WordPress: An New Technology For Learning
This article discusses WordPress as a developing new tech for eLearning and academic reasons, including its features and potential for use as a learning system rather than just a social website, as well as how it could be utilized by scholarly organizations and instructors.
WordPress as an Educative Platform Alternative
Technology has advanced significantly, resulting in significant societal changes. Before COVID-19, however, in-person studying environments were among the primary instructional options. From the days of instructive radio, tv, desktop computers, computer-based instruction, the web, web 2.0, eLearning, and mLearning to the most recent technological breakthrough in AR/VR/Artificial Intelligence and the metaverse, instructional technology has progressed. However, the influence of educational tools and techniques before COVID-19 was fairly underwhelming. The one bright spot during COVID-19 was the significance of virtual instructional technology in paving the way for further new technologies to improve education, learning, and instruction.
When I first started working with educational technologies, I wanted to build a website or a weblog to capture my experiences and reflections. I knew about WordPress for a considerable time, but it appeared that the early learning curve was difficult. So, in 2021, I faced the task of learning WordPress and constructing a website to display my writings, artistic portfolio, and eLearning material. The farther I delved into WordPress learning, the more captivated I became by the various ways audience/learners may be immersed in this medium, particularly for academic reasons.
WordPress has existed as a fully accessible site management system since the early 2000s. It was utilized by 42.8 percent of the top 10 million web pages in October 2021. The astounding figures are ascribed to the WordPress community and enhanced features, which include numerous valuable plug-ins on top of the already achieved WordPress core.
What Is the Reason WordPress is a New Technology?
Although WordPress has been there throughout the 2000s, we have only known it as a writing site. Many of my coworkers and instructors had never heard of its potential as a learning platform for developing eLearning courses at a significantly lower cost than other current Learning Management Systems (LMSs). In comparison to a standard LMS, WordPress provides greater flexibility, enhanced plug-ins for course creation and development, and many ways to incorporate media engagements to make learning more interactive. WordPress’s new and improved features have encouraged many teachers, training groups, academic facilities, and colleges to create powerful online learning programs.
WordPress excels in the field of education. The improved edition of WordPress is flexible, adaptable, and scalable, with a low learning curve. Aside from its many applications, WordPress may be a promising tool for freelance Instructional Designers, instructors, and educators, especially for monetizing and reaching out to a larger audience by leveraging WordPress’s unique characteristics.
Basic WordPress Details
WordPress is being utilized as a weblog, a website, or a website that includes a blog. It enables you to customize the website in all these ways. WordPress is now available through two channels: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com provides free blogging and website hosting. It provides a cost-effective and low-cost upgrade with plug-in functionality. WordPress.org, on the contrary, offers a download package. WordPress-powered websites are then created and hosted by designers and developers. This method provides considerably more possibilities, such as scores of plug-ins, more layout templates, and access to the site’s code, resulting in the creation of a WordPress.org site via 3rd host.
My concentration in this discussion is on WordPress.com. The starter edition of WordPress.com is free, but there are optional price options for additional features such as plug-ins, storage, and ad-free content. WordPress has a mobile app for both the iPhone and Android. There are numerous methods for presenting content to the targeted users or students. Here are a couple of such examples:
- Embedded videos including YouTube, Vimeo, Animoto, TikTok, TEDx
- Images including custom gallery
- Embedded links, including Tableau
- Embedded audios including Soundcloud, Spotify
- Embedded Google docs/Google Slides
- HTML codes
- Social media posts
- eLearning courses from external sources like Articulate Storyline
- Texts in different styles like paragraphs, quotes, accordion
Issues About Security, Confidentiality, And Ethics
Despite being one of the most widely used control systems, WordPress sites are susceptible to threats because of improper logins and core technology vulnerabilities. WordPress reported around 2800 cyberattacks per second targeting WordPress sites in 2020. If you are under the age of thirteen or Sixteen in Europe, you will be unable to create a WordPress account. To reduce unauthorized logins, the organization recommends adopting two-factor authentication and updating the system regularly. However, because WordPress accepts no liability for the use of third-party plug-ins, there is little clarification about how third-party plug-ins use user data.
Making A WordPress Profile
WordPress.org can be used to install WordPress on a local server. This article, on the other hand, will look at how to create a webpage for learning and educational purposes with WordPress.com eliminating the need for installing or continuing upkeep.
- The First step
Visit http://wordpress.com/ and click the “Get Started” button. After you click, you will be sent to a registration page.
- The Second step
After you join up, you’ll be instructed to make a web domain and start the website.
- The Third Step
When you authenticate your login, WordPress will prompt you to select a theme for the main page layout. The structure can be created from scratch or chosen from the pre-constructed choices.
- The Fourth Step
This step provides another way to change the site’s design, style, and overall data structure. The site’s palette, fonts, site logo, menu functionality, format for different platforms, and so on can all be modified.
- The Fifth Step
End the procedure by selecting Finish, and your site will be ready.
