Please note: I’m part of the LearnDash Affiliate Program which means I’ll receive a commission if you end up buying LearnDash through one of my links. There’s no cost to you. I only review products I’ve used and believe could be useful to my readers.
About This LearnDash Tutorial
Have you ever wondered how to create an online course with WordPress? If so, this LearnDash tutorial is for you. If you’re familiar with WordPress then you already know how awesome it is as a content management system. You probably already know it’s possible to extend the functionality from managing web content to a full-blown learning management system (or LMS).
Firstly, if you’re not familiar with what an LMS is, it’s software that enables you to create an online course along with the management of your users. Often, LMS software is set-up to allow registrations and enrollments, manage login information, and many other tasks needed to run online training.
Table of Contents
Multiple Types of Learning Management Systems
There are multiple types of learning management systems including self-hosted or cloud LMS solutions.
LearnDash is the LMS I’ll be covering in this tutorial and LearnDash is a self-hosted WordPress LMS plugin. That means you’ll download and install it to your hosting account within WordPress and it will add the functionality you need to run an online course right from your website.
This LearnDash tutorial is based on my experience with this LMS plugin. I purchased the LearnDash single license download and installed it on a domain name. It was installed on a SiteGround hosting account (which is an inexpensive account). I was able to get everything up and running to walk you through this tutorial with no problems.
Once installed, I added in my purchase email address and license key.
Tour of What the LearnDash Plugin Can Create
It was pretty clear immediately after installing the plugin that LearnDash just adds in course building functionality. You’ll need a theme in addition to the functionality of LearnDash in order to create anything resembling a course.
I installed the Astra free theme for the screenshots you’ll see here. LearnDash also suggests a few paid themes. The two I kept seeing mentioned are Elumine and the Social Learner theme. There are several others on the LearnDash recommended theme list. In addition, LearnDash says their plugin works with almost any modern theme.
The other thing that became pretty clear after installing LearnDash is if you already have a site with WordPress running on it, you don’t want to upload this plugin to it. It makes more sense to install LearnDash on a subdomain running a separate instance of WordPress. That way you can use a different theme for your course as you do for the rest of your site.
For instance, I run WordPress on my BusinessBolts.com domain. If I were to use LearnDash, I wouldn’t install LearnDash within my existing WordPress installation.
Instead, I would install a new instance of WordPress on a subdomain like courses.businessbolts.com or premium.businessbolts.com. Then I’d upload the LearnDash plugin there.
LearnDash has its own set of features and it will make things a lot less complicated to run it somewhere else. You won’t have to worry about whether your current theme and settings work well for your online course pages if you put LearnDash on a subdomain. I already spent a lot of time on the Business Bolts theme and don’t want to have to change it to accommodate LearnDash.
However, the downside is that you will have two WordPress admin areas to manage.
Tour of What the LearnDash Plugin Can Create
For this part of the tutorial, I’ll walk you around what you can create with LearnDash. As you’ll notice, I didn’t spend a lot of time customizing my LearnDash theme. I think it’s better to show you what it will look like as near to unpacking it as possible.
There were a few things I did to get it to look like this. As mentioned, I installed the Astra free theme. I also uploaded a logo and created a menu with the ‘Courses’ and ‘Profile’ links. Then I went to the Widgets page in WordPress and added in the Course Navigation widget and the Course Progress widget to the main sidebar.
That was really all I did. If you’re using LearnDash plan to spend some time making the course look more professional than what I did, but that’s time you only have to spend once. With a little effort, you can make LearnDash courses look great.
Sample LearnDash Course
Here’s a screenshot of one of my courses; it’s called the InlineSEO System:
This is an older course that I used to sell.
I’ve only added in a very small amount to this course, but it gives you an idea of how LearnDash courses are set-up. The lessons are shown at the bottom of the body area of the main course page as well as in the sidebar (since I configured it that way). There’s also a progress bar that shows how far along in the course your learner is (I didn’t complete anything yet which is why the progress bar is blank).
I have a very small portion of another course uploaded where I’ve marked off about half of the course. You can see how the progress bar tracks how much of the course I’ve completed and the checkmark arrows are green for lessons I’ve completed:
As seen in the screenshot above, progress is achieved when the learner clicks on the ‘Mark as Complete’ button on a lesson or topic.
In addition, you can also create quizzes with LearnDash. Their quiz functionality is very impressive. Here’s an example of a very simple quiz:
Additionally, LearnDash will show a results page once a quiz is completed:
You can customize all this and get rid of the duplicate text. Again, I’m trying to show you the functionality, you can make all this look much nicer.
