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LearnDash Consultant Explains the Difference Between BuddyBoss and LearnDash

Since we build a lot of LearnDash expert sites, we often get people asking us, "Should I use BuddyBoss or LearnDash?" There are building an online course, membership site or membership portal and they want to make sure they use the right tool for their project.

What they are really wanting is a comparison between these two. The problem is these two are not competing solutions. They are complementary platforms that work very well together.

Honestly, it's the wrong question. It's like asking, "Is it better to have coffee or eggs for breakast?" Both are good for breakfast. They go really well together. You don't have to choose on orthe other.

LearnDash Expert Goes Into the Details

As a LearnDash expert team, we recommend BuddyBoss for LearnDash when users want to add community or social media features to their site. Online course builder should think of this as an alternative for a private Facebook group. IT gives you a way to allow members to communicate and interact with each. This is a great way to enhance the experience by pulling your learners out of Lone Ranger mode.

If you are wanting to learn more about exactly what BuddyBoss is and how it is built, take a look at another article I wrote, What the Heck is BuddyBoss?

LearnDash is NOT about building community or adding social media features. It is a learning management system (LMS) and it's a good one. You can use it to organize your course into a set of individual lessons like the chapters that make up a book. When you have longer courses, you can further divide up these lessons into topics. That gives you a ton of options for displaying your course so it meets the needs of your customers.

Each lesson or topic can be made up of videos, written copy, images, downloadable PDF files, worksheets, etc. You have as many options as you need to build a simple or complex course.

LearnDash includes quizzes or checking on whether members have really learned the materials. This is used by course builders offering certifications.  It also provides assignment features so you can have instructors manually grade them. You can configure quizzes so members can only move forward after they have completed a quiz with a passing score.

I'm sure the BuddyBoss and/or LearnDash question come up because when BuddyBoss launched years back, they sold it under the name, "Social Learner for LearnDash."  It was a good marketing move to piggyback on the success LearnDash was experiencing at the time. It provided a very innovative idea for improving the learning experience. They promoted themselves along with LearnDash as two tools that worked well together.

BuddyBoss vs. LearnDash

Given what LearnDash can do, why don't we review how it works with BuddyBoss. As I mentioned earlier, BuddyBoss provides social media-like features. It supports member-to-member communication. Students can "talk" to their fellow classmates. They can enter into discussions with each other using forums. You can use these and messages to enable instructors and students to communicate with each other.  BuddyBoss allows anyone logged into the site to:

  • communicate via a message interface with others,
  • receive notifications so the know there is something to check on the site,
  • post their own newsfeeds when you are the organizer or moderator for a course, lesson, topic, or groups, and/or
  • participate in discussion groups and even traditional forums.

BuddyBoss and LearnDash intergrate very nicely to provides some highly functioning gamification features. This can be enhanced with tools like GamiPress to add gamification features to you site. With gamification, students don't just move along the LearnDash course to gain a certification they need. They can feel the challenge and get caught up in friendly competition with others taking the same course to achieve the goals you set up in the course. This can be especially valuable if you offer your program to an organization. Sales team members can be very competitive with each other and this enables you to use that to motivate them to get through your program.

When these tools are used by a small business owners for their program, creating a community is even more valuable. What we've seen happen in tight-knit communities is that people stay with the program because they don't want to lose contact with "their friends." They continue paying you, after completing your course materials, to stay connected with others in your program. It gives you a chance to sell them additional programs and work best because the community keeps them around.

There's lots more to this, but that is the beginning of what you need to know so you appreciate what LearnDash has to offer and how it works with BuddyBoss.

Hope this helps.