Made For You: Sensei’s 2022 Year-End-Review (And 2023 Preview)

Updated on December 15, 2022

At the end of 2021, we shared that the Sensei team was expanding and that we had great plans for 2022.

Now, a year and eleven major releases later, we hope you feel that we have delivered on that promise.

And we are just getting started.

Our mission is to help you create and sell the most engaging courses possible and as easily as possible. In case you missed it, let’s look back at some of the highlights from last year of how Sensei is aiming to help you meet this goal. 

Be sure to read to the end for a sneak preview of our roadmap for 2023.

Learning Mode

The biggest update to Sensei LMS ever, Learning Mode, is our distraction-free experience for lessons and quizzes. 

Initially launched in March with a free template in Sensei LMS, we then added three new templates to Sensei Pro in October. Two of which are designed specifically for video courses.

Based on our stats, we estimate that around 20% of Sensei users have enabled Learning Mode. Because we believe it is the best learning experience for your students, we’d love to see this number increase in 2023. 

Check out more about Learning Mode here.

Videos

In addition to the video Learning Mode templates, improvements for videos in courses include:

Video Progression (added in January) – lets you require videos to be watched before moving on to the next lesson.

Interactive Videos (released in August) – pause videos and add any content, including quiz questions, helpful text, buttons, and more.

VideoPress, our sister service, released a new standalone plugin in October so that it is easier for you to take advantage of the best video hosting service for WordPress. 

Learn more in our Guide To Better Video Courses here.

Quizzes

Quizzes can provide valuable feedback to both the learner and the instructor. Over the last year, we’ve put a lot of effort into giving you more tools to assess learning and provide realtime engagement. 

Starting with new quiz pagination in January, you can break up longer quizzes into more manageable chunks for learners.

In February, we released new answer feedback blocks, which let you show different content based on if a quiz question was answered correctly or not.  

A quiz timer and sorting order question type rolled out in March.

And in May, we made it possible to add single quiz questions anywhere — in a lesson, on pages, on blog posts, and more. 

Review all of Sensei’s powerful quiz tools here.

Interactive Blocks

Creating engaging and unique content can significantly increase educational value for your students. But creating truly interactive content can be a challenge.

To help on the front, in May, we released new blocks for flashcards, image hotspots, and task lists. These can also be used outside of lessons on any WordPress page or post.

Shortly after that, we added a required block setting for all interactive blocks and videos, that if enabled, students can’t move on to the next lesson without engaging with the content first.

Then, in August, came new block visibility and block scheduling options. You can easily show and hide content based on course enrollment, student groups, and more. Plus, you can schedule content in a lesson to show in a given time frame. 

Discover more about our Interactive Blocks here.

Course Management

When managing courses, you have a lot on your plate. Sensei’s tools can help you save time so you can put more energy into more important things.

We started with a massive overhaul of our reporting system in March. See the latest student activity, export reports, and keep better track of everything going on.

In July, we rolled out new tools for managing Groups & Cohorts in Sensei Pro. From what we’ve heard, it has been a time saver for many of you, and we look forward to extending these features in the months to come. 

A new Course List block lets you place a customizable course catalog anywhere, which is also useful for logged-in students to keep track of enrolled courses and progress.

December’s Co-Teachers feature was highly-requested and lets you better collaborate on courses with more than one instructor.

A Free Course Theme

We may have saved the best for last. In December, we released a new free WordPress block theme for creators. We call it Course, and it integrates perfectly with Sensei LMS and everything mentioned above.

We made this theme so that you can launch sites faster, easier, and knowing that our team is here to provide help with anything that may come up.

Learn more about the free Course theme here.

2023 Roadmap

The work continues. The landscape of online education is evolving, and Sensei will lead the way.

Roadmaps are always a work in progress, but here are a few items we can confidently say are coming to Sensei LMS and Sensei Pro over the next year:

  • Improved certificates
  • Guest students and logged-out courses
  • Customize all emails that Sensei sends
  • More choose your own adventure options for lessons
  • Gamification elements
  • In-course collaboration
  • There is more, but we can’t share quite yet

The above doesn’t even begin to go into the countless small improvements, bug fixes, and performance enhancements of the year, and we’ll continue that progress going forward too.

