I want to make an argument for WMPU DEV to take the lead in developing an online learning plugin, something like Stas Suscov’s BuddyPress Courseware.
Stas has done a great job in developing the plugin, he built it in 2010 as part of Google’s Summer of Code project. He worked with the Boone, from the BuddyPress Core team. He is also revisiting the plugin for this year’s GSoC and is planning on adding some testing features.
For all the excellent work he has done with it, he doesn’t support it much in the off-season and the plugin kind of lingers in development limbo even though he is doing work on it right now.
I started looking at it because I am planning to create some online courses for my industry, and the more I looked at it the more I realized how important it is to WP. I don’t think the importance of the plugin has even been fully realized yet.
Case in point:
I currently attend on the United States most well-regarded online Universities, I’m in my junior year of a Business degree. I’m pretty well-versed in online learning and the importance of it cannot be overstated. Online learning is a major part of education these days, neglecting it is a mistake.
Why WPMU DEV should take the lead in this project.
As the keyholders for Edublogs, you have the resources, contacts, know how and even the market to be the premium developers of a courseware plugin of this nature. BuddyPress Groups makes a solid foundation for it, and given what I know about online classrooms, Stas is already well onto the right track with his plugin. More importanly, because of WMPU DEV’s deep relationship with the educational community already, it seems like a natural extension of what you currently offer, and would be a shame not to be the leading developer for it.
~ Even if you create a partnership, or hire Stas as a contract developer to ensure the quality of it instead of taking it on from scratch, WPMU DEV needs to be a leader in that technology.
Why an educational/course delivery plugin of this nature is important
This is the sort of thing that moves WP forward in the CMS market. Entire schools can be brought online using WP. For my use case, I’m trying to partner with the leading certifier for my industry to offer online certification classes for business owners, entreprenuers, and lovers of my niche. Online training, testing and certification doesn’t happen yet in my niche, but I know it can be done and I want to be the provider for it. If I have the vision to see how we could use WordPress to fill this gap, then I know that I am not alone, because others will have the same need.
Also, having it as a possibility for your premium Edublogs customers seems the right thing to do. Teachers could use it to supplement the work they do in the classroom and actually engage with their students at home, while doing their homework. Suddenly, a teacher’s blog extends their classrooms into the homes where students can continue their interaction and also communicate with their teachers and other students.