Course Grid Add-On Now Available!

First, let me start by wishing everyone a happy new year! With today’s latest update we are introducing one of the new directions we will be taking going forward.

Specifically, this year we are going to be supplementing our core LearnDash development with free and premium add-ons so that you can now choose the functionality you would like to have for your LMS without having to worry about “bloating”.

To kick-off this exciting direction, today we are releasing a new free add-on.

Course Grid Add-On

Course Grid Featured Image

Over the past few years we have seen that many of you who are using LearnDash develop robust course libraries with a variety of great choices for your users.

To date, the default functionality in LearnDash places the courses in a linear list. While this works if you have a few courses, the more courses that you create the longer this list becomes.

Because of this we wanted to give you additional options for how you present your courses to visitors, and the Course Grid add-on does just that!

Add-On Features

Responsive grid layout of courses: Choose to display your courses in one, two, three, four, six, or twelve columns. Simply insert the shortcode onto a regular page or post and your courses will display.

Filtering by category: Easily allow users to search for course by category using the category filter.

Display course featured image and short description: Courses are displayed with their featured image and a custom short description.

Dynamic price listing: The price of the course is automatically displayed.

How It Works

When you install and activate the add-on, all you have to do is use the following shortcode to insert your courses onto the page of your choice:

[ld_course_list]

The default layout will display your courses in three columns, as pictured below.

 

Want to change the number of columns? No problem! Just specify the number of columns in the shortcode. If you want two columns, the shortcode is as follows:

[ld_course_list col=2]

Perhaps you have courses that belong to different categories? You can easily enable a category selector in the course list by using the following shortcode:

[ld_course_list categoryselector=true col=2]

 

Taking this one step further, you can even create multiple course list pages. For example, you can create a detailed profile page by using the following two shortcodes:

[ld_profile] and [ld_course_list mycourses=’1′]

This will display the LearnDash front-end profile as well as a list (in grid format) of the user’s enrolled courses.

Custom Short Description

In addition to being able to determine how you want your courses to display, this add-on gives you the ability to create a custom short description for the course.

When activated, a new “Course Short Description” field will appear on your EDIT COURSE page.

 

Once published, the short description appears in the course list:

 

This field is optional, but it is a great way to give a little more context for people who are looking through your course offerings.

Where To Download

Click here to download the new add-on from the support site.

What’s Next?

As promised, 2015 is going to be a busy year.

Internally, our team is working hard to develop more add-ons and integrations so that you can get the most out of your WordPress LMS. We are also building out new core features per your requests on the support site as well. As always, thank you so much for your feedback!

But it gets better…

Starting this year we have opened the doors for trusted third party development firms to begin creating their own add-ons for LearnDash!

In short, this means more relevant features for you to choose from for your online courses. From what we have seen so far, there is some really great functionality just around the corner!

We are thoroughly excited about the direction for this year, and we think you will be too! Thank you all again for choosing LearnDash as your LMS.

Until next time!

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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

91 Comments
  1. Looking good on our site. Just a quick note, that if I boosted the font size of the .entry-content h3 to 24px, the column layout seems to break and I get an odd column sitting on a lone row. Now I brought it down to 14px it works fine. Just thought you should now, am happy to forward images etc.

    Cheers and Bonne Année

  2. Thank you Justin, this is looking great and giving us a professional option for our courseware.
    We have just loaded the demo site and are tinkering around. All the best to you and your team for 2015!

  3. Wilco

    Hi Justin

    Great start for 2015! We Love the way you listen to your customers and the Road you take us on. Thanks again for all the work you put in tot Learndash, it gone Be another great year for all Learndash customers.

    Wilco

  4. Ed

    Thanks for the update Justin, looking forward to more this year. Was hoping for improvements in administrative things like adding certificate expiration, unique serial numbers, more short codes, improved styling options, archived certificates for admin, erase course data for user after __ number of days, etc, but will continue to hope for them.

    Just please don’t become like Woocommerce with their ridiculous amount of paid extensions and lack of building innovation on their core product. Woo users can’t fart now without needing to buy an expensive extension — all simple functions require payment.

    • Thanks Ed, your feedback is much appreciated! Certificate improvements are certainly on the horizon – doing some testing on some at the moment. Core development is still very much a priority. The free and premium add-ons will open up new avenues and will center around non-critical functionality.

  5. Steve

    I love the direction you are going in Jason! Turning LearnDash into a platform. I really love many of the features of WPLMS but that thing has become bloatware and it’s tied to a theme. If you ever want to change your theme, you’re out of luck. You guys have the opportunity to become the WooCommerce of Learning.

    Question – are you going to make it possible for LearnDash customers to create add-ons internally for their own use. In other words, can you open up the same SDK or API and documentation you make available to selected 3rd parties developers to all LearnDash customers so that they can add the features they need NOW and not need to wait for someone else to do it.