How has Sensei helped you accomplish your goals in 2022, and what would you like to see next?

Let us know in the comments below.

Happy New Year!


9 responses to “Made For You: Sensei’s 2022 Year-End-Review (And 2023 Preview)”

  1. Derrick Tawah Avatar
    Derrick Tawah

    It’s amazing to see the speed at which Sensei has been implementing great festures and doing bug fixes in 2022, offering more value to course makers.

    It will be great to have a better teacher on boarding on Sensei. Teachers are not expected to go through the same onboarding like students. But having them on the site is necessary, to be able to add them as co-teachers or even provide them with the ability to create courses. Are there any plans to improve the way teachers are managed on Sensei LMS?

    Also, Sensei has a clear structure: Course->Modules->Lessons. It gets sometime messy, when you have many courses. Are there any plans to make the management of courses, modules and lessons more cleaner and intuitive?

    Thank you for all the great work in 2022. Looking forward to 2023:-)

  2. Andrew Jeffery Avatar

    I am just starting out with Sensei Pro and trying out the new blocks. Now need to work out exactly how I will use them. There are a few ideas that I think would be useful.
    1. A single question timer (seconds countdown).
    2. A difficulty rating for a question (could be a star rating) but ideally something linked to an overall score for a whole quiz.
    3. A way of setting a path through a lesson depending on whether the pupil is a beginner, intermediate, or experienced in the subject being taught in the lesson.

    Some context. The courses I am looking to create will take a person through the knowledge they need to gain to be able to undertake certification in a software product. But it goes beyond this. You have people just starting out on their learning journey, and others who have been using the software for 20 years or more. An experienced software consultant may have no experience in some parts of the software product, they may be a beginner in the context of a lesson or even the majority of a course. Other times the experienced may not have touched a subject area for many years, and the course needs to act as a refresher. So I need to pitch content for beginner, intermediate and experienced, where a pupil who started out as a beginner can return at a later date and undertake the intermediate or experienced levels.

    1. Ronnie Burt Avatar
      Ronnie Burt

      Really appreciate the extra context and ideas here, Andrew!

  3. stuart251116 Avatar
    stuart251116

    I would love a more sophisticated user management system that doesn’t need a degree to manage. A simple:

    Schools -> Teachers -> Student relationship, built within Sensei that doesn’t require the installation of other, massive, plugins would be invaluable.

    Also, as a lifetime owner of WC Paid courses, I would love to be able to not have WooCommerce installed on every Sensei enabled site. This is available via the standalone plugin on the Sensei website, but as a previous WC Paid Courses owner I don’t have access to that download, for whatever reason!

    1. Ronnie Burt Avatar
      Ronnie Burt

      Thanks, Stuart! For the WC Paid Courses, if you reach out to our support team, we can help get you access to the version that doesn’t require WooCommerce, if you’d like 🙂

  4. vgmie Avatar
    vgmie

    Dear Sensei Team,

    Thanks for these improvements and the opportunity of share our opinion.

    In my point of view, will be very interesting a certificate that could include the hours of the course and the subjects in the reverse.

    I don’t know if it is already possible to include the hours in the certificate, but I have not get it.

    Regards

  5. comunidadkundalini Avatar

    Glad Sensei is growing in a good direction! Congrats for all achieve this year.

    1. P Avatar
      P

      I sincerely hope that “improved certificates” means somebody on your team will actually be actively developing that plugin. As it stands now, Sensei certificates currently has 20 security related pull requests that have gone unpatched in 2022. It also generates a tremendous amount of unneeded bulk on a database, because it generates data for courses that don’t have a certificate assigned to them. To make matters worse, there is no support for adding extra fields to the certificate.

      The lack of support for Sensei Certificates has been an issue for the 5 years I’ve used Sensei, and it has overwhelmingly been the primary reason I’ve steered my other clients away from Sensei.

      1. Ronnie Burt Avatar
        Ronnie Burt

        Appreciate the comment and feedback. It is true, certificates have been neglected a bit while we focused on other areas. The good news is most or all of what you mention should be much better in the first half of 2023.

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