Teaching with WordPress just got easy

January 21, 2013 in Blog, Sensei updates.

It’s been months in the making – from brainstorming to technical speccing, designing and developing to beta testing, bug fixing and interface refining – and we’re finally at the point where we can proudly present to you our latest WordPress plugin.

Meet Sensei

Sensei, previously code named LMS, helps you create online courses from within WordPress. Sensei aims to capture the core features of a learning management plugin, while not bloating it with features other existing plugins can handle. Sensei integrates perfectly with themes and plugins!

Headlined by our senior developer Jeff Pearce, with experience in building learning systems, Sensei has been through many iterations in ensuring code stability, load performance, extendability and backend usability.

Sign up, take a course and track your progress with Sensei.

Theming & WooCommerce compatibility

Sensei, like WooCommerce, comes with default frontend styling that should be compatible with any well-coded WordPress theme. We also plan on including custom styling for this plugin in certain future theme releases. We’ve already re-visited the Definition theme, that we actually commissioned Chris Rowe to specifically design around the LMS idea, and included slick styling for Sensei.

Sensei styling in the Definition theme.

Given the sheer size that WooCommerce has grown by we wanted to ensure a close connection between both plugins. With WooCommerce running on your site and Sensei installed you can quite easily assign a product to a course and subsequently charge learners for course material.

Support & updates

We take product support very seriously at WooThemes and really plan to excel in the support of Sensei as we learn how our customers use this plugin and align it to their needs even closer in the coming weeks.

Similarly to WooCommerce, and dependant on it’s uptake, we plan to extend Sensei through extensions – with very competitive pricing and free additional modules for existing Sensei users.

Pricing & our introductory offer

We’ve being debating a price point that justly covers the amount of functionality Sensei covers, whilst complementing the pricing of our other WordPress products and making it accessible to all potential customers. We’ve decided on an introductory pricing starting at $79. This discounted price will be effective for the next 30 days, after which we will most likely be increasing the price to $99 for a single site license.

This introductory pricing is now over, a single site license will now cost $99.

A backend glance at Sensei in action.

Get your copy of Sensei today, explore it’s countless possibilities, and report back to us with your experiences as we take online learning to the next level with WordPress.

Find out more about Sensei Demo Sensei

To trial the course section of the demo use the username “student” and password “sensei” on WordPress login.

Discount Coupon

Sensei is already discounted on checkout. Launch price is valid for the next 30 days until 21 February 2013.

WooCommerce Bookings

146 Responses

  1. Laurent Matignon
    21 January 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    I was desparetely waiting for the release, congrats Woo. I’m off to test this brand new LMS ;-)

  2. Mark Copeman
    21 January 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    Guys – was a pleasure helping you test this.

    I think it’s really important to point out this is very much v1. In the version I tested, I felt there were limitations in what could be added lessons which no doubt extension developers will plug in the coming weeks.

    If that’s been changed already – you should definitely point that out.

    Looking forward to seeing this evolve.

    Best wishes,
    Mark

    • jeffikus
      21 January 2013 at 3:27 pm #

      And thanks to you for helping us test! We’re also looking forward to seeing it evolve so keep the feedback coming, that way we can make it better and better!

    • Matty Cohen
      21 January 2013 at 3:29 pm #

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for your detailed and informative feedback and suggestions during development. We very much appreciate it. :)

      During the final sprint on Sensei (I believe this would be the version after you tested), Sensei took on many enhancements and code optimisations to take it to the next level in terms of a V1.

      Looking forward to seeing how Sensei is used in the wild and receiving feedback from everyone.

      Thanks, as always, for your comments and feedback. :)

  3. cflema
    21 January 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    This is a fantastic accomplishment. Congrats! I was just at the SanTan this weekend (wcphx) and it wasn’t the same without you guys!

    • Adii Pienaar
      21 January 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      My liver feels better sans SanTan though. :)

  4. Calzo
    21 January 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    Can’t wait to implement this in my tutorial site project.

  5. Isabel
    21 January 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Best news ever!
    I am going to try it today!

  6. Sandie
    21 January 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    Is it possible to change the terminology within the plugin? e.g. could I update ‘lectures’ to ‘lessons’ ?

    • Matty Cohen
      21 January 2013 at 3:37 pm #

      Hi Sandie,

      You sure can! :)

      The text is translatable, which means it can be customised via a translation file.

      If you’d prefer, you could also use the Sensei templating system to customise the text. :)

    • Grumbledook
      21 January 2013 at 3:40 pm #

      A localisation file should be able to easily take car of that Sandie

  7. Rob Hope
    21 January 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Guys, this looks brilliant, congrats.

    • Ryan Ray
      24 January 2013 at 7:24 am #

      Thanks, Rob! Much appreciated!

  8. Andy
    21 January 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    This plugin comes at a perfect time. I have a website project coming up where I need to charge for online courses.

    Thanks so much!

  9. redpublika
    21 January 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    This looks great !

    Question: what does somebody see when not logged in / hasn’t bought a course ?

    Do they see teasers, a sign-up-now message or nothing at all ? In other words, can you set up protected and non-protected content ?

    Because the demo only shows the site when logged in.

    Thanks

    • Matty Cohen
      21 January 2013 at 4:03 pm #

      Hi There,

      The demo requires a login, as we’d like visitors to the demo to interact with the courses, take the quizzes, etc. :)

      By default, courses are free and open. They can, however, be restricted to be only available after purchasing the course, via the WooCommerce integration.

