If you’ve ever taken an online course you must be in awe of the fine work put together by developers and programmers who have worked very hard for it. A common example is the PDHEngineer.com which uses complex technologies like WPMU, OpenCart, Moodle for backend etc.
WooThemes one of the most popular themes have reduced all the difficult work that goes behind creating such online courses. Their new tool, the Woocommerce Sensei is the new ‘learning management plugin’ for WordPress.
The interface is as simple as any other plugin & the first step to start using this plugin is obviously installing it.
Once you install the plugin, you will see the Sensei option in the dashboard. It will have the following five options:
- All Lessons
- Add New Lesson
- All Courses
Once you click on the sensei icon in the dashboard, you will see a list of lessons. This page is very similar to the posts page of WordPress.
You will add a lesson typically in the same way in which you add a post.
The lesson will also have some additional attributes like Lesson Length, Lesson Prerequisites, Lesson Complexity dropdown, and Lesson Quiz.
So you can always assign a pre requisite lesson before being allowed to the next lesson.
This means that in order to be able to access lesson 2, you should first finish lesson 1.
You need to have a quiz after every lesson. If you do not have a quiz, a warning message will be shown to the student unless you man some template changes.
You can also have video lessons, all you need to do is embed the video embed code. It is similar to using the WordPress’s oEmbed function and all its supported codes.
- The course creation page appears right below the lessons page.
- Creating a course will take you to a page that looks just like the post/lesson creation.
- You can have course prerequisites too (must complete course 1 to access course 2).
- You can also feature the course on your course pages, add videos etc.
The Analysis screen shows an overview of the courses and users inside of the course. Additionally it also shows you who completed it and what their score is. Basically the analysis page provides you with all the essential information about courses, grades and learners. You cannot submit any queries to this page. Neither can you change the display of this page. Unfortunately, there is no way to manually change student grades.
The settings page provides a complete way to design courses, lessons and general settings.
The general settings enable you to alter the Access permissions i.e. whether to allow all users to view the course material or only signed in users.
Similarly the Lessons and Course settings should tell you the basic settings needed to set up for a course page. Settings page can also customize the images, appearance and features.
Payment Gateway Integration:
The Sensei plugin is integrated with WooCommerce shopping cart enabling you to charge for courses.
To bridge Woocommerce and Sensei together, you will need to create a product in WooCommerce and link it to the course.
The payment is done through WooCommerce, which integrates with Paypal, Authorize.net, and other payment gateways. This means you need to install Sensei and WooCommerce to sell your courses.
To edit WooCommerce Settings to go Sensei > Settings > WooCommerce Settings.
Themes for WooCommerce Sensei:
WooCommerce Sensei helps you setup your online course website. However functionality is only one part of the solution. Appearance is also a major aspect that defines your website. Thats where themes come into picture.
WooCommerce Sensei plugin could work well with any WooCommerce compatible theme. It is important to have WooCommerce compatible themes as they not only provide a vibrant look and feel for your website but also integrate with your plugin to provide a seamless front-end experience.
We suggest WooCommerce compatible themes from themeforest as they provide a wide range of unique themes that fit all categories whether its a course creation website or an online store. Following are few screenshots of themes available in themeforest.
If you’re using WordPress and need to create an online course, WooCommerce Sensei is a great addition! All you need to do is configure WooCommerce, Sensei Plugin and a WooCommerce compatible theme. Sensei works well with WooCommerce themes, and requires no modification to the theme files. All you need to do is install the Sensei plugin and start creating course content.