Entries by Ryan Moore

New LearnDash Quiz Report

Tin Canny 4.4 is now available, and the biggest new feature is the addition of a new type of LearnDash quiz report. There are also a number of usability improvements for existing Tin Canny users. LearnDash Detailed Quiz Report Yes, we have the Group Leader Quiz report in Tin Canny, and the Group Quiz report in Uncanny Groups, but we still invariably had requests for more quiz data presented in different ways. If an admin wanted to see records for users not in groups, or to identify users that hadn’t yet taken a quiz they were assigned, for example, it was very difficult to retrieve this data. The new LearnDash Detailed Quiz reports offer a new alternative that removes some of these constraints. This is what it looks like: There are a few key things to note in the screenshot above that differ from other quiz reports: In the “Group” drop-down list, you can either choose a group or admins can show records for any group as well as users not in a group. This is a key difference, because most other reports are group-based. There is no course selection. The report shows all records for a quiz, even if it’s included in […]

Transcripts for Group Leaders, Live Timer

The Uncanny Toolkit Pro for LearnDash 4.2 release is a big one that adds several new features and a number of enhancements across several modules. Let’s jump in to what’s new. Group Leader access to Transcripts Last week we released an Uncanny Groups update that now allows you to connect the Group Course report to student transcripts, and with today’s Toolkit Pro release completing the support, it’s now possible for Group Leaders to see a complete transcript for any of their students. This is of course an optional tool, but it makes it far easier for Group Leaders to get a printable report of student activity and accomplishments. Adding support for transcript access on your site is easy. Simply edit the Group Course report page and add this attribute to the [uo_groups_course_report] shortcode: transcript-page-id=”123″ Replace “123” with the ID of your transcript page. You might then end up with a shortcode that looks like this: [uo_groups_course_report transcript-page-id=”2780″]. (And yes, this attribute is also supported in the block editor.) Now when Group Leaders or admins view the Course report, they will see a new column to access student transcripts, like this: Please note that the transcript view that Group Leaders will […]

What’s New in Uncanny Groups 6.0

Uncanny Groups 6.0 is a huge release that adds some big features that we’ve been planning for years. The biggest features are support for purchasing multiple groups in a single transaction and new Woo settings, but there’s a lot more in this release. Sell multiple LearnDash Groups By far the biggest feature in 6.0 is support for multiple groups in a single purchase. Previously, we ran into too many issues trying to offer this type of support, like, how to capture names for different groups as part of the checkout workflow, how to handle bulk and other discounts, scenarios involving users adding courses they choose to groups, etc. It took a lot of hard work and plugin changes to pull it off, and yes, you will notice a lot of differences as a result. As an example, you will now see group name fields on product and cart pages, like this: Maybe you don’t want the new options to buy multiple group products in 1 transaction and to see group name fields everywhere? In that case, we have these new options in WooCommerce Settings: Hide “Group Name” field(s) on checkout page Hide “Group Name” field on product page Do not […]

2023 – Year in Review

2023 has been a huge year for Uncanny Owl and there’s a lot for our team and customers to celebrate. From plugin releases to WordCamp Europe to customer support, the year was packed with milestones and accomplishments. 🥳🥳 Plugin releases So far in 2023 we have released a total of 90 plugin updates, with 1 or 2 more expected before year-end. (Yes, that does mean we released a plugin update more frequently than once every 3 business days!) Here’s the breakdown: Uncanny LearnDash plugins: 41 releases Uncanny Automator: 30 releases Uncanny Automator Pro: 17 releases New Custom User Fields Addon for Automator: 2 releases New Restrict Content Addon for Automator: 1 release Every single one of our plugins gained new features this year. Here are some of the highlights: Uncanny Automator: Webhook retries and response support, new log system, robust OpenAI support, >30 integrations Uncanny Automator Pro: User Loops, Post Loops, Run Now, the Formatter Uncanny Toolkit Pro: New modules for Drip Topics by Group, Bulk Certificate Download, Autocomplete on Fluent Forms and Formidable Forms submission Tin Canny Reporting: New module upload system, new lesson and topic completion reports Uncanny Groups: Manage group hierarchy relationships in the front end, new front […]

Uncanny CEUs: LearnDash Credit Report overhaul

WordPress sites offering continuing education credit programs with LearnDash tend to collect a lot of data about course completions. Our Uncanny Continuing Education Credits plugin makes it easy to track and manage CEUs and other credits, but over time, all of the user activity can generate a lot of data, sometimes tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of records. Loading this volume of data in a single report can sometimes be taxing on site resources, so in today’s Uncanny Continuing Education Credits 4.1 release, we’re excited to offer new reporting solutions targeted at performance. Faster LearnDash credit reports In the Uncanny CEUs 4.1 release, you’ll see a new Credit Report Settings section under Uncanny CEUs > Settings in /wp-admin/: Loading avatars for a large volume of users is slow, so you can disable that for better performance. Next we have 3 new options for “Report Mode”: Legacy: The system and queries that existed before 4.1. Should only be used for compatibility, like if you customized report output and credit capture outside of our plugin. Performance: The new default option, captures some data during user updates so some data is effectively “prefetched” and reduces user queries. Ludicrous: Generates cached […]

