Lessons

Lessons

Lessons are a place for you to start building out your actual course material. You can include text, images, video, audio, PDFs and virtually any other type of third-party or embeddable content. This section will explain everything you can do with LearnDash lessons—free sample lessons, timers, additional materials, assignments and more.

  • Global Lesson Settings
    Settings applied to all lessons on your site
  • Configure Lesson Access
    Sample lessons, drip content & schedule lesson availability
  • Display & Content Settings
    Add materials, configure video settings, control assignment uploads & lesson timers
  • Create Lesson Content
    Add text & images, insert videos, embed interactive content, etc.

If you’re looking to organize your course content even further, consider adding topics to your lesson, or grouping your lessons with course sections. You might also want to assign a quiz to a lesson.

Global Lesson Settings

The LearnDash lesson settings screen is where you can set global options that will apply to all lessons on your site. Lesson settings are organized into a few sections, outlined below.

To access your global lesson settings:

  1. Navigate to LEARNDASH LMS > LESSONS
  2. Click the Settings tab

LearnDash global lesson settings navigation

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Lesson Display Settings

LearnDash lesson display settings

If you’re using the course builder to organize your lessons, the lesson display settings here don’t apply. You can ignore them. These are simply an alternative way to control the order in which your lessons appear, if you’re not using the course builder.

These settings will apply globally, to all lessons in all courses, but can be overridden on a course-by-course basis in the course display & content settings.

  1. Choose a Sort By option
    • Date (default)
    • Title
    • Menu Order
  2. Choose a Sort Direction
    • Descending (default)
    • Ascending
  3. Choose how many Posts Per Page to display
    • This determines the number of lessons shown in the course content table, before pagination is added to the bottom
    • Enter 0 to show all lessons (disable pagination)

Lesson Taxonomies (Categories & Tags)

LearnDash lesson taxonomy settings

Using lesson taxonomies is completely optional, but they provide an additional way to organize your lessons.

  • LearnDash Lesson Categories: This enables you to organize your lessons into custom categories that are only available for LearnDash lessons.
  • LearnDash Lesson Tags: This enables you to organize your lessons using custom tags that are only available for LearnDash lessons.
  • WordPress Post Categories: This enables you to organize your lessons using WordPress’ default category management system. These categories can be viewed & managed in the WordPress admin under POSTS > CATEGORIES. You can share them amongst both the Posts & Lesson post types.
  • WordPress Post Tags: This enables you to organize your lessons using WordPress’ default tag management system. These tags can be viewed & managed in the WordPress admin under POSTS > TAGS. You can share them amongst both the Posts & Lessons post types.

Managing Categories & Tags

You can manage (add, edit, or delete) the WordPress and LearnDash Categories & Tags via the Actions menu:

  1. Navigate to LEARNDASH LMS > LESSONS
  2. Select the Actions dropdown menu
  3. Select your desired menu option

Custom Post Type Options

These options will apply globally to all LearnDash lessons on your site:

  • Search: Enable this setting if you want lessons to be included in search results when using the default WordPress search form on the front-end of your site.

NOTE
Search has nothing to do with Google search results. Google will index your lesson pages regardless of this setting.

Lesson Access Settings

 

Lesson access settings give you a few options for when you want your lessons to become available. You can also choose certain lessons to offer for free, as sample lessons. And perhaps most importantly, this is where you assign a lesson to a specific course. Let’s take a look at the options.

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Locating Lesson Access Settings

LearnDash lesson access settings

  1. Navigate to LEARNDASH LMS > LESSONS
  2. Click on the lesson you want to edit
  3. Click on the Settings tab at the top of the page
  4. Locate the section titled “Lesson Access Settings”

Associated Course

In order for a lesson to show up within your course content, you need to associate it with a course. This setting is how you do that.

  • Next to Associated Course, click the dropdown menu, and choose the course to which this lesson belongs

NOTE
If you’ve enabled shared course steps, this field will be disabled, as lessons can be associated with more than one course.

Sample Lesson

You can turn any lesson into a sample lesson, which will make it available to all users, regardless of whether or not they’re enrolled in the course. This is a great way to showcase your teaching style, or entice someone to enroll in or purchase your course.

  • Next to Sample Lesson, turn the setting on

Here is what your visitors will see:

LearnDash sample lesson frontend example

Lesson Schedule

The lesson schedule allows you to make a lesson available at a specific time. A lesson can become available immediately, or at some point in the future. You have the following options:

  • Immediately (default)
    The lesson is made available as soon as the user is enrolled in the course
  • Enrollment-based
    The lesson will be available X days after the user enrolls in the course
  • Specific date
    The lesson will be available on a specific date

Lesson Display & Content Settings

 

The lesson content & display settings provide a way for you to use additional content on your lesson, as well as make it a little more interactive. You can include additional lesson materials, add some helpful logic to your video playback, allow users to upload assignments, and include a lesson timer.

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Locating Lesson Display & Content Settings

LearnDash lesson display & content settings

  1. Navigate to LEARNDASH LMS > LESSONS
  2. Click on the lesson you want to edit
  3. Click on the Settings tab at the top of the page
  4. Locate the section titled “Display and Content Options”

Lesson Materials

Lesson materials are supplemental materials needed for the lesson. It is most common to include PDF files or other downloadable files in this area, but you can include anything you’d like (PDFs, images, downloadable audio files, links to other websites, etc.).

  1. Next to Lesson Materials, turn the setting on
  2. Add your materials in the box (HTML is supported)

Lesson materials are displayed to your users in a separate tab, alongside your main lesson content.