One neat thing is once a user completes a quiz, the quiz data can be stored in their profile. Here’s a screenshot of a simple profile page to illustrate this:
All I had to do to get this set-up was to create a page and drop in a very simple shortcode. LearnDash takes care of the rest.
LearnDash also keeps a history of the learner’s quiz. You can access that by clicking on one of the note icons in the screenshot above. Here’s a history of one of the test quizzes:
This is very handy.
So that’s just a little walk around of what a course built with LearnDash might look like. Again, I barely spent any time on this. If you spent a little more time, you can make your course look great.
Next up, I’ll walk you around the LearnDash admin area so you can see all the features packed into this LMS plugin.
LearnDash LMS Admin
Once you install LearnDash into your WordPress admin, you’ll see the LearnDash link. It shows up after the Settings link.
Click on that LearnDash LMS link and several additional links will show up under it.
I’ll go through each of those links one-by-one in this tutorial, giving you a walkthrough of exactly what LearnDash has to offer.
The first link under LearnDash LMS is Courses. When you click on this link, you’re taken to a page that shows you a list of your courses. Here in this screenshot, I have one course, called Checklists.
Add New Tab
The Courses link has several tabs within it. If you look to the left of the Courses tab up top, you’ll see the ‘Add New’ tab. This is where you can add a new course.
Simply enter in the title of your course along with a description. You can also choose a course category. Below that view, you’ll see a couple of toggle boxes where you can decide to allow comments or trackbacks and pingbacks. You can also choose the author. Then there is a panel for Course settings.
Here’s a screenshot of how all this is presented:
I’ll go through each of those settings here:
This is where you can add in materials needed for learners to complete your course.
Course Price Type
Here’s where you select the type of pricing you’ll use for your course. You can choose from open, closed, free, buy now or recurring.
Course Access List
This field will be auto-populated with the ID of your learners who have access to this course.
Sort Lesson By
You can choose to sort your lessons by date (which is the default setting), title, or menu order.
Sort Lesson Direction
You can select whether you want the lessons in this course to go in descending or ascending order.
To continue with the settings, you can choose the number of lessons per page as shown in the screenshot below:
Lessons Per Page
The default is set to 25, but you may adjust this by selecting custom and then typing in the exact number you’d like to display on a course page.
Enable Course Prerequisites
You can mark this box if you want your learners to take a prerequisite course before they are able to take the current course. If you check it off, a box will display where you can select the course(s) that should be taken first.
Enable Course Points
You can have a points system where your learners get points for completing your courses. When marking off this box, you’ll see a display where you can add in the number of points a user will receive for the course. In addition, you can input the number of points a user must have in order to access the course (this is optional).
Disable Lesson Progression
Here you can choose whether or not to disable the feature that allows lessons to be attempted only in the order they are presented. If you disable this, then the learner can jump around within the course. Otherwise, they can only access lessons when they have completed all the previous ones. Lesson progression is a great feature within LearnDash.
If you mark this box off, course access will expire. Two boxes will display when it’s checked off. The first allows you to input the number of days after access that the course will expire. The second box allows you to mark whether or not you want the course and quiz data deleted after expiration. This way you’re not storing their course progress even after they’ve lost access to the course. This is a great feature that will help you manage all the course and quiz data.
Hide Course Content Table
This box controls whether or not the course content table is shown when the user is not enrolled in the course.
Here you can select a certificate from the drop-down menu. This certificate will be awarded upon completion of the course.
That’s a lot of features to choose from!
I was surprised at everything you’re able to customize (and as you can see, we’re nowhere near done).
Still, on that same page, you’ll see the LearnDash Course Builder. This area shows your lessons, topics, and quizzes at a glance.
Here’s a screenshot of the Course Builder after I’ve added some lessons and topics.
You can drag and drop lessons, topics, and quizzes here and they’ll all be created as pages within WordPress. It’s a quick and easy way to structure and start building your course.
Course Options Tab
If you move to the right of the Courses tab, you’ll see the Course Options tab. The first panel covers Course Taxonomies.
Here’s the screenshot followed by a walk-through of what each option does:
LearnDash Course Categories
You can enable the built-in course categories by marking off this box.
LearnDash Course Tags
You can enable the built-in course tags by marking off this box.
WordPress Post Categories
Here you can enable the built-in WordPress post categories.
WordPress Post Tags
Finally, you can enable the built-in WordPress post tags by marking off this box.
