LearnDash enters the rapid LMS race

By on Mar 1, 2013

By Martin Brown

There has been a fair bit of activity in the rapid LMS (Learning Management System) race to kick the year off. LearnDash is arguably the most anticipated entrant, and news is that the wait is over! Well, almost. January 28 is the expected release date. LearnDash is a WordPress LMS plugin. Given the rise and rise of WordPress popularity it’s no wonder that a number of players have been scrambling to be first to release a super-simple LMS plugin.

The democratization of LMS products and hosted services has been hotting up for a while. This is mostly due to an explosion of citizen-authored learning content, similar to the journalism phenomenon that began in the 90s. With LearnDash, you’ll be able to create “Lessons” in the same way as you would create a blog post or any type of page. A lesson will simply be another template option. Sound just like a Content Management feature? Well, yes, but the thing with an LMS is that you can capture and report on individuals ‘ progress and quiz results (if you wish) so that you have a mini online school, or university.

Finally, the rest of us can not only create learning content easily, but can create the whole learning institution!

So how will LearnDash fare in the race? Well, I believe it has one killer feature quietly buried in the middle of a long list of neat-but-expected features. LearnDash claims Tin Can API capability. From the website; “The powerful learning record store captures Experience (Tin-Can) API action statements for any learning event. So, what does that mean? Essentially it frees the learning author to create very rich content in other tools, publish them with a Tin Can API wrapper and then upload to the LMS. Any activities that the learner engages with will then be recorded to the LMS.