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Sensei 1.9 beta – Call for testers

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We’ve been hard at work on the latest Sensei update, and it’s almost ready! This beta release contains 514 commits from 10 contributors.

We would really love your help with testing the new features, to make sure it all works seamlessly.

What’s New?

The main changes in this version are an improved template system, built-in language packs, and a new collection of shortcodes for adding Sensei content anywhere in your site.

We need help to test these changes, to make sure that the new features work as they should, and also that everything still works as it did before for existing users.

Template Changes

We’ve made some changes to the frontend Sensei templates, combining files where appropriate, and separating logic from markup, making the templates much more flexible.

We need to test all of the following templates thoroughly. All screens need to be tested both when logged in and logged out. When testing courses/lessons/quizzes, you should test when logged in and taking the course, and when logged in and not taking the course.

    • New Course Archive Page
      • This includes the following new filters:
          • All – Displays all courses
          • Free – Displays all free courses
          • Paid – Displays all paid courses
          • Featured – Displays all featured courses
        • Sort by: Newest first / A-Z
    • Single Course Page (including courses with and without modules)
    • Single Lesson Page
    • Single Quiz Page (including quizzes with all question types)
    • Messages Page
    • Single Message Page
    • My Courses Page
  • My Profile Page

We have updated all templates except for the Email templates. If you have customised your templates in your theme they will still work. Please give us feedback if any of your templates break so we can look at improving the backwards compatibility.

CSS

The main frontend CSS file has moved from /assets/css/frontend.css to /assets/css/frontend/sensei.css

Shortcodes

Previously we relied on shortcodes to display our course archives. In 1.9 we have introduced a new course archive template, as well as some new shortcodes that customers can use to display Sensei content wherever they wish.

The current shortcodes:

  • – A list of all courses.
  • – A list of featured courses.
  • – A list of paid courses (those linked to a WC product).
  • – A list of free courses (not linked, or linked to a free WC product)
  • Login

    – A list of courses the current user is taking or has completed. (Or a login/register form for logged out users).

These will continue to work for at least the next few versions, and we need to make sure they still work as they did before.

However, we will be encouraging people to switch to using the new course archive page, and the new shortcodes instead. The course archive page no longer requires shortcodes, and will be the page you select as “Course Archive Page” in Sensei > Settings.

All the following shortcodes and their parameters need testing thoroughly:

     – A list of featured courses
  • Login

     – A list of the courses the current user is taking. The default order here is by ‘title’ and order ‘ASC’. You can choose to show the completed or the active courses by the status parameter. If you omit this all courses (active and completed will be shown.
     – A list of specific courses by id. If no id’s are specified this shortcode will show all courses. By default this will show the most recent course by date. You can also specify the teacher and the category. Teacher can be the user ID or the teacher user name. Category can be the slug, id or term name.
  •  – A list of users with the teacher role, as link to their archive page. The include parameter is for adding extra users to the list of teachers. The exclude paramater will remove teachers already on the list.
  •  – A list of private Sensei messages for the current user.
  • In WooCommerce Paid Courses 2.5.0, we’ve added the ability to create a WooCommerce product from within the course editor. 😍 Now, there’s really no reason to ever leave the editor while building your course!

    And, after creating your product, it’s automatically linked to the course for you. Easy peasy!

    To add a product, just look for the Pricing section in the Course sidebar:

    “Create a new product” link in the Course sidebar
    Creating a new product from the Course sidebar

    Or, if you’re using the Course Signup block (formerly known as the Take Course block), you can create a product from the pricing modal:

    “Create a new product” link in the Course Signup block
    Creating a new product from the Course Signup block

    Also, if you prefer to work inside WooCommerce, you can associate one or more courses with a product right in the product page.

    To update, please head on over to Dashboard → Updates in the WordPress admin.

    Please note: While we have thoroughly tested this release, it’s always possible that we’ve missed something. We recommend that you test the update on a staging site before updating your live site.

    For Developers

    New Filters

    • sensei_learner_courses_page_template –  Filter the My Courses page template when created through the setup wizard.
    • sensei_course_completed_page_template – Filter the Course Completed page template when created through the setup wizard.

    Template File Changes

    • templates/content-course.php – Don’t add HTML for the course excerpt if it’s empty.

    Deprecated Code

    • Courses::add_product_catalog_data – No replacement.

