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Getting Started with MemberPress Courses

MemberPress Courses add-on adds the learning management system (LMS) to your MemberPress-based website.

This document will cover the basics of MemberPress Courses and show you how to create and manage your courses.

Setting Up Courses Add-On

Before creating MemberPress courses, you need to install and activate the MemberPress Courses add-on on your website. 

Next, you should set your Global Course Settings, which apply to all MemberPress courses.

In addition, you can choose the course template for your website. Courses will have the recommended ReadyLaunch™ Courses/Lessons template enabled by default. The ReadyLaunch™ template for courses is a full-screen template built for distraction-free learning. Also, it comes with additional customization options.

Alternatively, you can toggle off the ReadyLaunch™ Courses/Lessons template and use the Classic courses template. 

The Classic template resembles the standard WordPress post and will largely inherit your post styling. 

Note: Switching to the Classic course template removes the ReadyLaunch™ courses sidebar and header. This change will be applied to all your courses, lessons, and quizzes. 

Course Listing Page

All your public and protected courses (by MemberPress rules) will be available on the Courses Listing page on your website. Unless course slugs are modified, this page will be located at https://yoursite.com/courses/.

The Course Listing page displays your courses as a post grid with filtering (Category or Author) and search options. Through this page, visitors and users will be able to browse through your courses and start any course they need. 

Publicly available courses will be available to everyone. Protected courses will require users to register for a required membership first.

Protected courses can be hidden on the Course Listing page or shown with the padlock icon next to the course’s title. To list protected courses, you need to enable the Show Protected Courses in Listing under the Global Course Settings.

MemberPress Courses Basics

Adding courses to your membership website can bring many benefits to your business. It will provide additional free or paid content on your site, allowing you to generate income from selling courses. In addition, you can expand your services, adopt new business models, or even run an online school.

When working with MemberPress Courses, it’s essential to understand what elements they contain and how they work. Each MemberPress Course comes with the following elements:

  • Course Page – this is the homepage of your course. This page contains the course overview (curriculum) and any course-related data you added to this page;
  • Curriculum – the curriculum is a collection of sections, lessons, and quizzes within each course. In the backend, the curriculum is a course editor that allows you to compile and manage your course. Here, you can add, delete, or update any section, lesson, or quiz and set their order within the course. On the front end, the curriculum provides the course overview for students and allows them to navigate through the course;
  • Sections – sections represent chapters or modules in your courses. They are groups of lessons and quizzes and provide better organization of the course. 
  • Lessons are individual posts containing the information and materials of (typically) one learning unit. 
  • Quizzes – are individual posts that come with dedicated quiz question blocks. You can use quizzes to deliver knowledge to students by asking questions. Also, you can set passing scores and use quizzes to test students’ knowledge.
  • Resources – you can add additional resources to your courses as files, links, or custom HTML.
  • Certificates – you can enable certificates for any course. If enabled, certificates will be automatically generated for students as proof of completion.

Creating MemberPress Courses

Once you have activated and set up the MemberPress Courses add-on, you can start creating your courses. To create a course, you would go through the following steps: 

  1. Navigate to Dashboard > MP Courses > Courses.
  1. Click the Add New button to add a new course and start editing it.
  2. The course editor will open the Course Page tab first. Here, add content and course title to your course page
  1. Optionally, you can add the featured image to the course.
  2. Click the Curriculum tab, and add sections by clicking the +Add section link. Within each section, add lessons and quizzes.
  1. Under the Resources tab, add additional resources to this course, if any.
  1. Finally, under the Certificate tab, if needed, toggle on the Enable certificate on this course option to add certificates. Further, you can modify the certificate settings to suit your needs. 
  1. Click the Publish button in the upper right corner of the screen. This will save the data you added, and publish the course.

Further down, you can find more information about each step and available options. 

Title And Course Page

The first page, when creating MemberPress courses, will be your Course Page. This page will serve as a course homepage, providing all the information about your course, including the course overview (curriculum).

Start by adding the course title to name your course. Next, you can add and design the content of this page using the default Block (Gutenberg) editor.

