BuddyBoss for Online Communities Expert Review
As BuddyBoss consultants, with expertise using tools like LearnDash, Memberium, Keap/Infusionsoft for building high functioning online training programs, we work with plenty of course builders with training programs for professionals. So let me share with you my “BuddyBoss for Online Communities Expert Review.”
Typically these programs will provide learning content to professionals looking to acquire continuing education credits. These meet the requirements of a their professional accreditation organization. Professionals take these to get the credits they need to keep their licenses in good standing.
When working on training programs for professionals like dentists, nurses, doctors, lawyers, accountants or others, that require continuing education to maintain their credentials, we typically see programs consisting of the following:
- Learning content. This is the obvious one. The course builders usually come out of the professional field with a mastery of the subject matter.
- Assessments. These are used to validate the student has taken the course and has demonstrated an understanding of the content you cover.
- Learning Management. Students have to get enrolled into the program and administrators need visibility into the students they have enrolled.
- Reporting. When working to certify groups of employees all working for one organization, you need reporting to effectively manage the process.
When building these programs, here is the technology stack we typically use. It takes the BuddyBoss Expert/ LearnDash community and online learning platforms and gives you so many options for building a comprehensive solution:
- WordPress with a BuddyBoss Theme and BuddyBoss for Online Communities Expert Review Platform Pro when the solution requires student-to-student communication and other mechanisms for student interaction.
- LearnDash for delivering the learning content, assessments, and quizzes.
- LearnDash add-on products like:
- Uncanny Owl Tin Canny Reporting for LearnDash,
- Uncanny Owl Uncanny Toolkit and Toolkit Pro for LearnDash,
- Uncanny Owl Uncanny Groups for LearnDash,
- Uncanny Owl Uncanny Continuing Education, and/or
- WisdmLab's Instructor Role plugin.
- Keap/Infusionsoft serves as the master database for users. It provides CRM and marketing automation features fully integrated with the site.
- Memberium provides the middleware between WordPress and Keap/Infusionsoft. This, along with Keap/Infusionsoft, allows for the automation of the course purchases, the automatic provision of access only to authorized users, and backend automation of different features.
You may not need all of these, but these are the ones we use most to provide the combination of features required by sites like these.
For example, we worked with a customer during the pandemic that trains pharmacists to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. The program packaged the training as a set of LearnDash courses. We made use of the Uncanny Owl tools and WisdmLabs Instructor Role plugin for reporting and instructor configuration.
We connected the solution to the accrediting organization using their application programming interface (API). When the pharmacist passed a LearnDash quiz proving they understood the material and the instructor confirmed they had completed all the requirements, LearnDash notifies Keap/Infusionsoft via Memberium. That notifies the accrediting organization via the API. We included error processing in case the API reports an error.
The Keap/Infusionsoft connection provides a number of other automation features that make these solutions more complete.
Below is a list of features you should include in any online continuing education program.
Continuing education like the ones I describe here differs from your typical online courses. When someone is taking a course to become a better golfer, to improve selling techniques, improve how they lead their organizations, you don't have to prove to anyone that they took the course and understood the content. Students taking these continuing education programs have to complete these to legally practice their profession. It's important that the program verifies that students are actually going through the materials and are completing coursework.
LearnDash and the add-on tools we've mentioned provide many options for doing this.
Evaluating Student Learning
Accreditation bodies want to know how you evaluate your students when they review your course. Your programs need to accurately assess students’ knowledge, as well as their ability to perform in the workplace/profession.
An LMS like LearnDash provides a strong set of assessment features. Some features that will help you evaluate your student's progress include quizzes, assignments, essays, and activities.
Being able to use a variety of quiz types and assignments will help you diversify evaluations to better assess your students’ results.
In some cases, it's important to implement anti-cheating measures. For example, setting time limits for quiz questions. This reduces the chance that students will consult their notes or their peers when completing an assessment.
Students looking to earn CEUs for completing their online training need to get a receipt or something to prove they completed the course. That’s where course certificates come in.
Certificates not only act as evidence. They also provide the information they will need to report the course completion to the accrediting organization. In many cases, the student needs to have a code you provide them, which they will use to report their learning credits.
This data can vary depending on the profession and accreditation requirements. LearnDash, in combination with the add-ons we describe, and possibly with automation made possible by Keap/Infusionsoft together gives you many options.
Student Progress Tracking and Reporting
Like any university or institution that provides legally accredited education, you should keep organized records on students and their activities. This means being able to keep track of the dates when students enroll in a course, complete lessons, submit quizzes and assignments, and earn certificates. Keeping track of assignments, essays, project completion and quiz grades are no less important.
LearnDash, using the reporting provided by Tin Canny Reporting for LearnDash, is a great option for this. If reporting is handled internally by the course building team, Keap/Infusionsoft can also be used.