3 LearnDash Enhancements (and a Bonus!)

We are well on our way into the new year and today I am pleased to share with you some enhancements we have been working on over the past couple months designed to improve your user experience with LearnDash.

These improvements are the direct result of feedback you all have submitted. We think you will like the added convenience that they provide.

This is going to be a big year, least of which because we are working on LearnDash 3.0 – but more on that later! 😉

For now, let’s have a look at what is new in the latest update…

Pagination of Lessons, Widgets, and Profile

One major trend in e-learning is micro-content, something many of our updates take into account. This particular feature is no different.

You see, with micro-content you often end up with many lessons. Currently, all these lessons display on the course page or in the Course Navigation widget. If you have 50 lessons, they all display.

Well, not anymore (if you don’t want them to)!

If you have a course with 50 lessons then you can use the new pagination feature so that only a certain number of lessons display at a time, resulting in a cleaner and more user friendly experience for your learners.

Whatever number of lessons you decide to display for the course content will also apply to the Course Navigation widget so that it too will show a condensed lesson list.

Taking it one step further, we added this pagination component to the LearnDash Profile as well. This is particularly useful if your learners are enrolled into a lot courses.

Single Click Add-On Access & Updates

LearnDash has a large variety of free add-ons available. They are great for extending functionality and connecting to other popular solutions.

While these add-ons offer a lot of flexibility, we were unhappy with the process for using these add-ons as it involved visiting multiple pages for downloading, uploading, and activating.

Well I have good news. This process is a thing of the past as we now have an Add-Ons management dashboard! This can be accessed from the LearnDash menu options.

On this page you will have a consolidated interface for all of our free integrations. We also made it possible to quickly locate free 3rd party LearnDash plugins that exist on WordPress.org.

What this means is that if you need to connect to WooCommerce then you just need to go to the add-ons page, click install, and activate. Everything you need is literally just a click away!

Whenever there is an update to an add-on you will be notified from the updates menu.

The add-ons menu becomes available as soon as you enter valid licence credentials in your settings.

This is just the beginning for this feature as we have plans to expand upon it over time. We are always interested in your ideas as well so don’t hesitate to let us know!

BONUS: Restrict Content Pro Integration!

As promised, this update comes with a little added bonus! 🙂

I am pleased to let you know that LearnDash now has an official integration with the popular Restrict Content Pro (RCP) membership plugin!

If you are currently using RCP for managing your memberships, then just install LearnDash and use the new add-ons page to add the free integration. Once activated you will be able to map LearnDash courses to various membership levels for your users!

Not only will users be automatically enrolled, if you are using subscription billing, then when they cancel payment they will be automatically removed from the course as well!

Simplified Language Management (and WPML Compliance)

Translation Settings

LearnDash is being used in hundreds of countries and dozens of languages all over the world. While we include a number of user-donated translations, we wanted to make it easier for you to modify these files, or even add your own.

Under LEARNDASH LMS > SETTINGS, you will now find a Translations tab. Here you can quickly access the language files. Our translation API (powered by Glotpress) will automatically pull in the language files so that they match your WordPress installation’s language.

If you ever wish to modify or add a translation then you can now do so using popular programs like Poedit or the Loco Translate plugin.

WPML Compliance

We also have been hard at work to make LearnDash officially WPML compliant. We have done everything on our end and now their team is administering the final review. This means that WPML can be used on every aspect of LearnDash – from course content to individual quiz questions!

For a full list of the updates in this version of LearnDash, please see the changelog.

All of this new functionality is available for you today in LearnDash v2.5.5.

The year of LearnDash Version 3.0

We hinted at it last year, but 2018 is going to be big year for LearnDash as we are steadily working towards a 3.0 version.

As we work towards that release we will be putting out steady improvements and enhancements to the core functionality. In addition, you can expect new (and updated) integrations.

The idea with these updates and the eventual 3.0 release is to refine and polish what we do best, but also will have one particular feature that will make courses on LearnDash stand out from any other course platform out there!

Thank you again for making LearnDash an integral part of your learning program!

Until next time!