Uncanny Groups 5.4: Front End Group Hierarchy Management

We’re excited to announce the release of Uncanny Groups 5.4, which includes several significant new features for users of the #1 plugin for the sale, management and reporting of LearnDash groups. This release includes 5 key new additions to make group management even easier. Front End Group Hierarchy Management When group hierarchies are enabled in LearnDash settings, the Edit Group and Create Group tools in Uncanny Groups now support the ability to choose a parent for the selected group. To make this option available, just add the parent_selector=”show” attribute to the shortcode, like this: [uo_groups_create_group parent_selector=”show”]. Once that’s done, a new drop-down list for the parent group selection will be added to the form: For Group Leaders, of course, any group parent options must be groups that exist and the user must be a leader of the group. Group Leaders can only see groups that they’re associated with. This new functionality allows scenarios where Group Leaders have more control over their users, access and reporting. With the wizard to create a group enabled, Group Leaders could choose to set up new child groups for more granular access over courses and reporting rather than using a single large, top-level group. Group […]

Uncanny Groups: New Edit Group Wizard

The Uncanny Groups for LearnDash 5.3 release is now available! This update to our popular group management plugin for LearnDash adds 1 key new feature: a way to edit LearnDash groups in the front end. It’s an optional new tool that will make group edits a lot easier for many sites (and reduce the need for admin support). Edit LearnDash Groups in the Front End Uncanny Groups has supported front end LearnDash group creation for several years. Group editing was a much more difficult piece to tackle, as we had to consider implications for groups created via ecommerce, how to limit course access, what fields should and shouldn’t be available for editing, etc. In the 5.3 release, we’re adding a new shortcode and a new Gutenberg block to make group editing possible. Here’s the shortcode and the attributes it supports: [uo_groups_edit_group group_name=”show” total_seats=”show” group_courses=”show” category=”” course_category=””] There’s a lot to explain here, so let’s tackle each attribute. The first attribute, group_name, determines whether or not the user editing the group (i.e. the Group Leader or admin) can modify the group name from the group edit page. If the group supports seats, the total_seats attributes determines whether or not the user […]

Tin Canny Update: New Uploader

Over the years, a common challenge elearning course authors have had with WordPress is uploading and managing really large files. It’s not uncommon to see xAPI and SCORM file sizes in the hundreds of MB, and a few weeks ago, we helped a user with a file that was over 5 GB in size. The WordPress upload system wasn’t really designed for files of this size, so a few months ago we started building a completely different upload system for our Tin Canny users. Introducing the new Tin Canny Uploader We’re excited to include the new uploader in our Tin Canny 4.3 release. This is what it looks like: How it works is very different than the uploader in previous versions. Instead of relying on WordPress to upload a huge file to the website, then unzip and process it, the new uploader uses your browser to inspect files in the zip folder and upload them individually. For large files, they are uploaded in chunks. This approach ensures that all files, regardless of size, and even if the web server doesn’t support unzip extensions, should work without issue. The new uploader works in all editors and page builders we currently support, as […]

Toolkit Pro 4.1: Drip topics & Autocomplete with Formidable Forms

We’re excited to announce another big release of our most popular premium plugin, Uncanny Toolkit Pro for LearnDash. The 4.1 update adds 3 completely new modules for LearnDash users: Drip Topics by LearnDash Group, Autocomplete Lessons & Topics on Fluent Forms Submission and Autocomplete Lessons & Topics on Formidable Forms Submission. There are also a few enhancements for existing modules that we’re excited to share. Drip Topics by LearnDash Group Current Toolkit Pro users will already be familiar with our popular drip module for lessons, “Drip Lessons by LearnDash Group“. As you might expect, this new module is effectively the same thing as what we offer for lessons–except for topics. The settings will all be familiar, and there’s even support for the LearnDash Notifications plugin. Autocomplete Lessons & Topics on Form Submission The 2 new modules for Formidable Forms and Fluent Forms mirror what we have for Gravity Forms and WPForms. With the new tools, we can detect when a Formidable Form or Fluent Form appears on a lesson or topic page, hide the Mark Complete button, and require the users to submit a form entry. In Formidable Forms (and other other form integrations), the user will be advanced to the […]

