Learner/Teacher Private Messages

Learners have the ability to send a private message to the teacher (author of the course) from any course or lesson they are taking. Registered users can also send a message to the teacher of any course they are not taking, if they want to ask a question.

Sending a Private Message

When a learner is viewing a course or lesson, they see a ‘Contact Teacher’ button:


If the learner clicks this button, they can enter a message to be sent privately to the course author:


After sending the message, the learner received a notification telling them their message has been sent, and a link to view the message.

The course author receives an email notification when a learner sends them a private message. You can enable/disable this email notification in Sensei > Settings > Email Notifications.

Viewing your messages

As a teacher, you can view all private messages you receive via Sensei > Messages.

Click on a message title to view the message, and see which user sent the message and from which course/lesson:


Replying to a message

To reply to a learner’s private message, click the message title to view the message and then Add Comment to enter a response:


The learner will receive an email notification with your reply, and can click the link in the email to view the message on your site.

They can also click the My Messages link on the My Courses page to view their messages.

You can also add a My Messages link to your menu via Appearance > Menus, so learners have another way to view messages.

Messages are private, so the only people who can view a message are the sender and the site admin.

Disable Private Messages

Private messages are enabled by default. To disable, go to Sensei > Settings and select “Disable the private message functions between learners and teachers.

This removes the “Contact Course Teacher” button from all courses/lessons, and also removes the Messages menu from the Dashboard.

Email Notifications

Sensei Emails

An email is sent to Learners when:

  • Their quiz is graded, manually or automatically
  • They complete a course

An email is sent to Teachers (author of the course) when:

  • A learner completes their course
  • A learner starts their course
  • A learner submits a quiz for manual grading

Emails are sent to the course author, not the site admin. If you’re not receiving emails, ensure that you are author of the course in question.

Email Settings

Go to Sensei > Settings > Email Notifications to view email settings.

Select which email notifications are sent:

If you need to enable/disable notifications by specific courses, there is an option in the ‘Edit Course’ screen to disable notifications for each individual course.

You can customize the name, email address and footer text used in the emails:


And change the colors used in emails:


Customizing Email Templates

By default, an email looks like this:


If you want to customize emails beyond changing the colors as described above, you can override email template files as explained in Sensei Theming.

Follow-Up Emails

You can use the Follow-Ups extension to send scheduled emails to Learners after completing certain actions in Sensei, e.g., Starting a course, completing a course, etc.

See: Keep Students Coming Back with Follow-Up Emails.

Purchase the extension at Follow-Ups and learn more via its documentation.