courses using WooCommerce instead of going with the default selling option via PayPal. Now, let’s have a look at what happens and how everything takes place when you go for the first method i.e. custom plugins.
The developer, at first, will set up a WordPress site and install WooCommerce to transform it into an e-commerce store. Then, into this site, you have to enlist all your Moodle courses to be able to sell them. Every course will be added as products in WooCommerce, where each of these will have a unique product id.
Two separate custom plugins would be built for both of your sites; meaning, one for the Moodle site (web service plugin) and another for the WordPress one and these will work with each other.
P.s. Your developer will ask for the URL of your Moodle site and the ‘web service token’ which you can obtain from your Moodle site itself. These two would be used while creating the plugin for Moodle.
With these two plugins, your Moodle WooCommerce integration is going to work perfectly. This is how-
If a user wishes to buy any of your courses, he will be directed to the WordPress site. Once the product is sold (the payment is made and the order is complete), a new user will be created on the Moodle site and will get enrolled in the specific course. If it’s an existing user then he will ‘only be enrolled’ to a new course. In case of a brand new user, a ‘new user account’ would be created and he will get enrolled to the course as well.
Once the enrollments and creation of a new account would be completed in the Moodle site, a ‘success’ message would be sent to the WordPress site along with the user’s new ‘user id’ and password. Following this, with the help of tools like MailChimp, etc. the WordPress site would send a mail to the users confirming their user id, passwords (in case of new users) and course enrolled (for both existing and new users).
The best part of taking third party help is you can make this integration work as per your wish. Specific features can be added or some can be take off (in case you don’t need them) from each of these plugins if you have your own innovative ways of selling courses online through a Moodle site.
Advantages of Moodle WooCommerce integration
There are several add on functionalities that you will be able to enjoy from your Moodle WooCommerce solution. Such as
- Sleek user experience
- An easy-to-use set up
- One step enrollment option
- Adding a course package
- enabling discount code generators
- Adding monthly subscriptions and membership facilities
- Enabling video conferencing platforms
- Automatic enrollment of students for purchased course
- Logins through social networks
… to state a few.
The way communication and learning take place in a specific atmosphere has also gone through a rapid metamorphosis with the growth of e-learning, no matter where it is been used. As a result, we’ve seen another huge transformation in the way educational materials are planned, developed and distributed or sold to the ones who wish to learn in a different learning environment. This is how the idea of integrating WooCommerce and Moodle came into the picture.
The biggest advantage of Moodle WooCommerce integration is that you can enjoy all the finest features each of these has to offer. You can have a great, user friendly site by just combining your WordPress website with your e learning site – all you need is a great idea and some excellent set of third-party developers. And you are ready to add blogs, create forums, organize online study meets, and add tutorial videos, social networking opportunities for students and so on. In short, you can do whatever you want.
Wanna try? Let us know.