The Course Custom Post Type Options panel is next.
Exclude From Search
You can control the course custom post type options here by choosing whether or not to exclude them from search.
Next up is the Course Builder panel. This interface allows you to manage your course content.
Here’s what each of the Course Builder settings does:
Course Builder Interface
This setting controls whether or not to enable the Course Builder interface.
Selector Items Per Page
You can choose the number of items to display per page under this setting.
Shared Course Steps
This allows you to use lessons, topics, and quizzes across multiple courses. This is a great time-saving feature. You don’t have to enter the same lesson if it’s to be used in more than one course.
Course Shortcodes Tab
Moving down the row of tabs, Course Shortcodes comes next. This area shows you the different shortcodes you may use to display relevant user information. I’ve got a screenshot of the top of the shortcodes screen below:
As shown above … [ld_profile] Displays the enrolled courses, course progress, quiz results, and achieved certifications for the user.
You can add specific parameters for most of these shortcodes. For example, if you want to set the order of your courses, then you would use the code [ld_profile order=”ASC”]
List of Shortcodes
I’ll list out the rest of the shortcodes here briefly so you can get an idea of what you can display from your course.
[ld_course_list] Shows a list of courses.
[ld_lesson_list] This shortcode shows a list of lessons.
[ld_topic_list] Shows a list of topics.
[ld_quiz_list] This shortcode shows a list of quizzes.
[learndash_course_progress] Shows the user progress bar for the course.
[visitor] This shortcode displays the content if the user is not enrolled in the course.
[student] Shows the content if the user is enrolled in the course.
[course_complete] Shows the content if the user has completed the course.
[course_inprogress] This shortcode displays the content if the user has started but not completed the course.
[course_notstarted] Shows the content if the user has access to the course, but has not yet started.
[ld_course_info] Will show the courses for the user.
[ld_user_course_points] Shows the earned course points for the user.
[user_groups] Displays the list of groups users are assigned to.
[ld_group] Shows the content if the user is enrolled in a specific group.
[ld_video] Allows the video player to be shown in a position other than above the content.
[learndash_payment_buttons] Shows the payment buttons on any page.
[course_content] Displays Course Content table when inserted on a page or post.
[ld_course_expire_status] Displays the user course access expiry date.
Course Categories Tab
After that, the next tab is the Course Categories tab. If you’ve used WordPress before then this will look familiar since it looks a lot like the Post Categories screen. Here you can add in a new course category, choose a parent course category (if there is one), and add in a description for your course category. You can also edit any existing categories you may have from this tab.
Course Tags Tab
The Course Tags tab looks very similar to another standard WordPress feature. It’s where you can add tags for your courses and manage existing tags. You may or may not use course tags or even course categories depending on how many courses you offer.
That’s it for the ‘Courses’ walkthrough. After that, the next link is the ‘Lessons’ link.
The Lesson link is up next. This is where you add in your lessons. You can even add in a third layer; topics which I’ll cover next. You’ll have to plan out how you want to structure your course before you start adding in all your content. With the three different layers (Courses –> Lessons –> Topics), LearnDash definitely offers options. So here you can see that I’ve got 2 lessons added in:
One thing I noticed while playing around with LearnDash is that the progress bar moves per course. So that means if you have a really big course, the learner won’t see much progress as they move through the course. So you may want to break your courses up.
Add New Tab
If you move to the tab just to the left of Lessons, you’ll be at the ‘Add New’ screen. Here you can add in a new lesson. Just enter in the lesson title along with a description.
Below that panel, you’ll see the discussion panel where you can allow comments, trackbacks, and pingbacks on the page. You can also choose your author from the drop-down menu.
Under that comes the Lesson settings as shown below:
Here’s a quick overview of what those settings cover:
These include a spot where you can type in any required lesson materials (like scissors, glue, etc … if you’ve got a craft lesson).
You can select the course that this lesson fits under in the Associated Course section. If you add your lessons through the Course Builder shown in the lesson above, then LearnDash will already set this up correctly for you.
Forced Lesson Timer
You can have a forced lesson timer. This allows you to select an amount of time your learner must spend on the page before they can mark a lesson as complete.
You can check this box if you want to make it mandatory for a learner to upload an assignment.
Check this box if you want to make the entire lesson (including all the topics) available for free.
This panel is large so I’ve broken it up. Here are more settings from within it:
Make Lesson Visible x Days After Sign-up
Here you can enter the number of days after sign-up a specific lesson will be made visible. This allows you to drip your content.
