August 1st, 2017 LearnDash Tips

If you ever have wanted to include private coaching or tutoring sessions for your LearnDash powered courses, then this add-on is for you!

Today we are excited to let you know about a new add-on for LearnDash: Private Sessions!

Using this solution you can add value to your course offering by administering private coaching sessions to your learners. Communicate ideas, share files, and give your learners direct, actionable feedback!

Check out the video below for a brief demonstration!

Add-On Features

Secure and private discussions — Anyone not directly involved in a discussion can’t see what’s been said.

File uploads — Students and coaches can upload files directly into the discussion for reference and discussion.

Customizable — Easily change colors, locations of the message bar, etc…

Custom Notifications — Recipients get an e-mail notification anytime a new message is posted. Customize the e-mail with several variables.

New message indicator — Unread messages appear throughout the logged in site informing students and coaches that a response is ready.

Works with LearnDash Group Leaders — Group Leaders can hold private sessions with any user in their group!

Works with any theme — Build to be compatible with any theme.

How It Works

Once installed you will find a new menu item that appears under LEARNDASH LMS > SETTINGS > PRIVATE SESSIONS.

All you have to do is configure a few settings such as the custom notifications and colors. Once you have these select you’re all set!

Learners will then be able to start a private session. Or, you (or your Group Leaders) can initiate a private session!

Where To Download

This is a premium add-on created by SnapOrbital and is available for purchase on their site.

If you have any questions or comments related to this add-on, do not hesitate to leave them below.

Until  next time!

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide. He is currently founder & CEO of GapScout. Justin's Homepage | GapScout | Twitter


59 responses

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Thanks for the post Justin! We’re very excited to get this product in front of LearnDash users and get their feedback so we can continue to improve it and make it even more useful!

Thanks Ross – a great addition to the arsenal of LearnDash add-ons 🙂

A cam built in for a chat (language classes) would be awesome!!!

Avatar Diego

Hi Diego,

That’s a great idea! We’re definitely looking into ways to integrate with live video services.

I second that one. I could really fun with integrated webcam support.

For me, two way video would be a required feature. But, do love the direction.

Avatar Marc Saxe

Diego check out the H5P plugin, that is one of the many awesome features they offer, and it is all free. I am just waiting for LearnDash to support the data from their plugin so that group leaders can access it all like we do with LearnDash quizzes.

Avatar Tim

webcam chat would be excellent. i am no coder, but there is already a Zoom api, could this be interegrated, Suppose you could use plugin to send skype invite, or zoom. I like freeconferencecall as well. But option to record the session and save locally would solve many of my targets! I would even contribute cash to get this started?

Avatar stu gradwell

Hi there,

Great add-on, I have the need to do video communication (like Skype) but I would love to do it within LearnDash. Is that part of the plug in?


Hi Katie,

Easy video communication is definitely something we’re looking into for upcoming releases! Thanks for the suggestion!

You manage to find a way to integrate live video within Learndash and I am ALL OVER THIS! As soon as I saw the email I came rushing here to read more. A little disappointed for no video, but excited to hear you’re looking into it. Can I suggest when you do, the ability to screen share as well!

Avatar Carl

I’d like to add my name to the list of users interested in this feature. I’m currently using ZOOM to webcast with my students, and being able to do this from directly inside the LMS would really streamline my workflow and make the user experience so much better. Where does LearnDash make feature announcements so I can follow?



Avatar Sean Eaton

I currently subscribe to a coaching platform called JigSawBox. It allows me to type in reflection questions at the end of each module. I get an email notification when a client has submitted something, then I can go in and privately respond. The interaction is only viewable to the two of us.

With this plug in, is there a way to insert the questions at the bottom of a module and a chat box under each question?

What I’m seeing here looks like email, not necessarily attached to a module or a question that resides within the lesson or topic. Can you please clarify?

Hi Sharon,

That sounds like a pretty cool application and similar to something we’ve implemented for our LearnDash clients before.

For this version of the plugin it’s not tied to a course, lesson or topic — more of an independent private coaching thread. We’re thinking about ways to make it more integrated so you can have an option for students to “start a coaching session” or something of the like within a particular lesson or topic.