LearnDash lesson materials frontend example


NOTE
Between video progression, assignment uploads & lesson timer, only one of the three can be enabled at a time. Enabling one of these options will make the other two inaccessible.

Video Progression

Video progression is a way to require users to watch the entirety of a video before they can complete the lesson. Please see our full guide on video progression.

Assignment Uploads

NOTE
Assignment uploads cannot be enabled if either video progression or lesson timer are enabled.

LearnDash upload assignment frontend example

To allow users to upload assignments to the lesson, enable the Assignment Uploads option. You’ll be presented with a few additional options:

File extensions

You can specify exactly which file types may be uploaded.

  • Enter each allowed file type in the box (without the leading .)
  • Separate multiple file types with a comma
  • Leave blank to allow any file type to be uploaded

For example, enter the following to allow only Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint files:

  • doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx

Here’s a list of common file extensions »

File size limit

You can specify the maximum file size allowed to be uploaded.

  • Enter a number, followed by M (for megabytes)

For example, to limit uploads to 5 megabytes, enter 5M.

NOTE
Your host also sets a maximum file size limit. The lower limit will always be used. If you’re having trouble receiving assignment uploads, you can contact your host and ask them to increase your maximum file upload size.

Points

If you’d like to award points to a user when they submit an assignment:

  1. Next to Points, turn the setting on
  2. Enter the number of points to be awarded for a submitted assignment

Grading Type

There are two options for how assignments are graded:

  • Auto-approve (default)
    No grading or approval is needed. The assignment will be automatically approved & full points will be awarded.
  • Manually approve
    An admin or group leader must approve the assignment. The lesson cannot be completed until the assignment is approved.

If you choose to manually approve an assignment, you have additional options:

Limit number of uploaded assignments

Enter a number in the box to specify the maximum number of files a user can upload for this assignment.

  • Leave blank for unlimited (default)

Allow file deletion

Enable this option to allow the user to delete their own uploaded files. This is only possible up until the assignment has been approved.

Forced Lesson Timer

Enabling a forced lesson timer will require the user to spend a certain amount of time on the lesson page before they can mark it complete. The lesson cannot be completed until the set time has elapsed.

  1. Next to Forced Lesson Timer, turn the setting on
  2. Enter the time in the following format:
    • HH : MM : SS (hours : minutes : seconds)

The countdown timer will appear below the “Mark Complete” button.

LearnDash forced lesson timer example

Lesson Page Content

 

The lesson page content is where you have full control over adding whatever content you’d like to your lesson. If you’ve added topics or quizzes to your lesson, LearnDash will automatically add a list of associated content to the bottom of the lesson page.

The lesson page content you add here is your own custom information that will be displayed above any associated topics or quizzes.

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Where to Add Lesson Page Content

  1. Navigate to LEARNDASH LMS > LESSONS
  2. Click on the lesson you’d like to edit -or- click the Add New button
  3. You will automatically land on the Lesson page tab
  4. You can immediately start adding your content

LearnDash lesson page content

GUTENBERG vs. CLASSIC EDITOR
This article assumes you are using WordPress 5.0 or greater, which includes the new WordPress editing experience (aka: Gutenberg). If you’re using the Classic Editor plugin, your experience will be different.

PAGE BUILDERS
If you’ve chosen to use a page builder plugin (Elementor, Beaver Builder, Divi, WPBakery, etc.) to edit your lesson content, you should refer to the page builder’s documentation on adding content.

Lesson Title

Your lesson title is the first thing you’ll see at the top of the editing screen. Look for a placeholder that says “Add Lesson title.”

Most themes display the lesson title near the top of the page, below your header and/or global navigation.

Lesson URL

When you click inside of the “Add Lesson title” box, you’ll see an area appear above, labeled “Permalink.” This is your lesson URL.

The first two parts of the URL are not editable. They are determined by your site’s domain name and the lesson slug you have chosen (which will be /lessons/, unless you’ve customized your LearnDash permalinks).

You can edit the third part of the URL:

https://yoursite.com/lessons/your-lesson-permalink/

NOTE
If your URL looks different than above, it’s because you’ve enabled shared course steps. You can still edit the final part of the URL. Learn more about shared course steps »

In most cases, the permalink should be a reflection of your lesson title.

  1. Click the “Edit” button next to the permalink
  2. Type your new permalink
  3. Hit Enter, or click the Save button
Updating a LearnDash course URL in Gutenberg
This shows a course URL but lesson URLs are edited the same way.

Lesson Content

Everything below the lesson title is a blank canvas for you to add your content. This is powered by the same WordPress editor used for pages, blog posts and other content types in WordPress.

Add text, insert images, embed videos or other multimedia content, link to PDFs or audio files… the possibilities are endless. You have full control over the type of learning experience you deliver to your users.

For more information on how to use the WordPress editor, please see the official WordPress Editor documentation.

The featured image is the main image associated with your lesson. Most WordPress themes will display this image near the top of your lesson page. It’s also the image we’ll display if you’re using the course grid add-on with the [ld_lesson_list] shortcode.

  1. Look for the Featured Image panel in the sidebar
  2. If it’s not already open, click on it to open it
  3. Click Set featured image
  4. Choose an image from your Media Library, or upload a new one
  5. Click the Select button at the bottom
LearnDash set featured image
This shows a course image but lesson images work the same way.

NOTE
Where and how your lesson title, content & featured image are displayed is heavily dependent on your WordPress theme. If you’re experiencing layout issues with this content, please contact your theme developer.

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