Make Lesson Visible on Specific Date
This setting allows you to make a lesson visible on a specific date instead of going by the number of days after sign-up. This will be useful if you’re running a course that starts on a certain day and you want to drip that content out over time.
Enable Video Progression
This setting allows you to show a video as part of the progression. If you mark it off, then a box where you can enter the video URL will display. You can also decide whether or not you would like to auto start the video and/or show the video controls.
In addition, you can decide when to show the video in relation to any sub-steps. Your choices are that the video is shown after completing the sub-steps (the default) or before. Finally, you have the option of checking a box to allow the lesson to auto-complete after the video is over.
Lesson Options Tab
The Lesson Options tab is to the right of Lessons. The Lesson Display Settings is the first panel in this tab. I’ve got a screenshot of it for you below:
Here’s a quick overview of those settings.
Here you’ll see the Sort By setting which allows you to sort your lessons by date, title, or menu order. It’s important to keep your lessons in the right order as your learners will likely start them from top to bottom.
With the Sort Direction setting, you can decide whether to put your lessons in descending or ascending order.
Posts Per Page
Posts Per Page allows you to determine how many lessons will be presented on the page. Twenty-five is the default. You can insert any number here that you’d like, but make sure before you get too high, you check and see how it looks on your page.
Underneath that is the Lesson Taxonomies panel.
Here’s a brief overview of the taxonomies.
LearnDash Lesson Categories
The Lesson Categories setting can be enabled to allow the built-in Lesson Categories taxonomy to be used.
LearnDash Lesson Tags
The Lesson Tags setting can be enabled to allow the built-in Lesson Tags taxonomy to be used.
WordPress Post Categories
The WordPress Post Categories can be enabled to allow the built-in Post Categories to be used.
WordPress Post Tags
The WordPress Post Tags can be enabled to allow built-in Post Tags to be used.
Next up is the Lesson Custom Post Type Options panel. There’s only one setting here.
Exclude From Search
Exclude From Search allows you to exclude the custom post type options from search.
The next tab over is the Lesson Categories tabs.
Lesson Categories Tab
This tab allows you to organize your lessons by category. It’s an optional tab and will not show up unless you have the LearnDash Lesson Categories setting enabled. It works just like the post categories page in WordPress where you can enter the name of the new category, decide to put it within a parent category and add in the proper slug and a description (which is optional).
Lesson Tags Tab
This next tab allows you to organize your lessons by tags. This one is also optional, therefore, it will only show up if you have the LearnDash Lesson Tags setting enabled. Here you can add in a new tag along with an optional description. Both these tabs allow for better organization of all your lessons.
After that, the next link down is the Topics link.
Topics allow you to break up a lesson into several topics. They are optional but allow you to add in another layer if you want to. Here you can see my example topics:
If you’d like to add in a new topic, simply click on the ‘Add New’ button near the top next to the text ‘Topics’.
Add New Tab
Here’s what the Add New screen looks like. As you can see, the top part is exactly like every other add new page.
If you start scrolling below the view where you add in your topic content, you’ll get to the topic settings.
The Lesson Topic panel allows you to adjust the following settings:
I’ll go through the Lesson Topic panel here.
The Topic Materials area allows you to add materials your learners may need to complete the topic. It’s optional. You may not require your learners to have additional materials.
Here you must select a course to associate your topic with. You can click on the drop-down menu and choose your course.
Under associated lessons, you must select a lesson to associate your topic with. Again, you can click on the drop-down menu and choose your lesson. Alternately if you used the course builder to organize your lessons and topics, this will all be auto-populated for you.
Forced Topic Timer
This sets a minimum amount of time a learner must spend on the topic page before it can be marked off as complete. That’s a very handy feature if you don’t want your learners to just mark off topics they didn’t actually review.
You can enable the upload assignment setting and the learner will have to upload an assignment in order to complete this topic.
Enable Video Progression
You can enable this setting to show a video as part of the progression.
That’s it for the ‘Add New’ topic tab. If you move back over to the right of ‘Topics’, you’ll see the Topic Options tab.
Topic Options Tab
Topic Options is very similar to the Lesson Options tab. The first panel you’ll see is the Topic Taxonomies panel as shown below:
Next, I’ll go through the topic taxonomy settings here:
LearnDash Topic Categories
This setting allows you the option to show Topic Categories. If you enable this, then the Topic Categories tab will be visible and you can add in your categories.
LearnDash Topic Tags
This setting allows you the option to show Topic Tags. If you enable this, then the Topic Tags tab will be visible and you can add in your tags.
