We worked with Southern Brooks Community Partnerships years ago to help with the creation of their main website. They got in touch with us earlier in 2019 to help with a new project, to digitise their training courses. Before this project launched the lead trainer was managing all of the students assignments manually through email. The process was becoming increasingly arduous and time consuming, there were even times that assignments were missed as it was hard to keep track of all the emails.
We built the system using Learn Dash, a powerful WordPress Learning Management System. We had to create the course stucture, which was made up of courses and units. Each student would have a user account, when they login in they will be able to see the course structure. The user will be able to upload their assignments to the correct unit. The assessor will then review the work, they can upload a new version of the document with their comments, send notifications back to the student if they need to make changes and finally can approve the assignment to allow the students to move on to the next unit.
There were a few difficulties along the way, for example it was hard to automate the exact workflow that existed manually before. There were a lot of moving parts such as there were two assessors involved in the process, one reviewed the initial work and the second only did the final approval of the assignment, so we had to ensure the correct user received the correct notification/update. The way we resolved this was through creating multiple statuses that the assignment could be in, e.g. pending review, awaiting final approval, not approved. Each of these statuses were then linked to notifying the correct person automatically.
We are continuing to work with Southern Brooks to extend the online courses project to include content. Within each lesson there will be the option to add materials, e.g. text content on the page, video, voice recordings, handouts (PDFs), etc. Students will be able to view and download the materials. In addition to this Southern Brooks want to extend the online course platform to offer more courses and also paid courses, so will accept payment through the platform.
Southern Brooks are great clients, we had multiple meetings to discuss how the platform should work and how each stage would be implemented. We involved them regularly throughout the process to ensure we were solving their problem and producing a site that worked for them. At times there were hurdles that took longer to jump over than others but through a great working relationship we were able to resolve the more complicated requests. We are excited to develop this platform further in the near future. If you are interested in selling and teaching courses online then get in touch. We have also worked with other learning management systems within WordPress.