March 21st, 2017 LearnDash Tips

LearnDash Updates latestToday 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!

Flexible Prerequisites

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…

Course Points

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!)

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter


70 responses

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I’m… blown… away! I just upgraded and tested some of the new features and they are absolutely incredible! This will absolutely change the way I manage prerequisites for my upper level courses!

How do you keep on innovating? LearnDash was the best LMS out there when I got it a couple of years ago and somehow you keep making it better and better!

Avatar Dr. Johnathan Ross, Esquire

Happy you like the update Johnathan!

Very exciting changes, Justin! These changes will be a big help on many of our sites.

Thanks Ryan, glad to hear that it will be useful!

Awesome news! Thanks for all of the hard work you and your team continue to do.

Not only does LD get better and better but LD provides the customer support that helps us to utilize the tools you keep advancing. I have tried several other solutions but it wasn’t until I found LD that my professional life turned around. I am meeting with an Angel Investor this week because of what I have been able to do with LD! The key to the success one has with LD is not just the software – it is you, Kloe, Amber (a lot), Ivory, etc. who have always handled my newbie requests for assistance with patience and positivism. One of these days I’m driving from FL to MI with some roses and dark chocolates! Am I safe to assume all of this will integrate well with BuddyPress? There won’t be any confusion between LD groups and BP groups? More fantastic developments to help get us to the point of outstanding compliance training providers. Thank you!

Avatar Mike Pozesny

Wow! That’s great news Mike 🙂 … best of luck with the Angel Investor meeting – we’ll be pulling for you!

Christmas has come early. AMAZING updates. There are things here I didn’t even know I wanted.

Thanks LD team!

Apprciate the work in keeping LearnDash moving – thank you. Any news on when the ability to re-use lessons (and topics) across multiple courses will become available. Without this, maintenance in the back end is a huge job – this really has to be high on the priority list as it is so fundamental – the ability to maintain content effectively would make this a truly leading tool.

This one is definitely in progress Terry. No ETA as of yet but it’ll happen.

That would really make my life so much better to be able to re-use lessons in different courses. Wow what a change that would be over duplicating and duplicating.

Avatar Alan

Many Thanks Justin – i know we all ask for many things – just think that will be a game changer for Learndash. 🙂

No worries at all Terry, it’s nice to hear practical feedback as it helps to make the product better.

This would also be my #1 request…. Love Learndash but more flexibility with topic/lesson reuse would be EXTREMELY helpful. It is a great product!!!

Avatar Krista Neher

Cool, just waiting for the prompt to update and will definitely give review. Sounds exciting

The course points system opens up so many possibilities!

Thanks Justin 🙂

Hi Justin: Where can one access the LearnDash Specific Category and Tag Taxonomies? Thank you for your assistance in providing this information.

Avatar Erik

‘Course Options’ tab under LEARNDASH LMS > COURSES.

Hi Justin: Bizarrely, after updating from 2.3 to 2.4, I can no longer see those tabs. The update seems to remove, under my configuration, my ability to access those tags and categories tabs under the “course options” tab under Learndash LMS > Courses. Any thoughts on why this might be happening?

Avatar Erik

Also, my “settings” button for the Learndash LMS tab has been removed after this update. Again, any thoughts on what may have caused this would be greatly appreciated. The only update I made was the Learndash LMS. Is there a place where I can download version 2.3?

Avatar Erik

Hi Erik, happy to have a look – just open a ticket and we can help out.

Besides the very first release of LearnDash, by far this must be one of the most exciting releases. Kudos to the LearnDash Team!!

Well done again guys, great release and even better support. Keep up the good work.

Avatar Stephen Burke

Is there documentation built for the new LearnDash category and tag taxonomies and the new groups features? I have LearnDash but have not implemented it quite yet (we being next month but are at a roadblock with migrating students and their progress from sensei). I am trying to understand how I will use the features and why.
Also, does the groups function require BuddyPress? I have not been happy with BuddyPress or bbpress and am going with a different system for these that resides outside of WordPress and utilizes a SSO.

I was already excited to start using LearnDash and with these new features (that I do understand) I am even more excited. Thank you guys!

Avatar Josiah

Hi Josiah! You can read this article for more information and contact us if you have additional questions.

Glad to hear that you like the new features!

Where can I download the upgrade? I’m not seeing an update on my WordPress plugins page.

Hi Jeff! This article outlines the update options.

The update just appeared. Thanks Justin!

Hello. When can we expect better functionality for essay exporting? Currently we’re exporting CSV files, bringing them into Microsoft access (we’re a Macintosh Office) and messing around for ages to get answers which are not formatted the best way. Reporting on essays we presumed would be handled in an easy way, we really struggle with your software now.

Thanks for the comment. We will be shifting attention to quizzing capabilities again in the near future.

Would love to see richer quiz export data for group leaders. What questions students got correct or incorrect, not just overall pass rate.

Avatar Carl

This update changes everything! Now I can offer learning menus without piles of back end work!

Avatar Michael

On the “Behind the Scenes Improvements” section you stated

– Support for alternate template directory (great for creating custom LearnDash templates)
– Various classes and IDs added to course, lesson, and topic templates

Is there documentation explaining this further somewhere. Like how to make use of this or a list of the actual changed/added classes/ids/etc

The changelog doesn’t expand on this much other than saying the location of the template directory in wp-content

Hi Matthew! We are working on documentation updates as I write this, but for reference, the path is just an alternate path to upload templates (another option). If you have specific questions then please do open a ticket and we can get you some more detail.