Uncanny Owl Turns 10

Ten long years ago, on May 29, 2013, Ken and I (Ryan) cofounded Uncanny Owl. With absolutely no experience starting or managing a business, no clear direction, and 4 children under the age of 3 between us, walking away from our stable, mid-level jobs at great companies somehow seemed like a good idea. Here we are in our Toronto office in June 2013 (we ended up abandoning a physical office in 2018): The first 3 years of the company largely consisted of experimenting with a lot of elearning ideas and taking on any consulting projects we could find. We had grand visions and aspirations, and we worked hard trying to build Uncanny Owl’s reputation in the elearning space. It wasn’t until almost a year after we started the company that we began focusing on WordPress and LearnDash. That journey started when we built a website to showcase our course development expertise, but instead of asking us to build courses for them, visitors wanted us to build a copy of the website. We started showing a “Want us to build a site like this for you?” banner for visitors from LearnDash and our website, and the rest is history. Uncanny Owl Timeline […]

Tin Canny 4.2: LearnDash Lesson & Topic Reports

We’re excited to announce that Tin Canny 4.2 is now available. It’s a big release with several new reports, performance improvements, new options for SCORM and xAPI users and some behind-the-scenes enhancements. Lesson and Topic Completion Reports We know that LearnDash site owners have faced challenges for years getting consolidated records for lesson and topic completions. For course completions, there are reports everywhere; we have different types of course completion reports in 3 of our plugins alone (Uncanny Groups, Tin Canny and Uncanny Continuing Education Credits). There’s no shortage of ways to find out whether or not a student has completed a course. For lessons and topics, we offered a few ways to look up completions by user, but never for a group of users or all users. That’s what we’re adding in today’s Tin Canny 4.2 release. To use the reports, just drop [uotc_lesson_report] or [uotc_topic_report] shortcodes onto a new page. Once that’s done, you’ll see something like this: It’s as easy to use as it seems. Administrators or Group Leaders can just select a group, course and lesson (or topic) to see a list of everyone that has access to that lesson or topic and their completion status. Need […]

Toolkit Pro 4.0: Generate LearnDash Certificates in Bulk

It’s here! The Uncanny Owl team is thrilled to announce that version 4.0 of the Uncanny Toolkit Pro plugin for LearnDash is now available. The latest update to the most popular third-party premium add-on for LearnDash adds 1 new module and a huge number of new features and improvements. Let’s jump right in to what’s new. Generate LearnDash Certificates in Bulk It’s a question LearnDash users have been asking for years: How can my Group Leaders and I download certificates for all of our students? Until today, you couldn’t. You had to look up records for one user at a time, find the right course or quiz, then generate a new certificate. It was time-consuming to the point of being completely impractical for large groups of users and courses. With the new Download Certificates in Bulk module, grabbing a large batch of certificates is as easy as adding a shortcode to a page. When viewed by an admin or Group Leader user (the Group Leader must, of course, be the leader of one or more groups), it’s possible to download a zip file with Group, Course or Quiz certificates. To get started, add [uo_download_certificates] to a page and choose the […]

Uncanny CEUs: Archive quiz results

The Uncanny Continuing Education Credits plugin for LearnDash is perhaps the #1 tool for archiving LearnDash course records. Out of the box, LearnDash on its own can only track the current attempt for a course. If users retake a course after a progress reset, all records of earlier course activity, including certificates, is wiped out. Uncanny Continuing Education Credits (a.k.a. Uncanny CEUs) was born out of a need to keep a record of all course activity. Introducing quiz record archives We have archived LearnDash course records for years. The completion records could be included in transcripts to give a complete record of a user’s learning activity as well as in admin and front end reports. For compliance and other periodic training, these permanent course records were invaluable, but they were just that–course records. With the release of Uncanny Continuing Education Credits 4.0, we’re adding support for quiz record archiving to the mix. Need to know how some students performed in final course quizzes 3 years ago? No problem. Concerned that our Quiz Question Analysis Report in Tin Canny has invalid results because it doesn’t captured archived quiz records? Not any more! Generate historical records Now that Uncanny CEUs can archive more […]

Uncanny Groups for LearnDash 5.0

Yes, the Uncanny Groups release is that big. It deserves the 5.0 label, because this is a giant release with dozens of changes and over 100 hours of development and testing time. A lot of what’s new probably won’t even be on the radar of most users, so we’re hoping this release brings a lot of happy surprises! Ready for the list of what’s new? It’s a big list, but if you’re on Uncanny Groups user, we definitely recommend reading through to the end. Pooled seats Ever wish you could set up some groups in a hierarchy, and instead of having seats managed for each individual groups, the entire set of groups could draw from a shared pool of seats? That’s what this is. When enabled, groups that are connected together share their seats. Suppose you sell course access to a school and grant that school 1,000 seats to use at their discretion. They’re going to want to divide students up into classes for reporting purposes as well as to manage course enrollment. Instead of having to figure out how to assign 20 seats to one group and 30 to another, now the entire set of classrooms shares from a total […]

