The Uncanny Owl Blog

Drip LearnDash Lessons by Group

We were very excited to see lesson dripping by calendar date in the most recent LearnDash update. It’s an easy way to unlock course materials for all learners on a specific date.

But what about time-bound courses delivered to multiple groups? It’s common in school and other facilitated programs to have a set of students start on one day, have course materials released every week, and then have other groups start the program later. For anyone wanting to use LearnDash in this scenario, the Drip Lessons by Date functionality won’t work, because selecting a date means that date applies to everyone.

Edit_Lesson_‹_LearnDash_Demo_LMS_—_WordPress

That approach won’t work for some of our clients, so we put our own spin on the LearnDash drip feature. What we did was add a field for a LearnDash group selection above the calendar date field for dripping content. The drop-down list retrieves a list of all LearnDash Groups and current drip dates (if any exist). Once a group is selected, the admin can identify a unique drip date for that group and save it.

Here’s a video that goes into a bit more detail about our approach and how it works.

Right now we’ve decided against making the plugin available to the public. It’s not well documented yet and we can’t provide support, so it’s of limited value. If it is something that interests you, however, leave a comment and we’ll follow up if we share it.

Breadcrumb Navigation for LearnDash

Topic_A___LearnDash_DevOut of the box, navigating complex courses in LearnDash can get confusing. With potentially dozens of topics, lessons and courses, it’s easy to get lost. Sidebar navigation helps, but it’s mainly for navigating within the same level rather than getting back to higher levels. What’s missing for some courses is context and being able to go up levels easily.

We ran into this challenge with a recent LearnDash project. What it needed were breadcrumb links, but without customization, theme breadcrumb generation is broken for LearnDash. The problem is WordPress usually thinks that the parent of every course, lesson and topic is “Home”. For most applications, this makes breadcrumbs almost useless.

To address this shortcoming, we created a plugin that makes it easy to navigate up levels by using breadcrumb links. Just as you would expect, every topic rolls up to a hyperlinked lesson, which rolls up to a hyperlinked course, which rolls up to a course dashboard. And at the top level is, of course, the homepage.

We know breadcrumb navigation for LearnDash would be useful to a lot of learning projects, so we’re making the plugin we created available below. There’s no cost to use it, but there’s also no support!

If you happen to use the Total theme, you’re in luck! The plugin below replaces the built-in theme breadcrumb code with custom breadcrumbs that work with LearnDash. Don’t worry, they’ll work with your other pages, posts and other content too!

For anyone not using Total, a generic plugin is available. For that version, just insert a [sfwd-breadcrumbs] shortcode wherever you want your breadcrumbs to appear. You can also hook it into your theme header, but we’ll leave it to you to figure out how to do that. The plugin should at least save you a few hours of work getting custom header breadcrumb links set up.

We hope you enjoy the plugins!

Download the LearnDash Breadcrumb plugin for the Total theme

Download the generic LearnDash Breadcrumb plugin

WordPress Developer Needed

uncanny-eyeRight now we’re really busy at Uncanny Owl, so we’re building out the team to improve our capacity and capability. That means we have an immediate need for a part-time WordPress developer, ideally in the Toronto area.

We need someone who’s done a lot of work with WordPress customizations. Great PHP and CSS skills are critical, but we need someone who’s comfortable interacting with clients and who can work independently too. If you or someone you know wants to work with us, check out all of the details at http://www.uncannyowl.com/contract-wordpress-developer/.