    • Thanks Steve, it’s great to hear the feedback and kind words. To get things started we are opening the doors to select developers so we can perfect the process. Once we get a better idea of what works (and what doesn’t), then we will be in a better position to investigate those kind of options. I will say though that customers are able to leverage the hooks/filters we have available on the support site to create their own integrations & add-ons; it’s something we have seen in the past.

      • Jean-Francois Lagarde

        Hello Justin and thanks for the news and improvements.

        One thing that would really help us developpers would be to have more comments/documentation, more consistency and more hooks in your code. In other words, it would be really awesome if your developper team would follow a little bit more the WordPress coding standards (https://make.wordpress.org/core/handbook/coding-standards/php/)

        After the first installation, I realized that Learndash wasn’t working as I expected. I looked for hooks and didn’t find the ones I needed. I then looked at the code to overide or use some of your functions… and honestly, I almost contacted you back for a refund. I managed to overcome the lack of documentation and the lack of consistency and I decided to stick with your product since I like where we are going together.

        If you need help, suggestions for improvements, a tester or even a developper, do not hesitate to contact me.

        Thanks again for your great product!

        JF

        • Hi Jean-Francois,

          Many thanks for the note and for sharing your thoughts, happy to have you part of the LearnDash community! I sent you a personal note so as to discuss your comments a bit further. Thanks again!

  6. Jeff Nye

    Improvements and features are always appreciated. My recent experience leads me to ask for development in the admin area most, and I have already put in some requests and questions to you about these things. I agree with the wishlist Ed described. As people really start using LearnDash I think things like admin ability to easily modify/ import user records, especially from other sites/platforms is really needed. I should be able to easily edit user data, in bulk and individually. Currently it’s not easy to move any amount of users from another LMS into LearnDash, and preserve course completion info, certificate expiration, etc.

    Another thing that would be great to see is some real depth to the documentation and support site. Maybe a user forum/user contributed knowledge base? Now things seem to be where all input goes to Justin, and Justin responds when he can. But users could be helping each other more directly if the format changed a little.

  7. Hi Justin,

    Great addition! I was wondering if this also works on member profiles. In the sense that it shows the enrolled courses in a grid. Would be nice.
    I also like the fact that other developers are starting to work on LD extensions. It means LD will develop even faster than it has been. I don’t mind paying for an extension that adds value to my site, beats having it developed custom any day of the week 🙂

    thanks,

    André

  8. Andrew

    Nice work Justin. It’s great to see these improvements coming through to improve the customer experience. Keep up the great work.

    Cheers,

    Andrew.

  9. OMG, I don’t know how you do it – right when I’m looking for workarounds you come up with a solution I need. I was trying to revamp my course library to look like the Woocommerce catalog but without pointing to their page and poof – you come up with grids. Thanks guys!

  10. ron

    To add to ED’s comment, so has WP xxxxxxware and the subscription trend with “premium” feature purchases is motivating me back into customizing original WP themes and individual plug-ins…frankly it is working out to be a great idea. To be honest I still haven’t comittted to purchase a courses application (its been between LD and WPC) can’t seem to take the step. Mainly because:

    1) I felt the WPC demo out-demo’ed Learndash by a long way in that I was able to see and apply more functionality – that equated to a seemingly more complete program amd process. I may be missing something somewhere in what I’m doing with LearnDash demo, because I have a much stronger gut feeling that LD must have at least ‘similar capability’ (for lack of a better term).

    So please if anyone feels they have any pointers to help me get a fuller experience, they would be appreciated.

    2) LearnDash quality of customer relations simply buries that of “those other guys” which has become numbingly superficial (I’ve enabled newsletter/updates from both to keep the comparison going as I near point of having to commit to purchase). IMO “those other guys” have let their CS/PR dept run away with their signatures. Justin your presentation still feels more genuine (as in ‘Justin is still involved in the whole thing’) and creates a much stronger feeling of confidence in your organization. Keep that up, whatever you do.

    It is obvious that LearnDash is in a major growth stage with promising refinements in the offing and my gut is telling me that it is the choice I want to make, I just need to be tipped by a more complete demo experience I think. Anyway, happy to receive your progress reports and you business development in the past year is impressive.

    Thank you.

    • Thanks for the comment Ron. To be honest, we find that LearnDash is a great solution for many projects, but not ALL projects. I’d strongly suggest sending us a note with some more details about what it is you’re trying to do, as well as any concerns that you have so that we can discuss those further. If phone is more your thing, you can give us a call.

      I am happy to hear that you feel confidence in our support as we take great pride in not just our product, but our service. The reason you ‘feel’ we are genuine is because we are – and this didn’t happen by accident. We work hard for our customers every single day.

      Thanks again for the comment, hope to hear from you!

  11. You didn’t waste time Justin. Great new feature and look forward to all of the updates in 2015 and the third party developer development. When I think of the initial release of WPLMS to what is has become today–job well done!! I was at a ATD chapter meeting tonight and was discussing with several people of how I am using LD with a few clients to offer an affordable solution from small to large organizations.

