Today we are happy to let you know that LearnDash Version 2.4 is officially available!
This update is a big one.
Not only have we implemented some features that you all have asked for, but we also worked on some “behind the scenes” coding items that developers and designers will find quite helpful when customizing LearnDash.
In addition, there are two new features designed to keep your LearnDash powered courses at the cutting-edge of online learning.
Before jumping into the update, I want to extend a personal “thank you” on behalf of all of us at LearnDash.
We know you have many learning management options to choose from and we are humbled that you have decided to partner with us. We always appreciate your feedback as it has helped to shape LearnDash into the product that it is today.
So without further ado, let’s get to some of the new features you can expect in this version!
Flexible Prerequisites Option & Course Points for Creating Dynamic Learning Paths
This one we are most excited about as it is at the forefront of the e-learning industry as a whole.
Online learning is at its best when you can deliver your content in a way that is flexible, yet structured. When you give learners freedom of choice over their learning experience, they have a vested personal interest in the course content which results in higher completion rates.
It also beats simply being “told” what you have to take and in what order!
Version 2.4 now allows you to select any number of prerequisite courses when you create a course.
Once you enable your prerequisites, select one or more courses (hold CTRL to select more than one).
Then, you can choose whether ALL the courses need to be taken, or ANY of the courses.
Are you starting to see the potential here? Well, let’s take it one step further with…
The flexible prerequisites feature is pretty great on its own, but the Course Points functionality takes it to an entire new level.
You can now assign the number of points a learner will earn after they finish the course. As your student complete more courses they accumulate more points.
But here’s where it gets interesting.
When you create a course, you can also set the minimum number of points a student must have in order to even take the course!
So in the example image above, when a student completes this course they will earn 10 points, but in order to take this course they must first have accumulated at least 25 points.
This functionality alone makes it possible for you to “open up” the learning experience and allow students to choose their path. However, you can still guide them along in a general direction by using the flexible prerequisite feature that was first mentioned. It’s the best of both worlds!
These two features were implemented because we see this as a major growing trend in the e-learning industry, and we wanted to get them to you as quick as possible so your learning programs can take advantage of them now.
If you are selling courses, this single differentiation feature (i.e. the freedom of choosing dynamic learning paths) will put you ahead of your competition.
Add Users to Groups upon Course Enrollment
The title above says it all. 🙂
So many of you have requested this and we are excited to let you know that in version 2.4 you can now choose to automatically add users into one (or multiple) LearnDash Groups when they enroll into a course.
When you are creating your Group you will see this simple setting:
If you select this then anyone who enrolls into an associated Group course is automatically added to the Group.
This is a great way to further manage and segment your learners. Remember, Group Leaders can communicate with anyone in their Group, manage assignment submissions, and view progress & performance.
TinyMCE Button for LearnDash Shortcodes
Over the years we have steadily been adding useful shortcodes for you to use in your courses.
We have the “student” shortcode for showing custom messages to enrolled users, “visitor” shortcode for custom messages to users not yet enrolled, “course complete”, “course listing”, “profile”, “course progress”, “expiration date”… the list goes on and on.
While these shortcodes give you the ability to create really dynamic courses and learning programs, it can be easy to forget about them.
But not anymore!
You will now notice a LearnDash button on the editor of any post or page in WordPress (that’s right, not just LearnDash content). When selected, you will be presented with the following easy-to-use wizard:
After you select your desired options for the shortcode you choose, just click the “Insert Shortcode” button and it will be added to the editor with perfect formatting. No more worrying about missing quotation marks! 😉
We know that you will really enjoy how easy this new tool is to use and how much quicker it will allow you to add new shortcode driven elements on your site!
LearnDash Specific Category and Tag Taxonomies
This enhancement has been in progress for quite some time and in version 2.4 it is now available. No longer are LearnDash category and tag taxonomies tied to your global WordPress taxonomies.
But in case you are wondering: yes, you can continue using your current taxonomies as LearnDash still supports the previous method.
Behind The Scenes Improvements
In addition to the features outlined above this update includes modifications to the core structure of LearnDash. For those of you who are developers or designers, you will appreciate these improvements. Some highlights include:
- Improved LearnDash menu and tab logic (making it easier to create new option pages)
- Support for alternate template directory (great for creating custom LearnDash templates)
- Various classes and IDs added to course, lesson, and topic templates
- CSS improvements (allowing for easier overrides)
For a complete list of the changes please see the changelog.
The Goal of This Release
The goal with this release was two-fold: first, we wanted to get you some highly requested functionality (such as the Group enrollment at time of Course enrollment feature).
The second purpose was to position your courses at the forefront of rising e-learning industry trends. By enabling you to create contemporary programs your learners benefit, and you benefit as well since your courses are better positioned to stand-out from the others.
All of these great features are available today. If you don’t see this from your admin dashboard, please reference this support article for some guidance on updating.
We look forward to delivering similar innovation in 2017 – some of which is already well into development.
Thank you for choosing LearnDash.
Until next time!
(Don’t have LearnDash? Join the community!)