In version 1.1 of the Uncanny Continuing Education Credits plugin we introduced the concept of “required credits”. Building on the rollover date that’s in the plugin, new functionality offers a way to set targets for learners that have annual training requirements. Credit thresholds can be set for both individual users and groups, and we added a simple way to handle multiple credit thresholds for users.
For example, let’s suppose that John Smith has an individual requirement of 50 course credits in a year. John is also a member of Group A, which has a credit requirement of 40, and Group B, which has a credit requirement of 75. Of the 3, Group B requires the most credits, so that’s how many John must earn for the year.
Tracking users against continuing education credit requirements is easy. Several shortcodes/blocks are included to make it easy for learners to plan their training in the front end; email reminders can be sent out reminding users of their credit requirements; and a deficiency report has been added to the plugin so administrators can see at a glance who has not yet fulfilled their training requirements.
Setting Credit Requirements
Before this functionality can be used, a rollover date must be set in the plugin settings and required credits at the user and/or group level must be set. Please note that required credits can only be set if a rollover date is set first.
To set an individual requirement, simply edit the user’s profile. Look for the Required field as shown on the right (“CEUs” would be replaced by your plural credit label). Enter a number in the field and save the user’s profile to set the annual required credit threshold. (The Group field to the right is read-only in the user’s profile because it simply looks up the user’s highest required credits based on his or her group membership).
To set group requirements, edit the LearnDash Group for which you want to set a required number of credits. In the top right area of the edit page, you should see a field where you can set the required credit value. Enter a number and save the group to set the threshold for all users in that group.
Two shortcodes/blocks are included in the Uncanny Continuing Education Credits plugin for LearnDash to specifically to help with tracking training requirements.
Block Name: Days Remaining
This shortcode/block outputs the number of days that remain until the rollover date. Learners can reference this value so they know how much time they have until all of their credits must be earned.
Block Name: Credits Remaining
This shortcode/block shows users how many credits they need to earn before the rollover date. If no user_id is specified, the shortcode/block will show the value for the current user. As a reminder, the number of credits shown is the highest of a user’s associated individual and group credit requirements.
Note that neither shortcode/block can return a negative value. On the rollover date, the number of days remaining always resets. And if a user has earned more than his or her required credits, they have 0 credits remaining. A credit excess is not shown to users.
Included in the Continuing Education Credits plugin is an easy way to remind users about their outstanding credit requirements. By turning on email reminders, users will automatically receive an email X days before the rollover date to remind them about what they’ve earned and what they still need to earn. The number of days before the rollover date, the email subject line and the email body can all be customized.
The screenshot to the right lists all available fields that can be used in the email subject and body. Here’s a summary:
|#user_email||The user's email address|
|#first_name||The user's first name|
|#last_name||The user's last name|
|#credits_required||The number of credits the user must earn (the highest of individual and group credits)|
|#ceu_earned||The number of credits the user has earned in total|
|#earned_since_rollover||The number of credits earned since the rollover date|
|#rollover_date||The rollover date set in the plugin settings|
|#ceu_plural||The plural label for continuing education credits|
|#ceu_single||The singular label for credits|
Setting an email reminder will send all emails at the same time. That means that if 1,000 users in your system have outstanding credit requirements, 1,000 emails will go out. This level of email volume can significantly impact sites on less robust hosting (potentially even taking them down) and really isn’t recommended on any host. Instead, please consider using a third party transaction email service if you want to send out email reminders. SparkPost, SendGrid, Mandrill and Amazon SES are all popular options. We strongly recommend you check the number of emails that will go out before they are sent (so check the deficiency report a few days before the notification date) and have something in place to ensure the emails will be delivered reliably.
To make monitoring progress against required credits easier for administrators, the Uncanny Continuing Education Credits plugin includes a Deficiency Report. In it, you can search by user, group or against all users to list who hasn’t yet completed their training requirements. Note that users who have completed their required credits (or have no required credits) will not be listed. Anyone in this report has a gap between earned and required credits.