    Everyone deserves to be recognized for a job well done! ⭐

    That’s why, in Sensei LMS 3.13, we’ve added a Course Completed page that is displayed immediately after the learner finishes the last lesson. This page congratulates them on completing the course, provides some next steps, and displays their results:

    Screenshot of the Course Completed page

    And the best part is that you can customize this page however you like! You could:

    • Cross-promote or cross-sell other courses
    • Ask for feedback via a course evaluation form
    • Request a review of the course

    The simplest way to create this page and start using it right away is to re-run the setup wizard from the Help tab on the Courses page:

    Screenshot showing how to access the setup wizard from the Courses help tab.
    Launching the Setup Wizard

    See what else is in this release.

    What’s New in WooCommerce Paid Courses?

    We’ve streamlined the way products are assigned to courses in the course editor AND added the ability to link courses and products right from the product page!

    If your workflow involves creating courses first and then products, you can now link them together without ever leaving the WooCommerce product page:

    Screenshot showing how to associate courses with a product.
    Linking courses to a product on the product page

    Or, if you prefer to create products first and then courses, you can link them on the course page from either the Pricing section of the sidebar or the Take Course block:

    Screenshot showing the Pricing section in the Course sidebar.
    Pricing section in the Course sidebar
    Screenshot showing the modal to link a course to products from the Take Course block.
    Linking products to a course from the Take Course block

    For Developers

    New Filters

    • sensei-lms.Course.completedActions – Customize the Course Completed Actions block buttons (JS).
    • Sensei_Course::sensei_course_completed_page_url – Filter the course completed page URL.

    Deprecated Code

    • getProducts selector and its related functions in the Products store (JS).
    • Sensei_WC_Paid_Courses\Courses::store_user_confirmation – No replacement.
    • Sensei_WC_Paid_Courses\Courses::update_modal_confirmation_date – No replacement.
    • Sensei_WC_Paid_Courses\Courses::has_user_confirmed_modal – No replacement.

    To update, please head on over to Dashboard → Updates in the WordPress admin.

    Please note: While we have thoroughly tested this release, it’s always possible that we’ve missed something. We recommend that you test the update on a staging site before updating your live site.

    Today we are ending support and maintenance of the Sensei LMS extensions Share Your Grade and Course Participants. Share Your Grade provided social networking links to learners after they completed quizzes that allowed them to post their quiz grade. Course Participants added a widget that listed the learners in the course.

    Both plugins had limited usage. Therefore, by retiring them we hope to focus our efforts on adding new and exciting features to Sensei LMS. An archive of the source code is available on GitHub for both Share Your Grade and Course Participants.

    In Sensei LMS 3.10, we released the Learner Courses block, which introduced a redesign of the My Courses page.

    In Sensei LMS 3.12, we’ve added an all-new layout to the Learner Courses block – grid view! This is in addition to the list view you already know and love:

    My Courses page - Grid view

    Grid view is responsive, meaning the number of columns increase or decrease automatically based on the current screen size. To use it, add the Learner Courses block to the My Courses page, and select Grid view from the block toolbar or settings.

    What Else is in This Release?

    Here are some other things you’ll find in 3.12:

    • Compatibility with PHP 8.
    • Fixed an issue with lesson order not saving when object caching is used.

    See the full list of changes.

    To update, please head on over to Dashboard → Updates in the WordPress admin.

    Please note: While we have thoroughly tested this release, it’s always possible that we’ve missed something. We recommend that you test the update on a staging site before updating your live site.

    Without a doubt, the My Courses page is the central hub of your learners’ online course-taking experience. It’s where they go to access their courses, and generally bask in the glory of all the progress they’ve made so far.

    And let’s face it…this page was overdue for a little ❤️.

    That’s why in Sensei LMS 3.10, My Courses has been updated with a cleaner, fresher look. Not only that, but we’ve also shifted more control over to you by giving you the customization tools you need to really make My Courses sparkle and shine.

    So long shortcode, hello blocks!

    My Courses page - List view

    The My Courses page harnesses the power of three new blocks – Learner Messages Button, Learner Courses and View Results.

    Learner Messages Button

    The Learner Messages Button block enables learners to view their private messages with the teacher. This block is only displayed if the learner is logged in and private messaging is enabled in Sensei’s settings. Clicking the button takes the learner to a page that shows all of their communication with the teacher.

