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Video Progression

Video progression is a way to require users to watch the entirety of a video before they can mark content as complete. It can be used for both lessons & topics, and works the same way for both. By default, the video will appear above your page content, but you can place it manually on the page using the [ld_video] shortcode.

This guide will walk you through the settings of video progression and explain how it works.

How to Enable It

LearnDash video progression admin settings

  1. Navigate to a lesson or topic edit screen in the admin
  2. Video progression is found on the Settings tab, under Display & Content Options
  3. Toggle the switch to turn it on
  4. Configure your settings (which we’ll discuss below)

Supported Video Providers

The video progression feature supports the following video providers:

  • Vimeo (vimeo.com)
  • YouTube (youtu.be or youtube.com)
  • Wistia (wistia.com)
    NOTE: Requires this additional Wistia plugin.
  • Spotlightr (spotlightr.com)
    NOTE: formerly vooPlayer
  • Presto Player
    NOTE: Requires the Presto Player plugin. You can check their integration instructions here.
  • Amazon S3
  • Local videos (uploaded to the WordPress Media Library)

Video URL

Enter the URL of the video you’d like to use for video progression. The Video URL field accepts the following formats:

    • Video Watch URL
      ex: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcSTaMhZi64
      ex: https://vimeo.com/115119775
      ex: https://yoursite.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/video-name.mp4
    • <iframe> embed code
    • [video] or [embed] shortcode
      See the Shortcodes & Blocks article for more details on using [video]

Display Timing

This setting determines when your video will be shown to the user, and how to handle sub-steps associated with the lesson/topic.

  • Before completed sub-steps (default)
    The video will be shown immediately, and must be fully watched before the user can access any of the lesson/topic’s associated sub-steps (topics and/or quizzes).
  • After completing sub-steps
    The video will initially be hidden. It will become visible after the user has completed the lesson/topic’s associated sub-steps (topics and/or quizzes). The entire video must be watched in order to complete the lesson/topic.

The next 3 options only appear if you’ve chosen “After completing sub-steps.”

Video progression logic (i.e. auto-completion, completion delay and disabling mark complete button) will not be applied if you are logged in as Administrator and the Bypass Course Limits option is active.

Lesson/Topic Auto-completion

Enabling this option will automatically mark the lesson/topic complete once the user has watched the entire video.

Completion Delay

This refers to the delay (in seconds) between when the video is finished and when the lesson/topic is marked complete.

  • Default is no delay (0 seconds)

Mark Complete Button

By default, the “Mark Complete” button will be hidden, but this setting allows you to display it.

  • Simply enable this setting to show the “Mark Complete” button


Enable this setting to have the video automatically start playing on page load.

Due to browser policies to prevent unwanted ads from playing automatically, videos with autoplay or autostart enabled will play with the volume muted. Since this is now the default behavior for most browsers, make sure that the controls are enabled on your video so that your users will be able to unmute them.

If controls are hidden, including the pause/play button, autoplay must be enabled for the users to be able to watch the video. Depending on the video host, the volume controls may still work with keyboard shortcuts (common ones are the “M” key, the “+” or “-” keys, or the up and down arrow keys). Check out this help article from Youtube on their player’s keyboard shortcuts.

On the browser’s end, there may be different ways around it depending on the browsers that your users are using. Here are a couple of resources that you can check for Firefox and Safari. Although there are no known solutions to go around this for Chrome users, here’s the official documentation for the policy change from Google, in case you want to read more about it.

It is still possible for the user’s default browser settings to override this feature and prevent autoplay completely, whether muted or not.

Video Controls Display

By default, video controls are hidden from the user if the autostart option is enabled. Video controls include play, pause, volume, closed captions, and other settings found at the bottom of a video.

Enabling “Video Controls Display” will show all of these controls to the user, and allow them to have more control over the video.

YouTube video controls example

This feature is only available for YouTube & local videos.

Other Video Options

Because LearnDash is built on WordPress, there are other ways to display videos to your users. You don’t have to use video progression in order to use videos for your course. You won’t have all the same options as the video progression feature provides, but you can use any method you’d like, including:

  • embed any type of video anywhere within your lesson or topic page content
  • use third-party WordPress plugins for displaying video and/or playlists. One great example of such plugin is Presto Player. You can check on their documentation specific to LearnDash here
  • use H5P, Adobe Captivate or any other platform to create/embed video content

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