New Video Course Progression Feature!

76.2% of LearnDash powered courses contain video. This update will make the learner experience even better!

In early May of this year we administered a “content mix” poll to see what kind of content you had in your courses. The results were clear: video was used in some capacity 76.2% of the time.

Well, today I am pleased to share that we have pushed out a LearnDash update that is based on this feedback.

If you are using videos in your courses then you will really like this, and if you aren’t using videos yet then this update may entice you to start! 🙂

It is with great pleasure that I get to introduce you to the new LearnDash Guided Video functionality – an update that not only you will like but your learners will certainly appreciate as it improves their overall course experience.

In short: less clicking, more learning.

How It Works

The settings you see above become visible when you select the Enable Video Progression option on a Lesson or Topic.

All you really have to do now is paste the video URL and you are (pretty much) done!

You can use a URL from YouTube, Vimeo, or any video that is uploaded to your site’s Media folder.

**UPDATE 7-24-2017** – AmazonS3 and Wistia are also now supported in addition to the above.

When the lesson is published the video will display at the top of your Lesson with perfect dimensions according to your theme.

Don’t want it to appear at the top of the Lesson? No problem, you can use a shortcode to place the video anywhere in your content:

[ld_video]

No need to remember this shortcode, we have added it to the Shortcode Wizard.

You then get to decide if you want the video to start automatically. If you want to create a “hands-free” learning experience then this is a setting you will definitely want to use.

But here is where it gets interesting…

If you set the Lesson to auto-complete after the video has played then immediately after the video is finished your learners are brought to the next video where it will start playing.

You can even decide to hide the Mark Complete button altogether to prevent people from skipping ahead.

Oh, and the “play bar” is also hidden on the video player to remove any temptation of skipping to the end of the video. 🙂 It will become visible again once the Lesson is marked complete. [Note: This option can be turned off as well so the play bar is always visible]

You have a few other options on how you want the videos to behave as well. For instance, if you have a video in a Lesson and that Lesson has Topics then you can determine when the video becomes visible (after the topics are complete or before).

Our goal with this update was to improve the course experience for your learners – making it possible for you to create a truly “hands-free” experience.

Your learners literally get to sit-back, relax, and learn!

This functionality is available for you today in LearnDash v2.4.5.

I have a small confession to make…

Last month I posted this:

And I must confess: while this video functionality is certainly useful and in many ways unique to our industry… it is not the game-changing functionality I was referring to.

We wanted to get the new video features in your hands as soon as possible, but at the same time we have been working on a significant update to LearnDash for the last few months.

I am really excited because there is now light at the end of the tunnel. Our next major core update will include these changes.

So, keep an eye out. You’re really going to like it. 🙂

Until next time!

PS: Did you happen to see our most recent webinar where we take you “behind the scenes” to show you exactly how the University of Michigan is using LearnDash

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.

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152 Responses

  1. Just saw this and it is EXACTLY what I was looking for this past weekend! Can’t wait to try it!

    Thank you so much for always being clairvoyant about improvements to LearnDash!!

  2. Hey Justin,
    this sounds fantastic! Just out of curiosity – is this using some kind of xAPI functionality on the back-end? We are using Grassblade xAPI companion today and I am trying to figure out if this will eliminate that need on some of our stuff or not…
    Thanks,
    Helma

    1. Hi Helma, no this does not leverage xAPI so if you need that it place then I’d recommend sticking with your current configuration.

      1. Justin, thanks for the quick response. It still sounds great for other stuff!
        One question – does the video bookmark? Meaning, if someone starts watching, gets sidetracked and comes back another day, do they have to start from the beginning or will it resume where they were?

        Thanks,
        Helma

  3. This is simply awesome Justin! I’ve just started a build for one of my clients and this was on the wish list. Made my life much easier!

  4. Justin thanks for the update. I really appreciate the work the LearnDash team does to keep this product advancing. The features you’ve introduced since we invested in LearnDash have been AMAZING. Haven’t yet had time to view the U of M webinar, but it’s on my list!

