Prepare for a very active year!

Happy New Year, LearnDashers!

I think we are all glad 2020 is behind us as we look forward to great things to come this year. No, we aren’t out of the pandemic quite yet (which has impacted everyone, including two of our very own at LearnDash), but I feel that there is a renewed energy!

The result of COVID has meant that many of you have turned to LearnDash for your online courses. Be it for your school or business, you have put your trust into us – and we are going to returning the favor with exciting, relevant, and innovative updates that you won’t find anywhere else!

So let’s jump into it!

What is in store for LearnDash Core.

LearnDash continues to be ranked as the best LMS in the WordPress space, and always ranks within the top 10 of all LMS solutions (something we are quite proud of). This year we’re going to push what’s possible more than ever before with online courses and WordPress.

We strongly believe that a best-in-class learning experience is critical to the success of any student, increasing their engagement and decreasing their frustration.

With this in mind, towards the beginning of a year you can expect new additions to Focus Mode which will further push innovation in the market and will result in making your courses more adaptable and easy to navigate for your learners.

Another item currently in development is the result of feedback we have received from many of you. I’m pleased to announce that the signup flow for students will be seeing an overhaul, allowing for a far easier-to-follow user experience flow.

We will put special emphasis on optimizing the learner progression from landing on your course page to taking your course (and every step in between). You can expect these improvements to the user experience to come within the first quarter of the year.

But what about the user experience on the admin side?

While I can’t say too much yet as the plans are in the early stages, we will be making it easier than ever to go from installing LearnDash to publishing your first course. This isn’t just a general menu change or something basic, we’re talking improvements across the board including a brand new certificate builder. You will be able to easily create stunning visual certificates without any code, using an easy drag-and-drop interface.

And we’re not stopping there. 🙂

In the latter part of this year you can expect to see additional improvements to:

  • Quizzes — including performance improvements and new quiz functionality such as saving a quiz in progress. We’re excited to share more about this with you later on in the year!
  • Memberships — you can’t escape the juggernaut that is memberships. Towards the end of last year we introduced our basic membership functionality, which you can expect to see that expanded in 2021 with more advanced features coming down the pipeline.

This is just scratching the surface of what we have planned. Less exciting (bust just as important) are structural and coding improvements “behind the scenes,” so that your LearnDash powered courses perform optimally for you and your learners.

Add-ons getting a-ton-of-love.

In 2021 we’re putting a lot more love into our add-ons with updates coming out rapidly, including this very week! So make sure you are updating your add-ons so that you have the latest, most secure versions.

Another part of our focus with add-ons this year is consolidation. Specifically, this means that we will be taking a more modular approach to our add-ons and how they are handled.

By way of example, add-ons that are close in functionality (like “events”) will be grouped together into one add-on called “LearnDash Events”. You then use the options of this one add-on to choose the platforms you want to integrate with and the associated settings. This means less add-ons for you to manage, which means less clutter on your WordPress dashboard.

But we aren’t just creating groups for add-ons. We also have some exciting entirely new add-ons coming in 2021, including the long awaited LearnDash Achievements add-on. This add-on will bring native badge and point delivery to LearnDash, and it will integrate with the other areas where we already have points (quizzes for example).

We want you to stay connected and engaged with the LearnDash community.

Throughout this year, we will be sure to communicate openly with you as updates are released.

While we plan to send more regular communications to your email, we will also continue engaging in the highly active LearnDash Facebook Group, and we encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube channel for livestreams and webinars. You can also follow us on our new Instagram for tips and inspiration.

Feel free to share your ideas with us as well – many of our updates are a direct result from the feedback that we receive from all of you!

We look forward to bringing you these updates (and much more) this year.

Stay safe!

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

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. Let's Talk! | Twitter

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Super excited about easing the user’s experience from enrollment to being on the course and ready to start. Thanks for that! I love your product, but that is our biggest pain point.

Thank you Andrea! We’re excited about that update as well!

Hi, it’s great to see improvement on so many fronts. I’m looking forward to all of them!

Please do not change anything. It is stressful!

If it is not broken, then do not fix it.

AlpoReply

Your post is marked as uncategorised 🙂

Also, great to see where LearnDash has come over the years and look forward to what is coming next. Well done Justin and Team, Kudos.

Stephen BurkeReply

You forgot to mention importing quiz and questions as option from Learndash, Addon for this option are more expensive than learndash itself.

Please consider this option in your plans

MARGUSReply

Hi Margus! It is on our radar but isn’t something we currently have an ETA for.

Jack KitterhingReply

Great to see a glimpse of what you and your teams renewed energy will be focused on this year. Very excited to see even more developments to one of the worlds greatest Learning Management systems! Sooo glad to see that we will finally be getting a drag-and-drop certificate builder, that’s awesome!