Not using LearnDash? Join us today and begin creating impressive online courses!

Author

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Twitter | LinkedIn

70 Responses

  1. Outstanding update!

    Thank you for this incredible improvement to the LearnDash ecosystem. These additions are great for improving user experiences in working with our content.

    The integration of Restrict Content Pro is a huge benefit and is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you Justin and the entire LearnDash team for this timely and important set of updates.

    Great job!

    1. Justin – This is great but the biggest stumbling block I have right now is the student being able to generate a college transcript-style report for compliance training. What have they been assigned/purchased and when vs. what they have completed and how many hours have been earned vs. how many hours they were scheduled for/slotted for/had purchased. Some 3d party add-ons come close but we need this complete functionality from within LD and it could easily be added to the single-click as an add-on. Seriously – compliance training and reporting options for such, inclusive of groups and subgroups accumulative credits earned (in CEUs, PDUs, etc.selectable by the programmer) with an individual transcript available by the student and group reporting available for the admin (without CSV manipulations) is where it is at. Add that to ProPanel. Other than that – your whole crew rocks!

      1. Hi Mike!

        Thanks for the comment. We have some options coming along with regards to compliance and recurring training/tracking of continuing education. I hope you can sympathize with the fact that we are trying to create an optimal solution for a variety of use-cases. We have bloggers using LearnDash for simple online courses related to their niche, Fortune 500 companies using LearnDash for employee on-boarding, others using LearnDash for compliance purposes, teachers using LearnDash in the classroom, and so forth.

        We certainly make an earnest effort to provide options for the primary use-cases, and I apologize in advance if there are certain scenarios where a feature is missing. Please know that we are listening, and where possible we do make a point to add relevant functionality without bloating the software.

  2. I wish you had a LearnDash course management demo. I just tried the demo of the frontend part of it, I really wanted to know the backend.

  3. Thank you so much for this update, I only recently started using LearnDash and have been very impressed with it. The paging feature is something I need for sure and appreciate you building it in.

    Keep up the great work.

  4. Still you are missing one essential feature: courses must act like normal simple digital products in WooCommerce, not as custom ones (check out how Sensei did the same thing). It is impossible to seld courses bundled with i.e. e-books or any other products. And the most important one: because of that Facebook Shop through WooCommerce doesn’t recognise courses as products. LearnDash is actually last LMS with this issue.

    Thank god you have/had a bug 😉 When a course has done to a product as docs says and then changed to simple product, not a course, it acts like a normal product in WooCOmmerce AND like LearnDash product (please, don’t fix that ‘cos LearnDash is a wonderful LMS but I would like to sell my courses too…)

    1. You even can show all the settings for to sell courses as simple products with some lines of code… if you want I can search for the link.

  5. Would it be possible to have quizzes that can be paused and then resumed? This is a feature many of my students ask for,

    Please let us know if this is possible
    Thanks

      1. Great features with this update 🙂 Am particularly happy about integration with WPML.
        Am also really looking forward to updates to the quiz – I hope I’ll be able to update/make alterations to the template used by the quiz as at the moment there’s no way to do that 🙂
        John

          1. Yes Quiz updates please (: A way to have a paragraph answer when the model answer pops up in the answers below it would we AWESOME. (:

      2. Would mind pointing out at least what kinds of improvements you are planning to have on quizzes this year?

        A lot of LD users have made quizz related suggestions and I have made some myself over the last two years (e.g. negative and decimal question points; random quizz generation from a categorized pool), but the quizz features in LD seem to be stuck in the time, limited by what WP Pro Quiz originally offered.

        I would really appreciate to have a better insight into what we can expect from your efforts to improve LD’s quizzes this year.

        Thank you and great work!

        1. Still finalizing the details Giovanni. If you care to write us in a few weeks time then we’d be happy to share more. I do know that it will be split into two phases for the quiz enhancements (back-end restructuring first then new/improved settings). One item we are looking into is negative points as that has been suggested, as well as perhaps some customization around categories.