    1. Thank you for the kind words Nikita! I think you’ll enjoy the webinar – it’s packed with great ideas.

  5. Great new feature! Does the video progression include user tracking, so we can verify (and provide documentation) that a user watched all of the video? Would be useful for any site that provides professional credits for training.

    1. I recommend the WPcomplete plugin that offers exactly what you need, to broaden the feedback with your students.
      I deployed this plugin with LearnDash and had no technical issues.
      Use BRAND THEMA as layout. And it just stayed show!

  6. Hi,

    Sound like a great update! Can’t wait to start with this 🙂
    Just one small detail, I think it would be better not to auto hide the video timeline. Since some people like to scroll back to watch an part again. Or seek the part they are looking for, when the watch it a second time.

    So for me it would be better to have the hide-video-timeline feature as optional.

    Keep up the good work 🙂

    1. Thanks Maarten! We will keep an ‘ear to the ground’ on the initial feedback and make iterations accordingly.

    2. I second this…
      My students actually pause and rewind a section many times. A hidden timeline would detrimental to their experience. So definately keep it optional

  7. This is great news.
    One suggestion: It is awesome that you included both YouTube and Vimeo as possible video sources but many of us site developers also use jwplayer streaming accounts for our videos. We need the ability to add the video urls from our jwplayer accounts.

    1. Thanks Andy, and very much appreciate the feedback on the video player. We will be adding support for more options in future updates.

      1. Cheers – that is very much appreaicted. Can you pls also add WISTIA.com to the video toolbox? WISTIA delivers simply incredible video analytics that provide insights into video views, play drop-rates etc… great stuff four video optimization. Thanks

      2. I seconded Andy on this. We are in the process of shifting our entire course content delivery system from Storyline files to JWPlayer since when you have enterprise level you can leverage the APIs of the actual player to send out xAPI verbs without having to use Grassblade. So excited for this update.

  8. Great stuff Justin,

    Just for clarification: Whilst auto-play, auto-complete and “hide play bar” may be useful generally speaking, I trust that we will have the possibility to decide whether or NOT to have videos paying on auto-pilot and feature a play bar if we want to? While I like auto-pilot, I also know that some users hate it to not have control over some features.

    Thanks, Stef.

    1. That’s correct Stephan, you don’t have to set your videos to auto-play. In fact, by default they will not.

    1. Thanks Michael! Wistia isn’t yet supported. We’ll be gathering feedback in the near-term and will add support for other video options in upcoming releases.

  9. Jee whiz, that’s fantastic. All amazing update features, that are very thoughtful and on-point to what we needed from video. Every single update on this, serves a need that I needed for my courses. THANK YOU JUSTIN!

  10. That’s fantastic. Can’t wait to start using this! And also looking forward to this big game changer too! Thanks for all the hard work Justin (and team)!

  11. Very good feature
    The issue I got is to display on mobile both video and text for a lesson and it’s not easy to set cause in iOS for example you can’t set video size with lesson on the same time

  12. Hi Justin,

    First of – great feature you have here 🙂

    Can you please clerify this paragraph?
    “If you set the Lesson to auto-complete after the video has played then immediately after the video is finished your learners are brought to the next video where it will start playing.”

    Does this mean that when the video ends, the user is automatically redirected to the next lesson/topic?
    Or the next video simply plays on the same page?

    Thanks

      1. Had the same question as Asaf, thanks for clarifying this. Maybe you should change the text to “…learners are brought to the next lesson/topic where it will start playing.”

        Thanks for a great update! 🙂

  13. Very welcome feature.
    Is there a way to move all the video url from the content field to this new field?

  14. It’s so nice to be part of something that grows and grows and grows, and listens and listens and listens. Thank you for continuously developing LearnDash, adding value on our educational efforts! Can’t wait to hear the big news, although video progression support is big news of its own!

