Creating an E-learning website can be a really valuable, convenient and scalable option for making money online. But the real engagement does not lie in just creating an online learning portal. For a student taking an online course should be more than sitting in front of a computer and learning lessons alone. Instead, real engagement comes when they are given a platform to express their opinion by becoming a part of an online community of learners.
Thus, by pairing your learning platform with an online community, you can improve your site engagement and your learner’s participation in a particular course. Moreover, with online communities integrated into your e-learning website, you can involve your learners in other useful activities. They can share their interests, likes and effectively communicate with other learners as well.
In today’s article, we will be telling you the importance of creating online community for an e-learning website. In addition to it, we will also tell you how you can create an e-learning community website of your own.
The Importance Of Communities For eLearning Success
The importance of a community website in an eLearning scenario cannot be ignored. Learning should involve discussion, collaborative teamwork, taking initiative, and responsibility to listen, question and think. And, all this can only be done by including a community aspect on your e-learning website.
Moreover, having an e-learning community can positively impact your success, engagement, satisfaction and growth. Here are few ways in which an online learning community can improve your e-learning program.
1. A Community Keeps Learners Engaged
Including an online community to your e-learning website will help you a long way in keeping your learners engaged. With a community to discuss and share their interests, they will not consider learning a boring and tiring activity. Moreover, all your learners will get to contribute their part in the comfort of their home.
An online learning community adds an engaging feature to e-learning courses including peer to peer discussions, blogs, emails and sharing files. Learners with the help of these tools can connect with their instructors or other students and start a discussion about certain course topics. All this online interaction can help them engage more with their courses and make learning more meaningful.
2. Support Of Peers Helps In Improved Learning
An online community of learners and instructors can be really helpful as it offers learners a network of peers. With an online community, you give your learners space where they can without any fear connect with their peers who are also going through the same course. Learners can also adopt other means of connecting with their peers or instructors which include sending private messages, emails, as well as can publicly ask questions which they are finding difficult in course forums or groups. Peers, or instructors, on the other hand, can motivate them to finish their course by sharing helpful notes just like they would have done offline.
3. A Link Between Online Communities And Social Engagement
As a learner advances in an online course, he will find a sense of connection in the community. E-learning online communities also create an important social network that involves learners and instructors share their thoughts, interests, important study material, one on one interactions with mentors all at one place. This, in turn, fosters the feeling of involvement, trust and support in learners. It also improves the social engagement of learners and mentors on your e-learning portal thus promoting your portal at other places as well.
4. Positive Relationship With Other Learners
An online learning community can help learners build positive relationships with other learners and mentors in new and exciting ways. The ease of connecting online can break down many barriers among them which sometimes becomes difficult in the traditional learning method. With the help of regular discussion and participation in the community, learners will feel more connected to their online learning community leading to positive relationships, good friendships and life-long professional networks.
5. Motivated Learners
One of the really incredible benefits of an online learning community is motivated learners. With an online learning community, learners who believe that higher education is out of their reach due to other commitments can also feel motivated by interacting with other learners walking on the same path as theirs.
Moreover, with an online e-learning community, you can also motivate learners by asking for their feedback, creating polls, involving them in fruitful discussions related to a course.
Monitoring the areas where learners are finding it difficult to learn, allows instructors to spend more quality time with them and motivate them to perform better.
Create Your Own E-Learning Community Website With WordPress
Creating your own e-learning website along with social community feature can be a great step for your e-learning business to prosper. Here is how you can build an effective, and engaging e-learning community website.
1. Get Hosting And Domain Name
The first thing you need to do while creating any website is getting a domain name and a web hosting plan. You can pick a domain name that suits your learning business the best and sign up for a hosting plan as per your needs. You can know more about top hosting service providers here.
2. Choose WordPress As Your Ideal Platform
Now is the time to decide with the platform you want to use to build your site. There are many platforms to create websites but our choice would be WordPress as it is a free and easy to use platform that lets you create any type of niche-based websites. It also comes with thousands of plugins and themes which you can use to get the desired functionality and design. Therefore, if you want to start an e-learning community quickly without having to code anything, you can go with WordPress.
3. Install And Configure The Required WordPress Plugins
To give you the desired e-learning and community functionality, you will be required to install certain plugins which are free and can be downloaded from WordPress Repo.
For e-learning functionality, we would suggest you go with LearnDash WordPress plugin as it is one of the top plugins to add the functionality of creating and selling courses on WordPress. It is the most trusted WordPress LMS plugin and offers you a variety of features such as Course Management, Course Monetization, Administration, and a lot more.
Once you have installed the desired e-learning functionality, next up you will be required to add community feature to it. For this, we would recommend you to go with BuddyPress social networking plugin. This plugin is the most popular and free plugin which offers features like activity streams, messaging, notifications, groups, friends and much more. This plugin is sufficient to give you the integrated community feature.
4. Install A Dedicated E-learning WordPress Theme
Once you have installed the required plugins, you have given your website the required functionality, you will need a design that works well with it.
There are many WordPress themes available in the WordPress repo that will offer you design to create an e-learning website. However, it is very important to choose a theme that integrates well with both the plugins and gives you a dedicated design.
Our choice would be to go with an amazing e-learning LMS WordPress Theme Reign Learnmate LearnDash theme that offers in-built support for both BuddyPress and LearnDash Plugins.
The key features of this theme include:
- Attractive grid & listing options to display your courses
- Distraction-free layout to let your learners stay focused on the course content
- Inbuilt course reviews to allow learners to share their feedback
- Ready to use demos to set up e-learning website within minutes
- Color & Typography Options to customize your website theme
- Stunning Header Layouts to give your site a personal touch
- RTL Support to switch the stylesheet to RTL
- Attractive Learndash Extra Widgets.
You can simply use this theme to create an engaging and beautiful e-learning community website for your learning business without worrying about any coding or integration issues.
Your E-learning Online Community Website Is Ready!
The above-mentioned steps are enough to get started with your e-learning community website. If you want extended features, you can install various BuddyPress dedicated add-ons which are available in free and paid versions. Creating an online community along with your online learning website is great if you want to make learning easy and fun for your learners. Moreover, an online community will also attract more and more learners towards your community which will eventually be profitable for your website and business as a whole.
We hope you understood the importance of creating online community for an e-learning website and also know how you can create one. If you have any suggestions for us, let us know in the comments section below.
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