Sorry, I meant to also say.. THIS UPDATE IS AWESOME!

You are making it really hard not to switch to LearnDash.
Good job , and , Good Luck.

Avatar AbdullahAli

Great start towards embracing adaptive individualised learning with flexible prerequisites and course points. Next step: chained quiz options where the next question delivered depends on whether your answer is correct or incorrect???

Avatar Bron

Love the trend towards pts system. I use myCRED. Is this release geared towards myCRED functionality in terms of allowing users to buy courses with site credit?! That would be amazing.

Thanks Robert! To answer your question, it is not connected to myCRED. Now that we have the feature released we’ll be monitoring the requests/feedback related to it so that we can continue improving it in meaningful ways.

LearnDash integration with myCRED is available now. You can purchase the integration addon from the below link.

It does not provide the exact same functionality but this is something which could be added in the upcoming versions based on the user feedback.

Hi Justin,
any idea if LD will also provide support for Active campaign in a way it supports Infusionsoft now in the near future?
Thanks for the update!
Regards, Clemens

Avatar Clemens Mazza

Check out ActiveMember360, they have a tight integration with LearnDash that is similar to the Infusionsoft integrations.

This update accomplishes quite a bit! Very exciting. Is there an estimated timeframe for when the database issue will be resolved, as far as the “steps completed” vs. “total steps” not being accurate as soon as new modules and topics are added after a user is already enrolled?


Avatar Justin

Thanks Justin! Regarding the DB item you mentioned, that’s fixed in this version. 🙂

Some interesting things in here… but I was hoping to see repurposable modules… ie a unit/module that can be called upon in multiple courses… It’s a thing called modularised learning and all the info is there… just no way to call it and unnecessary duplication…

Avatar Lance Scaife-Elliott

On the roadmap! As mentioned above, we don’t have an ETA but it will happen.

Great update and like the others, I greatly appreciate your team’s efforts. However, I would put my hand up as well for reusable content. A good one to prioritise for the next big update.

But congratulations for what you have done this time around. Delighted to see such support.

Avatar John Flynn

Awesome Job on this update. Continue to add more “points” feature like allowing a person to “buy” a new course with their points or put points towards other courses as a discount on the course or even buy a discount “coupon” or other gift I can add. And include built in Badges so we don’t have to use 3rd party features as oftentimes is can cause conflicts. Keep up the great work Justin! Well done.

Appreciate the kind words Ed, thank you!

I’d like to add to this. We had some major problems using BadgeOS with our Theme and the developer for BadgeOS is no where to be found. There hasn’t been an update in a LONG time.

We ended up using a different website and theme for our member site than our main site and this “fixed” the issue but the fact that BadgeOS is no longer in development and the creator is MIA means that the faster LearnDash can add some of this functionality the better.

It’s kind of crazy that Credly would let this thing slip without making their own version or taking over for him considering how many websites use this plugin and the addons

Really great updates! The idea of gamifying the course with points is fantastic!

Great update! Do you know how to tell when LearnDash will not work well with a theme? I’m trying to add it to a site which uses the Manual theme from Themeforest ( ) and I’m not having much luck.

Avatar Jon

Thanks Jon! LD works with most themes. Should just adopt the single.php template of that theme (single blog post layout).

Does the new feature “Add Users to Groups upon Course Enrollment” work with the MemberPress integration and the MemberPress Corporate Account Add-on?

Avatar Morten

Yes, users will be added to a group, even if enrollment is handled through an add-on (i.e. WooCommerce, MemberPress, etc.)

We just purchased less than a month ago, so still developing our site. Anxious for launch, but nice to see new features rolling out before we can get our hands around all the other valuable stuff

(Sorry for cross-posting) – Hi Justin where in the code do I remove the “Open” course price-type. The problem is that it auto-enrolls users and this compromises user privacy as every instructor will now have access to emails to every user and that could lead to spamming of users. Our instructors are outsourced.

The price type can’t be removed, but you can change it to another one (such as free).

Hi Justin and collegues,

Great work! I’m using LearnDash since last November and I’m ever so pleased with it and with all your efforts!

I have three questions/remarks about the release:
– Where about have menu’s and tabs been changed? (“Updated LearnDash menu and tab logic”)
I have seen new tabs for new functions: have there also been tabs moved or renamed or…?
– since the update on the admin end, the column of my lesson titles is very small (you’ve made some room for the new, extra columns). It’s hard to read the titles, because there’s room for max. 6 charactars (Firefox, zoom factor 100%)
– last: when I fill out the renewed: ‘make lesson available date’ and I press Publish, the date won’t show anymore. So I can’t check which date/time I filled in. Maybe it’s still there in the dbase, but it’s not showing anymore.

Above is not in any way influencing my satisfaction with LearnDash. 🙂
Thanks again for the great work!

Avatar Rixter

Thanks Rixter! To answer your questions:

1. It’s subtle, but from a visual standpoint the ‘save’ logic is now to the right of the options. This is in line with WordPress standards. Also The way the tabs are rendered is easier without the need to call the tab on each page load.

2. Go to ‘screen options’ at the top right of your screen and remove the extra columns likely put in there by other plugins

3. Please open a ticket so we can have a closer look.

For every new student enrolling, based on an email notification, I need to manually put that student into the correct group based on his/her email address.

Is there in this new version a way to get around that manual procedure?

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