Entries by Ryan

Lectora Support and Front End Tin Canny Reports

As the Tin Canny 3.4 release goes out, the Uncanny Owl team is currently all working from home and sheltering in place. Like many other firms in the LearnDash space, we’ve been swamped with requests and tickets as more education goes online, and we’re doing our best to meet the demand. Late last week, an agency in the UK approached us about work they were doing with part of the National Health Service. To support onboarding healthcare workers, they needed a way to get Lectora Inspire modules into LearnDash, specifically with Tin Canny. We’ve had a few requests for Lectora in the past, but not enough to justify the development effort (and adding support for new authoring tools does take a fair bit of time). Regardless, we wanted to help if we could, and between Friday and Wednesday of this week we built support for xAPI and SCORM 1.2 Lectora files. Today’s release of Tin Canny 3.4 includes the Lectora support that we built for the NHS. It’s our first time working with Lectora Inspire but the data tracks well with Tin Canny Tin Canny now also supports front end versions of the Tin Can and xAPI Quiz reports. Those […]

Chrome 80 Issues

Updated on February 6, 2020 On February 4, 2020, Google release version 80 of Chrome. This update disables the ability for some uploaded Tin Canny modules (especially iSpring) to pass data properly when they are closed from a lightbox or new window. More details are available about the update here: https://www.chromestatus.com/feature/4664843055398912. We have found significant issues in iSpring modules that are related to the update, not just with Tin Canny, but with other LMS platforms too.  We did everything we could to try to convince iSpring of the isssues, but it wasn’t until after the Chrome release that they acknowledged and published guidance about the problem, now available here: https://www.ispringsolutions.com/blog/the-new-chrome-80-may-cause-reporting-issues-in-lmss. Their advice, to suggest learners not upgrade to Chrome 80, that learners not use Chrome 80, and that course authors will need to republish and reupload all iSpring modules, will unfortunately cause significant hardship to elearning sites. As a way to accommodate students until iSpring releases a new version of their product that addresses the problems, we have identified a workaround that makes it possible for sites to use iSpring content without issue. Doing so requires that sites opt out of the synchronous XHR changes in Chrome 80. To opt […]

LearnDash Access Restrictions & bbPress Integration

Today’s 3.4 release of the Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit Pro plugin adds 2 new modules, important compatibility updates for LearnDash 3.1 changes and a number of fixes. All users of the Toolkit Pro plugin are encouraged to update, especially to take advantage of the new modules now available. Restrict Page Access This new module added in the 3.4 release makes it possible to restrict any post (so WordPress pages, blog posts, lessons, topics, any public post types) by logged-in state, WordPress role, course enrollment or LearnDash Group membership. If you’ve ever wished you could restrict an entire page to only signed in users based on their LearnDash access, this module is going to be very beneficial for you. Setting up restricted access is as easy as shown in this screenshot: By enabling the Restrict Page Access module, the metabox above is automatically added to the edit page for all public post types. The first level of access restriction is whether or not the user is logged in. If the “Users must be logged in” checkbox is checked, only signed in users can access the page; checking this also exposes additional access controls. Administrators can set the page up to only be […]

User Experience Improvements for Uncanny LearnDash Groups

One of the biggest challenges that users of our Uncanny LearnDash Groups plugin face is figuring out how everything works. It’s a plugin that started off with quite a basic footprint, but over the last 2 years we have continued innovating and adding some really exciting features. As we have done that, we know that it has increased the learning curve a noticeable amount, both for users of the plugin directly and for LearnDash Group Leaders. Because of that, the next few releases of the plugin will focus more on user experience. We need to make our giant plugin easier to manage, and that starts with today’s release of Uncanny LearnDash Groups 3.4. The Group Management table The biggest change in the 3.4 release is to the main Group Management page interface. When we launched the very first version, it was really simple; there was a way to add users and there were simple course and quiz reports. It was simple and uncluttered. Then we added a function to email users, an assignment management page, an essay management tool, a way to manage user progress… and it just got really busy and confusing. Here’s an example of what part of […]

How to ask for WordPress plugin support (the right way)