Uncanny Codes: Form integrations and redemption updates

It’s time for a big update to Uncanny Codes, our popular platform for generating, tracking and redeeming codes that can do almost anything in WordPress. It’s been some a longer than usual time since our last update, so in today’s release, we’re adding a lot of really important features that will transform how it’s used on many WordPress sites. New form integrations Use Fluent Forms or Forminator? You’re in luck, the Uncanny Codes 4.1 release adds new integrations both popular form builders. Here’s what the field looks like in Fluent Forms:   And here it is in Forminator: It works just like our current integrations with Gravity Forms, WPForms and Formidable. Add the field to a form and code redemption will be processed on form submission. You can use the new fields on everything from single-field redemption forms for logged in users to registration pages that require users to enter a valid code in order to register on a website. Allow users to redeem the same code multiple times This is a big new feature, one that we know caused some user frustration in our previous versions. Up until now, Uncanny Codes would only let a single user redeem a […]

What’s new with Uncanny Groups

The Uncanny Owl team has been hard at work adding some interesting new features to our popular Uncanny Groups plugin over the last few weeks. Given the scope of some of the changes, we want to walk users through and them outline how to use the new options. Group-specific welcome emails We’ve had feedback from some of our users that global emails to welcome users to groups just aren’t sufficient. Different groups may have different instructions and expectations, maybe an introduction by an instructor is warranted, perhaps it’s just different branding that’s important. Whatever the case, we have tried to address this gap by adding group-specific welcome emails. Now, when you edit groups, you’ll see a new section that looks like this on the edit group page in the Group page tab: It works just the way other welcome emails work on the Uncanny Groups > Settings page; the same tokens are also available. To use this new feature for specific groups: Check the Override “Add and invite (new user)” email checkbox. This tells our plugin to use this email template instead of the global one. Populate the Subject and Body areas with appropriate content. Now, when new students are added to this group, they’ll […]

Add Seats to Group Subscription, Excel Reports and More

This is the Uncanny Groups for LearnDash update that many of our customers have been eagerly anticipating. After months of development, we’re excited to introduce a feature unique to our plugin that will completely transform B2B group subscriptions for LearnDash: support for adding seats to existing subscription-based groups. We wrestled with the logic for months. How would someone manage multiple subscriptions linked to a single group? What if one of several subscriptions was cancelled? Could we minimize the confusion of having multiple subscriptions for individual groups? And would all of this be easy enough for end users to understand? In terms of the visible changes to Group Leaders and admins, it’s all very straightforward. Administrators see a new section under Uncanny Groups > Settings to enable the option (we don’t want it to appear with no context for existing sites) and to set up a link so users can learn more about adding seats to subscriptions. We do recommend setting a page up with more details because the behaviour will be different depending on your settings around synchronization in WooCommerce Subscriptions. And for Group Leaders, the Group Management page gets a new Add Seats button just like the one they’re probably used […]

Q1 2022 Plugin Updates

Our blog has been quiet this quarter, but that’s mostly because we’ve been so busy with updates. And just how busy have we been in Q1? Here’s a summary of our plugin releases: Uncanny Toolkit for LearnDash: 1 release Uncanny Toolkit Pro: 2 releases Uncanny Groups: 3 releases Tin Canny: 4 releases Uncanny Continuing Education Credits: 2 releases Uncanny Automator: 9 releases Uncanny Automator Pro: 4 releases In total, that’s a whopping 25 releases this quarter. Many have been pretty big releases too, so in case you missed the updates, we’ll cover some of the most exciting highlights below. Uncanny Toolkit Pro Our most popular add-on for LearnDash, Toolkit Pro gained a number of new additions. There’s a new module for Autocomplete Lessons and Topics on WPForms submission. We had it for Gravity Forms, now we’re extending support to WPForms as well. This is one of our more popular modules and a great way to require users to submit evaluation and feedback forms before course completion. The Simple Course Timer added 4 new shortcodes. Instead of only outputting time at the course level, now there’s a way to show time spent on topics, lessons and quizzes. And there’s an additional shortcode […]

Plugin Update Roundup

Today we pushed updates to 3 of our plugins (Uncanny Groups, Toolkit Pro and Tin Canny) and a fourth plugin update is coming tomorrow. While most of the changes are small fixes and improvements, there are some larger enhancements that deserve a bit more attention. Uncanny Toolkit Pro for LearnDash Perhaps the most interesting update is that the plugin, and specifically the Import Users module, no long requires LearnDash. This was done primarily to allow Uncanny Automator users to run imports that trigger actions as part of our new support for running actions on users in bulk. The Toolkit itself isn’t moving away from LearnDash, but this will be a big win for Automator users that aren’t necessarily using LearnDash. The Enhanced CSV Reports module doubles the number of custom usermeta columns to 10. You can now run some very big reports with this tool with a lot of custom user profile data. The Enhanced Course Grid module has the most changes, including all of the following: There’s a new “hide_title” attribute to turn off course titles in the grid. Multiple categories can now be defined for inclusion in the shortcode or block, separated by commas There are 7 new […]