      Course content is only visible once a course is being taken (either free or paid, you’d click the “take this course” button). Prior to taking a course, the course image, title and excerpt are available in the “Courses” listing. :)

  10. lucifer666
    21 January 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    Where do I find my Developer Club Subscriber Coupon Code?

    • jacobydn
      21 January 2013 at 9:34 pm #

      Indeed.

    • Adii Pienaar
      21 January 2013 at 9:44 pm #

      Please e-mail us to request those.

  11. cucogut
    21 January 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Guys, this really rocks! Is exactly what I need it, great job, congratulations to any one involve in it’s development…

    I would like to use right away but can’t find my club subscriber discount coupon, Where is it?

    Thanks

  12. Chris M
    21 January 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    Very well done, this is a fantastic plugin! In a time and age where online education is becoming more and more sought after, this will open up possibilities to so many institues, individuals and companies! Well done Adii, Matty, et al!

  13. Tim
    21 January 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Cool. Looking forward to testing this.

  14. davejay
    21 January 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    Fantastic! And perfect timing :)

    I hope you guys enjoy a little break and enjoy your achievement before the feature requests start flooding in… But let me just leave this here:

    The ability for enrolled students to upload files (ie: assignments) for evaluation would be great :)

    Thanks again. This is some good work.

    • znagle
      21 January 2013 at 7:56 pm #

      You could definitely do this with Gravity Forms.

    • jeffikus
      21 January 2013 at 10:10 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words :-) and for the ideas, I can’t give future plans away just yet, but we will keep that in mind!

  15. tvector
    21 January 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    Not really responsive I see. I see the theme Definition is responsive, however the plugin does not appear to conform properly to screen resolution changes. Will this change? The ability to offer courses in a responsive format is very attractive to us.

    • jeffikus
      21 January 2013 at 10:13 pm #

      Hi there,

      Can you let me know which areas are affected for you? If there is an issues I’d like to let our design team know.

      Thanks,

      • tvector
        22 January 2013 at 12:39 am #

        Just go to your demo site and move your browser window in to minimize the width. You’ll see what I mean. Progress bars, etc.

        • Cobus Bester
          22 January 2013 at 7:47 am #

          Yes, Sensei does currently have some responsive restrictions, and it will certainly be addressed within the next couple of updates. :)

  16. webjump
    21 January 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    Major congrats to the team.

    I’m presently creating a new training course site and would really like to know:

    1. Can I create a course with all the course outlines in tabs. Right now I’m using Woo Commerce and I don’t wish to show a product image etc, but may wish to show reviews.

    If you view my beta site you’ll see what I mean:

    http://www.betasite02.co.uk/product/cipdcertificate-in-human-resource-practice/

  17. Carmen
    21 January 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    This plugin is COOL. Congrats!

  18. allmyhoney
    21 January 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Super job guys, if this can grow with each release it should be a real gem. Well done

  19. hkadejo
    21 January 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    How I can create my own extensions to Sensei, use them, test them and sell them? Is or will be a guide for developers?

    • jeffikus
      22 January 2013 at 9:39 am #

      Hi there

      We are planning to build extensions for Sensei and that means that you could build your own. When we do get to that there will be comprehensive developer documentation, for now though the developer docs are limited to integration with your theme and customization of the templates.

      Thanks!

  20. appfy
    21 January 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    Super job woo team!

  21. dalewright
    21 January 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    I do hope someone is planning on developing a subscription service for generic white label WordPress lessons that I can load into Sensei and provide to my clients when they email me saying thibk like “I have forgotten how to add a features image to their blog posts”

    Email me at dalewright dot co uk if you are or would like to partner on developing such a service

    Great work everyone!

    • allmyhoney
      21 January 2013 at 9:18 pm #

      Try wp101 – always helpful with videos and I have no association with them at all

    • Laura
      21 January 2013 at 9:34 pm #

      Hi Dale, I’m not sure on your email address since it’s not listed on your site yet. Can you email me at laura (at) chemistrycommunications.com? I’d like to chat about this. Cheers!

  22. Koichi
    21 January 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    How does this plugin play with Woocommerce Subscriptions + Groups Extension (for membership websites)? Instead of paying for individual lessons, I basically just want people to have access to everything based on membership. Seems like it should work, but just want to make sure before making the plunge. Thanks!

  23. nhgnikole
    21 January 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    Can you tell me how this would work with user control? RIght now I use WishList Member for purchasing and access control … would this work the same or do I need the WLM plugin in addition to get the same functionality with a nicer backend?

    • jeffikus
      21 January 2013 at 10:22 pm #

      Hi there

      Sensei works on the assumption that if any membership plugin uses standard WordPress functions for the membership stuff like registration etc, then it should play nice without a problem. For example, some membership plugins use shortcodes in the WP editor to separate different levels of content, that is still possible in Courses and Lessons because Sensei uses the native WordPress editor, but you can’t have things like different Quiz Questions for different membership levels (yet)

      Hope that answers your question!

      • nhgnikole
        22 January 2013 at 8:16 am #

        I just wanted to know if it would replace it … like is woo-comm + sensei a full course plugin where you can go from purchase to purchase confirmation to activation to adding people on the mailing list to upgrading them to other packages, etc. Because that is what WLM is doing, it is acting as the registration component that takes the paypal confirmation, adds them to a course, puts them on the mailing list, and then activates that content for them.