WordPress Post Categories
Here you can choose to enable the built-in WordPress Post Categories.
WordPress Post Tags
Here you can choose to enable the built-in WordPress Post Tags.
Exclude From Search
This setting allows you to exclude your topics custom posts from search.
Topic Categories Tab
This tab allows you to organize your topics by category. It’s an optional tab and will not be visible unless you have the LearnDash Topic Categories setting enabled. It works just like the post categories page in WordPress where you can enter the name of the new category, put it within a parent category and add in the proper slug and a description (which is optional).
Topic Tags Tab
This tab allows you to organize your topics by tags. It will only be visible if you have the LearnDash Topic Tags setting enabled. Here you can add in your topic tags along with an optional description.
That’s it for the Topics section. After that, quizzes are the next link under Topics.
Here’s what the Quizzes page looks like:
You can manage all your quizzes from within this tab. Since we don’t have any quizzes yet, let’s get started building one.
Add New Tab
You can click on the Add New link near the ‘Quizzes’ text and you’ll be taken to a page like the one shown below. Here you can add in the quiz title and description.
If you scroll down from this view, you’ll see the Discussion panel. This allows you the choice to allow comments and/or allow trackbacks and pingbacks.
The Author panel is up next. This is where you can assign an author to the quiz.
After that, the Quiz panel shows up after the Author panel. Here is where you can start to assign settings to the quiz. I’ll go through those settings here.
Here you can add optional quiz materials.
In the Repeats box you can enter the number of times a learner can repeat the quiz. Blank equals unlimited attempts.
The Certificate Threshold setting allows you to enter in the minimum score required to earn a certificate.
This setting allows you to require a passing percentage for the quiz.
The Associated Course setting allows you to select a course that the quiz will be associated with.
Here’s the next screenshot from that same page:
The Associated Lesson drop-down box allows you to select a lesson or topic to associate the quiz with.
Here you can optionally associate a quiz with a certificate.
The Quiz Advanced panel comes up next. The following are the settings you can adjust from this panel (as shown above).
Hide quiz title
Here you can decide whether you want to hide the quiz title from the display.
Hide “Restart quiz” button
With this setting, you can hide the ‘Restart quiz’ button in case you’re not allowing learners to retake quizzes.
Hide “View question” button
Here you can choose to hide the ‘View question’ button.
Display question randomly
This allows you to randomize your quiz questions. This is great if you’re allowing learners to retake quizzes. That’s because anytime they retake the quiz it will seem like a new experience for them.
Display answers randomly
From this setting, you can choose to display answers randomly.
To continue on with the Quiz Advanced panel here’s the next set of settings:
Sort Questions by Category
You can choose to sort questions by category.
This setting allows you to set a time limit for the quiz. 0 is no time limit and any other number is the number of seconds the learner has to take the quiz.
Protect Quiz answers in Browser Cookie
This option will save the learners to answer in a browser cookie until the quiz is submitted. You can choose the number of seconds to save the answers or leave it at 0 to not save the answers.
Enabling this allows the admin to see the quiz statistics after each completed quiz.
This allows you to protect the statistics from spam. LearnDash has a recommendation of 1440 minutes. That means the result will only be saved every 1440 minutes from the same IP address.
View Profile Statistics
This setting allows you to enable the learner to view their statistics for this quiz on their profile.
Execute Quiz Only Once
This allows you to lock the quiz down to only one try for each user.
There’s more. Here’s a screenshot revealing more of the quiz options page:
Show Only Specific Number of Questions
This feature allows you to set a quiz to display a maximum number of questions. This is a very useful feature if you’ll have a large question bank that pools only a certain number of random questions from within the bank of questions.
If you activate prerequisites then you can choose a quiz that must be completed before the learner can take the current quiz.
This allows you to add a quiz question over at the top of a quiz allowing for easy navigation. The learner can mark questions ‘to review’.
Admin Email Notification
Here you can choose to get an email when a learner completes this quiz.
User Email Notification
With this setting, you can choose to have an email sent with the learner’s score.
After that comes the Autostart panel.
If you enable this option, the quiz will start as soon as the page is loaded.
Only Registered Users are Allowed to Start the Quiz
If you choose this option, then only registered users can start the quiz.
The next panel is the Question-Options panel.
I’ll go through these options here.
Firstly, if you activate the Show points setting, your quiz will show how many points are reachable for the respective question.
Secondly, you can choose to show the questions with numbers by activating this setting.
