Monday morning the fine fellas at WooThemes released a new Learning Management System (LMS) plugin called Sensei. If you read my post about e-learning and WordPress, you recall that I wrote about another plugin, WP Courseware from Fly Plugins.
At the time I wrote about WP Courseware, it didn’t support quizzes, which meant you had to create them on your own (using a plugin like Gravity Forms). But today that’s different, because WP Courseware has been aggressively improving its own plugin.
So which one do you choose?
Three things I like about Sensei
1. Quizes are integrated
Like WP Courseware, quizzes are an integrated part of Sensei’s model. What’s great is that you can define (up front) exactly what a passing grade is, and that is calculating automatically as a student takes a post-lesson quiz.
2. WooCommerce is integrated
WooCommerce is the WooThemes solution for e-commerce and it’s a fantastic solution. When paired with Sensei, you get the best of both worlds – without needing an extra layer for a membership plugin – unlike WP Courseware.
It’s incredibly simple to use – create a product, then head over to the course and link it to the product. Then, when a student goes to “Courses”, they’ll see the list, with prices, and pick one. Of course they won’t be able to enter the course unless they purchase it – which is a clear button they can select.
3. Students easily see their progress
One of the other things I really like is the easy ability for a student to know exactly where they are in the process of taking their courses. Sensei does it well – because it’s a natural part of the plugin.
So each user can click on “My Courses” and get access to both active and completed courses. When they navigate to the active list, they see their exact status visually.
A thing to note about Sensei and WP Courseware
These are both great products. Because of the integrations I’d pick Sensei over WP Courseware for now, but I’m sure it will continue to be an interesting journey for both plugins as their makers work to evolve them.
That said, I should be clear that both of these are fantastic for personal, small business and other similar kinds of online courses. Organizations and universities that need a powerful grading feature, and other features that Blackboard provides will not necessarily be able to use these products.
So check them out and ask questions before making the case in your academic institution.
Summing It All Up:
So if you’re choosing between the two – Sensei & WP Courseware – here’s how things break down:
- Both support a course with multiple lessons
- Both track progress as students move thru the lessons
- Both manage student access to the right courses
- Both support students taking more than one course
- Both support quizzes
- WP Courseware shows progress in a widget
- Sensei shows progress on a page
- WP Courseware uses another plugin to collect funds
- Sensei uses WooCommerce to collect funds