          1. Thank you for your prompt attention.

            Negative points are important to discourage random guessing strategies. My students, for example, use my quizzes to practice over and over again till they feel ready to take an external (not in my site) entrance exam, and exams in Brazil often penalize students for wrong answers, so I am eager to better simulate their exams in my quizzes with negative points.

            Enhancing and expanding category features (e.g. multiple level category filtering and searching) is also something that can benefit students. My students, for example, are constantly asking for more refined question categorization and a way to select themselves questions from a pool, instead of always being given a pre-defined set of questions (even if random) in a static quizz.

            As you can see, my site is a case that can largely benefit from more advanced LD quizzing features.

            I’ll contact you again later on to learn more about your plans.

          2. Negative points system would be a great idea! I have been looking into a way the user (elementary kids) can use their points to buy things in a virtual shop for fun. Please add this feature! It would be easy to implement with BadgeOS, using their Referring Link addon, with a negative value for the award.

  6. Wonderful news, Justin! Im really glad I found you guys!

    Any chance to be a beta tester for 3.0? I’d love to! Also, if you guys wanted suggestions, I’d like to speak a few words… just point me the proper direction!

    Cheers!

    1. It’s available now Nuria, you can go to DASHBOARD > UPDATES and click ‘check again’ if you don’t see it yet.

  7. Justin, I love SO much about Learn Dash – and these add-ons sound amazing. I’ve created and taught online university courses since the early 90’s using every platform from Blackboard to D2L to Moodle and I love that Learn Dash gives me what I’m hoping is a very methodical, straightforward tool to offer continuing education.

    I do however have one wish as you continue to develop this great resource. Can the certificates be easier to manage? I have been working for weeks now with the help desk – who are also wonderful – to figure out why certificates are not being sent to the learner. And creating a certificate if you don’t know code in Learn Dash is also a challenge. I can’t really move forward unless this is working.

    Thanks so much for all your efforts!!
    Pat

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words Pat. Yes, certificates are on the roadmap for sure (few different features around that, some will be in v3.0).

  8. Awesome! I can’t wait to start up my membership site – it’s going to be gorgeous! Excited to see what you guys come up with next.

  9. Hi Justin,

    Nice communication, and interesting improvements. We are just starting to create a very large course..

    Kind regards,

    Marcel

  10. Justin

    LD is crazy great already and now 2.5.5?!?!? Can’t wait to try it out.

    And with 3.0 coming who could possibly ask for more?

    Thanks.

  11. Pagination is a nice feature upgrade, thanks. Could we add an option to “Show all lessons” next to the “Expand All” button? Users will want to see all lessons somehow.

    Maybe there could be “Expand these lessons” “Show all lessons in Course” and the existing “Collapse All”?

    1. Hi Jeff, thanks for the comment. As the feature is new we are gathering feedback – this is a nice suggestion!

  12. Also, the Course Navigation widget could offer a checkbox to use the pagination or not. It’s nice to have the option to show the sidebar with all lessons and be drillable, while the Course Content is paginated.

    And while you are at it, can we make the Course Navigation widget have a way to show an “excerpt” of the actual lesson/topic title? Then we can name the lesson and topic titles so that there is a fuller title one the main page and an abbreviated version in the sidebar…

    Thanks!

  13. I use LD but I didn’t renew the license because there is way to import data for quizzes. I bought the program you sell through other website but didn’t work.
    Most lms allow you to import data to create quizzes. Why LD is so closeminded?

    1. We do have importing capabilities in some cases, but we cannot import from every single LMS out there (not yet anyway 🙂 ). I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t work out for you, and hope you found something for your unique project needs.

  14. Hi there! This is all exciting news. A while back, I bought a 3rd party(?) LearnDash add-on… it was listed on your site but now I don’t see it in my active add-ons under either LD or 3rd party, though I know it is there bc my lessons still show with starts to the left of them rather than default. And the settings to style the lesson list are still in my admin (Learndash > Settings > Appearance).

    When I tried out the pagination, I could see my list of 25 reduce to 5 (the # I chose) but mo pagination under the list. Perhaps this 3rd party needs to do an update? Do you know what I am talking about? (I hope yes).