    Learner Courses

    The Learner Courses block displays a list of courses the learner is currently enrolled in. There are separate views for filtering by active or completed courses, and the block’s settings enable you to customize colours and select which elements to display.

    View Results

    The View Results block is added to My Courses automatically once a course has been completed, but it can also be added to any of your individual courses. Clicking the button takes the learner to a page that shows how well they performed in each lesson of the course.

    What Happens to My Existing My Courses Page?

    Your existing My Courses page is not affected when updating to 3.10. If you’d like to convert it to use the new blocks, you can do that by first deleting the [sensei_users_courses]shortcode, and then adding the desired blocks from the block inserter:

    Sensei blocks available on the My Courses page

    What Else is in This Release?

    Here are some other changes you’ll find in 3.10:

    • For lessons with prerequisites, display the first prerequisite lesson that needs to be completed in the prerequisite notice.
    • Only include questions belonging to the current teacher when adding category questions.

    See the full list of changes.

    To update, please head on over to Dashboard → Updates in the WordPress admin.

    Please note: While we have thoroughly tested this release, it’s always possible that we’ve missed something. We recommend that you test the update on a staging site before updating your live site.

    For Developers

    New Filter

    sensei_filter_category_questions_by_author – Whether category questions should be filtered by author.

    Deprecated Code

    • Sensei_Frontend::sensei_get_user_quiz_answers – Use Sensei_Quiz::get_user_answers instead.
    • Sensei_Quiz::stop_quiz_questions_loop – No replacement.
    • Sensei_Assets::override_script – No replacement.
    • Sensei_Assets::wp_compat – No replacement.

    Sensei LMS 3.9 is out and brings with it a brand new way to manage quizzes – right inside the editor!

    Introducing the Quiz Block

    Both new and existing quizzes are now edited using the Quiz block. This block is automatically added when a new lesson is created, but can be removed if you don’t need it. Existing quizzes are also switched over to automatically use the new block:

    Quiz block

    The Quiz block supports the same functionality as the old meta boxes, including question types, settings, and selecting existing questions or category questions:

    Quiz block - Inserter

    Blocks are also used when editing an individual question residing in the question bank:

    Question block

    The view that the learner sees remains the same, and quizzes are still displayed on a separate page as before.

    To learn more about how to use the Quiz block, please see our documentation on quizzes and questions.

    What If I Don’t Want to Use the Quiz Block?

    If you’d prefer to continue to use the meta boxes to manage quizzes, you can disable the Quiz block by using the following code snippet:

    add_filter( 'sensei_quiz_enable_block_based_editor', '__return_false' );

    What Else is in This Release?

    Here are some other improvements you’ll find in 3.9:

    • We added a filter to enable customizing the course and lesson block templates.
    • Only courses belonging to the current teacher are shown on the Analysis page.
    • Teachers are no longer able to add another teacher’s questions to a quiz.
    • When the course teacher is changed, the author of any associated quiz questions is also updated to the new teacher when it makes sense to do so.
    • We’ve added the ability to set a question to Draft status.

    See the full list of changes.

    Developers: For deprecations, please see the beta release post.

    To update, please head on over to Dashboard → Updates in the WordPress admin.

    Please note: While we have thoroughly tested this release, it’s always possible that we’ve missed something. We recommend that you test the update on a staging site before updating your live site.

    Sensei LMS 3.9 is now available for testing. This release delivers an all-new quiz editing experience that uses blocks to manage quizzes right inside the lesson editor:

    Quiz block

    The quiz block supports the existing question types you’re already familiar with — multiple choice, true/false, gap fill, single line, multi line and file upload — as well as selecting existing questions from the question bank:

    Quiz block - Existing questions

    Although blocks will be the default quiz editing experience going forward, there are a couple of scenarios in which the legacy meta boxes will continue to be used:

    See what else is in this release.

    Testing Sensei LMS

    *Please note that the test site integrates with Smartlook to record your visit. Smartlook is GDPR compliant out of the box, and any recordings will be deleted automatically after 1 month.

    If you find a bug, please submit an issue on Github or leave a comment on this post. Our tentative release date is March 25th.

    As this is a beta release, please test it on a staging site and not your live site. If you don’t have a staging site, you can use the WP Staging plugin to create one.