    1. Usually that’s handled by the player you use (for example, Vimeo has some nice settings for this). Although you can also modify your .htaccess file to prevent hotlinking.

      1. Please tell me how I need to modify the htacces file to avoid hotlinking.
        That is a good question and I am very interested, my friend!

        Congratulations on the excellent work!

        I met LearnDash on a Brazilian platform (LeadLovers Group Facebook) where coaches are very happy with their software.

        Great success to you!

  15. If a user does not finish watching a video and goes back to it at a later time, will the video resume where they left off? Or does it restart from the beginning?

    1. Not currently. Just YouTube, Vimeo, and any video uploaded to your site. We’ll be adding support for more players over time.

  16. I’d also like to see video support for jwplayer and amazon s3, along with the option of making the play bar visible (to allow backtracking).

    1. We’ll have an option for the play bar, just contact support. Vimeo, YouTube, and videos on your WP site can be used with this feature currently. We’ll be adding additional video program support based on feedback.

    1. Hi Asher, I’m not sure I understand, my apologies. The update isn’t related to H5P. Not sure if that helps.

        1. Thanks for clarifying. The video features only apply to videos in implemented via the LearnDash settings and not external programs like H5P.

  17. Two questions:
    Playbar hidden… is that until complete or always?

    First play hide is OK, but revisit- they should be able to skip to most important part for review if necessary.

    Autoplay next video… is that just next video or the next lesson? Meaning Lesson A and B are both video lessons set to play and autocomplete. A completes… does it jump to Lesson B and play the video or just play video with no attachment to lesson?

    I am coolio with all answers, but wouldn’t want to paint myself in corners prior to understanding the correct functionality.

    1. Scratch my second question- I just saw that you answered it with Asaf.

      Hmmm…. I may be using H5P video anyhow… the xAPI options here would be great. (In absence of xAPI, the LD options are VERY good- but I have some additional reporting needs).

      Great update. You continually astound us.

    2. Thanks David! Play bar currently can be hidden, or not hidden, but won’t switch depending on number of views. If the lesson or topic is already marked complete then play bar will be visible.

  18. S3 support is critical. I have nearly a terabyte of video content for my courses, and storing them on my web server isn’t practical. I’d be switching from VOOPlayer, which I love, to your player – which I’m assuming could actually be used in *ANY* post, via the shortcode, yes?

    1. Appreciate the feedback David. We’ll be expanding the supported video tools based on use-cases and we are noting the S3 interest. If something has to be done sooner (as in ‘tomorrow’) a capable developer can expand this functionality by digging into /includes/course/ld-course-video.php

  19. I’m with David on the s3, my courses are almost entirely video. As such I’ve flirted with all of the other video LMS services but continue to make LD work on my own site with wistia. Would push my videos out differently if I could pull them from S3 into a native video player. Wistia is great, but the economics are shift as we 10x the number of videos in the next 3 months.

  20. Looks like a good feature, Justin. Re timing, I wish it was here a year ago, which is when we started building our Courses in LearnDash. Our content is 100% video. We have well over a 200 videos in our courses. It seems like it would be a lot of work to add this functionality to our implementation. Is that just a glass half-empty view, or am I missing an element of simplicity built into this feature for including it in existing systems based on videos?
    Thanks for the updates

    1. Hi John, thanks for the note and for sticking with us over the past year! There isn’t any migration script currently to take videos that already exist in the content editor and place them into the video field.

      1. Ok thanks for the response, Justin. btw – I’m in agreement with giving viewers control over the play bar.

  21. Another vote for Amazon S3 support and for the ability to display the play bar if desired. Making things optional (like hidden play bar) is always a good thing, in my opinion.

    Also, resume video functionality would be a HUGE user interface breakthrough!

