Do I Need a LRS when using WordPress ?

March 9, 2022
Do I need a LRS

Do I need a LRS (Learning Record Store) when using WordPress?

Some basics:

  • A LMS (Learning management system) is used to manage and track training which has been assigned to learners.
  • A LRS (Learning Record Store) is used to send a completion of training information to a LMS when you are using authoring software.
  • Authoring software is a tool used to create interactive online courses and assessments. We will look at some examples of authoring software shortly. 

Most WordPress LMS systems include interactive functionality such as quizzing (open answers, single choice, multiple choice, sorting activities, etc). These quizzes will enable you to test the learners capabilities and reinforce information you have provided. However, they are not as interactive and engaging as when using authoring software to create your online training content.

Many instructional designers and training developers prefer to use authoring software to create training content, as they offer far more flexibility and functionality than a WordPress LMS.

Good authoring software will include accessibility features to improve access for people with disability.  For example, enabling the use of screen readers for visually impaired learners.  

Accessibility for learners

Learning management automation

The decision as to whether you need a LRS will depend on the functionality you need from your learning management system.

If your training content (that has been built using authoring software) is being managed by a WordPress LMS, you will need a LRS if you want learners to automatically gain a “completion” when they have finished their training.

If you are ok with your learners manually clicking a button to state they have completed their training lesson, then you do not need a LRS.

Most WordPress LMS plugins will have a function where the learner and/or LMS administrator can mark training as complete. 

Allowing a learner to mark their own training as complete, may not be suitable if you require evidence of training participation. This is especially important for compliance based training. 

Compliance note

We often include quizzing in our training to ensure the learner has understood the training (they cannot progress through they training until the get the answers correct); therefore in this scenario, we couldn’t prove the learner has ‘passed’ the course if they can mark themselves as completed. To ensure compliance, we require a LRS.

Using authoring software to build you training content can give you flexibility with how learners achieve automatic training completions.

Depending on the software you are are using, training completions can be achieved by either passing a test or by learner interactions, such as they have viewed all slides in the lesson, they have viewed a specific slide or another triggered event. 

The following eLearning authoring software enables automatic training completions. Please do your homework before selecting your product as not all have the same functionality and not all will be suitable for your needs.

Do you need data?

A LRS can provide you with detailed information such as:

  • Time taken to complete the training
  • Time spent on each slide (we have used this when there is a SafeWork investigation and they wanted evidence that the learner engaged with the relevant information)
  • Actions taken while on the slide
  • Performance information against other learners

This type of information can be useful when reviewing your training so you can improve learner experience.

We also recommend that you ask learners for feedback and to work to continuously improve your training products.

Data collected via LRS reporting can be overwhelming and I caution how you use the data. For example; a student that looks like they’re slower than others, may not be indicative of their capacity. They could be working harder to retain the information or they could have been interrupted while completing the training.

Remote learning online
Do your research
Adding a LRS to your learning management system is pricey, so do your research and really consider what you do and don’t need.
Consider why you are using online training and what are the outcomes you need and want.
If you don’t need to track your learners activities, do you really need a LRS?
Fully research the products before you commit, because it is costly in both money and time to set up your online training, so you want to get the foundations right.
When building learning management systems for our customers, we usually use Learndash, however below is a list of the most common WordPress LMS systems.
When it comes to a LRS, our preference is Grassblade. There is not a lot of quality suppliers, however you should consider:
  1. Grasblade LRS
  2. Uncanny Owl

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Talk to us about creating your online learning products, hosting your training or setting up your own LMS