        Also, I would be curious to know if this has the ability to have a single user point of login to see all the courses purchased … ?

  24. Tim
    21 January 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    Documentation? I’m getting lost setting things up and it isn’t operating as I would expect. I understand it’s V1 but some kind of docs would be good since you are charging for the product. Thanks.

  25. Rohit Khanna
    21 January 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    Hello
    This $79 is a one time fee or are there recurring charges as well?

    Also when I click on DEMO link its asking me for login. Is it possible to show all the courses to guests and allow them to take quiz and then have a popup or something which will inform that if they dont create an account the progress will be lost?

    Regards

    • jeffikus
      21 January 2013 at 10:25 pm #

      Hi there

      Sensei does allow for not logged in users to view a ‘preview/excerpt’ of a course or lesson if they aren’t logged in, but for the purposes of really showcasing what it can do we’ve made the demo work for a logged in user. Quiz answers need to be saved to a user, so right now saving it to a ‘guest’ user isn’t possible.

      Thanks,

    • Franklin Norris
      24 January 2013 at 10:05 am #

      Guys, this is pretty steep. WP Courseware has more features and sells for $47. I think I’ll pass on Sensei and save some money. Sorry.

  26. Joel
    21 January 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    Looks like a great addition, will take a look at the demo.

  27. Moonworks
    21 January 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    I’ve been waiting for this since it was announced as being a theme. Whilst being a theme would have meant I get it with my membership, I see why it is much better to have it as a plugin, allowing any theme to be used.

    I did notice a couple of problems on the demo, the slide with the video doesn’t play nicely as responsive, part of the right side gets covered up. Also, I was unable to make the same video full screen.

    This is definitely something I am seriously considering, as it will allow us to work on something we’ve been discussing (and not doing) for far too long.

  28. Maria
    21 January 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    Wow guys….this is AWESOME!! I happen to have a new client that can really use this….it’s just perfect. Congrats and keep up the great work.

    • Ryan Ray
      22 January 2013 at 2:29 am #

      That is awesome to hear, Maria! Let us know how your experience with Sensei goes!

  29. pgsimas
    21 January 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    What if I wanted to include pictures, pdf doc downloads and only audio teaching?

    I know there is room for a video link but how can someone us the plugin for an audio teaching course, including notes?

    • Ryan Ray
      22 January 2013 at 2:29 am #

      While there aren’t custom fields for downloads, or audio & pictures, you can simply insert photos into a lesson just like you do when writing a post or page.

      For PDF downloads you can simply upload those to WordPress via the add media button, and then you can link text to the download or create a button for the download. For example, the shortcodes included in our themes would allow you to create a download button for the PDF.

      For audio, check out the many audio plugins that exist for WordPress. That might make managing the audio easier for you. You can again embed audio into a lesson as well, just like uploading and inserting pictures.

      • pgsimas
        22 January 2013 at 8:34 am #

        ok… thanks Ryan, this is helpful.

      • Kat Nip
        7 February 2013 at 11:00 pm #

        Will they be able to view pdf before buying the course? Obviously we don’t want that.

  30. Freddie
    21 January 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    Guys,

    This looks great, very fluid and easy to navigate.

    I wish you all the very best with this and hope i have a need to use it shortly :D

    Freddie.

    • jeffikus
      22 January 2013 at 9:41 am #

      Thanks for the kind words Freddie! When you do use it on a project submit it to the showcase so we can show it off ;-)

  31. Jim Marks
    21 January 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    Is this a WOOTHEME plugin only? or can we use it on a nonWT theme.. also, is it multisite compatible? Can we add the lessons to every site in a network?

    • Ryan Ray
      22 January 2013 at 2:12 am #

      It’ll work in any theme, WooTheme or not. :)

      It works on a single site, but that doesn’t matter if it’s a normal WordPress install or a WPMS install.

      If I am correct, what it seems like you are after is adding a lesson one time and having it go to all sites using Sensei? Or at least, something similar?

      That isn’t possible as each site would run on it’s own data, even when using Sensei. So that data would have to be exported from the original site and imported on each subsequent site.

      • Josh
        22 January 2013 at 3:55 am #

        Elaborating on that concept. I could see an integration with multisite in this scenario:

        You have a teaching site with multiple teachers. You want to offer different course for each teacher in their own respective subsites of the main site.

        I don’t even know if woocommerce has the capability to manage something like this, but it could also be valuable for user management. You could have one user account to switch between sub-sites.

        Is that possible? Would each teacher be able to setup their own courses, and lessons? Would they be able to have their own woocommerce sandbox on the subsite? Or would it all funnel into one parent site store?

        I’d love to think of this in that realm as I think it would open a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurial developers. ;)

        • jeffikus
          22 January 2013 at 9:44 am #

          Hi there

          That kind of multisite scenario isn’t supported out of the box, but…I can see no reason why an extension couldn’t be developed to handle that :-)

          Add your idea’s here – http://ideas.woothemes.com/forums/191508-sensei – so it can potentially make it into core!

      • davej
        22 January 2013 at 4:38 am #

        awesome!

        …and please please make Woocommerce fully compatible with a multisite install…its so close already!

        rock on.