I’ll be ready when you implement these kinds of features. I need for people to respond to particular reflection questions — and allow me to specifically respond to that question — and also an option to write a response at the bottom of the lesson or topic.

Hi Sharon, We use the quiz for this in Learndash. Create a quiz open answer type. Make it that you have to grade it if you need to hold them before they can move on to the next lesson. They type in the answer you give your feedback, they get an email they can add more text you get an email then you can add feedback again and so on. There is only one WordPress plugin that I know of that does private coaching if you’re not using Learndash and that’s wp private content pro. Hope that helps.

Avatar Cyril

Typically a “private session” means a live meeting schedule for a specific date and time that lasts 30 to 90 minutes, via phone or Skype or in person.

The write-up seems to indicate that what’s meant here by “private session” is a “private chat” forum-stype discussion.

I am not seeing options for either party to schedule the date and time of the session (typically the clicent self-schedules within the teacher’s available slots, e.g. see

Also, am not seeing how to charge for the extra, 1-on-1 attention.

Maybe I am missing something, but I am left confused about what exactly this does or is intended for.

Avatar Mark

Ross from SnapOrbital will probably jump in, but I can say this is one of the more requested features we’ve received from coaches & consultants who are using LearnDash. From what I’ve seen the add-on incorporates a lot of what people have asked for. Plus, being platform agnostic it allows for scheduling face-to-face interactions via any third party app. As it’s v1.0 I’m sure they’ll build it out based on feedback.

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the feedback and insight.

The features we’ve released with were based on our initial research of what course leaders wanted to offer to particular students. Based on our findings it was a place where course leaders could have private, one on one conversations with students and share files.

Maybe the term “session” is confusing and there is a more appropriate title?

Thanks again for your feedback, it’s really valuable to know what different needs are out there and we certainly consider those features for future releases.

We would suggest “Private 1 to 1 Communication”. But the session concept is much more appealing if you can include (or further explain) how to sell that service ideally with options to schedule it, set a duration and embed video-calls inside.

Also it would be great if you could compose the session product with variable price depending on the specifications, maybe integrating with Yith Woocommerce Composite Products

Anyway, we are buying this today. Great tool.

The linked site for purchase information says “Error establishing a database connection.”

Avatar Mark

Think they’re looking into a temporary server issue.

Yes sorry we’re increasing server resources now.

Hi, like this feature. Just wondering, is possible to assign this private message feature to a specific student? So i can use it as an upsell –> buy a course with or without private sessions and upload reviews. thanks for the reply, kind regards Saskia

Avatar Saskia

Hi Saskia,

Depending on what platform you’re using you could have a separate product that’s a private session. For example both EDD and WooCommmerce could have a private session product that you upsell at the time of check out.

Hope this helps!

Thanks, so if i understand corretly I can choose to which student I add this feature to? So it is not enabled for every enrolled student automaticaly?

Avatar Saskia

Correct! Group leaders and administrators can open up a private session with any of their students. Students can only respond to existing private sessions, they can’t start their own (at least at this time.)


Okay, great! Can i translate it too?
I will buy it immediately 🙂

Avatar Saskia

Ok, in that case, would be auto-delivered the private session or is it required to get done manually by the group leader or administrator? In case we has paid for a period, would be it auto-cancelled after that period of time?

Interesting plugin. Is the price a one time fee or an annual renewal. If the latter what is the renewal rate please?

Avatar Pete Pasierb

Hi Pete,

This is a yearly renewal if you want to keep getting support and updates. Otherwise you can continue using the latest copy you downloaded. We offer a 50% discount on renewals.


It’s not often that I’m continually thrilled with a tool/service. LearnDash is one of them!!

You’re too kind Kyle 🙂

@Ross Johnson

Does the plugin respect responsive layout?
In other words, how does it look and work on mobile?

I see this service being used mostly on mobile for my business.



Hi Paul,

The plugin is responsive, because it’s a fairly simple interface it works mostly the same. You may in find that some placements of the sessions tab works better than others depending on your theme, but beyond that it should be a drop in and go!

Hope this helps!

A very interesting plugin. Can this plugin only be used with LearnDash or also as a stand-alone?

I have a LearnDash pro license on a site that opens in a few months. I’d like to use this private-sessions plugin on another WordPress site in the meantime.