Hide Correct-Incorrect Message
Thirdly, if you enable this, then the correct or incorrect messages will not show.
Correct-Incorrect Answer Mark
Next, if you enable this, answers won’t be color highlighted as correct or incorrect.
Force User to Answer Each Question
Lastly, you can force the learner to answer each question by enabling this.
To continue moving down the page, here’s the next screenshot:
Hide Question Position Overview
Firstly, you can choose to hide the question position overview by enabling this setting.
Hide Question Numbering
Secondly, if you enable this option, the question numbering is hidden.
Thirdly, you can enable this and the category will be displayed in the question.
After that is the Result-Options panel as shown below:
Show Average Points
Firstly, this setting will allow you to show average points as long as the statistics-function is enabled.
Show Category Score
Secondly, you can enable this option and the results of each category will be shown on the results page.
Hide Correct Questions – Display
Thirdly, if you enable this option, the number of questions will not be displayed on the results page.
Hide Quiz Time – Display
Next, if you enable this option, the time for finishing the quiz won’t be shown on the results page.
Hide Score – Display
Lastly, if you enable this option, the final score won’t be shown on the results page.
After that is the Quiz-Mode (required) panel. You will have to choose from one of the quiz modes below.
Firstly, this is the default quiz-mode. It will display all questions in sequential order and ‘right’ or ‘false’ will be displayed at the end of the quiz.
Normal + Back-Button
Secondly, this mode allows learners to use the back button in a question.
Check -> Continue
Thirdly, this mode shows ‘right or wrong’ after each question.
Questions Below Each Other
Lastly, by enabling this, all answers displayed will be below each other. In other words, all questions are on a single page.
After that, the Leaderboard (optional) panel is next. The leaderboard allows users to enter their results in a public list and share the result.
The Custom Fields panel is next.
Custom Fields Enable
Firstly, you can enable custom fields if you have the statistic function enabled.
Secondly, here you can decide where to display the fields (like on the quiz start page or at the end of the quiz).
Thirdly, this box allows you to enter in the Field name, the type (whether it is text, a checkbox, drop-down menu, number, email, yes/no, date, or other). You can also tick off whether or not the field is required.
The Results Text (optional) panel is last. Here you can enter the text to be displayed at the end of the quiz (in the results) which is completely optional.
That’s it for the settings under the ‘Add New’ Quiz. As you can see, there are a lot! After that, the tab to the right of the ‘Quizzes’ tab which is ‘Quiz Options’ is what we’ll cover next.
Quiz Options Tab
The Quiz Options tab includes the Global Settings panel.
Leaderboard Time Format
Here you can choose the format for the date on the leaderboard. Just click one of the radio boxes and you’re all set.
Statistic Time Format
This Statistic Time Format setting allows you to select a time format from the drop-down menu as well as set a Time format (they include documentation on this to help you choose).
There’s another set of links on the Quiz Options page. Next to Quiz Options is a tab for E-Mail settings. These emails are the emails sent when a learner completes a quiz (if you have those emails enabled). We’ll cover those next.
Admin e-mail settings
First up are the Admin e-mail settings. These include setting the ‘To’ email addresses. You can also enter in a ‘From Name: as well as a ‘From Email’. Then you can enter in a Subject. You can click to activate HTML if you would like HTML emails. Finally, you can enter a message body.
User e-mail settings
After that are the user e-mail settings. These are the emails that get sent to learners once they complete a quiz (if you’ve activated this feature). You can select a ‘From Name’, ‘From Email’, and ‘Subject’.
You can also choose to activate HTML and then include the message body.
Lastly are the settings in case of problems tab.
Settings in case of problems
Submitted Essays Tab
Under the Submitted Essays tab, you’ll see a list of all the essays that have been submitted by your learners.
How to Add in Quiz Questions
Here I am back at the Quizzes tab where I’ve added an actual quiz called ‘Test quiz’.
If I hover over my ‘Test quiz’, then a row of links shows up. I clicked on ‘Questions’ to get to the screen below. This screen shows a list of all the questions within your quiz.
You can edit the questions by hovering over the quiz name and clicking on ‘Edit’. You’ll be taken to the screen below where you can enter the title for the question (this is optional). You can also enter in how many points your learner will get for answering this question correctly.
After that is the category panel. You don’t have to assign the question to a category, but you can do so here if you’d like.
The panel below is the Question panel. This is required. Simply enter your question here. You can add in some font styling for your question as well as a link if need be.