    For Developers

    Potentially Breaking Changes

    • Markup for the Complete Quiz, Save Quiz and Reset Quiz buttons has changed from input to button.
    • Specificity of the quiz button styles has increased (i.e. .quiz => .quiz:not(.quiz-blocks)).

    New Filters

    New Actions

    Thank you to all our testers and contributors!

    Sensei LMS 3.8

    Sensei LMS 3.8 is available now and introduces two new blocks – Conditional Content and Lesson Actions.

    Conditional Content

    The Conditional Content block, available on the course page, is very handy when you’d like to display content to a specific group of people. For example, you may want to write some sales copy to entice people to enrol in your course, but not display it to those who are already enrolled. The Conditional Content block makes this possible!

    To configure the block, just add some child blocks inside it and set the visibility condition to only display the content when the person is enrolled in the course, is not enrolled in the course, or has completed the course:

    Lesson Actions

    The Lesson Actions block groups together the actions that can be taken on the lessons page including viewing the quiz, marking the lesson as complete, moving to the next lesson in the course, or resetting the progress of the current lesson. Each of the buttons can be customized by changing its style, color or border.

    You can use the dropdown in the toolbar to simulate what the learner will see depending on whether or not they have completed the lesson:

    When creating a new lesson, the Lesson Actions block (and Contact Teacher block) are automatically added to the page for you. They are equivalent to the elements that already appear on the lesson page, but because they have been rewritten as blocks, it’s now possible to change how they look, adjust their order, or remove them altogether:

    What If I Don’t Want to Use Blocks?

    If you’d rather not use blocks for new lessons, you can remove them in the editor and the PHP template will be used to render the lesson as before. This will create a consistent experience for learners until you’re able to update existing lessons to also use blocks.

    What Else is in This Release?

    Here are some other improvements you’ll find in 3.8:

    • We’ve ensured that all Sensei blocks can be properly translated.
    • We fixed an issue where the lesson order was changing when a lesson was updated.

    See the full list of changes.

    Developers: For deprecations, please see the beta release post.

    To update, please head on over to Dashboard → Updates in the WordPress admin.

    Please note: While we have thoroughly tested this release, it’s always possible that we’ve missed something. We recommend that you test the update on a staging site before updating your live site.

    Thank you to all our testers and contributors!

    Sensei LMS 3.8

    Sensei LMS 3.8 is ready for testing, and contains two brand new blocks!

    Conditional Content Block

    The Conditional Content block can be used to conditionally display content on the course page depending on whether the visitor is enrolled or not enrolled in the course, or has already completed it:

    Lesson Actions Block

    The Lesson Actions block is a grouping of buttons that enables a learner to perform specific actions for a lesson. The style of these buttons are inherited from the theme, but can be customized independently:

    See what else is in this release.

    Testing Sensei LMS

    *Please note that the test site integrates with Smartlook to record your visit. Smartlook is GDPR compliant out of the box, and any recordings will be deleted automatically after 1 month.

    If you find a bug, please submit an issue on Github or leave a comment on this post. Our tentative release date is February 9th.

    WooCommerce Paid Courses 2.3.1

    WooCommerce Paid Courses 2.3.1 fixes an issue where some text was not being translated.

    Testing WooCommerce Paid Courses

    Beta testers will receive the WooCommerce Paid Courses beta directly to their inbox. If you would like to sign up to be a beta tester and have a valid license, please fill out the beta tester signup form using the same email address you used to purchase your license.

    If you find a bug, please leave a comment on this post. Our tentative release date is February 9th.

    As these are beta releases, please test them on a staging site and not your live site. If you don’t have a staging site, you can use the WP Staging plugin to create one.

    For Developers

    If you’re a developer, there’s a single deprecation in Sensei LMS that you need to be aware of:

    • Sensei_Block_Take_Course::get_course_prerequisite_message – Replaced by Sensei_Course::get_course_prerequisite_message
    • Sensei_Setup_Wizard::setup_wizard_set_script_translations (Added on February 9)

    Thank you to all our testers and contributors!

    What’s New in Sensei LMS 3.7?

    Sensei LMS 3.7 contains some important bug fixes and performance improvements, and adds an integration with the Site Health tool.

    One especially important bug fix involves a pesky issue where some learners were being added to a course or lesson multiple times. This was preventing those learners from making progress in the course. As part of that fix, we’ve also brought back the ability to remove a learner’s progress at the lesson level.

