Award historical credits for LearnDash courses

Our Uncanny Continuing Education Credits plugin has historically been our least popular plugin and not nearly as capable as some continuing education providers would like. Organizations in this space tend to have very specific requirements and outgrow general-purpose solutions quickly.

With the 2 most recent updates to the plugin, however, we have completely transformed what’s possible with our CEU product. The 3.1 release added the ability to track credits for anything, even learning activities that were not associated with LearnDash. And with our Uncanny Automator integration, we can simplify awarding credits even further, automating credit activity for live events, forum participation, purchases–if it can be captured online, Automator can almost certainly link it to credits in this plugin.

Capture historical completion records

There’s always been one big limitation in the Uncanny Continuing Education Credits plugin: it only starts tracking credits for new LearnDash course completions once it’s installed and credits are assigned to the course. For most sites, this meant a disconnect between users that completed courses before plugin installation and users that completed them after setup.

In today’s Uncanny Continuing Education Credits 3.2 release, we’re adding a very important new feature: the ability to generate credits for historical course completions. This means WordPress administrators can choose a LearnDash course, click a button, and have credits and completions tracked for users that completed courses before the course was assigned credits.

Generate Continuing Education Credits for LearnDash

Here’s how the new feature works:

  1. Edit a LearnDash course and make sure it has the credit value assigned that you want to award to students.
  2. Navigate to Uncanny CEUs > Generate CEUs in /wp-admin/.
  3. Choose a course from the drop-down list.
  4. Click the Add missing records button and credits will be added to student records.

There are a few important things to note when using this new tool:

  • Credits are only awarded for students that have a LearnDash completion record but no credits for that completion. It will not modify CEU values for existing users that already have credits assigned. In other words, if a course had a credit value of 2.0 assigned, a user completed the course and earned 2 credits, then you change the value to 3.0 and run the Generate CEUs function, the student will continue to have 2.0 earned credits, not 3.0.
  • Only courses with a credit value greater than 0 can be awarded credits. If you don’t see a course in the drop-down list, make sure it has credits assigned.
  • The batch generation of credits does not consider enrollment. This means that if the user has a historical completion but no credit, we will award credits even if the user no longer has access to the course.

We’re really excited to get this feature out and into the hands of our plugin users. We know that not having this feature limited the utility of this plugin, and between this update, full Uncanny Automator support and support for manually adding credits, the Uncanny Continuing Education 3.2 really is the most powerful continuing education product for WordPress.

Version 3.2 also adds some other important improvements and fixes. Check out the changelog for the full list.

Single Page LearnDash Courses now available

LearnDash course structures have always been very straightforward and rigid, which did limit flexibility but also made building courses more consistent. Courses must have lessons, and lessons can optionally have topics. The 3-level hierarchy evolved a bit when LearnDash added sections to organize things, but progress was always based around the completion of lessons and topics. For many users, this was good enough.

For years we heard from people that didn’t want to use lessons. Maybe they used micro-learning or all course content was self-contained in a single video; splitting the content up into lessons just didn’t make sense. We largely pushed back on such requests because they didn’t fit the “LearnDash model”, but after building a solution for a consulting client we started wondering what might be possible with a public plugin.

The Single Page Course module

In today’s Uncanny Toolkit Pro for LearnDash 3.6 release, we’re adding a brand new module that addresses this gap: the Single Page Course module. When enabled, it gives course creators the ability to create LearnDash courses that don’t have any lessons. It adds a Mark Complete button to the course level and enables course structures that are simply just that page.

Here’s how it works behind the scenes:

When an administrator flags that a LearnDash course is a “Single Page Course”, our module creates a hidden lesson that’s associated with the course. In the front end, we hide the lesson table and course navigation widget, and even exclude the lesson listing from our Course Dashboard shortcode, so students won’t even know it exists. Admins won’t either; it doesn’t show up as being associated with the course. It’s simply a hidden lesson for the course that allows us to use the normal LearnDash progress and completion controls from the course level.

LearnDash Single Page Course

If the “Single Page Course” flag is removed from a course, the hidden lesson gets removed and it can become a normal course. Note that existing courses with lessons cannot be turned into Single Page Courses unless the existing lessons are removed first.

The new module also includes an option to autocomplete the course when the page is visited by an enrolled user. If you associate a certificate with the course, remember that you will need to refresh the page to see the certificate (the completion happens and the certificate would get generated after the page load). Visitor and Student LearnDash shortcodes work as expected with the new module, as do all other behaviours you would normally expect for LearnDash course access.

Perhaps one of the more compelling uses of this module will be with Storyline, H5P, iSpring and Rise assets, so look for support from Tin Canny in an upcoming release. (We need to add support to the completion condition options in that plugin before they can work at the course level.)

Other updates in Toolkit Pro 3.6

We’re pleased to add support for Elearning Complete’s Certificate Tracker for LearnDash. Thanks Ryk and Patrick! This means that certificate data created by that plugin can now be included in certificates that Toolkit Pro sends by email.

Our Course Dashboard shortcode also gains support for LearnDash Sections. This allows easier organization of course content within the dashboard output.

The Autocomplete Lessons & Topics on Gravity Forms Submission, Simple Course Timer, Import Users and Group Forums with bbPress modules also get some fixes in this release; make sure to check out the changelog at https://www.uncannyowl.com/knowledge-base/learndash-toolkit-pro-change-log/ for full details.

Front End Login Changes in Toolkit

We’re excited to announce that today’s Uncanny Toolkit for LearnDash release includes some pretty big Front End Login changes (and we wanted to beat the upcoming Toolkit Pro and Automator 2.10 that announcements that will steal the thunder!). The Front End Login module has gotten increasingly capable, to the point that we see people using it on WordPress sites even if they’re not using LearnDash. Today’s release adds even more reasons to use it for login on any WordPress site.

Changes to user verification

We added the ability to verify users before login was allowed a very long time ago, but the module never had a great way to manage email notifications when users were approved for access. With user verification enabled, site users would have to be approved by an administrator before they could sign in, but how would the admin control the user notification and content?

The Uncanny Toolkit 3.4.1 release adds a new customizable email system (see below) as well as an easy way to suppress user verification emails entirely. Emails can also now include tokens (variables) with information that might be useful to approved users, like site name and the user’s name. Front End Login User Verification Email Settings

Login redirect changes

Ever wish users could sign in using a modal and the page would just update for the user without redirecting the user somewhere else? It’s been a common request, so the new 3.4.1 release adds the ability to ignore other login redirect behaviours when the modal option for login is used.

In other words, maybe you have a dedicated login page on your site and you want users that sign in from that page to land on a student dashboard when they sign in. But maybe on a sales page for members you want them to sign in and stay on that page, only with the right content for the user once signed in. Now you can do that; here’s how:

Front End Login ignore login redirect

Still not enough flexibility for login behaviours? Now there’s a new filter that allows developers to make even more overrides; here’s what’s now included:

$login_form_args = apply_filters('uo_frontend_login_args', $login_form_args);

Other changes

The 3.4.1 release includes a few other changes for Front End Login and other modules.

We added the ability for other plugins to show error messages related to login in our Front End Login form. This came up as part of an investigation into why Peepso was blocking logins with our plugin that we traced to a password security parameter in its settings (which was throwing an error, we just weren’t outputting it).

The module also includes better support for /wp-login.php redirects. Previously, attempts to visit that page would be redirected to whatever was set as the login page using this module. While it worked without issue, our redirect dropped any querystring records from the URL when it redirected  users; now the full URLs are preserved.

Those are the Toolkit 3.4.1 highlights, but make sure to check out the changelog to get the full list of updates.