Note: A course title is required to create a course. Thus, you will be able to save any changes in your course once you add the course title. 

The content added to this page will be used as the course description on the Course Listing page. Also, this page should be publicly available to all your users and visitors, explaining the contents of the course.  

Note: MemberPress will automatically add the course curriculum to the Course Page.

Same as with other WordPress posts, you can add a Featured Image to MemberPress courses:

  1. While editing the course, click on the Course Page tab at the top menu. 
  2. In the right sidebar, scroll down to the Featured Image panel and expand it.
  1. Click Set featured image
  2. Next, choose an image from your library or upload a new one. After selecting the desired image, click the Set featured image button to add it to your course.

This image will be used as the cover image for this course on your Course Listing page.

MemberPress Courses Curriculum

The Curriculum is the central element of every course. With the curriculum editor, you can add sections, lessons, and quizzes to your courses.

The MemberPress Courses have a two-level structure. Within every course, you : 

  1. The top-level are Sections.
  2. The second level contains Lessons and Quizzes, which are assigned to Sections.

The order of sections, lessons, and quizzes in the Curriculum is the order in which students progress through the course.

The curriculum will be available for students on the course page and in the course sidebar for lessons and quizzes.  

Adding Sections to MemberPress Courses

Sections don’t have a content of their own. Instead, they serve as containers for groups of your lessons and quizzes. This way, you can organize the content of each course into multiple modules.

Once you add your sections, start adding lessons and quizzes to each. By default, these sections will be displayed as the accordion in the curriculum on the front end. Each section can be then expanded to access the contents of each section.

Adding Lessons and Quizzes to a Course

To add a lesson or quiz, follow these steps:

  1. Expand the section.
  2. Click the Add Lesson link to create a new lesson and add it to this section. Similarly, click the Add Quiz link to create a quiz.
  1. Name the lesson or quiz.
  2. Click Update to save changes to the Curriculum. If the course has not been published yet, you can save changes by clicking Publish or Save draft.

Adding Content to Lessons and Quizzes

Both lessons and quizzes come with the Gutenberg-based editors, allowing you to achieve any design you need.

When created, lessons will be saved as drafts. Lessons will be visible on the course front end only when published. 

You can now add content to your lessons directly from the course Curriculum tab:

  1. Navigate to the Curriculum tab and expand the Section where the lesson is located. 
  2. Hover over the lesson you wish to edit to show additional lesson options.
  3. Click the Edit option (pencil icon) to start the lesson editor.
  1. Add content for your new lesson using any Gutenberg block. 
  2. Once you add content, you can save changes without publishing the lesson by clicking Save draft
  1. Alternatively, you can click the Publish button to save changes and publish the lesson straight away.

All drafted lessons will have the blanc document icon. Also, when you hover over them, there will be an additional Publish link. This link allows you to publish lessons directly from the Curriculum editor.

Similarly, you can design your quiz content in the same way as your lessons.

Managing Lessons and Quizzes

You can manage your lessons and quizzes within your Curriculum editor. Similar to editing, you can remove any lesson or quiz from a curriculum by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Curriculum tab and expand the Section where the lesson is located. 
  2. Hover over the lesson or quiz you wish to remove to show additional options.
  3. Click the Remove option (x icon) to remove the lesson or quiz.
  1. Click the Update button to save changes to the Curriculum.

Note: Removing lessons and quizzes from the curriculum will not delete the actual lesson or quiz. They will still be available on the Lessons and Quizzes lists and pages.

To permanently delete the lesson or quiz, hover over the item in the sidebar of the Curriculum editor, and click Delete (trash bin icon).

To delete a Section from the Curriculum, hover over the section name, and click the Delete (trash bin icon).

Note: Deleting a section from a curriculum will automatically remove all lessons and quizzes within that section.

Managing Lessons and Quizzes Outside of the Curriculum

Lessons and quizzes can be created and edited, previewed, and deleted as any other WordPress post.