Making WordPress Posts and Pages
Posts are the most popular type of content on a regular WordPress blog. They are discrete assets that are primarily read in inverse chronology sequence or by feed readers subscribers. A site’s web pages are made up of pages. Pages are accessible via a menu list. For example, an educational WordPress site can contain a page with the course curriculum, but postings can be tagged and categorized to be sorted or searched by topic matter or keywords. Students or learners can also use an RSS reader to subscribe whenever a new post is released (RSS is essentially an aggregator that aggregates syndicated web material such as online media, blogs, webinars, and vlogs in one location for easy reading).
Demonstration Of A Course Design
WordPress, as previously said, has enhanced its functionalities with improved plug-ins. Even with the free edition, courses can be created with designs, themes, scripts, media, widgets, and polls. Furthermore, the subscription version provides more chances to develop aesthetically appealing and interesting course designs for improved learning experiences. The enhanced plug-in capabilities include the ability to add a subscription manager to enroll students for classes and charge fees for access. The plug-ins can also be used to construct social networking areas and event calendars.
In WordPress, there are numerous ways to display content to the audience/learners. Here’s an illustration of a WordPress course that makes use of the accordion functionality. A course is divided into chapters in the following example, and several media formats such as video/audio/image/text are included. In addition, plug-ins are utilized to construct quizzes and tasks. Here’s an illustration of a course design that makes use of WordPress’s features.
Using WordPress Plug-ins
WordPress provides a plethora of third-party plug-ins to improve viewership engagement and experience. Some of the plug-ins I find useful for instructional purposes include:
Content from Articulate Storyline, Captivate, Lectora, Camtasia, iSpring, and other programs is supported by this plug-in.
This plug-in enables users to easily create a course schedule, upload course assignments, and build course bibliographies.
- WordPress Questionnaire and Quiz Tool
This plug-in allows you to create exams, polls, and polls with an unlimited number of questions. Correct answers, single responses, and textual questions are all possible formats for quiz questions.
The goal of this comments plug-in is to increase dialog in the WordPress remark area. It involves allowing users to respond to comments fast, like or hate other remarks, and follow a comment thread by email or major RSS
- Readers BuddyPress
This is a plug-in that turns our course website into a fully functional social network.
- The GrassBlade xAPI
You can use this to publish and manage xAPI, SCORM, and HTML5 content on your WordPress website in a variety of ways. The best feature is that you may examine data such as student engagement or student performance and generate unique indicators for learning real-time data.
- Watson Assistant from IBM
This is a plug-in that assists in the creation of chatbots on the IBM Watson platform by training Watson to answer frequently asked, deliver useful information, and assist the audience/learners in navigating the site.
WordPress Vs. Other LMS Platforms
There are numerous Learning Management Systems on the market today, including Campus, Drupal, Peoplesoft, SAP Litmos, and Cornerstone, each with its own set of functions, so there is no one-size-fits-all option. WordPress allows you to use the blog for instructional purposes by employing a variety of themes and plug-ins. It allows for seamless integration of a course, a website, a blog, or both. While designing, producing, and managing courses on an LMS platform requires a significant learning curve, WordPress provides limitless flexibility in designing and administering the website. Furthermore, an LMS is more expensive than WordPress, which could be a differentiating factor, particularly for non-profits, smaller academic institutions and businesses, and freelance teachers.
WordPress is one of the greatest content management systems available, having a low learning curve and the ability to be utilized with little training. In comparison to other popular LMSs, it also has an intuitive User Interface with quick navigation and the ability to communicate and engage with learners. Dedicated LMSs, on the other hand, provide far superior in-built native capabilities such as course design, quiz, assignment, engagement, progress trackers, and student analytics choices, while WordPress has constrained options for student statistics, and progress trackers and security issues with plug-ins.
Case Study of WordPress for Studying
While searching for WordPress sites that are used maximally, I came across the two examples below, which can be used as case studies when developing WordPress sites for instructional reasons.
- The Learning Code of Canada
Using WordPress’s design template, the Canada Learning Code WordPress website features a beautiful color scheme. With the plug-ins and sequence functionality, the site broke the courses into chunks. The site serves as a model for how WordPress may be utilized as a webpage and a weblog for creating and developing eLearning courses. Moreover, the pages are organized uniquely as educational opportunities and instructional strategies, allowing learners to watch courses in numerous modules, incorporating experiences such as evaluations, quizzes, and so on.
- Ladybird Education
The Ladybird School The WordPress site is aimed at a younger audience; thus, the color scheme is vibrant, and the typography is carefully picked for the aimed learners. The site has made the most of WordPress plug-in features by using a variety of materials such as photographs, videos, and various interactivities to involve students. This website impressed me because it prioritized accessible elements such as transcripts, alternative texts, closed captioning, and so on. The site menu is meticulously organized into classes and assessments, making navigation easier.
To summarize, WordPress has enormous potential as a learning tool rather than merely a blogging platform. When contrasted to certain other Learning Management Systems, its USP (unique selling point) is the enhanced functionality and plug-ins for designing eLearning courses at a significantly lower cost (LMS). Because of its flexibility and diversity, it can reach a broader audience and is best suited for freelancers, teachers, instructors, corporations, and educational establishments.