Continuing Education Credits 3.0

As part of our series of 3.0 releases for our LearnDash plugins, today marks the release of the 3.0 update for Uncanny Continuing Education Credits. While Pro, Tin Canny and Groups tend to get all the attention, the Continuing Education Credits plugin is one that has been invaluable for some of our own projects, especially for the permanent record it creates of LearnDash course completions. With the latest changes, we’re confident it will be an even bigger asset to sites offering continuing education credits and compliance training.

Here’s some of what’s changing in the 3.0 release:

  1. New Report Designs: We’ve completely redesigned both admin and front end reports so that everything is modern, responsive, and more intuitive.
  2. New Report Filters: Filter admin reports by date range, user or group. It’s even easier to get to the specific data you need.
  3. Gutenberg Block Support: We’re adding eight new Gutenberg blocks for shortcodes and reports to make it easier to incorporate credit reporting into the front end of your LearnDash site.
  4. Uncanny 3.0 Plugin Architecture: Now it’s even easier to get support right from your WordPress site and the control panel is aligned with our other plugins.

Uncanny Continuing Education Credits 3.0

The 3.0 release also includes a number of fixes and support for the new CEU column available in the Learner Transcript in the 3.0.1 Pro release. All things considered, it’s a big update to the CEU plugin and brings important efficiency and aesthetic improvements.

If you’ve considered Uncanny Continuing Education Credits in the past but weren’t sure how it might add value to your site, make sure to check out our recent post on building compliance and recurring training programs that leverage some of the key features in this plugin.

Annual Compliance Programs with WordPress

It seems like a simple scenario: Staff need to complete the same courses every year and those completions need to be tracked. Yet, if you deliver your elearning programs with WordPress, you probably know how difficult this is to achieve. Here’s where things with a WordPress-based LMS start to break down:

  1. WordPress LMS plugins don’t track historical completions. Once a learner completes the course once, that’s it. They can’t trigger a second completion.
  2. If you reset course progress, it resets everything. That’s probably why plugins make it difficult or impossible to reset progress.

With the help of some addon plugins, however, it is absolutely possible to use WordPress as a platform to deliver annual compliance training. This article outlines how you can do it with the popular LearnDash LMS plugin for WordPress.

Create a Permanent Record of Course Completions

This is really the most important step. If you can’t track historical completions, you can’t offer annual compliance programs. Fortunately, one of our commercial LearnDash plugins makes this easy.

The Uncanny Continuing Education Credits plugin automatically creates a permanent record of completions as users finish courses. Don’t let the name fool you; the plugin does far more than award credits for completing courses. And, for our scenario here, we don’t even need to consider the credit or certificate features included with the plugin. We just need to use it for the permanent record, so ignore the CEU and Total columns.

Historical Course Completions

The records in the table above are not pulling data from LearnDash, but rather the permanent course archive that the plugin captures automatically. As soon as the plugin is installed it records all new completions to the permanent record, so you never need to worry about progress resets or LearnDash changes affecting historical records.

Reset Course Progress

Now that you’re storing a permanent record of course completions, you need a way to reset user progress in courses so that they can retake them. After all, you don’t want to have to clone out a course each year and re-enroll students in the new one just so they can complete it again.

One very simple option here is to use the Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit Pro plugin, with its Reset Button module, to allow users to reset their own progress and take the course again. Once it’s turned on, just drop the [uo_reset_course_progress] shortcode onto any course page where users need to reset progress. The button that it adds will allow users to retake the course and wipe out their previous progress (which is why it’s so important to have the historical record in place).

Another option here is our Uncanny Automator plugin. With it, you can create “triggers” that reset progress for a course. An easy Automator recipe here would be to set up a recipe that resets a user progress in a course as soon as they complete it. This is what the recipe might look like:

Reset Course Progress on Completion

If you’re a developer, you can even build your own workflows for resetting progress that better match your context. The Reset Button module mentioned above as part of Pro includes some tools that make it possible to incorporate our reset functions into your own code. More information is available in the Knowledge Base article.