  32. Peter
    21 January 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    Does it handle self-hosted webinars (video and audio) – mainly interested if the plugin can, for instance, handle paid-video content/lessons with HTML5 and fallback (responsive)?

    Thx

    • Ryan Ray
      22 January 2013 at 2:23 am #

      The video field should support a file hosted anywhere as long as you can get an embed code for it! :)

      • Peter
        22 January 2013 at 10:30 am #

        I read that as a no!? Would you / could you clarify Ryan?

        Isn’t the essensce of embedding off site hosting? How would I get an embed code for a video uploaded directly onto server or via Dashboard.

        And what about responsiveness on selfhosted. I read that as a no as well?

        This is pretty important stuff for people that want to have protected (walled) paid content. I’m pretty sure we agree on the latter part: that it’s important. So how does the plugin deal with it..?

        Thx

  33. pwood
    22 January 2013 at 12:56 am #

    May this hopefully be the end of the Blackboard course system that I grew to loathe in College!

    • Ryan Ray
      22 January 2013 at 2:13 am #

      I had to use Moodle, but any WordPress solution would be a giant breath of fresh air! :P

  34. csfalcao
    22 January 2013 at 3:08 am #

    Congrats! Very good job!
    The need of a good, extendable and stable LMS system are high. This comes in hand.

  35. Oli Haslam
    22 January 2013 at 3:16 am #

    Great to see this at last! Thank you. I’m looking forward to using it.

  36. Ro
    22 January 2013 at 3:27 am #

    Finally! So exciting!

    Does anyone know if it includes a discussion forum for students?

    And will it work with third-party membership plugins?

    Thanks! :)

    • Carrington
      22 January 2013 at 7:23 am #

      It doesn’t, but you can easily incorporate a forum into WP. Works with S2 from what I’ve tested.

    • jeffikus
      22 January 2013 at 9:46 am #

      Hi there

      It uses comments on individual lessons as a basic form of interaction, however you could easily use one of the existing WP forum plugins to handle discussion forums.

      Yes it will work with third party membership plugins, as long as they follow WP standards and don’t have their ‘own way’ of handling user data and permissions.

      Thanks,

  37. Krunal Bharatiya
    22 January 2013 at 6:53 am #

    Its So Cool Plugin, Fantastic work i like it…
    Its so useful to all coaching classics to develop their business…..

  38. Carrington
    22 January 2013 at 7:22 am #

    Grabbed my copy within 5 minutes of receiving the email. Works fine with S2Member so far.

    Would be GREAT to be able to click user in analysis section to see individual lesson scores and progress. An average score is one thing, but not much help if different quizzes have different weights.

    Also would be AWESOME to have a notification feature when a user finishes. Example – 8 sessions with the final session being completion of the program. Email goes out to admin designated email address that user xyz has completed the training course.

    • jeffikus
      22 January 2013 at 9:49 am #

      These are some fantastic ideas! Be sure to add any more to the Sensei ideas site here: http://ideas.woothemes.com/forums/191508-sensei

      Really pleased that it works well with S2Member, let us know if you have tested it with any of the other membership plugins.

      Thanks,

  39. Robert Gillette
    22 January 2013 at 10:16 am #

    I work in academia teaching economics, however, needed a WordPress LMS for a personal project. In September of last year I purchased a plugin called WP Courseware which this seems to be modeled after. Did you take over WP Courseware from the previous company? If so, should I contact Woo Themes for support going forward?

    • jeffikus
      22 January 2013 at 1:22 pm #

      Hi Robert

      WP Courseware is owned by a separate company, we’ve modelled our plugin after the requirements of online learning systems in general. You’d have to contact the developers of that plugin for support.

      Thanks,

      • Robert Gillette
        23 January 2013 at 8:52 am #

        You’re telling me that this isn’t WP Courseware? I’m a little shocked that you’re basing your releases from other existing products without adding anything new or valuable. For a company of your size and stature, this seems unacceptable.

        • tinygiantstudios
          27 January 2013 at 12:42 pm #

          I’m sure you’re shocked when walking into a tyre shop only to find out every brand in there had the audacity to also make their tyres round and out of rubber.

          • Fenyang
            20 February 2013 at 10:55 am #

            …says the guy who charges clients for websites he “designs” but creates with themes others thought up.

        • Alan
          30 January 2013 at 1:32 am #

          Yes, where are the hologram teachers and sorority girls. :P

          We have studied both of those plugins and the other that was released this week. On the surface they all seem the same. Course, lessons, exams etc. However, if you look close those little differences will have a huge impact in the future. Each has it’s own way of organizing and tracking content.

          Each has different strengths. I honestly don’t know which is best for us, but I do know they are very different.

          BTW: Sometimes less is more.

        • John
          16 February 2013 at 6:52 am #

          They did something similiar with woocommerce which was forked from jigoshop and then called it their own, without any acknowlegment of the work already done. That’s why I’ve moved to Catalyst.

  40. Leslie Nicole
    22 January 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Would be helpful to put information on how to do video courses – specifically where to store the videos so that they would be private unless paid for. Very interested in this plug-in as I was going to start doing some online courses this year!

    • Ryan Ray
      22 January 2013 at 6:32 pm #

      I would highly recommend using a service like Wistia, Vimeo Plus or Pro, and compare their features. I do think all those services offer the ability to only show videos on allowed domains, not allow anyone else to embed them, etc…

      With that, you can easily then embed the videos in a lesson and then charge for access to that lesson where they can then watch the video.

