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.

Learner Management & Analysis

Want to learn how to manage, communicate with and track the progress of learners? If so, you’re in the right place!

  • Learner Management enables you to manage everything about your learners, from adding them to or removing them from a course or lesson, to resetting their progress.
  • Analysis offers drilldown reporting for you to see how learners are progressing across all courses, lessons and quizzes.
  • Messages enable two-way communication between teachers and learners.
  • Email notifications provide a way to notify both teachers and learners whenever a particular event occurs.

Learner Management

Users can be manually added to and removed from courses and lessons.

Go to Sensei > Learner Management to see a list of all courses, and filter by course category if necessary.

Managing learners within a course

To add/remove learners, click ‘Manage Learners’ next to the relevant course.

You then see a list of learners currently taking that course.

Remove a learner from a course

To remove a learner from the course, click ‘Remove from course’.

Add a learner to a course

To add a learner to the course, search for a user in the ‘Add Learner to Course’ panel and select the learner you want to add.

Optionally choose to complete this course for the user; it also automatically completes all lessons in the course for this learner.

Click ‘Add to Course Name‘.

Managing learners within a lesson

From the learner management page for a course, click the ‘Lessons’ link to see a list of all lessons within that course.

To add/remove learners, click ‘Manage Learners’ next to the relevant lesson.

You will see all learners who currently have a status of ‘In Progress’ or ‘Completed’ for this lesson.

‘In Progress’ means the learner has either saved the quiz for this lesson, or submitted it for manual grading.

Remove a learner from a lesson

To remove a learner from the lesson, click ‘Remove from lesson’.

Reset a lesson/quiz for a learner

When you remove a learner from a lesson (as described above), if the learner had previously completed the lesson’s quiz, this also resets their grade and removes answers for that quiz.

Add a learner to a lesson

To add a learner to the lesson, search for a user in the ‘Add Learner to Lesson’ panel, and select the user you want to add.

Optionally choose to complete this lesson for the user. If the lesson has a quiz, they pass the quiz with a grade of 100%.

Click ‘Add to Lesson Name

Note: Adding a learner to a lesson also adds them to the lesson’s course if they are not already taking it.


Sensei includes powerful drilldown reporting. To access this area, go to Sensei > Analysis.

There are three core areas of Analysis: OverviewCourses and Lessons. The three areas are deeply connected and output information depending on whether you are viewing an individual learner’s data or a particular course or lesson.


This page shows a general overview of your site’s learners and stats. From this page you can export the data for learners and drill down into each learner’s profile.

Learner Profile Page

The learner’s profile page shows a list courses they are taking, as well as status. You can drill down further into the learner’s progress by clicking the course title. This loads a list of lessons in the course, showing the progress and grades for each lesson. You can also click to view all learners taking the course and each individual lesson.


Similar to the Overview page, this page shows a general overview of courses on your site and course-centric stats for learners. From this page you can export data for your courses and drill down into a specific course’s information.

Once you have drilled down into a course information page, you can see a list of lessons in the course and the option to switch to a list of learners taking the course. Much like the learner’s profile, you can click the individual lesson page and see which learners are taking the lesson.


Much like the Overview and Courses pages, this shows a general overview of lessons on your site and lesson-centric stats for learners. From this page you can export data for your lessons and drill down into a specific lesson’s information.

You can drill down into a specific lesson’s information page, which shows a list of learners taking the lesson.

Each area of Analysis is designed to seamlessly link to each other, so you are able to click through to a learner’s profile wherever their name appear. The same is true for courses and lessons. You can also filter every data table displayed, usually searching the first column of the tables for matches.

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.