    1. Hi Jessika-

      With regards to the third party add-on. I can say that most were added to the add-ons dashboard but a select few were not because of their distribution preferences. In those cases we have instructions on our support site for installation and activation. If you have questions around those, please write support and we can point you in the right direction. Same goes with the pagination. We haven’t encountered any issues thus far, but the update is still rather ‘fresh’ so we’re happy to help out if you raise a ticket.

      Thanks again!

  15. Great news and one question! Is it possible to add some date-to-date function for opening/closing lessons? We would like to have the possibilitie to “programm” the dates in advance for closing our lessons.

    1. Hi Thomas, yes for when the lesson comes available, but there is not an option for removing the lessons on a date.

  16. Your continuous improvement is impressive! How do see WP 5.0 affecting LD? For example, will you hold back LD 3.0 until after WP 5.0? Thanks!

    1. Thanks John, and great question! We are closely monitoring the decisions around Gutenberg so that we can have LearnDash ready for when that arrives. The 3.0 release will need to come after WP 5.0 for this reason.

  17. In the change log it lists: Updated Assignments approval and points logic. Does this happen to mean that students can now delete assignments that were set to auto approve by any chance (if we select that they can do that of course)??

    1. Thanks for the comment Jennifer!

      No, the Assignments related update wasn’t related to students deleting assignments. It was a bug fix for the scoring logic.

  18. Glad to see the ongoing improvements!

    We have been a bit frustrated that you only have 3 levels of hierarchy, and am wondering if we’re looking at this the right way. As I see it, you have Courses, Lessons and Topics, and there is no possibility for grouping related lessons into a Section or Module or other grouping.

    For example, we’d like to have a course with several modules; Module 1 has several Lessons, each with their own subtopics; Module 2 has several lessons, each with subtopics; etc.

    Right now, since we don’t have this extra level of hierarchy we have this set up as Lessons with prefix names such as 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 followed by Lessons with prefixes 2.0, 2.1, 2.2 etc.

    Thus we’re working around it using alphabetical and numeric sorting of multiple lessons with the first few characters of their name. It allows us to put these into a desired order, but it doesn’t facilitate working with the course navigation list (expanding or collapsing a Module or Section).

    Any possibility for adding another level of hierarchy as you move into 3.0?

    Eric

    P.S. One additional tech question: can we set up progression controls for some sections of a course, but not others? We’d like to force people to go through in sequence for Modules 1 through 6, then in Module 7, have all of the resources open for browsing without having people check off “complete” each topic. I don’t see how to do this – as far as I can see, progression is either on or off – or am I missing something?

    1. Thanks Eric. Honestly your question is probably best asked to our support. There are ways you can splice up the lesson list into sections with a little CSS. It might not meet the exact requirement but could help a little in the interim. Regarding progression, those are global settings currently and cannot be Lesson/Topic dependent. I have noted your interest and added this to a feature request list for review.

  19. This update may be good long term, but short term has a lot of my students saying “why can’t I view my lessons” – because basically the update forced just the first 10 lessons to display. So the default settings of this update break many sites, including mine.

    Next time you roll out a sweeping update, make the new functionality a setting, not the default. Otherwise it’s actually a downgrade.

    1. Thanks for the comment Jeff. We will be sure to look into that for the next release. For reference, you can quickly modify the number of lessons to display by default under LEARNDASH LMS > LESSONS > LESSON OPTIONS.

  20. For me the update was a big bummer too, because it just adds massive tags in the code, which are preventing old customization from working! It is an nightmare, what you have done with this update 🙁

  21. We’ve used LD since it’s first inception and still running that same version. Going to upgrade this year to the latest and greatest.

    When do you expect version 3 to be out Justin? not holding you to the date, but just wondering so I could schedule my year lol.

  22. Hi Justin thanks for the update. How can you switch off the pagination in the lessons widget?
    I have courses with 11 lessons and am using buddyboss so the final lesson has just disappeared from the widget.
    Kind regards,
    Steve

  23. Hi Justin,

    pagination works great on the lessons and in my dashboard, just not on my course page. There I see the first 15 lessons but no pagination feature.

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