      • Mario Rodríguez
        31 January 2013 at 12:29 pm #

        yes… that is what we’ve been using for years, Vimeo Plus, it works perfect to sell protected videos online.

        In our case:

        Woocommerce + Groups + Groups for Woocommerce + Vimeo Plus.

        It works like a charm :)

      • Leslie Nicole
        4 February 2013 at 9:21 am #

        Thank you, Ryan. I’m looking to start an online training store this year, so this is really helpful.

        May I add that I’m so impressed with your new look and all the products you now have. I’m a woo customer that has wandered off, but now I’m wandering back!

    • Alan
      30 January 2013 at 1:47 am #

      I would choose Vimeo. Not only do you have the domain limits Ryan mentioned you can also use passwords. But, I think the most useful feature of Vimeo is you can swap out video files. This allows you to change/update the content without changing the link or embed code.

  41. Rohit Khanna
    22 January 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    Hey
    Is there anyway we can categorize COURSES in Sensei? I just couldnt see this in the video..

    I plan to add courses of different kind of topics so I will need categorization of courses for easier navigation.

    Also I want to ask if this $79 price will be aone time fee or will there be recurring fee to get updates? I expect additional plugins to be free or paid depending on complexity but I want to clarify the recurring fee for main software
    Regards

    • Hugh Lashbrooke
      22 January 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      There is currently no way to categorise your courses – you can post an idea our ideas board where we keep track of popular requests: http://ideas.woothemes.com/forums/191508-sensei

      The $79 price tag (which will go up ro $99 after the launch promotion) is a once-off fee.

  42. sabinam
    22 January 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    Please let us know if this plugin works with wishlist member. that would be awesome!

    • wkriesel
      24 January 2013 at 7:00 am #

      I have this question, too. Has anyone used Sensei with Wishlist?

  43. teecee
    22 January 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    What are “Courses” and “Lessons” considered – categories, pages, posts?

    • Hugh Lashbrooke
      22 January 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      Both ‘Courses’ and ‘Lessons’ are post types, so they function like WordPress posts in terms of how they are managed.

      • joey
        23 January 2013 at 1:42 am #

        Hugh, if courses and lessons function like WordPress posts, why do you state “There is currently no way to categorise your courses”. Would you explain? Thanks – looking forward to it.

        • Ryan Ray
          23 January 2013 at 3:54 am #

          A post in WordPress, which is a post type itself, has a taxonomy called categories, thus we’d need to add that ability to our custom post types.

          The Lessons or Courses post types would need the ability to have taxonomies. Which I assume is planned for future updates to Sensei.

          Please, one of our smarter devs correct me if I’m wrong. ;)

  44. Stefan
    22 January 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    In order to follow a lesson, is it possible to do just that without being a registered student? In other words, can lessons be made available to anonymous visitors?

    • sschuur
      23 January 2013 at 3:51 pm #

      Yes… it’s possible.

  45. Chuck Reynolds
    22 January 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    This looks like a great start guys but long way to go to replace the LMS products out there. We looked into fixing a custom WP plugin that had very badly interfaced with moodle and looked into other WP options and found out about the development of this.
    I’ve since long passed over that project – that was going to be a nightmare with what they wanted and their workflow – but now that I see this I realize it wouldn’t have gotten close. BUT it is a good base to work from. You guys are tackling a big hole in the DIY web industry with this… buckle your seatbelts :) But good news is there’s a great market for this once it has matured.

    Some thoughts:
    – The tests need to be more robust and multi-part as well.
    – lessons need more robust attachement types and organization.. like multiple posts/pages per lesson etc
    – registration. paid. big signup forms. granted this could work with GravityForms but that’s an additional plugin for them to 1. know about and 2. setup and maintain… but then those fields aren’t directly tied to the lessons and testing etc. The user management on this needs to be blown out big.
    – lesson / class prerequisites. Can’t take 201 if you haven’t completed and passed 101. Can’t take lesson 3 if you haven’t passed lesson 2. That kind of stuff. Tests sometimes determine that. Other times it would be moderated by in-person tests that a professor would update their online profile and marking it as passed.
    – didn’t see how much role management was built in but something to consider; also considering what I mentioned above. From what I could tell these types need an admin or counselor that can see all students and what they’re doing at any given time… also professors may be in charge of individual lessons or groups of lessons, and/or office managers would have a middle level of access to adjust content and courseware and things like that. Double check tests, grades, etc.
    – Reporting… per student, per lesson, group of lessons, and the stats/analytics behind that.
    – Reporting for billing and receipt management etc
    … I could probably blabber on but just listing some of the things I know are wanted from the LMS community. I do know some others here in Phx that have started using buddypress w/ courseware for actual classes at community colleges here because they’re so let down and hating on blackboard. There’s a market but they’re very needy.. like I said… buckle up! :)

    Good luck guys… Can’t wait to see the genesis of this :)

    • Ryan Ray
      23 January 2013 at 3:50 am #

      Thanks for the great feedback here!

      Just for future reference you can email it to us. If you don’t feel like writing a novel blog post. ;) – info[at]woothemes.com

  46. mossmelien
    23 January 2013 at 12:08 am #

    Any ideas why I am getting no background color on lessons when the plugin is used on our dev site? Courses are good…. but lessons not so…

    http://dev.thesportacademy.org/lesson/

    Great start on this plugin!

