Google is working on an online course solution. Same story with Khan Academy, Coursera, Udacity, and … you? If you run a website that uses WordPress, you can now easily (relatively) build your very own online school.
The new WordPress plugin from WooThemes (a popular WordPress premium theme provider) lets you start up your own online school with ease. It’s as simple as installing a WordPress plugin. The actual content and other school-y stuff is, of course, up to you. But the technical stuff is taken care of by this new plugin.
WooThemes Sensei Plugin Features
The new plugin is dubbed ‘Sensei‘ (it had previously gone by the codename ‘LMS’ but is now officially Sensei. So what’s it do? After installing the $79 (introductory price – normally $99) plugin, your WordPress site will see some new custom post types called, appropriately enough, ‘Lessons’ which are the tools you use to actually teach. That part is pretty straightforward. You could probably do that with just a normal WordPress blog.
But it’s the registration tools, course analytics, design, quizzes, and built-in prerequisites that set this tool apart. In fact, there’s really not another plugin out there like Sensei to my knowledge.
Since Sensei is a plugin and not a theme, you can use it with any theme (such as your current theme on your blog, for example). If coding isn’t your thing, you can use the specifically-built WooThemes theme called ‘Definition’ available here.
What It Looks Like
The following images are screenshots of Sensei and aim to give you a good idea of how the plugin and theme work. Basically, it’s easy to use the plugin if you’re comfortable with WordPress. If you’re not, I’d recommend taking it slowly and figuring out exactly what each term means. For example, if you’ve never heard of WooCommerce or the term ‘custom post type’ then you should start researching those and other WordPress jargon now. You’ll be glad you did.