Avatar Steeven

Hi Steeven,

It definitely could work as a stand alone because administrators can start a private session with anyone. The only potential issue is the settings are located within the LearnDash settings.

If you’re interested you could purchase the plugin and then open up a support ticket and I’ll put together a way to get to the settings even if LearnDash isn’t currently installed.


If you use a theme like Social Learner, you have a private chat using Buddypress.

Avatar Haz

It’s a bit different but some similarities. It doesn’t integrate with the LearnDash Group Leader feature.

If you could add group chat it would be great for having live chat for everyone in the course or course group. If audio and screen share were added it would be super and bring a live element to the course without taking students out of Learndash or using webinar software.

Avatar Cyril

This is possible now by using the Zoom integration that I have released. Check this out.

I was a bit confused by this plugin title and functionality as well as in language learning or consulting “private sessions” refers to a call via phone, skype, hangout etc. Perhaps, “private text coaching” would be more appropriate.
The biggest opportunity in online education is a good LMS and a virtual classroom integrated combination. Braincert and Learncube have good virtual classrooms but less than perfect LMSs. Currently they also don’t have client self booking and payment features.
A solution with Learndash + client self scheduling + payments options + virtual classroom via webRTC would be huge.
Our company is currently reaching out to vendors to work on a solution.
A logical upgrade for this plugin would be to add a webrtc api with one of the virtual classroom providers.
Thanks ! James

Avatar James

Yes! This is exactly what I need as well and can’t find in the marketplace. I too was thinking about hiring someone to code.

Thumbs up for this awesome addon.

Avatar Adeel

This feature is simply “private messaging” and should be included as part of the core system vs. being sold as an optional plugin because it involves very BASIC LMS functionality. Private messaging is part of all commercially successful LMS platforms. The “tons of tiny plugins” situation is a major downside of the WordPress environment, in general, in terms of maintenance and reliability. Something involving class communication could be justified as an optional plugin if it had a lot more functionality, like an in-container conferencing system with real-time chat. Or, a Grade Book, etc.

Avatar Jim W.

Hi Jim-
Thank you for the comment. I understand that sentiment. Just in case you weren’t aware, private messaging (in the purest sense) can be done for free using other WP tools with LearnDash. This add-on by SnapOrbital does a bit more and is for select use-cases. Our entire approach for LearnDash since the beginning has been to eliminate bloat compared to other LMS options and to let our customers know of their options should they need certain functionality for their unique use-cases. Overall this has been well received and is a trajectory we’ll continue.

Learndash Private Sessions! is a great idea, but where is the integration with Learndash?

I mean, I offer “free” online courses. I want to provide users (once they are taking their free course) the option to get one-on-one coaching. So, if they click to the new Learndash Private Sessions, they should first get redirected to pay, and then get access to their private session.

Otherwise, it would be only a widget in the bottom of my learndash pages site.

All the best,

You create two courses: 1) the free course 2) the paid course with private sessions.
Once students become interested in one-to-one coaching, they can enroll in the paid course.

Private Sessions indicators should only be allowed in select courses that allow private sessions.

Avatar Romeo

It doesn’t matter Ross, I am in!

Congratulations, the idea is really awesome. There will be a lot of improvement opportunities, but what it matters is that there is this great plugin live.

I am buying it just now! 🙂

Justin, is there the option that they must PAY a PRICE to get a private session?

Avatar Evan

I don’t think so (though you could arrange this for a conference call). It might be possible if selling courses with a shopping cart. I know something like this is on their roadmap.

Hi Justin!

I love this feature. I’ve just bought it and I’m wondering if there’s any way the admin/group leader can finish the conversation.

Thank you.



Avatar Joana

Hi Joana-
Thanks! I think SnapOribital will probably be the best contact for your question. I’d hate to tell you the wrong thing.

I bought this plugin but when you go to reply and include a link it glitches and bounces all over the page

Thanks for the comment. I’m sure that’s something that they can help you with. Make sure to raise your ticket with Snap Orbital support.

How is this different than students uploading assignments in LearnDash?

Hi 🙂 This new LearnDash looks awesome!
It is possible to integrate live ZOOM Meetings in the new LearnDash version?

Avatar Alma

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