  22. Hi Justin,

    You mentioned, “Oh, and the “play bar” is also hidden on the video player to remove any temptation of skipping to the end of the video.” Do you mean it also disables the other functionalities of the video like pausing the video or skipping backward? I already have a training portal site and I’m currently using Vimeo API to disable skipping forward but allows pausing and skipping backward. I wonder if LearnDash will be able to accommodate that without relying to VIMEO API.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Charles! The video can be paused but there is no play bar so navigating back isn’t possible. Once the lesson/topic is marked as complete the play bar is visible.

  23. Thank you, Justin. This is a great enhancement to LearnDash. I have one request: Is it possible to allow a URL for the video hosted on Amazon AWS? You mentioned that only video URLs from Youtube, Vimeo, and Media folder will work. I host all of our videos on Amazon AWS because it makes streaming so much better. It would be awesome if I could use the lesson video feature for my videos from Amazon AWS.

    1. Hi Elena, thanks for the comment! Not at this time but we are gathering feedback now that this feature has been released so we can add other video platform support going forward. Thanks for providing some input!

  24. Brilliant work Justin.

    We are just getting started but we all feel confident that we are using the right product given your visionary drive. Keep up the great work.

  25. Hi Justin.
    This looks interesting. One question though. Only YouTube Vimeo or the media folder? I have been posting videos that are in my Google Drive account. Would be nice to be able to use these videos – many people don’t realize you can embed videos from Drive but you can and it works well.
    Thanks,
    Mike

    1. Initially, yes. We are gathering feedback from users now so we can start to add support for additional options.

  26. I am excited about this new feature! When play bar is disabled, will that also affect turning captioning on and off? I am using Vimeo. Thanks!

  27. It is great news.

    do you plan to add some help for courses that allready have videos but with the old way?
    I have 70 courses in diffrent sites and to move everything to the new video fitcher is a big work.

  28. I bought a license exactly one year ago – it expired two days ago, 19th of June – and my faculty does not see any reason to renew.. This was a functionality that we absolutely needed, so last year I decided to code it myself on top of LearnDash and it has worked well for a year. Now it just sucks that I can’t try out your version :/

    Nice update… Bad timing though..

  29. Great feature. I inserted the video shortcode into the post, but the Vimeo video expands over the navigation sidebar. I am using the Avada theme. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there a way to set the video size?

  30. Hi Justin,

    Love the fact that you guys are always innovating and creating new stuff. But I have a course with a lot of video content already… and I’m not sure what this feature adds?

    I may have missed it or may be just “not getting it”?

    I have a link to a video URL (embedded from Vimeo) at the top of each lesson…

    Is it that they have to watch the video before they can mark complete to ensure engagement?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Howard, the feature allows for a hands-free experience with videos (if preferred) in that the lesson automatically marks as complete upon completion of the video. If you don’t need that feature, and you don’t want to prevent people from skipping ahead in the actual video then you certainly can continue using the videos as you have them now.

      1. Ahhhh I see… can prevent them skipping ahead… and auto completes… hands free! Thank you… I’m sorry if I was a little slow on the uptake!

        Thanks for clarifying… great stuff

      2. Played around a little with it now… how do I stop them skipping ahead if I use vimeo? Still looks like I can fast forward to end of clip and then it auto completes?

  31. That’s great! Maybe stupid question, but I have not received an email or WP notification to update the plugin. Going through my emails and back to the download page I see no version for the plugin listed, so, not knowing if it’s an updated version of the plugin I’m downloading or not.

  32. This is pretty cool. 2 quick questions:

    1) What video file types are supported?

    2) What security is involved? I had been looking at a solution like s3flowshield to deal with piracy. Does this native solution have a security angle?

    1. Thanks!

      1. YouTube, Vimeo, self-hosted on your WP site (more to be added based on feedback)
      2. Nothing specific for security – that comes from the platform you use to host the video.

  33. Hi, Justin, this feature is great and I hope you expand it to be more useful adding other video sources.

    My vote goes for S3 and Vooplayer 😉

  34. Hey presale question.
    if the instructor can access back end then he can access appearance, users and plugins settings but he should not.
    instructors only should have front end access. Cant you fix it in the next update. that would be a great aesthetical development.

