Social Learner – LearnDash for Better Online Learning
Click here for an updated version of this article dated October 2021.
BuddyBoss' Social Learner - LearnDash combines LearnDash with BuddyPress to create a powerful social learner platform. It combines a BuddyBoss theme with a set of plugins that work together to integrate LearnDash and BuddyPress so they work really well together.
The main point of the solution is to provide optimized learning environment by creating a community. In addition to the learning capabilities provided by LearnDash, it adds features we all come to expect from Facebook and other social media sites where members can interact with each other in various ways.
It's a solution to consider IF, and this is a big IF, you want to create a community site.
Since we do a lot of LearnDash work, typically for Infusionsoft users using Memberium, we get requests for Buddyboss and this Social Learner - LearnDash cocktail. When people ask this of us, we know that it's geared towards a learning site that is focused on this community building.
Let’s go over what Buddyboss is. Buddyboss is a Wordpress theme built by the people from Buddypress. Buddypress is a forum tool you can easily add to WordPress. It enables members to have discussions with each other on your website.
What you typically do is create topics related to each of the sections or modules of your LearnDash learning program. So, let’s say you have a marketing section, an organizational section and an administration section. The forum allows you to topic for the different sections.
This does a great job for:
- supporting a tribe of learners working together to a common end,
- members wanting to interact with each other and
- enabling people who are more advanced to help those that are newer to your program.
Now, another way to do what this Social Learner - Learn Dash does is to instead create a private Facebook group. Facebook gives you a lot of advantages right away. You get a medium people already use on the PC/Mac, tables and mobile devices. You get all the automatic notifications when people make comments on a thread. The community aspect is there for you to leverage.
The disadvantage of using a Facebook group is that you have to accommodate the community part of your solution to what Facebook provides. That may be alright. You don’t have a lot of control over how you can reuse the content. You cannot organize your community discussions into threads.
It is what it is.
When instead put Social Learner - LearnDash to work you get LearnDash and learning management system or LMS built in your WordPress site. If you are using Memberium, which is how we typically configure it, it’s going to have Infusionsoft as your backend CRM.
What the Buddyboss theme does is it allows you to bring together your LearnDash content with a forum. Instead of the forum just being just another page on your site, which is how BuddyPress is usually configured when you use it, it becomes the communication mechanism between members and your course builder's team
The sites all have a left sidebar where you typically include the course navigation and other content navigation information. On the right side, you have sidebar with information for communicating with other members. You can list all the members or the members that are most active. You can opt to display the members that have commented most recently.
You can click right into someone’s profile and see everything that person’s published about themselves: their name, their bio, their picture, whatever it is you want people to share within their profiles. When you arrive at their profile, you can follow them; you have the ability to "like" their content. It provides a lot of the social media and Facebook like features. That’s really convenient.
If what you’re wanting to do is to create a tribe or a community of people all discussing your material, this is the tool to use. You can foster an area when the members of your group support each other.
This solution is meant to be used for people who want to build a community for their learners. DO NOT USE IT OTHERWISE.
If you cannot get your tribe or your people or you don’t want to have your people talking to each other, don’t use this theme. It’s gonna have a lot of features that you’re basically gonna turn off or remove. Removing these can be a difficult thing to do. We’ve been asked to do it by clients and it's not an easy process.
But if community building is what you’re after and you have the energy and the resources to get that done, it's a great solution to consider.
Let us know what you think.