WordPress Integration: TalentLMS API

January 25, 2019 | API Integration

Learn more about our TalentLMS API Integration project for WordPress, where we pioneered full integration of TalentLMS within WordPress.
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What You Can Expect

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Our articles are commonly about issues we’ve run into through our professional experiences. We will write about topics that invoke questions about seemingly common practices.

What You Shouldn’t Expect

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Our articles are not intended to provide answers to common website development issues. We most likely won’t write about a topic that is overly saturated in other blogs.

Blogging Isn’t For Everyone

Everyone’s a Blogger!

In today’s market, it is almost impossible to argue against the power of blogging. However, everyone seems to be a blogger these days. Content that is posted has to be unique, relatable, and interesting. Not everyone has the ability to captivate an audience.

We are not bloggers, we are programmers. When we do write a blog, it goes through a lengthy process of being vetted by someone who can captivate an audience. That isn’t a cheap process, so we most likely won’t blog very often. Unless, of course, we build an audience and content is being requested.

TalentLMS API

TalentLMS has a pretty sophisticated API, which has been one of the nicest APIs we have worked with.  They have API Calls to interact with nearly everything available within TalentLMS itself.

You can interact with Courses, Categories, Groups, Branches, and Units, as well as assign users, remove users, and access user information.  The API, for TalentLMS, promotes the ability to build a custom environment for accessing and interacting with TalentLMS.

Users still need to be directed to TalentLMS to take the eLearning courses, but everything else can be done within WordPress.  Working with our service partner, we handled development of a customized TalentLMS Portal – housed directly in WordPress.

Course Layout

We chose to store TalentLMS data within custom database tables, because data needed to be easily updated.  Often, it is faster to remove the existing data and then load new data into those custom database tables.

This project assigned users to a Group, which a single Course is attached to.  Upon assigning the user to the Group, they are automatically enrolled in the associated Course.  The Course’s Units are then displayed within WordPress, for consumption.

As a user proceeds through the Course’s Units, their progression is tracked.  Completing one Unit then unlocks the next Unit, which continues until the user has completed the Course.

For this project, we used visual elements to indicate when a Unit was completed; based on the information we obtain from TalentLMS.

Automagical Links

For this project, we utilized TalentLMS Go-To Links, which automatically logs a user into TalentLMS without needing a password.  Regardless of the user’s progress, these links load the Course where the user left off.

While TalentLMS does provide a way to link to individual Units, there was a possibility that a user’s WordPress session could last longer than their TalentLMS session.  Since TalentLMS doesn’t have a way to track a user’s TalentLMS sessions, we couldn’t confidently know if a user was still logged into TalentLMS.

The Automagical Links permitted linking without needing to handle Single Sign-On (SSO) or having to worry about whether a user was still logged into TalentLMS.  We made sure the UX matched what could be expected in TalentLMS and users can still navigate between the Units when in TalentLMS.

Once the user clicks through to TalentLMS, a simple “Click to start” button is present.

Summary

This particular project was a fairly simple integration of TalentLMS for WordPress.  There is a lot more that the API is capable of and we are looking forward to a much deeper integration of TalentLMS into WordPress.

There are many Learning Management Systems (LMS) out there and TalentLMS is just one of them.  However, with TalentLMS, you can transform a WordPress website into a full LMS with ease.

WordPress is a great Content Management System (CMS), but it doesn’t make for a very effective LMS directly.  By harnessing the power of a full-fledged LMS (like TalentLMS), WordPress can become a highly effective way to deliver eLearning content.

If you work with SCORM Modules, Tin Can, or AICC for eLearning Content, TalentLMS can support that content – which can then be delivered in WordPress.

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