  47. mitla
    23 January 2013 at 6:22 am #

    Hi,

    The Sensei demo quiz is not working properly. too buggy. I completed the quiz, clicked complete quiz and doesn’t do anything apart from refreshing the page have to click, multiple times to pass through. As far as the LMS is concerned this very basic, can easily be achieved with membership management plugin.

    Better yet there is already a plugin called WP-Courseware which has more functionality than Sensei, seems like Sensei v1 is just a copy WP-Courseware.

    Will wait to see what great features come out of the box. I am thinking this will be extra add-ons that will need to be purchased = more money spent.

  48. Richard Freeman
    23 January 2013 at 8:37 am #

    @mitla, I’ve seen WP Courseware also. Sensei costs twice as much for the same features. WooThemes will be lucky of they don’t get sued for intellectual property copyright violation.

    • mitla
      23 January 2013 at 10:04 pm #

      Not sure if they will be sued, but have also noticed some of the features in the woo themes framework are copied from other plugins, for example when using woo themes, when you edit a new page, the woothemes shortcodes looks similar to http://demo.truethemes.net/Plugin-Vision/

      I was really hoping Sensei had more features but it’s just too weak to be an LMS as far as v1 is concerned and too pricey for the options it comes with and not to forget the bugs.

      Another LMS plugin that is coming out on Jan 28th is Learn Dash. Check it out at http://www.learndash.com/

      I hope they are not a disappointment too. Let’s hope for the best, never know what features are introduced in the next releases or a completely new better plugin hits the market.

    • mitla
      24 January 2013 at 7:05 am #

      @Richard, I am not sure if they will be sued for this. I believe this is not the only thing they would have copied, for example, if you use woo themes / woo theme framework. When you go to edit a page notice the woo themes shortcode, this seems to have been copied from one of the plugins in code canyon called vision. “codecanyon . net / item / vision – wordpress – shortcodes – plugin / 3372371″.

      I could go on and on for other features, but heck who cares, let the other developers whose stuff/idea has been copied deal with this. My only concern is that I hope in the next releases/updates of Sensei they add more functionality and NOT release add-on’s for sale, that will just suck.

      There is another promising LMS plugin coming out on Jan 28th – LearnDash – go check it out. I hope it’s way better than Sensei as I have a client project coming up. Oh by the way I am not affiliated just sharing this info as it might help you for your projects. cheers

      • Richard Freeman
        24 January 2013 at 10:20 am #

        I can’t say I’m willing to support WooThemes as a company whose business model is to steal ideas. Thanks @mitla.

        • Jason C
          24 January 2013 at 12:37 pm #

          The LMS concept has been around for years. There are dozens and dozens of LMS web solutions on the market and many of them adhere to standards which were independently developed. So, no, WooThemes did not rip off anyone’s idea.

          I have no affiliation with WooThemes either, but when I read something like this that’s just plain wrong, I just had to say something.

          • mitla
            24 January 2013 at 6:17 pm #

            @Jason: How do you know that they didn’t get the idea/copied from the other plugin since you are not affiliated with them ?

            How would you explain the other features that have been copied or look too similar to some plugins out there in the wild which I mentioned in my comment above ?

            Seems to me that you can’t hear any negativity about Woo Themes and one of the reasons would be: you must have stocked your computer with lots of themes/plugins bought from woo.

          • Alan
            30 January 2013 at 12:30 am #

            The “standards” where developed in 1997 by the US Defense Department which created Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL). ADL developed The Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM). The most recent version of this API is Tin Can which is under development. While Sensei does not use this API it and most other LMS code uses the basic framework (ideas) that where a result of the API.

            It’s not hard to find stupidity online, but the comments above yours are a special kind of stupid. Copyright is complex stuff, so it is understandable to be confused. However, smearing a product or company because they are too lazy to know just how ignorant they are, that is far from understandable.

            You can not copyright an idea, only the execution of an idea. You can not copyright universal standards, such as language.

            Sorry to add to this foolishness, but I thought some things needed to be cleared up.

            PS @Jason C This was not directed at you. I just replied to your comment because you mentioned standards. ;)

      • Moonworks
        24 January 2013 at 1:22 pm #

        I don’t know if this was copied from Code Canyon, but if it was and they had an extended licence, this allows it to be used in a theme for sale.

        • mitla
          24 January 2013 at 6:19 pm #

          @Moonworks: I understand that you can buy an extended licence. But my point is why should we support something that has been copied in the first place ? This hurts other developers out their.

      • Syrehn
        25 January 2013 at 3:56 am #

        @milta, You mentioned the Vision WordPress extension on codecanyon. If you check the release date for that plugin you’ll see that it launched on Nov 9/2012. The woo framework/themes have been out much longer than that, so I find it exceedingly difficult to comprehend how you can say they could have copied it; if copying happened (not saying there was) it would be the other way around.

        I also purchased Sensei and agree with Jason C’s comment. The LMS concept has been around for years and there is more than one option; a few of them have been mentioned in these comments. The basis behind all of them and the core functionality in them is all exceedingly similar. Woo is not stealing intellectual property.

        The reason that many of us are so willing to put our money into Woo products at their earlier stages vs, others (yes I do agree that Sensei currently is very basic compared to some options) is because of their EXCEPTIONAL track record when it comes to clean/proper development and service.

        I look forward to seeing what functionality gets put into Sensei in the future, but always keep options open at new things that come out from other teams as well (I’m also subscribed to hear when LearnDash launches).

        • mitla
          26 January 2013 at 2:04 am #

          @Syrehn, Vision was just a single example. What about Woo Commerce ? Didn’t that come from Jigoshop ? Since woo couldn’t develop a superior e-commerce solution and found it easier to fork Jigoshop… I can go and on about several other features, but there isn’t a point in doing so since it’s not our company.

          • Syrehn
            26 January 2013 at 5:31 am #

            @mitla I believe you are correct, if I remember right it was a fork. The description of forking is:

            “fork happens when developers take a copy of source code from one software package and start independent development on it, creating a distinct piece of software.”

            Key focus in that is the portion “independent development on a distinct piece of software”; which is exactly what WooCommerce is (not a Jigoshop copy) an independent piece of software. So again, not stealing or copying.

  49. Stefan
    23 January 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    How do I change the slug /lesson/ in my url in something like /lessen/ ?

  50. Moonworks
    23 January 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    I have been looking at WP Courseware, but in the end my decision to purchase came from the quality of the support provided by Woo ninjas.

    I just hope that this doesn’t go the way of some of the themes and stop being worked.

  51. wkriesel
    24 January 2013 at 7:32 am #

    Sensei is amazing and we’ve purchased it for the virtual school where I work. We will be putting it through some tests – having students create courses and lessons for their peers on our network of student blogs. So far – having designed courses in Blackboard, Haiku, Moodle, and a couple others – this is slick. Looking forward to the developments coming down the road (SCORM, more analytics, a gradebook?).

    I’m also interested – for other clients and projects – in answers to the questions about membership plugins – particularly Wishlist member. So if anyone tests it with Wishlist, let me know how it works.

  52. likoma
    25 January 2013 at 5:03 am #

    There’s some concern about it being v 1.0, but I’m not concerned. That’s why I’ve come to trust WOO: I think they’re going to be around a while, they maintain, update, and upgrade their products and it’s good to know someone has got your back … when your client is asking who has their back.

    Looking forward to future versions, upgrades, new features, and options! Woo for WOO! I even gave it a mini write-up:

    http://bit.ly/Yr6UA3

    • jeffikus
      25 January 2013 at 4:32 pm #

      Thanks for the write up and the kind words! I’m looking forward to pushing out some awesome updates in the future as well :-)

  53. assaw
    26 January 2013 at 8:33 am #

    asdasc

  54. sabinam
    26 January 2013 at 11:45 am #

    I think $90 is a bit steep for what Sensei is at the moment. Given that a membership component with much more complex features costs the same. However I sell digital goods too and it is not a question of how many features a product has but if customers are ready to pay this price. I think I will purchase it because I love woocommerce. And one thing that Sensei has that other similar LMS wordpress plugins don’t have is an integration with woocommerce.

    Only thing I need to know is if Sensei integrates with Wishlist!

    • jeffikus
      29 January 2013 at 8:28 am #

      Hi there

      We are looking into the various Membership plugins and have reached out to the authors of those plugins for native support, watch this space!

  55. skaishann
    27 January 2013 at 2:25 am #

    I expected that Sensei had more functionality like iJoomla Guru, or full LMS. I want to run my training business like OStraining.com with iJoomla Guru. So, I am waiting for Learndash and next version of Sensei.

  56. Victor
    28 January 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    Well done guys for a great job.

    Please can co-teachers create and upload their own courses from the front-end?
    We have a real-world vocational school. We want each teacher, only from the front-end of Sensei, to create and upload their won courses themselves. Is this possible? or can they only do this from the backend?

    • jeffikus
      29 January 2013 at 8:29 am #

      Hi there

      At the moment you can have different “teachers” create a course, but you would have to do this from the backend. If you’d like to see this in Sensei in the future please let us know on our official ideas board here – http://ideas.woothemes.com/forums/191508-sensei

      Thanks,

  57. alfie
    30 January 2013 at 5:13 am #

    first of all, congrats for releasing sensei. I bought a copy last week and played around with it – customised the templates…etc. I think sensei has got the basic stuff right but there are a lot features to be added to make it a proper LMS system. The only thing I like is the integration with woocommerce, other than that there are alot of missing features:

    1) no categorization, so I can’t have course->modules->lesson->chapters for example.
    2) no printing of certificate
    3) not enough quiz types
    4) not scorm compliant
    5) unable to alter student results
    6) no expiry date for course
    7) no groups or cohorts
    8) no content drip
    9) more than one pre-requisite before attempting another lesson
    … the list goes on

    I also found a quite a number of bugs. Clicking on the next and prev link in the lesson section allows me to view the lesson in other courses.

    The $79 price is steep. I hope sensei v2 to be released quickly with better features and fixes. Learndash is picking up strongly and has a lot more features at a cheaper price. I am a supporter of woothemes, please work harder guys before you guys loses out.

    • Rene
      30 January 2013 at 11:40 pm #

      I want to buy this plugin, but I have to agree with alfie – I miss many features and the price looks very high!

    • Alan
      3 February 2013 at 12:44 am #

      We choose Sensei and here is why….

      You are comparing the combined features of WP Courseware and LearnDash, but neither of those have all those features independently.

      I would like to see those features in Sensei as well, but they are minor compared to what those other 2 plugins don’t have.

      WP Courseware is a good solution if you what something for corporate training or a small controlled group. However if you are offering courses to the public you can only create one course without having to manually subscribe each user to the course. That makes it very impractical for a public site.

      LearnDash has no user profile what so ever. There is no tracking of progress etc.

      Both of those plugins say they will be adding those features, but I would much rather wait for Sensei to add categories, etc. than wait for the others to add basic functions.

      • Alan
        3 February 2013 at 12:53 am #

        PS

        As far as price, if you are not willing to invest $80 in your site odds are you shouldn’t have a site. The ongoing development is my main concern. If I’m going to invest my time building on top of a plugin I want to make sure it will be around a year from now. Personally I believe they should have released it for free. Not because I have a problem paying for it, I would like it to be free so it is widely adapted and becomes a sort of standard, but that’s not my decision.

  58. mtarre05
    30 January 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Hi, I installed Sensei plugin but the only issue I have integrating it with my theme that the top portion of a course or lessons gets cut or hidden by my main menu. In this URL you can see that the “Couse name” is hidden under the menu but more importantly the “Star taking this course button” too.

    http://educarteonline.com/course/lightroom-4-fundamental/

    If anyone can provide any assistance will be greatly appretiated.

  59. Beni
    2 February 2013 at 6:16 am #

    Hi,

    I have been looking for something like this for some years now, and I was thinking of building my own LMS or finding the right one.. but I havent yet. So now, Im even closer to make my website and Im glad I found Sensei! :)

    Have a question though.. what I exactly would like to have is a site where students pay monthly or annually (with auto renewal, if not stopped a month before). Allowing them to have their “student” page with just the lesson 1 available, and as long as they are paying their membership, new lessons will be added each week or each 14 days or 21 days. (students can decide how many lessons they want in a month.. 1, 2 or 3 (different price packages).

    Lessons will appear gradually, so they cant just jump to lesson 12 in their first week.. (I dont want them to even see whats lesson 12, before they arrive at that lesson). This to be sure, they make their practicing without knowing what is ahead of them, so they dont skip on stuff they think they wont need for the next lesson.

    Im not sure if I did explain myself good enough at all :P (English isnt my main language)

    Is all of this already in Sensei?.. will it be available? or is it just plain impossible?

    Oh… and two more things :P

    one: will I be able to manage each student, sending them 1on1 correcture of their exams, and bulk email to all of one subscription group, or to all of them at once.. within Sensei?

    two: if there is a forum on the site, could they access with their student account log in?, I dont want them to have one access info to the course and another to the forum… I want them to be able to post to the forum and submit videos or whatever directly when they are logged in on their course.

    I believe thats all for the moment, Im sorry if something already has been asked and aswered, but I was reading lots of comments, but could cope with all.

    Thanks in advance.

    • samehhassan
      2 February 2013 at 8:57 pm #

      Hi Beni

      Your best bet is to use Sensei with Wishlist-memeber plugin.

      You will use Sensei for Course management, which i am sure well get better in future releases .
      And use wishlist-memeber to manage subscriptions , levels , dripping the content to the student based on a certain interval , etc. you can have a student dashboard into which they will be directed automatically after login.
      Check Wishlist-member site , and if you need help configuring it with Sensei, just let me know.

      Regards

  60. Imran
    4 February 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    Hello,

    I am looking to start an online certification course and I am looking for some help in developing it. Sensei has most of the features I am looking for but I do need to customize it and add some other features (i.e. custom certificate printing). I was curious if anyone reading this could help me in producing this website or if anyone knows anyone who could.

    Your help is much appreciated.

  61. David
    6 February 2013 at 12:07 am #

    Hi… really close to purchasing this for a client, but I need to figure something out. If my client (owner of the site) has a system of paying for courses outside the site, can the courses be turned on/off for site members without the need for Woo Commerce or Subscriptions? In other words, if Groups is being used as the membership plugin, can the courses be turned on/off for those members without the need to further purchase plugins?

    • David
      19 February 2013 at 11:04 pm #

      Hello?

  62. widhi
    9 February 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    dear woo themes,

    Just 1 really important question for me:

    “Is there anyway (sensei + wooCommerce + groups wooCommerce extension) able to prevent user sharing their account? such as double logins or IP address limitations”

    if not present now will it be later? I’m looking at your solutions against ijoomla+guru and hoping this feature available because for me personally; wordpress is more pleasant to work with than joomla.

    regards,

  63. Todd Lohenry
    12 February 2013 at 2:03 am #

    What is the price for loyal developers who are already paying substantial fees to Woo?

  64. rickbauck
    18 February 2013 at 1:13 am #

    Can I rename the words “courses” and “lesson” in the URL of the page? How?

  65. karthik
    18 February 2013 at 10:16 am #

    please check demo password for sensei it shows password wrong..

  66. Ashu
    20 February 2013 at 9:57 am #

    great… i am trying today.

  67. Tyson Stevens
    9 March 2013 at 12:54 am #

    I tried this on my site and it did not turn out well at all. I love the idea, but the actual product wasn’t quite as user-friendly as I thought it would be. I gave up on the project. Maybe I’ll get back on it soon. For now, it was too much of a hassle.

  68. Gian Oliveira
    15 March 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    This is a fantastic accomplishment. Congrats! I was just at the SanTan this weekend (wcphx) and it wasn’t the same without you guys!