    Jeff

    • You’ve been with us for awhile now Jeff, it has been a long time since our days as ‘wplms’ 😉

      Thanks for the encouragement and for sharing your experience with others at the ATD chapter meetings.

  12. Among all the learning plugins and themes out there, Learndash is still my favorite. The development just keeps getting better and better. Third party add-ons sounds really promising. I’ve got ideas already.

  13. Tim

    Great add on,

    Is it possible to change the language used? “see more” doesn’t really work for us.

    we’ve used a localization/translation plugin on the LMS core would this work on the add on?

    thanks Tim

  14. Hi Justin;
    great add-on but unfortunately i had to deactivate it. when i activated it, all the widgets on the sidebar were moved to the bottom of the page. i think it is a theme issue.

    Thanks

  15. Hi Justin–
    Since this thread kind of moved into a general discussion on LearnDash features, one thing I’ve liked about LD and hope to see more development on in the future is corporate (or managed) learning access.

    WP Courseware and Sensei (presumably, two of your largest competitors) have been increasingly moving toward commercial courses – e.g., courses for sale. While that’s certainly a growing share of the market, I don’t think it’s remotely the largest market, or the one with the biggest potential. Managing learning for corporate users for compliance training, operational training, sales initiatives, etc., still appears to be the largest market out there – it’s certainly the one our clients are most interested in.

    With that said, in 2015, I’d love to see LD improve and enhance reporting capabilities and user management features – or at least open up the API to developers who could help make significant progress on those two key areas. While the options available now are serviceable, there’s a long way to go before they match up to the reporting capabilities and user management features offered by most of the major LMS or LMS-lite platforms, and they are two of the areas corporate/organizational development groups are most interested in. We’ve looked into customizing in these areas, but as someone upthread mentioned, the code could use some improvement before we can really get to that point.

    That said, keep up the great work!

  16. Torgrim Sandvoll

    Great feature!

    Would be nice if you could categories your blog, and have one category named “LearnDash LMS”. This way it would be easier for me (and others) to find all those articles related to LearnDash updates/tips/etc.

  17. Thank you very much for the ‘LearnDash Course Grid’. Its functionality is awesome. Thank you very much for that. But we still have a challenge please.
    1. We would like to be able to display only a certain number of courses on a page and then put a link somewhere to lead to a page where all courses are listed.
    2. We have many categories of courses. For example, we have
    a. Academic Courses
    b. Non academic courses
    c. Courses for High School Students

    question: how do we specify on a page called ‘academic course ‘page, to display only academic courses on that page and not to display all courses. Thank you.

  18. Hi Justin,

    We are proposing learndash based solution to one of our clients in india, the client is a preparatory medical exam coaching company which trains students to clear mandatory medical exam to be come certified practitioners in US,UK and Australia. They have long list of courses and Preparatory test papers , just wanted to understand if Learn dash has implemented similar solutions to customers, would be glad if you coould share similar websites

    regs
    manirangan

  19. It looks great. However, is there any way to change the price tag? We use it in our organization through the intranet…therefore we would like to remove the free or at least be able to change it to open. I did change the course price type but it did not change anything in the grid.

    It will be great if the course price type in the course edit page matches the front end tag.

    Thanks,

    Karina

    .

  20. Hi Justin,

    You and your team have developed a great looking tool here. I am working with a non-profit that provides a certification, comprised of multiple courses. Does LearnDash support “degree plans” or anything like that, where a student (and administrator) can track the student’s progress toward “graduation” or completion of the certification? They are required to take a certain number of courses, some are core, some are elective. Thoughts?

    Thanks!

  21. (still setting up the website if you go there) we are using learn dash for internal training, can you use the grid for lessons in the same way you use it for courses, so our team can view all the lessons in one visual?

    thanks for your help
    kind regards
    Jamie

    • Hi Jamie-
      Thanks for writing. The grid is only for course listings. You *could* use it to display lessons (for example, on another page), but it won’t change the way lessons are displayed by default in the Course Content table on the course page.

  22. Jonathan Taieb

    Hi Justin,
    Do you plan to add the possibility to add featured video for the course grid instead of featured image?
    If yes, when? If not, I think it will be a great addition to this plugin because video is much more appealing than image.
    Thanks for your time and efforts.

  23. Yannick

    I’m using this plugin’s shortcode on a composite page, but it breaks the rest of the page.

    After the section that [ld_course_list col=4] is in, no other page sections appear.

    Any idea what the issue could be?

  24. HiJustin,
    I just installed the grid plugin and it looks great.
    Can I change the order that the courses appear somewhere?
    My first and most important course has been pushed down the grid by subsequent (coming soon) additions.
    Thanks,
    Andrew

  25. Brittany Teei

    Hi there,

    Can this plugin be used to display quizzes in a grid form? We are using LD but only want to give users the quizzes as opposd to full courses.
    Thanks

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