The next two panels allow you to add in the message that will be shown for correct and incorrect answers. The first panel is for the Message with the Correct Answer which is optional. What you type into this panel will show when the correct answer is shown. So the default, ‘You are correct!’ is probably perfect in most cases.
The next panel shows the Message with the Incorrect Answer which is optional. The default ‘Sorry, you’re wrong.’ maybe what you need. In many cases though, it’s better to include some text on what the right answer is or you’ll frustrate your learners.
Next up, you can include an optional hint for your question. You’ll need to mark the box and then enter the solution hint.
LearnDash needs you to mark off the Answer Type here. You can go through all these and see which one fits your question type best.
Next is the Single Choice Options panel. Here you can assign different points for each answer given. As you can see, you can create quizzes with complex scoring options using LearnDash.
This last panel is where you’ll enter in your Answers. These are required. Since I selected a single choice answer type I can enter in as many answer choices as I’d like and only choose one as correct. This question type is what you’re probably used to calling a multiple-choice question. In the screenshot below I chose simple yes/no answer choice options, but you can enter in whatever you’d like.
When you’re done, hit Save. You may also save your quiz as a template which will short-cut the time it takes you to enter in more quiz questions later on. If you have a template, then you can just load it up for the next question and most of this will be auto-populated.
That was all under the ‘Quiz Options’ tab. After that, the next tab over is ‘Submitted Essays’.
Submitted Essays Tab
If you’re collecting essays as quiz questions, then submitted essays will show up here along with the status, points, the assigned course/lesson/quiz, and any comments.
That’s it for the submitted essays tab.
The Import/Export tab allows you to import or export associated settings for your quizzes. Once you have quizzes you’ll see the Shortcode which you can insert wherever you’d like in your course. Quizzes will show up automatically where you position them in your course if you use the course builder, but this is perfect if you want a page that lists all your quizzes out for convenience. If you enable the Leaderboard settings, you’ll see a shortcode for the Leaderboard as well.
Like just about every other type of content in LearnDash, you can select a category for your quizzes. This page works just like the regular category page in WordPress.
And just like every other type of content in LearnDash, you can choose a tag for your quizzes. This page works just like the regular tag page in WordPress.
After the Quizzes tab comes the Certificates.
Clicking on the Certificates link takes you to the certificates screen as shown below:
You can review your certificates from here. You can also choose to click on ‘Add New’ and add a new certificate.
Add New Tab
The top of the add new certificates screen looks like the screen to add in any other type of content. You can enter the title, along with the certificate itself.
Underneath that Add New panel is the Author panel. Here you can choose the author. Below that is the ‘LearnDash Certificate Options’. You can choose a PDF page size and the PDF page orientation.
From there, you would hit Publish when you’re done. That’s it for the Add New tab. The final certificate tab is the Certificate Shortcodes tab.
Certificate Shortcodes Tab
This tab houses all the shortcode options for certificates. You can customize the display of your certificates with these shortcodes.
[usermeta] Shows the name of the user metadata field to be displayed. For instance, you can choose to display the user’s name in the certificate.
[quizinfo] Shows information regarding quiz attempts on the certificate.
[courseinfo] Shows course-related information on the certificate.
That’s it for the shortcodes. As you can see, you can use these shortcodes to create a highly customizable certificate that is automatically populated.
After that, the next link is the Assignments link.
The Assignments screen allows you to view all the submitted assignments. The status, points, assigned course/lesson, and any comments for that assignment can be viewed from this page.
That’s it for the Assignments link. After that, the next link is for Groups.
The Groups link shows a list of the groups you may have enrolled in your course. You’ll see the group leaders, group courses, group users, and the date they enrolled.
From the Groups page, you can add a new group by clicking on ‘Add New’.
Add New Tab
This is the screen that displays when you click on ‘Add New’. This is where you can enter the title of your group along with a description for the group.
Below that comes the LearnDash Group Admin panel. Here you can choose to enable automatic group enrollment when a user enrolls in any associated group course. Below is the group course box.
Group Courses Box
In this section, you can add courses that the group can access. Simply move the course over to the assigned group course box and the group will have access to that course.
Group Leaders Box
Here you can search all group leaders and then assign them for that specific group. Simply move them over to the assigned group leader box.
Here you can find all the group users and move them over to the assigned group users box.
As you can see, the group section allows you to manage your groups including the courses they can access, the group leaders, and the users within that group.
After that, the next link down is the ‘Reports’ link.
Under reports, you can export user course data and export user quiz data. This is a great way to enable back-ups.