    Upon upgrading to 3.7, indexes are automatically added to the comments table if they don’t already exist. As Sensei LMS stores a lot of data in this table, this should noticeably improve the performance of large sites.

    We’ve also added an integration with the Site Health tool. The integration does some checks on the status of the learner enrolment job and migration, and will also let you know if your theme is using outdated Sensei template files:

    See the full list of changes.

    What’s New in WooCommerce Paid Courses 2.3?

    When a learner purchases one or more courses, those courses are now listed on the Order Details page. Clicking on any of the courses takes the learner right to that course:

    We’ve also added a Courses section to the sidebar of the My Account page, which navigates to the learner’s My Courses page:

    Developers: For new hooks, deprecations and template file changes, please see the beta release post.

    To update, please head on over to DashboardUpdates in the WordPress admin.

    Please note: While we have thoroughly tested this release, it’s always possible that we’ve missed something. We recommend that you test the update on a staging site before updating your live site.

    Thank you to all our testers and contributors!

     – Display a specific course page’s content by id.
  • No course categories found. – Display the course categories in a list. The categories will link to the archive pages. To only show top level categories, set the parent parameter to zero.
  • [sensei_unpurchased_courses] – A list of all courses linked to a WC product, which the current user has not yet purchased.

Language Packs

If a Sensei translation exists for your chosen language, it can now be installed and updated directly from WP admin.

To test this:

  • Go to our Sensei project on Transifex, and choose a language from the list (preferably one that is mostly translated).
  • Go to Settings > General in your WordPress dashboard and change your Site Language to your chosen language.
  • When you click ‘Save Changes’ your site’s language will change, and you should see a notification at the top of your dashboard telling you there is a Sensei translation available for your language.
  • Click ‘Install’ and the language pack will be installed. You should see a success message, and your Sensei admin pages should now display in your selected language.
  • Also test switching to a language that isn’t in the list on Transifex and make sure you aren’t prompted to install a language pack.

There are currently only a small number of language packs available, mostly with incomplete translations. We will be posting again soon with more details on how you can help contribute Sensei translations.

Other changes

There are several other changes in this release, which also need testing:

  • When lessons are completed, you will now see a “Next Lesson” button in the completion message.
  • Improved support for Twenty Fifteen theme
  • Added support for Twenty Sixteen theme
  • Improved support for Storefront theme
  • If you view a quiz that has no questions, you will be redirected back to the lesson
  • All chosen dropdowns have been replaced with Select2
  • Questions can now have a zero grade
  • Course management metabox on Edit Course screen which links directly to learner management and grading.

Important notes for developers

  • Sensei()

    now officially replaces

    $woothemes_sensei

    , which will be deprecated in a future update.

  • The php classes are now auto loaded when needed instead of loading all classes for every request. New filters for all sensei core post type for easier customization.
  • You’ll notice that our class naming convention is no longer class-woothemes-sensei but rather class-sensei.
  • Better class and function comments to assist developer IDE with discovery.

How to test

If you’re interested in helping us test this update, please complete this short form, and we’ll get back to you soon with further details:

Sign up for beta testing

Timeline

This round of beta testing will be open until Monday 30th November, so the sooner you can test the better.

6 thoughts on “Sensei 1.9 beta – Call for testers

  1. Hi there!
    Any idea when Sensei 1.9 will be released?
    Thanks!

    1. Scheduled for some time next week, Denis 🙂

      1. Great! Thanks, Dan!

  2. Hi Dan, what a wonderful plugin. As designer I had for my customer setup a site with some restricted & paid content and a kind of user forum for asking learners each other and teacher. This site is not a schooI more a health portal. I gave bbpress, Memberships and Subscriptions a chance, but each time I saw limitations which did not work in case of customer whishes, I remembered how easy this would be if customer would switch over to sensei. I am happy to see next version.
    Beside the only thing which frustrates me is poor theme compatibility. I made a copy of template files and saved in child theme folder, but I was suprised that it works. It would be better, if knewed what I did? This is my limitation.

    Thanks, Adrian.

  3. Any news on the release, guys? The 1.8.8 bug not allowing to show the lessons to unregistered users is really hitting hard on my SEO 🙁

    1. It’s scheduled for tomorrow (2nd February). Sorry for the delay.

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