Today is an exciting day for a couple of reasons.
First, it is the beginning of Q4 of 2015. This has notoriously been an exciting time for LearnDash customers as many of our projects are coming to completion and soon into your hands.
More information on this is included at the end of this post.
Secondly (and perhaps more relevant to you right now), today marks an important baseline release of LearnDash version 2.1.
A lot is happening with this version, particularly “behind the scenes”, but it also includes some fun and useful updates that you can use immediately to create better online course experiences.
It also sets the stage for a follow-up release that isn’t too far behind.
Let’s look at what you can expect in this latest version…
Certificate Enhancements – Phase I
We are happy to report that you can now assign certificates to COURSES without the need of a quiz. Simply assign the certificate from the EDIT COURSE page:
To demonstrate what this looks like, we added a course certificate to the demo site. After completing the free course, we were immediately taken back to the course page to now print our certificate.
There are also new shortcodes available so that you can include additional course information on your certificates.
Specifically, you’ll notice a new option for the certificate shortcodes listed under LEARNDASH LMS > CERTIFICATES > CERTIFICATE SHORTCODES:
This allows you to pull certain course information and place it onto a certificate, including:
- course title
- completed on (date)
- cumulative score
- cumulative points
- cumulative total points
- cumulative percentage
- cumulative timespent
- aggregate percentage
- aggregate score
- aggregate points
- aggregate total points
- aggregate timespent
Cumulative is average for all quizzes of the course.
Aggregate is sum for all quizzes of the course.
For example, you can use the following shortcode to display average points scored across all quizzes of a particular course:
This is a great way to give your learners a final course summary after they successfully complete all tasks.
Course Completion Messages
Included in this new version is the ability to present your learners with a custom message on the course page the moment that they successfully complete the content.
This is a great way to cross promote other courses, provide learners with a special prize or gift, or any other incentive.
When you’re on the course page, place messages for people who complete the course between the following shortcodes:
For example, you can use this shortcode with the Course Grid add-on to present multiple course recommendations instantly. Or offer special discounts to other courses, or perhaps upsells to one-on-one coaching.
We went ahead and implemented this on the LearnDash demo site.
Notice how after we successfully complete the free course, we have the option to print our certificate and there is also a message recommending the paid course (put there using the free Course Grid add-on).
Again, insert any content you like here. You can have a “thank you” video, sign-up form, or course offering – pretty much whatever you would want your learners to see immediately after finishing a course!
Complete Code Update
Have you ever heard of the expression, “can’t see the forest for the trees”?
It’s used when you are too close to a situation and you need to step back and get a little perspective.
When it came to the LearnDash code-base, we knew that it needed to be improved, but felt that we were too close to it.
Because of this we decided to get out of our own way and partnered with the WordPress gurus at WPValet for this massive undertaking.
The result of this partnership is an updated code-base that is more consistent with WordPress conventions, restructuring of files & folders, consistent spacing, as well as DocBlock documentation for developers throughout it all.
If you don’t ever look at the LearnDash code, then you will not notice anything different. If you are a developer, you’ll really like this – go ahead and have a look using your favorite editor 🙂 .
Despite these improvements, code refinement is not a “one-and-done” procedure. We will be continuing our partnership with WPValet as we make additional code enhancements.
Big Plans for Q4
So far this year we’ve seen the growth of LearnDash across the industry in a variety of ways.
Many WordPress theme developers see LearnDash is driving industry innovation and as such are creating themes that are tightly integrated. Similarly, we are seeing more add-ons appear which offer you additional functionality for your LMS.
You can expect this trend to increase in frequency especially given our recent code update.
But the fun isn’t over!
As I had mentioned earlier in this post, Q4 of 2015 is poised to be quite busy – which means some exciting things are coming your way.
New (highly requested) core features are already going through testing, multiple add-ons are in the works, and enhancements to existing features are taking place.
We are so very grateful for your continued involvement in LearnDash.
Your suggestions and feedback have established LearnDash as a “go-to” solution not only among WordPress learning management systems, but also within the entire LMS industry.
Thank you all so much, and until next time!