Group Hierarchy Reporting support for LearnDash

It’s time for a huge Uncanny Groups for LearnDash release that adds some important new tools for site owners, end users and developers. Let’s jump straight in to what’s new. Group Hierarchy support for LearnDash reports This has been a popular request for months now but we needed to be very careful about how we approached it. We didn’t want to slow report generation down too much, nor did we want to potentially confuse users with new views of consolidated data. As such, the very first thing we did was to make the hierarchy support optional. To use it, turn on group hierarchies in LearnDash and enable this new option in your Uncanny Groups settings page: Once those changes are made, and you have some groups set up in hierarchies, visit your Group Management page on the front end. If you select a parent group from the drop-down (or you view it as a user with a single group that is a parent), you’ll see a new checkbox to include data from child groups in the table. When you check this, the page will reload and students across the current group and all child groups will be output in the table. The list […]

Expanded SCORM and xAPI/Tin Can support for LearnDash

At long last, the Tin Canny 4.0 release is now available! And it includes one major new feature that will transform what’s possible for small businesses running LearnDash sites: full SCORM and xAPI support. Back when we originally launched Tin Canny it was an easy way for LearnDash sites to upload their modules from popular elearning tools like Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate and iSpring. Over the years we added support for Lectora, Quizmaker, H5P, Presenter, Rise… but all of that support was explicitly defined and we couldn’t offer fully SCORM or xAPI compliant solutions. Introducing full SCORM and xAPI/Tin Can support The 4.0 release should work with any standards-compliant SCORM 1.2, 2004 and xAPI / Tin Can file. It took us close to a year to get there, but the effort was absolutely worth it. Now we can stop saying “no” to people every time we get requests to add support for a custom authoring tool or something third party that we don’t support. Better yet, there’s no longer a need to ask! With this update, he’s a partial list of authoring tools we will be supporting with Tin Canny: Camtasia Elucidat Adapt Easygenerator Of course, there are hundreds of authoring […]

Uncanny Groups 4.0: Dozens of enhancements

The Uncanny Groups for LearnDash 4.0 release has been in development for months and focuses heavily on reliability and marginal improvements. And there are a lot of those; this release includes almost 50 plugin enhancements and fixes. Let’s jump right into some of what’s new: More form support Use Gravity Forms, WPForms or Formidable Forms? Now you can add enrollment key redemption fields from the form editor so you can link any form in those plugins to key redemption in Uncanny Groups. New edit group page options Ever wish administrators could see invited users? That’s in, so is the ability to see orders and products associated with groups that were created from a purchase. You can even unlink a group from an order if you no longer want users to be able to add courses or seats to a group via purchase. New group list page options We modified the group listing under LearnDash LMS > Groups to show seat counts and to make enrollment keys downloadable by admins. Both of these changes will make it a lot easier for administrators to get data they need without drilling down into a group or switching to the front end Group Management page. Shortcode support in […]

Two Factor Authentication for LearnDash Login Forms

Version 3.5 of the Uncanny Toolkit for LearnDash was released today with one very important addition: new support for Two Factor Authentication (2FA). We have had a number of requests to improve security options for our login module and we’re pleased to now support a direction integration with WP 2FA, a popular two-factor authentication plugin for WordPress. Easy 2FA for WordPress sites What this new integration means is that it’s easier than ever to integrate the flexible, clean login forms in the Uncanny Toolkit with the additional security of the WP 2FA plugin. It’s the best of both worlds. Using both plugins together, you can now: Require some or all users to authenticate with 2FA (including setting rules by role) Allow users to add a secondary login check using an email or supported 2FA app Beyond the additional account security, LearnDash site owners may appreciate that this additional security measure makes it much harder for users to share WordPress accounts. Here’s what the login process looks like for end users when they try to sign in: The use of two-factor authentication is of course completely optional, but we’ve made it as easy as possible to install the WP 2FA plugin […]

Uncanny Codes 4.0 for WordPress

Our Codes plugin for WordPress has gone through many iterations since we first launched it in 2016. It started off as a simple code redemption tool to unlock LearnDash course and group access. Then we linked codes to registration and purchase, added expiry dates, allowed custom codes, then built in advanced code generation and redemption rules. Despite being a very capable and scalable plugin, it was never particularly popular and was limited to LearnDash use. With the release of Uncanny Codes 4.0, however, everything changes. Introducing Uncanny Codes 4.0 For about a year, the Uncanny team has wrestled with 2 big questions about our Codes plugin: How far could the plugin go if we supported more than LearnDash alone? What if instead of building integrations for other plugins we just linked it to Uncanny Automator? Uncanny Codes 4.0 will answer those questions, because the plugin no longer requires LearnDash and we have linked the redemption of codes and code batches to Automator recipes. (For anyone not familiar with Uncanny Automator, it’s a plugin that connects lots and lots of things together. When something happens somewhere, Automator can make something else happen, like the redemption of a code adding a user […]

Uncanny Groups 3.10: Easier classroom management

There’s one thing in our Uncanny Groups plugin that I felt had been a gap for some time, not just in our plugin but in WordPress in general: Why do users always need a valid email address to set up an account? The answer is straightforward, of course, it’s an identifier and allows users to reset their passwords independently. But in many K-12 classrooms, manufacturing and industrial environments, students simply don’t have email addresses. This makes using LearnDash and our plugins exceedingly difficult. We did offer a workaround for CSV imports; files can include a password column and this password would be set for new users, allowing administrators and Group Leaders to create users that didn’t actually need an email address. With this approach, account info (email and password) could be set up and given to students directly so that setting up a password by email confirmation wasn’t needed. Privacy concerns aside, this at least offered a path for students without an email address to use LearnDash and our plugins. CSV files are hard to work with though and outside the technical abilities of many Group Leaders. Enter Uncanny Groups for LearnDash 3.10. Password field in Add Users New in […]

Tin Canny 3.6: Microlearning for LearnDash xAPI & SCORM courses

It’s time for a new Tin Canny update! Version 3.6 adds support for microlearning using Single Page LearnDash courses, more flexible user details in reports, new column sorting options, a more visible X icon for modules in a lightbox and more. Single page xAPI & SCORM LearnDash courses Today’s Tin Canny 3.6 release adds support for something LearnDash and Tin Canny users have been wanting for years: the ability to build standalone courses with Articulate Storyline, iSpring, H5P and other module types without having to use LearnDash lessons and topics. What does that mean? Well, with most (non-WordPress) LMS platforms, you can upload self-contained zip files and that uploaded module becomes the entire course. A user sees the course name, launches that uploaded course in a new window or lightbox, and that’s it — no digging into lessons or topics first, it’s just the course. LearnDash, however, normally requires that courses be structured into a hierarchy of WordPress posts that requires at least one “lesson” beneath a course. The SCORM or xAPI file would then be uploaded inside the lesson or topic, so students would have to click through a “course” level first that sometimes served no purpose. Tin Canny […]

Toolkit Pro 3.7: Usermeta in reports, transcript changes and more

We try to avoid Friday releases where we can, but with the upcoming holiday weekend in Canada and some exciting changes from LearnDash, we couldn’t wait to get version 3.7 of the Uncanny Toolkit Pro plugin out. It’s a big release with several really compelling new features. Group Drip notification changes We do need to start the list of new features with a change that Group Drip users may need to make on their sites. LearnDash is releasing version 1.5 of their Notifications plugin next week, which is a big overhaul and improvement. That’s great news, but because of how it was rearchitected, it does break compatibility with existing notifications linked to our Group Drip module. Any current notifications on sites set up to alert users when lessons are available to the group will stop working, but there is good news: we have a new trigger available to support Group Drip notifications. If you upgrade to LearnDash Notifications 1.5 and want notifications to be sent to group members when lessons become available via group drip, you must create new notifications with this new trigger: “A scheduled lesson is available to user with Uncanny Drip by Group”. If you don’t use group drip […]

Uncanny Groups for LearnDash 3.9 Update

The version 3.9 update of the Uncanny Groups for LearnDash plugin includes some interesting updates that may really transform how the tool is used by some customers. Given the magnitude of the changes, this is also one that we recommend testing on a Staging site first. Let’s jump right in to what’s new in the release and how it might affect your site. BuddyBoss Social Group sync You asked, we listened. A lot of people use the BuddyBoss theme and platform with our Uncanny Groups plugin. BuddyBoss does include a sync tool for LearnDash groups, but it doesn’t work properly when users are added or removed from groups managed by our plugin. It also doesn’t sync LearnDash groups created with our plugin to new BuddyBoss groups. So, in the Uncanny Groups 3.9 release, here’s what’s new if LearnDash Group Sync and Auto Create Social Group settings are enabled in BuddyBoss > Integrations > LearnDash on a BuddyBoss site: When a LearnDash group is created by the Uncanny Groups plugin, an associated BuddyBoss social group is created. When a user is added to a group from the Group Management page in our plugin, the user is added to the associated BuddyBoss group. If the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. Login redirect changes Ever […]

Award CEU credits for anything!

Today’s 3.1 release of the Uncanny Continuing Education Credits plugin is probably our biggest change to that plugin in the past year. It adds a number of changes based around this concept: credits can be awarded for anything. Yes, it is still a LearnDash plugin and does still require LearnDash. Credits are no longer tied to LearnDash courses, however. Admins can now add and remove credits for anything they want—that might be a classroom training session, attending a virtual event, completing third-party training, etc. There are no limits to how this might be used. Add and delete continuing education credits Here’s what users will now see when adding credits from the Credits Report: From this page, you can choose a user to assign credits to, the number of credits, the date and time for the credits, and whether or not the credits are for a LearnDash course. If they are, you can choose to mark the course as completed when you assign the credits. If the credits are not for a LearnDash course, you can assign a label to the credits so they’re easy to identify in reports. (For LearnDash courses, the title is automatically the course name.) Deleting credits is […]

Uncanny Owl has joined the WPBeginner Growth Fund

We’re excited to announce that Uncanny Owl has joined the WPBeginner Growth Fund. This means that we’re partnering with Syed Balkhi, founder of WPBeginner and co-founder of popular WordPress plugins including OptinMonster, MonsterInsights, WPForms and more. It also means that Uncanny Owl is now part of the Awesome Motive network of companies. Why we joined Ken and Ryan co-founded Uncanny Owl in 2013, and over the past 7 years we have grown the company to a team of 10 people with 8 popular plugins, a hosted learning platform product and a thriving consulting business. With so many products and significant growth this year, we found scaling difficult and we were pulled in too many directions. After working with Cory Miller for help planning our future, we connected with Syed and began to explore what a relationship might look like. What sold us on the idea and benefits of a partnership were our discussions with current companies in the Growth Fund, including Blair at MemberPress and Steph and Steve at Formidable Forms. Both teams had only fantastic things to say about Awesome Motive and the growth, vision and work-life balance improvements that Syed had helped them achieve. What this means for […]

LearnDash 3.2 and Group Changes

The LearnDash LMS plugin for WordPress first introduced groups almost 7 years ago, back in version 1.4. Groups were a way to assign courses and track progress for a collection of students as a single unit. It also empowered a new type of user, called a Group Leader, to oversee the activity for that segment of users rather than for all students on a site. As one of the most popular features in LearnDash, site owners started wanting more and more group capabilities. They extended group options with membership plugins, and developers like Uncanny Owl and Wisdm Labs built plugins specifically to add more features to LearnDash Groups. The LearnDash 3.2 release is the most significant change to the groups model since LearnDash first added them in 2013. In this  article, we’ll examine what’s different and how it affects users of third party group and membership plugins. Here are some of the high-level additions in 3.2 for LearnDash Groups: Group purchases Group hierarchies Group certificates Group pages Group content protection Group user management Bypass course restrictions for Group Leaders Course creation and management for Group Leaders Group creation and management by Group Leaders A new ld_group_list shortcode Search restrictions based […]

Use LearnDash Groups? Time to update

Some of our plugin releases are ground-breaking, some add minor new features, some include fixes and others are a combination of them all. The Uncanny Groups for LearnDash 3.6 release falls fits the latter category; it’s a really important update for compatibility reasons but it also includes some useful improvements and new features. New features The Essay Management shortcode now supports a “status” attribute, with possible values of “all”, “graded” and “ungraded” (the default is “ungraded”). When the shortcode includes this attribute, it will initially load only essay questions with that status. This is particularly helpful on sites with huge essay volumes to reduce load times by only loading ungraded essay questions. In the previous version of the Uncanny Groups plugin, clicking a user’s status on the Group Management page took Group Leaders to the Course Report. Based on feedback from current users, we are adding the option to instead take Group Leaders to the Progress Report (a.k.a. Manage Progress) instead. This will allow easier review of student progress. The Not Started status will also now be hyperlinked (previously it was not, since there was no progress to report, but if a Group Leader needs to add progress records this will […]

New WordPress Front End Login Options

The Front End Login module was one of the first things we created for the free Uncanny Toolkit for LearnDash plugin. It gave LearnDash users a simple, free tool for students to use when logging in, and for us (as our business was heavily focused on consulting at the time) it was one more way that we could make site development a lot more efficient. A lot has changed since we first introduced the module, including LearnDash adding its own login forms. There are still a lot of situations with the login form in our Toolkit is the best fit (and what we always use on sites we build), and with today’s Uncanny Toolkit 3.3 release we’re making the module even better. Introducing Modal Login Windows With the latest Toolkit release, you can add this shortcode anywhere on your site you want: [uo_login_modal]. That will create a link (that can also be styled as a button) that pops up a login window. No more devoting precious site real estate to giant login forms! Here’s what it looks like: There are new options in the Front End Login module settings to change the text of the label, whether or not to […]

Better LearnDash CSV Reports

Okay, maybe they’re not pretty, but the Course and Quiz CSV reports built in to LearnDash are still extremely useful reports. They’re a simple, reliable way to get information about students, student progress and quiz results out of LearnDash and into your favourite spreadsheet for analysis. We know a lot of users have looked at the reports, however, and thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could add this one more piece of data as a new column?” We’ve seen it asked a lot, so we decided to add this capability to version 3.5 of Uncanny Toolkit Pro for LearnDash. We’re excited to introduce the Enhanced LearnDash CSV Reports module to the Toolkit Pro suite of addons for LearnDash. Its purpose is simple: add more columns with frequently-requested data to the LearnDash CSV reports. Here’s a screenshot of the columns you can add: Choose any columns you want to add, save the changes, and the next time you run the LearnDash export for the User Course or User Quiz Data, the extra columns will be included in the output. It’s a pretty straightforward module, but requests for custom columns tend to come up a lot and now we’ve made adding extra data […]

Plugin Profile: Design Upgrade for LearnDash

When it comes to must-have plugins for LearnDash, there’s a pretty short list of plugins that can add value to every LearnDash site. Our Uncanny Toolkit for LearnDash is probably one (at well over 20,000 installs), and the Design Upgrade for LearnDash plugin from Escape Creative is another. The Design Upgrade plugin (by LearnDash guru Dave Warfel) solves a very common need: how do you rebrand and restyle LearnDash elements without knowing much about CSS or having to get deep into LearnDash code? It takes the challenge of restyling potentially hundreds of elements and adds controls to a UI that make everything intuitive. And it all works really, really well. The free version of the plugin, available at https://wordpress.org/plugins/design-upgrade-learndash/, has over 7,000 active installs and every one of his 36 reviews garnered 5-stars. It gets even more impressive: at the time of writing this article, the plugin had a single ticket over a 2 month period in the support forum. Imagine that, on a plugin running on over 7,000 LearnDash sites, a single user reported a single problem within a 60 day span. Let’s take a closer look at what you can do with the free version of the plugin. Design […]

Effects of COVID-19 on eLearning Demand

It’s been about 2 months now since Uncanny Owl started seeing changes related to COVID-19, and since then our business has been anything but normal. We wanted to share some of the changes we’ve seen in the elearning and LearnDash space in case it’s of interest to our customers, prospective LearnDash users and the elearning community in general. The last 6 weeks in particular have been a very strange time for us. The first two weeks The second week of March is when businesses and schools here (in Ontario Canada) started shutting down due to the coronavirus. Our consulting clients started working from home (our team normally works remotely anyway) and we began to see some worry among plugin customers. By the second week we were seeing a noticeable uptick in refunds due to cash flow concerns among businesses using LearnDash and work from existing consulting clients was either reduced or there was more emphasis on keeping costs down. This period is when we mostly saw panic, businesses weren’t pivoting yet and everyone was trying to figure out what came next. Organizations that we support that offer blended learning (both online and offline classes) started to shift to online only, […]

New Code Capabilities for LearnDash

Generating and redeeming codes for LearnDash just got a lot more powerful. Today’s Uncanny LearnDash Codes 3.1 release adds new ways to set up codes, new edit code capabilities and more. This update is free for all current Uncanny LearnDash Codes users. Use custom codes Probably the #1 customer request, version 3.1 now allows plugin users to enter their own codes rather than having them randomly generated. It’s as simple as it sounds; the Generate Codes page now has a toggle at the top to choose either randomly generated codes or codes entered by the user. Here’s what the new interface looks like: Any codes are allowed, as long as they’re unique, between 4 and 30 characters long, and use alphanumeric characters plus hyphens. There’s no longer any need to edit database records if you want to use your own codes! The new system does check manual codes to make sure they are unique and valid, so there’s no need to worry about duplicates with custom codes after the update. Edit existing LearnDash code batches Have you ever wished you could make changes to codes that were previously generated? Maybe to allow more uses or extend an expiry date? Version 3.1 […]

Uncanny Groups: Empowering Group Leaders

Today’s Uncanny LearnDash Groups 3.5 release is a big update that includes a number of new features and improvements. Restrict content to LearnDash Group Leaders There are many ways to restrict content with LearnDash (by role, tag, course, group, level and more) in our plugins and those of others, and even in Uncanny LearnDash Groups we have a shortcode to show content to members of a certain LearnDash group only. What was missing was a way to show content to Group Leaders only. The Uncanny Groups 3.5 release includes support for this new shortcode: [uo_groupleader_restrict_content user_groups=”7542″] Only Group Leaders can read this. [/uo_groupleader_restrict_content] What that does is show the content inside the shortcodes only to Group Leaders that are set up as Group Leaders for the group with ID 7542. The “user_groups” attribute is optional; if it’s omitted, all users with the Group Leader role will see it. It can also support multiple group IDs separated by comma. Group License purchase emails A common question we’ve had from customers is how to get new Group Leaders to the Group Management page and to make onboarding easier. Today’s release includes a completely new email type: New Group Purchase.  This email is sent to […]

Uncanny Automator is now FREE

The heading is not clickbait and there are no strings attached. Not only that, we made significant improvements before we released the new free version! You can now get Uncanny Automator from the WordPress repository here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/uncanny-automator/. This free version replaces what we previously called “Lite”, except it’s even better than Lite: we removed the limit of 1 trigger per recipe and we even added more triggers and actions (including several previously only available in Pro). Releasing Automator for free to the world was a hard decision for our team, but we believe it’s the right one for these 2 reasons: We want more people to try it. While Automator already has a big install base, we really want to see it grow and for more sites to try it. We’re very proud of the plugin and want to see it add value to more sites. Another company largely copied Uncanny Automator and released their own version in the WordPress repository. While reusing code isn’t uncommon in the open source world (and Automator does have a GPL license), copying our UI, website, and even name put us in a difficult situation and we wanted to make a big move to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]