Two things I really will be given a high priority within your above; the first is Accessibility; particularly within Focus Mode. It is becoming more and more imperative that users with visual impairments, neurodiversity and any other specific access requirements can have a great experience on the platform. LearnDash is pretty good in this area at the moment, even if by accident, but I would love to see a greater emphasis placed on building these features with accessibility in mind first, not as something that is retro-fitted afterwards.

The second, and probably more widely complained about; Quiz Scoring – I beg you and your team to overhaul the current quiz scoring to allow points accrued to be combined over multiple quizzes to result in a pass or fail grade for a whole course; not just for a single quiz. Every single one of my clients has the same conversation with me; “You mean… we can’t grade our students from quizzes on separate topics? We have to use one big quiz at the end? Surely that can’t be true?”

“Well yes, unfortunately, it is.” – what we need is some way to add a minimum pass mark to topic/lesson quizzes but an aggregate score at the end of a course for all quizzes within the course.

Maybe this might become a possibility with the new achievements / points system you alluded to?

Great work, keep it up!

JasonReply

Thanks for your feedback, Jason! We’re actively working on accessibility and recently we did start developing new features with our accessibility drive in mind. We understand how important accessibility is in learning and the wider world.

Regarding scoring, the scoring system is under review. It’s a bit more complex as we have to take into backwards compatibility and people who have workarounds for how it works now. Definitely something though we’re thinking about.

Jack KitterhingReply

Awesome to see so many new updates coming this year. Would be great to see some improvements with membership levels, as we often will I’ve a course away for free, which really messes up the members.

I am looking forward to improvements in certificates, as this is an important area in our industry.

I work with registered training organisations in Australia, it would be good to create a platform that would meet our strict compliance requirements. I would also like to see how LearnDash could integrate with student management systems in Australia

These all sound exciting! Really looking forward to the addons!

Fingers crossed quiz improvements include exportability of the advanced quiz statistics (ie. Category scores)?

NimaReply

It sounds great!

Do you consider to provide all the stats needed for quizzes and questions? This feature is essential for reporting to courses clients or to assess which question is good and performance discriminator.

Also, a hybrid solution for the same course to be selled as a pproduct and subscription (for different customers, of course).

Best regards!

FlorinReply

Hi Florin,

Do you mean so customers can purchase a course as a one time payment or as a subscription?

If so that is possible using WooCommerce with our WooCommerce integration currently.

Thanks!

Jack KitterhingReply

I am so thankful for this. I am in love with LearnDash and follow all your SM platforms. I created my first online membership program using your system and super stoked for the upgrades. One thing I would love to have is the ability to turn off the “Mark Complete” feature for individual sections, lessons, and topics. I have a membership program and I have a section for recipe ebooks and cooking guides, so they don’t need to mark that stuff complete. I have another section for a 30-day challenge and when they are done with each daily challenge, they need to mark that complete. That would be great from the user side. From the admin side, when I add new sections and topics, etc to my current course, it throws everything out of order. If I clone a lesson, then I have to go back into the builder and fix the order up. Anyway, keep up the great work. Love your product.

Thanks for your feedback Tammy! What are you currently using for cloning content? There are some bugs with some of the cloners on the market.

Jack KitterhingReply

RE: ORDERING

I completely agree that allow for something like drag and drop (re)ordering for Sections, Topics, and Lessons would be something I’d love to see. I know it doesn’t really impact anything in the course itself, but it makes it a lot easier when creating a course and also when cloning an existing course in order to use it as a template for a new course.

Rick CarmichaelReply

Hi Justin
This really a great news especially the part about a new certificate builder 🙂
But I think you missing a very important update here which is ( Review System ), I am really happy using Learn Dash but you really need to put this update in mind.
Final suggestion
It will be great if you add a timeline for your future updates on your site to keep us informed about the plugin.
Thanks

Mostafa OrabiReply

Hi Mostafa,

Do you mean a review system for students to review the course?

Jack KitterhingReply

Nice adventure, but I really hope that 2021 will be one with a lot of attention to the reporting part, that is not LearnDash worthy.

Jan EvertsReply

Hi Jan!

Anything specific you’d like to see happen with reporting? Feel free to drop me an email: jack(at)learndash.com.

Jack KitterhingReply

Thank you to this roadmap, consider adding an addon that offers the possibility to download Learndash courses, or scorm for offline mode.

YassineReply

Great!
I’m looking forward to all this.
Please consider overhauling the experience for instructors, who still have to deal with the ugly wp backend when adding students and creating courses. This makes the platform unusable to sell as a LMS as a service.
At this point I am absolutely disappointed in LD, which I surely love in most other areas.

RobReply

Hey Rob! Are you currently using any third-party plugins for instructors? Or just adding instructors yourself as new WordPress users?