You can access and manage any lesson you create on the Lessons page (Dashboard > MP Courses > Lessons). Hover over a lesson to access the Preview, Edit, and Delete options. In addition, you can Duplicate your lessons here.

Also, all your quizzes will be available on your Quizzes page at Dashboard > MP Courses > Quizzes. Quizzes have Preview, Edit, and Delete options available.

Note: Deleting a lesson or a quiz on the Lessons or Quizzes pages will permanently delete them from your site. Also, this will automatically remove them from any course they are added to.

Adding Lessons and Quizzes to Multiple Courses

When you create any Lesson or Quiz, it will also be added to the Lessons or Quizzes list. These lists will be available in the sidebar of every course on the right side of the Curriculum editor.

Existing lessons or quizzes can be added to your courses from these lists when creating MemberPress courses.

For example, you could create multiple individual lessons and quizzes outside the course curriculum. Therefore, you could use the Lessons and Quizzes list to add them all in bulk to a new course.

Note: A lesson can only be associated with one course at a time. To add the same lesson to multiple Courses, you'll need to create a duplicate for each one.

Follow these steps to add existing lessons and quizzes to the Curriculum:

  1. Search for lessons and quizzes or browse through the list. 
  2. Once you find the item you need, hover over the lesson/quiz and hold the grid (6-dots) icon
  1. Now, drag and drop the item into a section within your course. If you’re adding a lesson that has already been added to any other course, MemberPress will show a notification popup. The popup will offer to automatically duplicate the lesson, and add the duplicate to the course. 
  1. Click the Update button to save changes to the Curriculum.

Resources

You can use the Resources tab to add downloadable materials, links, or custom content to your courses:

  1. In your course editor, click on the Resources tab.
  1. Under Resources, you can add different types of resources:
  • Downloads: you can add files (e.g., PDF, doc/docx, etc.) your students will be able to download directly from the course;
  • Links: you can add links to online resources that your students can access by clicking the link on the Resouces pages;
  • Custom: the editor will allow you to add any text or HTML to this area. Also, you can give this section a custom heading.
  • Click Update to save changes.

Your students can access the course Resources under the Course Overview through the course sidebar.

Course-Specific Settings

Under the Settings tab, you will find settings related to the course you’re currently editing. These settings will not be applied to any other course:

  • Include in Course Listing: enabling this option will display the course on the Course Listing page. This option will be enabled by default. If disabled, the course will be hidden on this page, and accessible only through the course URL;
  • Lesson Title: by default, this option will be enabled, and Lesson and Quiz titles will be displayed on the front end. You can toggle this option off to hide Lesson and Quiz titles;
  • Sales Page: in this field, you can add the URL of the MemberPress Membership registration page. This should be the registration page URL of the membership required to access this course (if the course is protected);
  • Require Previous Lesson/Quiz: this option will be turned off by default. If enabled, MemberPress will require students to complete the previous lesson or quiz before proceeding to the next one;
  • Show Question Results: if enabled, students will be notified whether their answer to the quiz question was correct or not. 
  • Show Question Answers: if enabled, students will have answers provided to all quiz questions upon submitting the quiz.
  • Use Accordion on Course Page: by default, the Curriculum will display all sections as accordions on the Course Page. Turning off this option will change the Curriculum style. In this case, all sections will be expanded, and all lessons and quizzes will be listed.
  • Use Accordion on Sidebar: As with the previous option, the Curriculum will display all sections as accordions in the Course Sidebar. You can turn off this option to switch to the Curriculum style with all sections expanded.

Certificates

Under the Certificates tab, you can enable and design certificates for the course.

Certificates need to be enabled and designed separately for each course.

Protecting MemberPress Courses And Enrolling Students

Now that you created your course, you need to enroll your students. To enroll students in any course created in MemberPress, they should navigate to your Course Listing page. 

Here, they need to click on the course they wish to enroll in to access the course page. Students can click on any listed lesson in the curriculum to start learning.

On the other hand, if you wish to sell your courses, you need to protect courses first. Then, your students will need to purchase a membership first to gain access to your courses.

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