As you can see, if you click on the Transactions tab you’ll see all the transactions for your course. I have none, but this is where they would show up along with the date and the assigned course.
After that, the next link is the Add-Ons link.
The Add-Ons screen offers you the ability to add-on to the core LearnDash LMS. You can select options from within this screen to make it easier to find what you need. Some add-ons are free and others have an extra fee (which is typically a yearly subscription).
These add-ons will extend the functionality of LearnDash so you may want to check into them if you’re running this WordPress LMS plugin.
Finally, we’re at the last menu link which is the Settings link.
If you click on the Settings link you’ll be taken to the General tab.
The General tab allows you to configure general settings. The following are the settings you can configure within this tab.
The Admin User Settings panel is the first panel on this screen.
Enabling course auto-enroll allows admin users to be automatically enrolled in all courses. This way you’re not having to enroll yourself in the courses to view them and try them out.
Bypass Course Limits
Enabling bypass course limits allows admin users to bypass any restrictions you may set in place for typical learners. This includes prerequisites, lesson or topic timers, and others. This way you can actually try the course out as an admin, but not have the restrictions in place.
Include in Reports
Here you can choose whether or not to allow admin users to be included in the course and quiz reports.
The Per Page Default Settings panel is next.
Here’s a brief overview of those settings.
Default Per Page
The ‘default per page’ setting allows you to set the number of per page controls that will show up.
Course Progress Per Page
This setting controls the per-page output of course progress on the user profile.
Quizzes Per Page
This setting controls the per-page output of quiz progress on the user profile.
That’s it for the general settings. The next tab over is the Custom Labels tab.
Custom Labels Tab
Under Custom Labels you can choose the labels that will show up throughout your course. Here’s what you can change from within this tab.
Course – Replace ‘course’
Courses – Replace ‘courses’
Lesson – Replace ‘lesson’
Lessons – Replace ‘lessons’
Topic – Replace ‘topic’
There’s still more to cover, as you can see, here’s the rest of that panel:
Topics – Replace ‘topics’
Quiz – Replace ‘quiz’
Quizzes – Replace ‘quizzes’
Take this Course (Button) – Replace the ‘Take this Course’ text in the button
Mark Complete (Button) – Replace the ‘Mark Complete’ text in the button
Click Here to Continue (Button) – Replace the ‘Click Here to Continue’ text in the button
You can also click to reset all the settings if you decide to revert back to the default language.
After that, the next tab over is the PayPal settings tab and I’ll cover it next.
PayPal Settings Tab
Within this tab, you can configure your PayPal settings.
Firstly, you can enter in your primary PayPal email.
Secondly, you can enter the currency code for transactions. USD is for the United States.
Thirdly, you can enter the country code. The US is for the United States.
PayPal Cancel URL
After that, you can enter the URL used for purchase cancellations.
Subsequently, you can enter the URL for completed purchases (this is typically a thank-you page).
PayPal Notify URL
After that, you can enter the URL for IPN notifications.
Use PayPal Sandbox
Lastly, you can check to enable the PayPal sandbox.
After that, the next tab over is the Data Upgrades tab.
Data Upgrades Tab
Upgrade User Course Data
This upgrade will sync your existing user data for the course into a new database table for better reporting.
Upgrade User Quiz Data
This upgrade will sync your existing user data for quiz into a new database table for better reporting.
Upgrade Course Meta
Next, this tab will upgrade the Course Meta elements.
After that, the next tab over is the Support tab.
Under the Support tab, you can see your LearnDash settings. You can also click to download system info.
After this, the next tab over is the Translations tab.
Next, the translations tab allows you to install translations as well as manage them.
Lastly is the LMS License tab and I’ll cover it below.
LMS License Tab
This tab just includes an email form with a license key. I don’t have it shown because it has my license key listed out, but you’ll need this when you select the URL to use your license on.
More on LearnDash
In conclusion, that’s it for the LearnDash walkthrough. As you can see, LearnDash offers a ton of features to help you create a great online course your users will be sure to rate as a high experience! Start building your online course with LearnDash today!
Lastly, if you’d like more information on LearnDash, you can check-out the LearnDash review I’ve put together for you. LearnDash also has a demo on their site so you can see an example of what you can build with this LMS plugin.
I’ve also put together an article on LearnDash vs LifterLMS. LifterLMS is another popular WordPress LMS plugin and many course creators have difficulty deciding which tool to use. Inform yourself on the options and then get started creating your online course platform.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below …