    1. There is no instructor role in LearnDash. If you have the Instructor role add-on, then they have the ability to create their own courses.

  35. When will the next exciting core update make us happy? In weeks or months? Wisdmlabs is also bringing something exciting new soon. I got a mail from them today with that message. Has that anything to do with the coming learndash big core update?

    1. Not in the immediate future, lots of testing to do as we are revamping a lot of the way courses exist in LearnDash which has impacts across a variety of areas.

  36. Hi Justin, this is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I wonder is the auto-complete function works with SCORM as well 😀

    1. Hi Jill-
      Thanks! I don’t believe it does (that would need to come from the TinCanny plugin), but I’m not entirely sure. You may wish to confirm with the UnCannyOwl team.

  37. Thanks for another great update. Security wise, I was wondering if it possible to disable the download link for local media. When I right click the video I can select ‘save video file’, which is not really something I like considering the videos are in a paid course.

  38. Hi Justin,

    would in the near future the functionality of a playlist be added that is shown either below or on the side of the video?
    This feature is awesome but I use many videos in my lessons and a playlist helps to keep the lesson page nice and clean. If you want I could send you some screen shots how it looks on the front end and how we did it in the back end with ACF.

    In any case, great great feature!

    André

    Ps this is a repost, for some reason my last post never showed up

  39. Pleased to see you’ve added Amazon S3. But, do you have the functionality to accepted encrypted S3 files?

    1. Hi Bradley-
      I’m afraid I’m not sure what you mean.. Normally people just host the video on S3 and display it via the site.

  40. Hi Justin,
    Is there a way to allow students to view any topic video in any order they wish and to have that topic video auto complete? Currently, with this new “Enable Video Progression” feature checked, topic videos are now only loading in progression – students cannot watch videos out of order. I have updated on the Lessons page to show videos “before completing sub-tasks” but videos are still not loading with this new feature activated (only the “next” video can be viewed, I want any video ready to view). What am I forgetting to do? Great feature! I’m excited to get it working on our site.

  41. This is a great feature! I noticed, though, that when I use this feature, the video is smaller than the rest of the content. Would love it if I could make the video occupy the full width of the main content (excluding the sidebar).

    P.S. I’m using Beaver Builder — do you think it could have anything to do with this?

  42. Hi,

    I have seen this at digitalmarketer. Can you also use this to sync notes to Video play (e.g. Note X belonging to 3 min 23 seconds).

    Lars

  43. Thank you so much for this amazing plugin!
    I really did not know the importance of reading the blog comments. I’m impressed with the features of your LMS plugin.

  44. Please, I have problems with the “learn more” button! Well,
    I need to put it in Portuguese and I’m not accepting it.
    When I update the translation disappears, and the space is empty!

    Could someone please help me?

    1. Scratch that…I found it…I actually didn’t have the latest version. Ha.

      Second note…is there a way to hide/grey out Lesson/Topic quizzes until the video has been watched? If I wanted to have both, students can take the quiz without watching the video and move on to the next topic.

  45. I’m looking to use Amazon S3 video with FV Player from foliovision, for the great video security settings. Will this work with LearnDash?

  46. I bought LearnDash partly to use this feature. I get that you have shortcode as a way to control where the video posts (essential since there is no way to add context like instructions to the video that just appears). How do I control the “sub tasks” dependencies that determine whether the video will start playing or not?

  47. Thank you for adding this feature! It was added shortly before I decided to start using LearnDash and I am very happy and from what others have posted, I’m not alone. I am using Amazon S3 which you have added since this announcement was posted and I was wondering if it would be possible to hide the timeline without hiding the fullscreen and play/pause buttons. (To be completely honest, I’m not sure if this would be a change on our end or the way Amazon S3 displays videos) Thanks in advance!

    1. Thanks Brad! Specific elements can’t be hidden in the player at this time, but perhaps in a future iteration!

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