Uncanny Owl recently passed a big milestone for our Help Desk: Ticket #10,000. We started using a Help Desk system in 2016, before we started selling plugins, and it’s perhaps our most valuable tool. It’s the first thing we check in the morning, the last thing we check at night, and using it ensures that the thousands of customers that depend on us stay happy. After a few years of providing support to over 3,500 different people, we know all too well what makes a WordPress support ticket easy to resolve and what types of inquiries are going to drag on for some time. Everyone wants a quick fix to their question or problem, and while we as plugin vendors do our best, there’s a lot you can do as a plugin customer to make the process more efficient. In this article, we’ll outline the best ways for making sure that your problem is resolved quickly and accurately. Be specific Last Thursday I took a call from a plugin customer who wasn’t very happy with our product. Despite us having a 10 minute call about it, I still don’t know why he was unhappy. The best answer he could give […]

Use LearnDash Groups? Get this Toolkit Pro Update

Version 3.2.6 of the Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit Pro might sound like a small point release, but for users of LearnDash Groups, it’s going to make things a lot better. We worked really hard on this one to accommodate a number of user requests (including from the LearnDash team), so we know it’s going to add a lot of value. Send Group Drip Notifications The Group Drip module is now compatible with the LearnDash Notifications plugin! What does that mean for you? Well, if you control how lessons are dripped by LearnDash Group, it means you can send users an email when the lesson is available. Workarounds, like using a CRM to drip notices based on group tag, are no longer needed. This makes is much, much easier to let students know when content is available in their courses. Please note that while we did our best to make things as simple as possible, because of how the Notifications plugin works, having emails triggered by group drip date does unfortunately require that everything be set up in a particular order. Here’s what’s needed to make the notifications work: Create the Lesson Notification in the LearnDash Notifications plugin. Create or edit the lesson you’re going to drip. If […]

Manage LearnDash Course Progress for Learners

Websites using LearnDash Groups, rejoice! The 3.2 release of the Uncanny LearnDash Groups plugin just added an amazing new feature: a way for Group Leaders and administrators to view and edit learner progress in the front end. It’s got a great UI, it’s really simple to use, and our Manage Learner Progress tool is very powerful. Here’s a video that explains it: Just drill down into courses, click, and progress is updated automatically. It works for courses, lessons, topics and quizzes. If courses and lessons have associated lessons, topics and quizzes beneath them, those get automatically completed too.   Set up Front End Progress Management To use the new tool you must, of course, have the Uncanny LearnDash Groups plugin installed and activated. Once that’s done, the Manage Learner Progress page must be created manually by adding the [uo_groups_manage_progress] shortcode to a page. Once that’s added, Group Leaders and admins can start managing progress! Why manually create the page when other pages in the plugin are created automatically? We made that decision because a lot of LearnDash admins might not want their Group Leaders having this level of control. This way, it can’t be accidentally turned on. Once the shortcode is in […]

Manage Learner Progress

View and Manage Learner Progress The Progress Report included in Uncanny LearnDash Groups enables Group Leaders and Administrators to view and (optionally) manage the progress of users in the front end. It’s a very powerful tool that makes it possible for Group Leaders to have even more oversight over their groups; the video below highlights the benefits. This hierarchy view of courses, lessons, topics and quizzes allows all of them be reviewed and marked complete or incomplete. For course and lesson completions, everything below those elements will also be marked completed. A Progress Report page is created automatically on first activation of the Uncanny LearnDash Groups plugin, but to create one manually, simply create a new WordPress page and add this shortcode: [uo_groups_manage_progress] The shortcode supports the following attributes: Whether admins and Group Leaders are given access to an editable or read-only view is controlled by the Allow Group Leaders to Manage Progress checkbox on the Uncanny LearnDash Groups settings page. Once the page is set up, you can optionally add a link to it from the Group Management page. To do this, look for the Progress Report Page drop-down on the Settings page and choose the page you created that […]

LearnDash 3.0 is out. Do you still need the Toolkit?

The LearnDash 3.0 release landed a few weeks ago, bringing with it lots of new features and a far better user experience for students and admins. It also added new login and registration options, meaning LearnDash site admins no longer need to rely on additional plugins to incorporate those features. With all of the LearnDash enhancements in the 3.0 release, it begs the question: Do LearnDash site owners still need the free version of the Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit?   What’s in the Toolkit? To consider the relevancy of the free Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit in a LearnDash 3.0 world, let’s review the modules included in the Toolkit: Breadcrumb Links: Allow easy navigation from inside lessons and topics back up to the course and student dashboard level. Certificate Widget: Output a list of earned certificates in a widget area with links to open the certificates. Front End Login: A login form that allows easy branding, password reset, recaptcha support and more. Groups in User Profiles: List groups that a user belongs to on the profile edit page in /wp-admin/. Hide Admin Bar: Hide the admin bar for users based on role. Log In/Log Out Links: Add links to menus to easily log in […]

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 […]