xAPI Quiz Reporting: Beta

Today’s release of Tin Canny LearnDash Reporting added some extremely significant new features for anyone working with xAPI modules inside LearnDash. Because they are big changes and have not yet been tested extensively on live sites, for now we’re considering them “beta” additions and we recommend caution when trying them out.

Track xAPI Quiz Scores

The biggest change is that we now support collecting quiz data from xAPI records. For our current Tin Canny users, you know that in previous releases we collected scores and verbs from xAPI and SCORM records only. There were several reasons for this, but an important one was that earlier Tin Canny releases were not as efficient with very large sets of data and in early development we decided to capture and report on the most important data only so that we kept database records down and performance up. We estimate that around 10% of Tin Canny users requested that we add quiz data as well though, so now, in beta form, we’re making that option available.

Here’s what we came up with as a starting point:

This is going to be hugely beneficial to sites that offer quiz questions inside uploaded modules, because it now makes it possible to see specific questions in a quiz, the user’s answer, the choices available, the correct answer, and whether or not the user was right. Want to know who answered a specific question incorrectly? Now you can do that. Maybe you want to know how many users answered “C” for a specific multiple choice question? That’s also possible now. It’s a very big improvement, especially used in combination with the filters for LearnDash course, module, question, result and date.

And yes, we know that some of the columns are far too narrow for some quiz questions on sites. That’s why we made it possible to add and remove columns from the table using the Screen Options function at the top of the page. This one is really powerful and we haven’t seen anything like it from other xAPI tools.

Sorry SCORM users, the beta report for quiz data supports xAPI only, but we’re looking at SCORM support for an upcoming release.

Replace Content (beta), Site Check and More

Besides the lack of quiz data, the inability to easily swap out uploaded modules was a relatively common request from Tin Canny users. In previous versions, replacing a module meant deleting the old module, then uploading a new one and fixing all of the shortcodes if the module was embedded in multiple places.  Now on the Manage Content page there’s a “Replace” link available for each module, which takes the new upload file, adds it, and replaces it in lessons and topics that used the old module automatically. If also deletes the old module and all related files. This feature should make a lot of users very happy.  Please note that this feature is in beta, and requires the deletion of at least some of the stored progress data for users, so be sure to check the knowledge base article before using it on your site.

Next up, Site Check. We were getting too many of the same support requests over and over related to common environmental issues. Mark Complete button not updating? Something is probably blocking the endpoint, like a .htaccess password or security plugin. Content not showing up? Possibly an http vs. https mismatch. Nothing working? Maybe the permalinks are invalid. For some of these common issues, Tin Canny now offers a Site Check tool to rule out the most common problems, and if any are found, it suggests why they might be happening and how to fix them.

Tin Canny Site Check

The 3.2 release also adds far more filters for developers, total course and learner stats to front end reports, and it takes care of a few additional translation issues (notably if you try to rebrand “Tin Canny”).

Most importantly: This update fixes an issue related to LearnDash 3.0 theme changes. If you use LearnDash 3.0 and controls over the Mark Complete button, you must use Tin Canny 3.2 or higher or the Mark Complete restrictions won’t work. LearnDash changed how the Mark Complete button is identified and the only solution is to update to the latest version.

That’s it for now. We hope you like the changes!

Pro Updates: Faster Learndash and a New Dashboard

Every time we make a blog post about one of our plugin updates it’s because it’s a huge update with new features, and for today’s Uncanny Learndash Toolkit Pro 3.2 update that’s especially true. This one has been in development for quite some time, and the new features are going to make a huge difference to LearnDash sites, especially ones with a lot of content.

Faster LearnDash Lesson & Topic Performance

We’re most excited about adding a new Lazy Loading Course Navigation tool. We get inquiries all the time about how to improve LearnDash site performance at the enterprise level. This includes sites with potentially hundreds of courses and thousands of LearnDash lessons and topics. On those sites, things can really get slowed down just because of the volume of content; queries get really heavy just to check course content relationships and progress within courses. On larger sites, we’ve seen these queries add seconds (yes, plural) to every page load that students make inside a course. You can’t really take away navigation aids from inside courses—but you can now load them after the rest of the page loads.

That’s what our new [uo-course-navigation] shortcode does. Use it in place of the normal LearnDash Course Navigation widget and all of the extra LearnDash queries will run AFTER the rest of the page has loaded. On a big site we tested on, this approach made lessons and topics load about 25% faster for students. (It adds a brief loading animation to the navigation tool and users don’t see the course hierarchy right away, but on large sites the tradeoff is absolutely worth it.)

New Dashboard Design

New LearnDash Dashboard Design

Our LearnDash Course Dashboard shortcode was due for a redesign, especially after seeing some of what’s coming in LearnDash 3.0. So that’s exactly what we did, and in a big way. While not shown in the screenshot above, it’s now really easy for users to know how to start a course, resume a course and retrieve certificates. The colour palette is very customizable, and the new dashboard is amazingly responsive. We’ll get a demo up on our plugin demo site at https://learndash.uncannyowl.com/ soon, but we can assure you that it collapses very well and looks great on mobile devices.

For users of the current dashboard, don’t worry, there’s a toggle to continue using the Legacy design. Everyone else will almost certainly want to try out the “3.0” design though.

LearnDash Certificate PreviewCertificate Preview

If you’ve created many certificates with LearnDash you know how awkward and time-consuming it can be to set up certificates exactly as you want them. It typically involves setting up a test course, test lesson and/or quiz, then triggering completion and continuing reloading PDF files to try to get things right. You have one window open in the front end, the other in the back end, and you go back and forth to get things right.

Not any more. With the Certificate Preview module turned on, a Preview button gets added to the course edit page. And by clicking that button, right where you edit the certificate, you can preview the certificate. No more test courses and quizzes. Generating certificates is now far easier when you can do everything right inside the certificate edit page.

Note that because there is no associated course or quiz, our preview can’t actually render the shortcodes for things like completion date or course name. Instead, our preview tool substitutes placeholder data in the place of LearnDash shortcodes, so you can still focus on getting the layout right without having everything set up yet.

There’s More!

The Pro 3.2 release is big. We added some other great functions that will help a lot of our customers on their sites.

The Enhanced Lesson/Topic Grid module now supports WordPress category and tag attributes, so it’s easy to generate topic and grid listings with different content depending on the context.

Email Course Certificates adds %Group Name% token support to subject lines to make it easier for notifications to distinguish between users in different groups.

We also included a few fixes, notably for users that might have had issues with Drip Lessons by Group or automatically advancing on Gravity Form submission when the Autocomplete Lessons & Topics on Gravity Forms Submission module was enabled.

If you’re not yet an Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit Pro user, there’s never been a better time to buy; the Toolkit is now up to 39 total modules!