Add Private Forums to Your Courses!

LearnDash Updates latestWe are excited to announce today the release of our latest integration, one that is sure to add an element of life to your courses.

Before getting into the details, we want to thank you all for your contributions to the LearnDash community.

Your continued suggestions, encouragement, ideas, and comments have been instrumental in the evolution of LearnDash.

Which brings us to our latest update, an integration…

Course Specific Forums with bbPress

bbpress-logo-large

What is bbPress?

For those of you who are not familiar with bbPress, it is a free forum plugin offered by Automattic (the same folks behind WordPress). It’s an extremely popular solution with over 1.5 million downloads. It’s the same forum plugin we use for our LearnDash support.

Key Features of the Integration

Automatic Forum Access: As soon as someone purchases (or registers) for a course, they are granted forum access so that they can create new threads and topics.

Public or Private Forums:  Allow visitors to see forum topics or block the forum contents entirely so they are exclusive for your enrolled users.

Multi-Forum Support: Associate as many forums as you want to your course.

Dynamic Associated Forum Widget: Place this widget in your course sidebar and it will dynamically display the associated forums for the course. Users can click on the associated forum name to be taken to the forum itself for posting.

As you can imagine, this integration allows you to add additional value to your courses. You can now create course-specific communities to engage your users even further. Make the forums exclusive to only those who are enrolled, or leave them open – the choice is yours!

As an example, if you are using LearnDash for a classroom, you can now encourage students to discuss the course content, post questions, or provide their reaction to it.

If you are running a business course, the bbPress integration will help you create an environment conducive to idea sharing and connection building – increasing the value of your entire offering.

How to Use bbPress with LearnDash

To start offering forums with your courses, all you need to do is install and activate:

  1. LearnDash
  2. bbPress
  3. LearnDash-bbPress integration

Once all three are running on your site, you can start to create forums specifically for your courses. To display the forums that are associated with each course, use the course forum widget (found under APPEARANCE > WIDGETS).

The associated course will also display for the specified forum, as shown below.

The integration is available for download on the support site.

What’s Next?

We take pride in driving the WordPress LMS industry to new levels, and the functionality we are currenlty working on will continue to do just that.

As we quickly approach the end of this year, we are working on a variety of fronts. First, as has been mentioned before, you can expect to see more integrations with today’s popular solutions.

At the same time though, we have new functionality that is currently going through testing – functionality that will not only impact how your courses are delivered, but potentially how you decide to configure your entire WordPress LMS.

Thank you all so much for your contributions to LearnDash, your feedback is what motivates us. And while it is close to the end of the year, you can certainly expect to hear from us again in 2014.

Until next time!

Don’t have LearnDash? Click here to purchase and get started with your online courses!

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

51 Comments
  1. Justin, this by far is one of the best integrations so far. It has been a popular request from some of my clients and will now eliminate clunky work arounds. As always, LearnDash just keeps getting better and better. THANK YOU!!!

    • Delphine

      Great integration. I’d hoped you would do it some day. Much better that having the elearning blog in the one side & the forum isolated on another side.
      To push one step further, any chance to get some “social tool” like buddy press integrated some day ?
      Keep up the good work !

  2. Ludovic

    Hi Justin,

    It’s really, really, really a good news.
    I expected this connection with bbPress for some time.

    And a big thank you to you and LD developers to make even more efficient in the environment of elearning.

    … when links with BuddyPress to create a large community around our course? … 😉

    Thank you.
    Regards
    Ludovic

      • Hey Justin,

        Looking forward to trying out your bbPress plugin. I’ve been working on my own MOOC based on LearnDash and I’ve loved building with it so far. Have you heard of or looked into the UltimateMember plugin? I really like it a lot. It’s got a great front end interface and they are actively working on integrating with other wordpress plugins (just like you!). Would love to see some integration in the future.

  3. Gerard Godin

    Wonderful feature! I didn’t realize I needed it, and now, I can’t imagine I’d want to do without..

    You keep making me go Wow! Great job!

  4. This is a great thing 😀
    What is also cool is that bbpress is fully integrated with BadgeOS… Jus as LearnDash 😀
    LearnDash for course, BadgeOS for awards, BBpress for community… This is a very powerful trio
    🙂

  5. Yippee! This makes my life so much easier now. I was trying to figure out the best way to incorporate forums and now you’ve done it again – made my wish come true. Thanks Learndash team 🙂

  6. Timothy

    Very very cool…I always look forward to getting LearnDash emails to see what you guys have been up to…This makes me very excited to see how it can improve my course!

  7. Andre

    This is an awesome integration! I already had bbpress on my radar but still had to figure out how to implement it, thank you for solving the puzzle 🙂

  8. Hi Justin

    Just to say a BIG thank you for this integration… if I understand correctly now I can automatically associate the forums for my students that I currently have in BBPress in which case its great help to me!

    It would be fantastic if you could do similar integration with BuddyPress where one could assign BP groups to a course and maybe see a list of your classmates on the system to be able to invite them to be friends.

    I have done that outside of Learndash already on my campus but it would be great to have it inside the system. Also if you could integrate LD groups with Buddypress groups it would save a lot of admin and we could then do reports on groups level.

    Really well done!

    Sincerely,

    Thomas Smith MIEx, ITS, DEO

  9. Lee

    Awesome! until now we had forums in silo groups and courses in silo, clunky work arounds with URLs to link the 2..now all in one. This together with BadgeOS is giving some real feature rich functionality, THANK YOU!

  10. Jamie

    Hi Justine,
    I added the bbpress plugin and then new integration, but when I try to publish a new forum I get “You are not allowed to edit this post.”. I have the latest version of Learn Dash. What should I try to debug this?
    Thanks,
    Jamie

  11. Dakota

    I just bought LearnDash and would love to use this feature but I cannot find the LearnDash-bbPress integration plugin anywhere …. where can I get this plugin?

  12. laura

    I’m just starting to review elearning programs… and am very impressed with what this can do. I especially like this ability to do the bbpress integration with forums. Just 30 minutes into review and compare/contrast… that is so powerful an integration tool. Thank you for your work on this… and making my life easier trying to set something up. Haven’t decided yet… just saying… very impressed.

  13. Mildred

    This is wonderful news for course creation. Is there an option for simple-press? I am already using that on the site i wish to use learndash on.
    Please let me know.
    Thanks

  14. Hi Justin,

    I have a quick update for people looking to have a LearnDash BuddyPress setup. WisdmLabs has created the LearnDash BuddyPress Integration plugin to help set up BP groups and display all LD group activities on BuddyPress.
    We’ve just launched the extension and are open for suggestions and feedback.

    Thanks.

  15. Hi can this create a feature where in students can ask questions and view other students’ questions and their respective answers but only the teacher has the permission to answer the questions ?

  16. I see the BBpress widget in my sidebar when on a course (top-level) page, but do not see it when on a lesson or topic page of that course. Can the widget be persistent on all child (or related) pages to its associated course? Thank you very much for your hard work.

  17. Hey Justin, this looks excellent! I’m so impressed with Learndash! I was stuck between Sensei and Learndash, but after digging into your features I can see that you guys are really knocking it out of the park!

    Quick question about Bbpress: does it allow students to upload photos of their projects? If not, is there another extension that will allow students to upload a photo for a course they’re enrolled in? A project gallery for a course would be absolutely amazing, but the ability the upload a photo into a forum would also be a great workaround. Thanks for making Learndash so feature-rich, and for answering all these comments! As an instructor, I know how time-consuming it can be!

  18. Bernd Bott

    Hello,

    Is it possible to add a forum at the bottom of a course and/or lesson? In the way that there is no new tab openend when the User clicks a forum-theme?

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