Selling courses

Oct 18, 2012

Next year, I will be helping someone set up a website that will sell elearning courses.  Is there a way, outside of an LMS to sell courses and record completion status inside of a website?

I think selling the courses will be the easy part, however recording that someone has passed the class is the challenge.

Does anyone have any experience doing this - or is there a way to seamlessly integrate an LMS (moodle or something similar) into an already existing website to make it a seamless user experience?


9 Replies
David Anderson

Hey Eric,

In addition to Simon's info, here are some recent threads that talk about selling courses. The threads may not have the technical info you're looking for, but they have some great info on selling e-learning courses.

Jerson  Campos

I'm not familiar with any LMSs but I am familiar with how they function. To record the results of a person taking a course will require a database. You can create a database with XML based documents and use javascript to read/edit the XML information.  Articulate software can access external javascripts so they can create this information.  Downside is that you may not have the robust reporting feature unless you create a simple javascript page that can pull simple information like who took it and if they passed or have the results emailed to a recipient that will track this info and then create a spreadsheet from it.  This is new territory for me so I won't be able to provide you very much info on this. This may be a workaround to having a very complicated LMS system.

Another option, again not the expert here, if you decided to provide the LMS for the customer and want to retain the customer's look and feel of their site, is there a way to edit the launch page of the course. Or is there a way to embed the course on the customer's site but still be in the LMS?  An example would be youtube videos. You can embed the video on you site and you don't actually have to have the video on your server. It's all stored on the youtube server and they track all the information for you. Of course I'm not sure about the requirements to log in into the LMS system itself for reporting.

Sorry for not being able to get you an exact answers, I'm just throwing some ideas out there and hopefully one of the real experts will jump on this.

Karyn Lemberg

I think the easiest would be to set up Moodle as the website itself - or if you prefer in a sub-folder, with a theme to match the original website.  

It can be set up as a general site with pages that everyone sees, but if they 'register' (buy courses) they get access to that specific course area - which has the built-in tracking/completion etc.

Check the Moodle site itself for more information, but an example might be like this conference site from last year:   - There are various pages of info you can see as the public... Once you register & pay the "course fee", you see more links to each individual course or session available to you.

Mark Mulkerin

Hi Eric,

I'm actually looking to set up a website and open it for anyone who has material to sell to sell through it.  Here's hoping it is wildly successful and many want to sell through it... The options I've looked at include the major CMS's (Joomla, Drupal, and Wordpress) along with Moodle.

If you intend to support mobile learning, then you need something which will integrate with the new TinCan API.  If not, your options are less restricted.  As I understand from the Tin Can/Scorm Cloud website, the Wordpress plugin lets you track performance etc. but doesn't indicate a merchant option.  It is probably possible, but outside of my scope at the moment.  

Drupal has a scorm cloud mod, but is apparently built for Drupal 6 and my web host will only support Drupal 7 so I haven't explored it further.  Also, it appears the original developers of the mod have stop work on it and no one has step forward to develop an updated mod.  

Joomla doesn't have any partner listed, but someone could be working away quietly without us knowing.  

Finally, Moodle does have a mod and has some e-commerce options already integrated.  I was just getting around to trying it out to see if it actually works as promised, but I have no reason to think it doesn't.  The major drawback in many minds to Moodle is it's look and feel which some developers have tried to answer with Joomdle which allows you to integrate Moodle and Joomla.  I spent a long weekend a few months back stumbling through the install process and not all web hosts allow you the level of control needed to implement it, but it does give you a Joomla flexibility to look and feel with the educational power of Moodle behind it.  That said, I didn't try very hard to break the site so I won't say Joomdle can meet every need on every platform - but it looked promising.

Again, I was looking at Scorm Cloud and Tin Can API, because I want to put elearning on offline iPads in the hands of kids in the backseat of cars (as well as others), so I need to be looking at options that don't require a connection and that is what I've come up with so far.  That said, even without Scorm Cloud as a factor for me, I'm planning to go the Moodle route with the possible addition of Joomdle.

Of course, I'm a one person show at the moment and haven't seen all there is to see, so if there are better ways of doing things, I'd like to hear about it too.

Cheers, Mark

PS If anyone want to discuss setting up a marketplace for independent folks to sell their wares, drop me a message.

Mark Mulkerin

Hi Eric,

One more note on Joomdle - when I was stuck on my trial install, I left an email for Antonio (one of the developers) and he was willing to do the install and configuration and shop integration for me for  a fee.  Fortunately, I got unstuck, but the price he quoted me didn't seem that unreasonable (but then I had just spent a bunch of days pleading with the computer while my kids squealed with summer vacation exuberance in the background which wasn't conducive to sorting out what step of the install I had missed).  Of course, this was last June, so you'd need to contact him for a current quote assuming he is still doing it.



rajiv sathian


I would recommend using Moodle as LMS for creating courses and with the massive library of free course content present online the cost of creating such courses will be null.

But to give the end buyers a great user experience when they buy courses on our site, especially when if the site owner is not comfortable with the coding related to them I would recommend to go with WordPress because it has easy to use interface and when integrated with WooCommerce the E-commerce solution in WordPress the possibilities are endless.

We can bundle more then one course as products, there are number of payment gateways which are compatible with WooCommerce which gives the flexibility of even creating a multi-currency payment gateway. 

We have come up with Edwiser Bridge which does this job of integrating both the systems, getting courses created in Moodle synced with WordPress and we have packed in extensions like WooCommerce and launched Single Sign On which certainly solve the problem raised.