Jack KitterhingReply

I’m using ‘Instructor Role’ from Wisdmlabs.

RobReply

Hi Justin

I am loving Learn Dash and am currently building a homeschooling website. My plan would be that parents purchase a course or course bundle and then can allocate child (sub) accounts. I would like the parental account to have an overview of what their child has done so can observe progress etc…but with the child being able to log in independently. Any help or recommendations you can give as to whether I can do this through Learn Dash or would need an add on, (if so, can you recommend any?) would be much appreciated.
Thanks
AJ

AJReply

Oh wow… super excited to hear about the updates to the signup flow. I’m pretty new to LearnDash — last few months — but have my course up on it and the user signup has been by far, the clunkiest part of the experience. Looking foward to the improved version.

Thanks, Mashon! We’re pretty excited too. 🙂

Jack KitterhingReply

We just migrated from Moodle after many years. LearnDash is an excellent platform that we want to continue using and see improve for many years into the future. While we wrestle a bit with tech support they have been supportive. We love LD but we have several areas we need addressed.

1) We need student reporting including:

The Pro Panel activity log as a single page. Currently it’s forced into a widget on the WordPress DashBoard making it unusable. We also need the ability to export this exact log reporting to a formatted pdf.

Distilled student activity reporting that includes the date and time every lesson was accessed and their quiz attempts and scores.

2) The ability to apply global quiz settings for all quizzes instead of having to set each quiz individually. We figured out a kludge to individually apply a template to each quiz but it’s time consuming and prone to errors.

3) The most basic functionality of any enrollment based system is the ability to set and change the start and end dates. We like setting course duration to a number of days but we need the ability to extend or reduce the enrollment any number of days without having to re-enroll the student for another entire enrollment period. These dates should still be adjustable even after the course has expired.

4) LD needs a publicly accessible development roadmap and a formal way to submit and track improvements and feature requests such as GitHub.

5) We need a support ticket system that sends out the ticket number with every support request. It would be best if we could log into the same support system as LD support to review conversations and a historical record of tickets submitted.

Thanks Justin and the LD team!

CraigReply

Hi Craig,

Thanks for your feedback!

1) We have plans to improve student reporting in the near future. 🙂

Feel free to shoot me an email to jack(at)learndash.com and let me know what specific features you’d like to see.

2) We do have Quiz templates as it sounds like you’ve already found, but we are looking into templating and the like too for the improvements.

3) This is in our plans, it’s possible at the moment but takes a few steps and relies on the user not being in group. Expect improvements in this area.

4) Yet to be decided at this time.

5) I’ll raise this with our support manager. 🙂

Thanks!

Jack KitterhingReply

Great news about the Achievements Add-on, I’ve put my course on hold until this is out so I’m excited about this release. Your colleague said this would be Q1 2021, are you still on track for this?

Also, is there any plan to integrate spaced repetition into the quizzing system?

Thanks

Callum ChristopherReply

Hi Callum,

Yes, we’re still aiming for a late Q1 release. 🙂

Jack KitterhingReply

Des Dobreva the Branding Queen says that membership sites are the route to recurring income and a purposeful life.

I agree.

Looking forward to building my business with Learndash and Divi this year

All the best for 2021

Jon

Please, when they revamp the certificate setup, please make the transition from the current setup to the new one seamless, so we don’t have to re-do everything.
Same for quizzes.
Thanks

Hey John,

There won’t be an importer from the old certificates to the new certificates.

You can still use your old ones alongside the new ones, so when you create new certificates you can just jump straight into the new certificate builder.

We didn’t create an importer for old to new as there’s no way to tell how the old certificates should look in the new builder as it’s all drag and drop, so the builder wouldn’t be able to detect say specific placements of elements on the certificate etc.

Thanks!

Jack KitterhingReply

email email email
a recent comms from you guys said the sending/receiving email from inside CU isn’t far away… but no mention of it at all in this 2021 post???
any ETA?
anything at all?
We’re still hopeful
!

Mike RhodesReply

Hi Mike-

Still having my coffee this morning — what does “CU” refer to?

Yay! Can’t wait guys. Love learndash!

Q: if we loaded say badge os now or a certificate builder plug in. How easy will we be able to swap over to the learndash updates?

Hi Jodi,

Initially I don’t think we’ll have an import feature, but will raise this with development.

At some point is LearnDash looking at adding characters that can be included in courses right out of LearnDash?

Thank you.

Frank NattReply

I’m not sure I follow Frank, my apologies. Do you mean inserting images? If so, no that’s not something we have planned.

RE: QUIZZES

I’m still busy at work creating my initial course, which will be based on a 4-book series I’m writing. Once I’m finally able to actually create the course, there’s one thing I’ve been thinking that I’d like to implement for quizzing:

1) Have the student to enter a free-form answer to an “essay-type” question
2) Have them then to listen to an audio recording of things that I would consider as appropriate answers
3) Allowing them to rate their answer accordingly (maybe providing radio buttons with values of 1–10, which would assign their score for that specific question)

QUESTION 1
Would it be possible to implement something like this with any planned enhancements for quizzes?