Other Options for Compliance Tracking

The solutions above require the use of 2 to 3 paid plugins, but there are possible workarounds that can be used with a bit more work. If you use a CRM and a tool like WP Fusion, you could potentially use Tags to track completion records instead of our Continuing Education Unit plugin. On an annual basis, what you could do is change completion tags in your courses so that it identified the course and year. In other words, maybe on completion of a course called “Physics” you set a tag of “Completed Physics – 2019”. You could then filter on the CRM side to show only users with that tag to see who was assigned that tag. You will still of course need some way to reset course progress, and for that options are more limited.

By adding plugins to your LearnDash site like the ones mentioned above, it is very possible to offer annual compliance programs on your site that keep historical records and do allow users to retake the courses every year.

If you have your own solution for offering annual compliance training that’s different than what’s outlined above, let us know your solution in the comments!

The Biggest Toolkit Pro Update Yet

Following up on our recent Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit 3.0 release, the 3.0 Toolkit Pro release is now also available! It’s a huge release that includes 2 brand new modules, several redesigns, new Gutenberg blocks and a whole lot more. Between the free Toolkit and the Pro modules addon, we now offer a whopping 37 powerful modules to improve your LearnDash sites.

New Modules

The Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit Pro 3.0 release includes 2 new modules: Autocomplete Lessons & Topics When Quiz Is Graded and Group Login Redirect. We know, the names are long, but at least they describe and do what you expect!

The new Autocomplete module fills a gap for quizzes that are graded manually. With this new module turned on, lessons and topics associated with a manually graded quiz are completed automatically for the user when the instructor grades the quiz. It’s simple, but it makes things easier for students.

The Group Login Redirect adds a new section to LearnDash Group Edit pages that, when populated, redirects members of that group to any page you choose on login. Maybe you want to take members of a group with only one course straight into that course, or maybe you want to take group members to a branded dashboard page just for that school or company. It’s a great option if you offer training to organizations. You can even set a redirect priority, so that if a user is in multiple groups, you can make sure you they land on the right page when they sign in.

While it’s not a new module, our Learner Transcript module got a big overhaul, so it’s almost like new! It has a completely new, mobile-friendly design, better printing support, branded header and footer options, and you can sort data and include or exclude columns. This one is really exciting for us and we’re sure your students will love this improved way to see their progress across courses.

That’s Just the Start…

The LearnDash Toolkit Pro 3.0 release includes dozens of enhancements and fixes. Here are a few highlights

  • Gutenberg block support for many of the modules with shortcodes
  • Submit a ticket right from your WordPress site, including optional site information to help us troubleshoot your issue
  • Filter courses by Category or Course Category when using our Course Dashboard shortcode
  • A new license activation page to make it easier to track licensing status
  • New debug options for the Simple Course Timer
  • No more requirement to pass a course ID to the reset button shortcode when it’s on a course page
  • Support for quiz and quiz question duplication in LearnDash 2.6

Read the full list of changes here:

Stay tuned for more 3.0 releases of our plugins over the next few weeks!

Announcing the Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit Version 3.0!

We just released version 3 of our super-popular Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit plugin and it has some really fantastic improvements!

Our Front End Login module, which is the first thing learners see on many LearnDash sites, has been completely overhauled with new features and an updated design:

We've added support for the popular reCAPTCHA anti-bot service. Many more strings are now easily customizable through the module settings. The original design is selected by default, for backward compatibility with existing sites, so to use the new design you'll need to choose the new template from the module settings. If you are a developer and had overridden the previous template file, you'll need to update your template file with the new version as it includes many internal changes.

Toolkit version 3 brings a completely overhauled Modules page with a more modern, streamlined design and improved mobile support:

We've also added a help page with links to relevant knowledge base articles right inside the plugin.

And what would a new release be without improved support for the Gutenberg WordPress editor? Modules with front-end components (Breadcrumbs, Resume button and Front End Login) get new Gutenberg blocks to make it easier to add these elements to your Gutenberg pages.

Lastly, we've included a number of bug fixes and minor enhancements to other modules. Check the changelog for the full list.

We put a lot of effort into version 3 of the Toolkit and we hope you enjoy it!

Existing User of the LearnDash Toolkit?

Before you jump in and update your Toolkit plugins on a live site, we highly recommend giving them a try in a Staging environment first. Some of the changes are quite significant, especially the Front End Login module, and testing that everything still works as expected is important.

Here's a quick video that we recommend existing users watch before applying the update to your sites: