Uncanny LearnDash Groups: Part 2

Uncanny LearnDash Groups users: This is the update you’ve been waiting for.

Everyone else: Time to get excited about LearnDash Groups.

Version 2.0 of the Uncanny LearnDash Groups plugin is out, and it’s a huge upgrade. Version 2.0 includes LearnDash Group Subscription support, major UI changes, many new shortcode parameters for front end customizations, better translation support, and over a dozen other important fixes and updates.

Yes, there is finally support for WooCommerce Subscriptions! Certainly our most requested feature, you can now collect recurring payments for group purchases. Note, however, that we only support subscriptions for Group License products created by an administrator, not custom Group Licenses built by customers using the [uo_group_buy_courses] shortcode, and once purchased, the number of seats and courses for the group cannot be changed by Group Leaders. We’re constrained by limitations with the Subscriptions plugin, but we’ll be looking into possible solutions for those barriers in the next few months.

LearnDash Group Subscription

Our documentation will be updated shortly to fully explain subscription use, but if you’re a current plugin user and want to get started, create the LearnDash Group Course products as you normally would, then use a Simple Subscription product (instead of a Group License product) to bundle the courses and sell the group with recurring payments. The screenshot above will hopefully point you in the right direction.

We also have a new introductory screencast to help out if you’re new to Groups or need more information about how to set it up and coordinate things on your site. It’s a long video, but setting up group licensing of courses is a fairly complex process, so watching it will help new users get a quick start with the plugin.

The front end LearnDash Groups pages (Group Management, Progress Report and Quiz Report) have  all been completely rebuilt. In the original plugin we tried to use some common theme styles in the plugin so that the pages would inherit styles and better fit in with the theme, but it just didn’t work as well as we hoped. Now we are adding our own styles so that we can make sure that everything looks good across all sites, without needing any knowledge of CSS or having to worry about conflicts. In the back end you can even control the colour palette! Here’s a sample of how things look now:

LearnDash Group Management

Existing plugin users will find that their pages look quite different after updating to 2.0. The location of some elements, including buttons, has also changed so that they have better context.

The Group Management page is now extremely customizable. Maybe you don’t want your groups to use enrolment keys or for Group Leaders to be able to add additional Group Leaders. Now you can change what’s on the page very simply, as the [uo_groups] shortcode has a dozen new parameters to control almost everything about the page. Have a look at this knowledge base article to better understand how you can now control everything. To see what else has changed in this release, have a look at https://www.uncannyowl.com/knowledge-base/uncanny-learndash-groups-changelog/, especially if you’re an existing user.

Tin Canny Users: Last week also saw a big (though less exciting) update for non-English users of the Tin Canny plugin. The most recent release made 99 new text strings available for translation, making the plugin much more translation-friendly and more usable on sites that aren’t in English.

Finally… We will soon be celebrating the 5 year anniversary of Uncanny Owl. It’s been a very long time since we released a new plugin, but to coincide with our anniversary we’ll be releasing our most ambitious product yet. We’re all very excited to share more news about it soon, as we’re confident that it will completely transform how you configure your WordPress sites. Stay tuned!

Improve Your LearnDash Course Sales Workflow

Do your visitors get confused about how to buy your course?

Course pages in LearnDash tend to have two audiences: enrolled students and potential students. That can make things a bit confusing. Do you tailor the content and experience to the learner, or do you make the experience more intuitive for prospective buyers? You can absolutely do both (the visitor and student shortcodes come in handy here), but it does make managing the content and using page builders more difficult.

In the latest version (2.3) of our free Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit plugin, we added a very simple new module that can make things easier for some sites. What it does is simple: If a person trying to access a course page is not enrolled in the course, the system redirects them to another URL. That’s it, the behaviour is very simple.

course redirect

Where this comes in really handy though is with both our course grid module in the Toolkit Pro plugin as well as the LearnDash grid add-on. Using either of those, now you have a way to control the behaviour when users click courses in the grid. If they click a course in the grid and they have access, the users get to the course. If they’re not enrolled, they go straight from the grid to a sales page (or to checkout, or to whatever other page you define). No middle step, no making the course page work for 2 different audiences.

Another great use of the module is redirecting a user to a page that explains that he or she doesn’t currently have access to the course with instructions on how to become enrolled. This can  be a single global page, making maintenance much easier than editing all course pages.

Using the new module is simple. Just turn it on from the Toolkit settings page, and in course edit pages, add the URL you want to redirect users to when they’re not enrolled. That’s it! If you want the redirect to work for some courses and not others, just add a URL for courses where you want to redirect people that aren’t enrolled and leave the URL blank if you want all users to be able to access the course page.

We hope this new workflow option improves your conversions and the user experience.

Front End Reporting Solutions for LearnDash

It’s been a constant request from LearnDash users ever since we started building WordPress platforms: “We need better front end reports.” End users don’t like CSV files. They also get confused in the back end, even if they’re Group Leaders. LearnDash users needed a better way.

Gradually some viable solutions started to appear in the LearnDash community. ProPanel add front end widgets a few months ago, and third parties like 247digitalclassrooms started to fill in some gaps. We added some compelling options ourselves, but after a year of countless requests, we’re finally bringing our most requested reports to the front end.

Front End Reporting Comes to Tin Canny

Version 2.2 of our Tin Canny LearnDash Reporting plugin adds the Course and User reports you’re familiar with in the back end to the front end. Group Leaders can finally access drill-down summary and student reports without requiring access to the back end of your WordPress site. On top of that, we have also added a filter for groups, so Group Leaders no longer have to look at combined data for all of their groups if they don’t want to.

It’s super simple to use the new front end reports. Simply drop a [tincanny] shortcode on any page of your site. If the user viewing the page is a Group Leader or Administrator, they’ll have access to the same reports they’re used to on the back end. (For technical reasons, the Tin Can report, which is separate from the Course and User reports, is still only available in the back end.) This is what it looks like:

Tin Canny Front End Reports

Of course, the reporting tables appear below that, but we didn’t want to make the image too large here. When you do add the shortcode, we strongly recommend that you only use it on full-width pages and that no other content be on the pages. It’s a big report.

Other Front End Reporting Solutions

Tin Canny was what people have been asking for in the front end the most, but we do also have several other powerful front end reporting options.

Our Continuing Education Credits plugin adds a comprehensive public report that allows anyone to see and audit LearnDash course completion records. It’s explained in more detail here. Then our LearnDash Groups plugin adds front end course completion and quiz reports for Group Leaders. For both of those plugins, they do work as standalone reporting tools; you don’t need to issue CEU credits or sell group licenses if you just want the reports.

We’re pleased to be able to offer a diverse selection of front end reporting options for LearnDash users now, and we know our Tin Canny users will be especially excited about the new report shortcode!

Updates? We’ve Got Updates!

It’s been a very busy 2 weeks in the LearnDash world.

Version 2.5 of LearnDash was released on November 7, bringing long-awaited features like a visual course builder and the ability to include lessons and topics in multiple courses. The latter is a fundamental change to how courses can be organized and developed.

For LearnDash users, the changes bring welcome new features and far more flexible ways to author courses. And for plugin developers like us, we have to rethink how course relationships work and find new solutions when there are significant architectural changes to the plugins we depend on.

For the last 2 weeks we’ve been working tirelessly to add proper support for LearnDash 2.5 to our plugins. This wasn’t always easy, as LearnDash changed how lessons, topics and quizzes mapped to courses—and with plugins as big and as complex as ours, we have a lot of code that has to look up course relationships, labels, and more.

We released a significant update to the Uncanny LearnDash Toolkit 2 weeks ago that addressed several 2.5 related issues and also added a simple new module for easy User Switching. That plugin has now crossed the 8,000 active installs barrier (yay!) and no issues tied to 2.5 have been reported. (As an aside, with 8,000 installs and only 6 reviews, I think we may have one of the lowest review to install ratios in WordPress; if you use the plugin, don’t forget to leave your review!)

Last Wednesday we released a big update to Pro, addressing multiple 2.5 issues (with the timer, course expiry, group drip and autocompletion) and we added a completely new way to track time for courses. It’s still in beta, so we suggest testing it on Staging sites first, but it’s a more efficient way of recording time and can potentially reduce the resources used by our old timer by 80%. On less powerful sites where resources were already being pushed, we do suggest giving the new tracking method a try. And because it’s lighter, we do now allow a polling interval down to the 5 second level for increased accuracy (the previous limit was 10).

LearnDash Timer

The update to our LearnDash Groups plugin was released on Thursday. It’s less related to 2.5 but covers a lot of fixes to our Groups plugin. It’s still our newest plugin and it receives the most feedback and suggestions for improvement, so if you use Groups, you should absolutely update. There are a lot of improvements.

The Tin Canny update with LearnDash 2.5 fixes was released earlier today. We had a lot of complications with this one to make sure course attributions were correct with the 2.5 changes, so it unfortunately took the longest to release.

That’s it! Those were a lot of plugin updates for us in a short span. Let us know if you do notice any new issues related to LearnDash 2.5 and we’ll happily take a look.

How We Made LearnDash 75 Times Faster

Important: This article examines how we modified certain parts of LearnDash to improve performance on high volume/enterprise sites. LearnDash itself is not slow, but some parts of it are designed for convenience rather than performance. For the vast majority of LearnDash sites, the optimizations discussed below are unnecessary and could be dangerous. This article is intended for very large sites where scalability and performance are critical. 

LearnDash Performance TuningWe see a lot of projects that really push LearnDash to its limits, and for a sub-$200 WordPress plugin, those limits are surprisingly high. LearnDash is generally an efficient plugin that serves the vast majority of its customers very well, but every so often, an organization wants to see how well it can really perform at scale.

The typical LearnDash site we see might expect up to 15 simultaneous learners (even on sites with upwards of 1,000 users) and perhaps 200 LearnDash posts. We  support several, however, that have hundreds of simultaneous learners and thousands of LearnDash posts (courses, lessons, topics and quizzes). At that level, everything gets harder and keeping everything running smoothly requires tuning performance wherever we can.

What we observed on extremely large sites, especially after total courses crossed the 100 level, total quizzes exceeded 1,000 and we started going over the 100 simultaneous user mark, was that performance significantly deteriorated in 3 main areas: user profile pages in /wp-admin/, quiz listing pages, and quiz submissions. In some cases users and admins were even seeing 503 errors, which is catastrophic for any live LearnDash site, but especially ones with hundreds of people online at the same time.

In user profiles we found that database operations could often exceed 150 seconds of processing times and require 10s of thousands of SQL queries to render (perhaps 200 queries is typical on most pages). What we found was that the “Course Progress Details” section of the profile page was looping through all courses to retrieve records for the user and the courses for every course the user was enrolled in. It was pulling everything down on page load too, so even if an admin were just going in to change a password or something else unrelated to LearnDash, the site would be affected by severe load.

Loading all of this data does make things a lot more convenient for admins, and in most cases this section wouldn’t be an issue. But when loading tens of thousands of records on a site with lots of courses, it’s a problem. Fortunately, our developers were able to override this section completely with an alternative solution that combines queries and reduces loops when the admin drills down into that specific course. The approach means we only load data when it’s needed and only as much as is needed. We also removed the edit links to LearnDash posts from the profile page, which are generally rarely used, and we added some transients to speed things up further.

The net effect of these changes?

We took profile page load time for admins from 150 seconds to 2 seconds. 

The difference was night and day. It made profile pages usable again.

The list of quizzes inside LearnDash was another interesting performance challenge. With well over 1,000 quizzes (and thousands of lessons and topics) on a site, just listing the quizzes was a 120 second exercise that adversely affected learners on the site at the same time. Why so slow? Well, LearnDash adds filters to quizzes to make it easy to choose a course (or something else) and only see quizzes under it. But to populate that list of filters, it needs to look up all the associations between quizzes, courses, lessons and topics—which takes a long time on a big site.

This was a case where we really gave up convenience for performance. We didn’t care about only showing objects with quizzes in the filters. So instead we just loaded all courses, then on course selection in a filter we showed all lessons and topics. If the administrator filtered and there were quizzes, great. And if not, we just showed a message that there were no quizzes. That change took loading the quiz listing from 120 seconds to 2 seconds. It was well worth the slight inconvenience.

LearnDash Quiz Performance

Next we looked at quiz submission performance. On sites with a lot of content, saving quiz answers that include essay questions can be extremely slow—in the case of a site with 120,000 rows in the wp_posts table, it was taking 35 seconds to save quizzes with essay questions. Obviously that was trying learner patience and slowing down the site. To address this one we took a shortcut, and instead of looking for a matching post title or name to avoid duplicates when saving an essay answer, we skipped the check and just forced a unique post name.

That new approach took quiz saving time from 35 seconds to 3 seconds.

As you can see from our results, it is possible to significantly increase LearnDash performance on big sites. What’s especially nice is that LearnDash allows us to make 2 out of the 3 overrides above without changes to LearnDash code (and we’re hoping the third can be handled outside of LearnDash in a future LearnDash release if additional filters are added). This means it’s easy to bundle our performance improvements into a portable plugin and the optimizations will survive updates.

Another factor that did help us really push LearnDash performance on these sites was assistance from Pressidium, who are hosting the sites. They went out of their way to help us look at opportunities for performance enhancements and they applied some database changes to their environment to improve performance further.

Are you trying to improve LearnDash performance on a big site? We can help.

Where to Find LearnDash Training, Tutorials and Documentation

Building a robust and polished LearnDash site can be quite difficult. We’ve been doing it for over 4 years now and we’re still discovering new and better ways to build sites. We definitely have an edge with a team of skilled developers and LearnDash experts at our disposal, but we’re all too aware of some of the challenges faced by for new WordPress users and even experienced developers.

This article came about because we still get countless inquiries from people who recognize that LearnDash is a powerful tool that can probably help them—but that’s really as much as they know. They don’t know how to get started and don’t know where to turn to find more information, guidance, and support. We unfortunately find, time and again, that people simply aren’t aware of some of the great LearnDash resources (including tutorials, screencasts and documentation) that are available. We’re hoping that this article saves those users some confusion and frustration.

Start with the Source

The LearnDash Support Site is an invaluable resource that not all LearnDash users seem to know about. If you haven’t bought a license yet, you might not even know it exists! It’s easily as valuable as the plugin itself though. There are countless screencasts, Knowledge Base articles, FAQs, and more. Perhaps the most valuable tools are the forums (which are very active and full of useful information to solve common LearnDash problems and share best practices) and access to the LearnDash support team, who we routinely see go out of their way to help LearnDash customers.

Go to the Experts

Outside of the LearnDash support site there are still lots of great resources. On YouTube there are hundreds of videos from many different authors (including ours; our popular How to Make a LearnDash Site video has helped thousands of LearnDash users). Agencies and developers that work with LearnDash often have great tutorials and articles covering best practices (the LearnDash blog, this blog, WisdmLabs, and others are examples), though it can sometimes be difficult to find the right articles among so much information. Google can be your friend to narrow things down to specific subjects.

The LearnDash Facebook group is very active and has hundreds of members ready to jump in and provide advice on everything from the basics to complex code solutions. You’ll even find some of the Uncanny Owl team on there!

There is also our introductory LearnDash course for our Uncanny LP hosted LearnDash platform. Although it is targeted at a modified WordPress platform, it does still cover all of the WordPress and LearnDash basics someone would need to get started—it just demonstrates everything with a streamlined interface that could be confusing if you’re not using LP. It is free and anyone is welcome to use it, or you can skip the course and jump right into the hours of useful LearnDash useful LearnDash screencasts.

LearnDash can seem overwhelming at first, but there really are many helpful resources available and a large community of users eager to help.

If you have other sources of useful LearnDash training and documentation, add them to the comments below!

Use LearnDash Groups? You Need This.

We heard your requests for better group management in LearnDash and we listened! Today we’re releasing our Uncanny LearnDash Groups plugin, and it’s going to completely change what you and your Group Leaders can do with LearnDash groups.

The plugin adds features in 3 main areas to your LearnDash elearning sites:

  1. Selling courses and seats to organizations.
  2. Managing groups in the front end.
  3. Front end reports for Group Leaders.

This plugin has something for everyone—maybe you just need front end group reports, or maybe you simply need a way to sell custom course bundles to organizations that you support. Use as much or as little as you need. Here’s a video that explains how the plugin adds new opportunities for using LearnDash Groups on your site:

Group Management Made Easy

If you currently manage groups or support Group Leaders, Uncanny LearnDash Groups will make your life a lot easier. After installing the plugin your Group Leaders can do everything themselves. No more emails to you and spending your time settings things up! Whether groups are set up through a purchase or by you, Group Leaders can add or remove users (with limits; no-one can cheat the system) and monitor progress. There are lots of options for making group management easy, including code-based invitations and redemptions, CSV uploads, and manual user changes.


LearnDash Group Management

In the screenshot above you can see how easy it is for Group Leaders to manage everything from one place. See how many seats are available; review what courses the group has access to; add individual users; upload users; download codes users can redeem for group and course access; buy more seats for the group; add and pay for more courses for the group; see progress for group members at the course level; review all quiz completions and drill down into individual results; and manage group leaders (not shown). All of this is possible from a single page and from the front end of the site. We know many site owners don’t like giving access to the back end to Group Leaders, and this plugin goes a long way towards making that possible.

Easy Front End LearnDash Reporting

Uncanny LearnDash Groups makes the reports people ask for most—course progress and quiz results—available in the front end to Group Leaders. No more working with CSV files or confusing widgets. Choose a group (if a Group Leader has more than one), the course or quiz, and get instant results.

LearnDash Group Course Report

The course report is the easiest way for Group Leaders to track progress at a glance, especially with the filtering and search options available. The quiz report adds drill-down capabilities to see all quiz details for a learner, including how they answered LearnDash quiz questions and how long it took them.

Sell to Organizations Without Lifting a Finger

Wish there was a better way to sell to organizations that didn’t require you to create a group, create a Group Leader, invoice the organization offline, add their courses, upload their users and explain how everything works? (And yes, that’s usually what’s required for every group you add.)

Uncanny LearnDash Groups integrates with WooCommerce to let organizations create their own groups with as many courses and licenses as they need. And they can do all of it completely independently.

Buy LearnDash Group Licenses

The screenshot above is what users see when they’re buying a course. They set the group name, how many seats they need, and what courses they want for their learners. But the best part is that they can add more seats and courses later. Groups created with our plugin are completely flexible and organizations can change them themselves as their needs change. No other plugin can do this. It’s an entirely new way of selling to organizations that want your courses, and it’s finally feasible to sell to hundreds of organizations without needing a full-time resource to manage everything.

There’s a lot more to it (including an amazing shortcode to show different course content to different groups!), but we’ll leave the finer details to our Knowledge Base. We know this plugin will help a lot of LearnDash users and we’re excited to finally get it out to the public.

To celebrate the launch of Uncanny LearnDash Groups, we’re offering a 25% discount off the regular price for everyone that buys it before October 8th. Use coupon code “uogroups” to get the reduced price!

Uncanny LP Is Now Available

WordPress has become a very strong platform for elearning over the last few years. With such wide use, great elearning tools, flexibility and strong development community, there are a lot of advantages over proprietary Learning Management systems and platforms that only do elearning. There is a tradeoff though: it’s hard to build and support robust elearning sites with WordPress. It typically takes months to get a site off the ground and a skilled developer is needed to do things well. For many people that puts a WordPress elearning platform out of reach—until now.

Uncanny LP, a hosted platform powered by WordPress and LearnDash,  finally makes it possible for businesses to launch polished elearning sites quickly and easily without any development. Uncanny LP includes the basics that every site needs to launch and to deliver an engaging learning experience. From LMS tools and ecommerce to event management and gamification, it’s a complete platform that works seamlessly for everyone wanting a working LearnDash site without the need for an experienced developer.

Uncanny LP Welcome Screen

What is Uncanny LP?

Uncanny LP is a complete learning platform that we built from the ground up to provide what many organizations tell us they want in a WordPress LMS platform. We look after the platform—including maintenance, security, performance, and backups—so you can focus on the design and content. It’s the fastest, safest, and easiest way to build out a LearnDash-powered platform for your business, and it comes ready to go with all of the following:

  • Strong LMS capabilities powered by LearnDash, the most feature-rich WordPress LMS plugin available.
  • Support for almost limitless content types, including video, audio, quizzes, tables, Captivate, Storyline, iSpring, Rise, H5P and more. There’s even support for Tin Can (xAPI) and SCORM tracking. You won’t find this level of elearning content support in any other WordPress solution.
  • Intuitive group and license management. Go B2C or B2B; it’s easy to support both audiences with ecommerce and enterprise features like self-managed groups and front end management reporting.
  • Certificates, Continuing Education Credits, and badges that make it easy to recognize achievements online and offline.
  • Event management for live events, including paid tickets and attendee management.
  • eCommerce that supports one-time payment, subscriptions, coupons and code-based registration. Accept payment with PayPal or Stripe; we also secure your site with SSL
  • Deep CRM integration and compatibility with Infustionsoft, Active Campaign, Ontraport and more. Sync data from optins, purchases, user profiles, course behaviour and more.
  • Discussion forums for online collaboration, both public and private.
  • Great performance on specialized WordPress hosting where security, backups and other admin headaches are taken care of for you.
  • Extensive documentation and training materials.
  • Support from a North American team of experienced Learning developers and educators.

Who is Uncanny LP for?

We get a lot of inquiries about custom WordPress elearning platforms but we only work with about 10% of the organizations that reach out to us. Why is it such a small number? Almost without exception, it comes down to cost and timing. LearnDash development can be expensive; our average project budget is over $10,000. Many people not familiar with custom development are sometimes surprised by the cost. Development time can also be unexpected. We typically have a 4 week lead time, and there are a lot of people out there that leave LearnDash projects or enhancements to the last possible minute. After the lead time, sites often take 4 to 10 weeks to build. Finding this out left a lot of potential customers very scrambling for a solution—and there really was no alternative for getting a robust LearnDash site up quickly.

Uncanny LP addresses that gap. It’s  for the thousands of people and small businesses that need a simple, flexible learning platform.  Maybe the per user cost of a cloud LMS are prohibitive, or maybe they don’t want separate websites for everything they’re doing. We hear from hundreds of these users every year, in need of a robust solution but overwhelmed by the complexity of building it themselves. These are people that don’t have the budget or time for a full-blown, custom LMS when 90% of their needs aren’t that unique. Until now, these organizations had no easy solution in the marketplace.

Here are just a few examples of organizations that would find significant value in Uncanny LP:

The author/keynote speaker selling video-based training directly to the public. She can turn on the eCommerce, CRM integration and Marketing LP modules and be ready to go. From there it’s just a matter of adding branding and content.

The mid-sized company doing internal training that needs an easy way to track self-directed compliance programs and CPD/CEU credits. All LP modules can be turned off and the system can be hidden from search engines; LearnDash Groups can be used to track training by department.

The small business offering niche sales training can turn on eCommerce, events, gamification and marketing modules to coordinated blended learning programs. They might even incorporate interactive Storyline modules and discussion forums to augment their training offer. Selling B2B licenses to organizations is even supported.

The professional coach might use the event, gamification and marketing modules to offer long-term, facilitated programs to groups of students. Incorporating the CRM integration module allows him to set up campaigns in Infusionsoft to promote automated engagement based on learning activities.

The college professor can turn on discussion forums and gamification to build supplementary modules that augment the classroom experience and promote more learning opportunities.

There are countless scenarios where Uncanny LP will be the right fit for an organization. Some of the best reasons include the following:

  • Hundreds or thousands of active monthly users means per-user costs with cloud LMS providers are prohibitive
  • Tight integration of common features that a traditional LMS lacks (like event management and CRM integration)
  • Time is limited and a robust, secure elearning platform is needed quickly
  • WordPress seems like the right fit but the site owner is new to WordPress and just needs things to work
  • The organization doesn’t have a $10,000 plus budget and can accept a platform that does 95% of what they want for a 95% discount

Whatever your reason for choosing Uncanny LP, you’ll get a solid, safe platform backed by one of the most experienced LearnDash development agencies out there.

Get Started with Uncanny LP

To learn more about Uncanny LP features and benefits, be sure to check out our new site at https://uncannylp.com. It’s the best way to see how the platform can benefit your organization.

Uncanny LP Intro Course

To better understand how LP works and how to set things up, we’ve made some of the free training available in our introductory course. We hope you’ll check it out! There are dozens of screencasts and it’s about a 10-hour training program.

To get started with your own Uncanny LP site, click here. You can start using your own LP site as early as tomorrow.

The Uncanny LP Beta is Ending!

Here’s something our clients and followers may not know: we’ve been running a beta for a secret LearnDash hosted platform for the last month. We didn’t want to attract too much attention while we were testing it, but for some of our dedicated followers and a few very determined searchers, they’ve had a month to explore Uncanny LP (Learning Platform). Uncanny LP is our easy-to-use, complete LearnDash platform that will make launching and managing a WordPress LMS a lot more accessible to everyone.

The Uncanny LP beta will be closing on Sunday, September 17, so that we can officially launch LP on Monday, September 18. There are 3 spots left in the beta at the time of this posting to lock in LP permanently at the discounted beta price. This is the only launch discount we will be offering.

To find out more about the platform, visit https://uncannylp.com.

We’ll talk a lot more about LP and how it can be used after launch, but at a high level it lets anyone deploy a polished WordPress elearning platform in 24 hours at very low cost. It supports elearning (with LearnDash, of course), ecommerce, event management, gamification, social sharing and more, plus it includes all of our plugins. There are dozens of hours of screencasts and lots of documentation; combined with a simple admin interface, our goal is to really reduce the learning curve for setting up and managing a LearnDash site.


LearnDash LP Welcome

Beta results have been positive so far and we’re excited to start promoting the live version of the platform next week. Interestingly, we’ve had the most inquiries about LP from agencies and designers that want multiple LP sites that they can deploy quickly for their clients. The platform will really help individuals, developers and agencies focus on building out great designs and content rather than spending weeks and countless thousands of dollars on the platform.

No beta discounts will be offered after 9 PM Eastern on September 17. There are also only 3 beta spots left, so if you want to sign up, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible by clicking here. The beta will be closed early if the 3 spots are purchased before Sunday.

A LearnDash Course Completion Report for Everyone

Have you ever wanted an easy way for learners, managers, parents, administrators, or anyone else to verify course completion records? Especially if they don’t have WordPress accounts? Until recently, there has been no way to make this possible with LearnDash. Administrators and Group Leaders have several options, between LearnDash CSV reports, ProPanel, Tin Canny and other plugins, but access to the data is heavily restricted.

We introduced a great way to verify course completions a few weeks ago but we didn’t draw a lot of attention to it. It’s part of our new Continuing Education Credit plugin, and the front end course completion report was one of the features we were most excited about. Even though the name might suggest otherwise, the plugin does not require you offer credit for your courses. In fact, it offers several features (multi-course certificates are another) that don’t depend on courses with credits. EVERY LearnDash site stands to benefit from having the plugin.

Check out the screenshot below of our course completion report (notice the lack of CEU reporting in this version!). This is in the front end on a regular WordPress page and it can be used by anyone, regardless of whether or not the user has an account on the site. (We protect privacy by requiring that at least 3 characters be entered in the search field. Otherwise, it’s wide open for easy reporting.)

LearnDash Completion Report Front End

If you’re familiar with our Continuing Education plugin you may recognize this report—except that it’s missing a column. That’s because it normally includes a column for CEU values, as it was designed as a CEU report.  With a tiny code tweak that column can be hidden and it becomes a comprehensive completion report for any LearnDash site!

To make the change, simply add this string inside the Text tab of the WordPress editor for the page (instead of just using the shortcode by itself):

<style>.hide-ceu #searchResults thead tr th:nth-of-type(5),.hide-ceu #searchResults tbody tr td:nth-of-type(5){display: none;}</style>
<div class=”hide-ceu”>

And with that, you’ve got an easy-to-use LearnDash course completion report in the front end of your LearnDash site!

Here are just a few scenarios where this type of report could be helpful:

  • Allowing an employer to verify staff course records without requiring a site account or the use of LearnDash Groups.
  • Allowing a parent to check on their child’s progress.
  • Allowing a third party certification or accrediting body to verify member training.
  • Allowing a student that no longer has site access to retrieve their records.

We would love to hear about your own creative uses of the course completion report in the comments!