QUESTION 2
Is there any API for programmatically managing the grading for quizzes?

Thanks,
Rick

Hey Rick!

Q1: Yes it would be possible, based on your description it should actually be possible now. Just they would be a sequence of questions and not 1 singular question.

Q2: Our REST API v2 which is currently in beta has support for Quizzes: https://developers.learndash.com/rest-api/v2/.

Thanks!

Jack KitterhingReply

It would be great if you finally enabled latex maths markup to work under the reporting area of pro-panel (when a teacher reviews student quiz attempts). It is stated that Learndash is compatible with latex (with addition of a code patch) but in my view you’ve only done half the job.

My other big ask is that front end reporting be radically improved. More graphs, more drill downs and more insights please.

Another cool thing would be if you were to offer ‘skins’ for the quizzes so that we could choose to have them presented in a more engaging and animated way. As things stand they are a bit static and bland.

Hi George,

Thanks for your feedback!

We definitely want to bring a new life to the reporting functionality including Pro Panel and you can expect some major updates to those.

Regarding Quiz skins it’s definitely an interesting idea, the main point of concern would be theme compatibility and style conflicts.

Thanks!

Jack KitterhingReply

We selected the LD LMS over others because of its forced timer feature for lessons. A gating mechanism is a mandate of our state licensing Board that must review and approve our continuing education courses. They require students to spend 2 or 4 hours in instruction rather than zipping through it quickly. We have found that the countdown timer is visible and functional for lessons that do not contain a quiz at the end of the lesson. However, for lessons that are followed by a quiz, neither the countdown timer nor the ‘mark as complete’ button gate are visible even with a time set for the lesson. To no avail, we have spent several LD help sessions to get the timer feature to work for the lesson+quiz situation. This has been a point of great frustration for us since intervening quizzes are required in the structure of our courses. We have found no means to insert a quiz between lessons (rather than inside a lesson ‘folder’) to get around this problem. A 2021 fix in the quiz department to solve this problem would be greatly appreciated.

AliReply

Hi Ali,

Thanks for your feedback! We’re aware that a lot of states and governments are now placing mandatory hours and attendance on distance/online learning.

This is something we’re looking into to see how best LearnDash can resolve some of the concerns surrounding such requirements.

Thanks!

Jack KitterhingReply

Thanks for all that work input. We are using LearnDash to deliver our online conference, we had quite a lot of work done to the main core that kind of turned our courses display page view into an agenda: https://autosens-detroit.com/agenda-detroit-17th-nov-2020/

We are still struggling with finding a good webinar/video tool that totally integrates with WordPress/LearnDash via the API, it would be good to have LearnDash to explore more on this option. Zoom is not really for us as our speakers like to pre-load their videos and presentations and Zoom doesn’t allow that, it totally relies on the presenter’s having a good Wi-Fi.

Outside of Zoom I’m not sure what else could be used (there are a few direct Zoom integrations). Depending on what you need for the integration, if the webinar program is on Zapier then there are a variety of actions that can occur based on webinar registrations, and vice versa.

Alguna mejora en cuanto a las integraciones con Woocommerce, por ejemplo las membresias. En el mercado Latino no se usa mucho Paypal o Stripe

Hi LD Team,

Thanks for sharing your development plans and I join the others in calling for a regularly updated roadmap. Personally, I would love to see the following features:
1. The preview lessons visible on the same page as the course contents instead of opening on a new page.
2. User-toggled auto-play feature which, when turned on, would auto-play lessons in a linear sequence and automatically mark viewed lessons as complete.
3. The possibility of easy placing the navigation menu bar on both sides of the course pages.
4. The navigation menu bar always showing the student’s position in the course as opposed to defaulting to the top on every new course page.

Keep up the good work!

ArekReply

Hi Arek!

Thanks for your feedback. 🙂

I’ll make a note of your feedback internally for our development team.

Jack KitterhingReply

Thank you Justin and the LearnDash team. I almost feel like I know you and James Tryon on a personal basis with the amount of videos I have watched and support pages I have visited. You really are a huge help and make sure building enjoyable!
Love the product and the support is top-notch.
All the best, from Ireland!

Thanks Conor, so glad you’ve liked the videos 🙂

1. Questions export import
2. Questions types
3. Certificate short codes that print quiz scores in course certificate.
4. Score conversion table
5. H5p score integration
6. Gamification

That would be super awesome!

Great Justin.
Any news on making LD an LMS app?
Thanks

JaydevReply

No app in the plans, but there are some already available (see AppPresser and BuddyBoss)

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