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Onboarding new Ninjas with Sensei LMS: The good, the bad, and the ugly

May 26, 2015 - 11 Comments

While WooThemes was still a small company, it was easy to share necessary information with new team members (who we call “Ninjas”) as needed. However, this onboarding process gradually became more difficult as the team grew.

Several years ago, some of our team members started compiling a Google Doc with some of the most relevant information: our mission and focus, the most important tools we use, administrative details, and so on.

This solved several problems we had with onboarding. Most importantly, we didn’t throw people in at the deep end anymore — they now had a resource to review upon joining. It was also easy to edit. If some tools changed or some information needed to be added, anyone in the team could do it. Finally, we were already using Google Drive as a company, so our team members could consult the doc as needed.

A screenshot of what our original Ninja Manual looked like
A screenshot of what our original Ninja Manual looked like

However, there were also a few downsides. The most important one was that it got quite bulky. There were so many links in the document, and following that link often resulted in finding another document with more links. Before the new Ninja knew it, they had opened a dozen new tabs with different information, and that made it difficult to get back to the core.

It was also extremely challenging for supervisors and mentors to keep track of what was happening. Had the new Ninja read through everything or not? Did they need some assistance?

One of my first projects at WooThemes was addressing these challenges while still retaining the advantages of the Google Doc. Together with a small team, I started looking at our options. After a short while, we decided that we should use Sensei.

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Welcome the Sprightly Springbok: Sensei 1.7.0

February 2, 2015 - 17 Comments

Grand news for all the Sensei users out there, it took us slightly longer than anticipated but Sensei 1.7.0 (codename ‘Sprightly Springbok’) is now available! As mentioned on the Woo Dev Blog, Sensei 1.7.0 brings major improvements all round to the speed and performance of your website and we’ve optimised the way Sensei interacts with the database so you should now experience no decrease in load speed, no matter how many users, courses or lessons you have on your site.


Before you start updating, please read the following important information.

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Sensei Content Drip: set the pace your students learn

November 12, 2014 - 16 Comments

What’s the best way to learn something? A foreign language, say. We’ll tell you for free it’s not cramming. If you’re thinking it’s more effective to learn a few words and phrases at a time, practice them and let them take root in your long-term memory before moving on – you’re right!


When you offer an online course and give your learners access to all of the content at once the problem is that they will often race ahead and try to learn too much too soon. And end up getting overwhelmed by too much content. And drop out.

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Sensei Content Drip: coming very soon

October 31, 2014 - 10 Comments

What’s the best way to learn something? A foreign language, say. We’ll tell you for free it’s not cramming. If you’re thinking it’s more effective to learn a few words and phrases at a time, practice them and let them take root in your long-term memory before moving on – you’re right!


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5 amazing uses for Sensei (number 4 will blow your mind)

June 27, 2014 - 7 Comments

Sensei, as I’m sure you’re aware, is a great (arguably the best) tool for teaching anything online. What you may not know though, is that you (yes, you!) can use it right now even if you aren’t running an online school.

Here are five ways that you can use Sensei today to share your knowledge with the people who need it:

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Take learning to the next level with Sensei 1.6

June 25, 2014 - 29 Comments


Today we are delighted to announce the launch of Sensei version 1.6, with some of the most exciting Sensei features yet!

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Enrich your Sensei courses with these 3 free extensions

June 23, 2014 - 7 Comments

Sensei 1.6 is just around the corner (look out for it later this week), boasting a bunch of awesome new features for your Sensei websites.

To whet your appetite for what promises to be a feast of Sensei goodness, we’re delighted to bring you an appetizer of three small, yet satisfying, Sensei extensions, which will enhance the learning experience for your students. Did we mention they’re FREE?

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Sensei 1.5: A new way to teach

March 5, 2014 - 59 Comments

sensei 1.5.0

We take customer feedback very seriously here at WooThemes, and we’ve been paying close attention to the features you’ve requested for Sensei on our ideas board.

Hot on the heels of our free Certificates and Modules extensions for Sensei, we’re happy to bring you Sensei version 1.5, which offers a whole bunch of improvements for your online learning websites.

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Creating a Tiered Membership Site with Sensei and Groups

February 13, 2014 - 13 Comments

We’ve previously explained how you can use Sensei and WooCommerce Subscriptions to create a membership-based learning site for your courses.

The only drawback to this method is that you can’t have a ‘tiered membership’ setup, so if you had a subscription with three options – Bronze, Silver, Gold – gold subscribers don’t automatically get access to the bronze and silver content too.

In this post I’ll describe a method you can use to create such a multi-tiered setup, it just requires that you use Sensei in a slightly non-standard way.

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Case Study: Vitruvian Fine Art Studio Online Art Classes

February 3, 2014 - 12 Comments

David JamiesonDavid Jamieson, from the Vitruvian Fine Art Studio in Chicago, tells us how he uses Sensei along with a handful of other plugins to deliver online art instruction.

The work I do is extremely low-tech: I make drawings and paintings, and teach others to do the same. I’m a co-founder and principal instructor at the Vitruvian Fine Art Studio, in Chicago, where we offer instruction in realistic drawing, painting, sculpture and anatomy to students of all levels.

While our work at the studio is low-tech, our business is firmly rooted in the 21st century – we try to make use of current technology to enhance and extend our teaching and, to that end, we’ve begun offering online courses and instructional video downloads, via our website. It turns out that there are lots of people out there seeking to improve their drawing and painting skills, and putting some of our instructional material online is the best way we can help them do just that.

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Organize Your Sensei Courses

January 15, 2014 - 19 Comments

Sensei Modules and Media Attachments

Download Sensei Modules Today Purchase Sensei Today

A good online course needs a clear structure, and effective content organisation.

Today we bring you two Sensei extensions which aim to improve the way your courses are organised. We’re proud to announce that Sensei Modules and Sensei Media Attachments are both available, from today, for FREE!

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Reward your students with Sensei

December 12, 2013 - 13 Comments


After many hours of hard work completing a task, there’s nothing quite like someone saying “well done” or “good job”. The one feeling that trumps this is the feeling of saying “well done” or “good job” to someone else, recognising the effort they put in to completing the task.

Today’s release aims to encourage these feelings, as well as encourage additional study via your online school. We’re proud to announce that Sensei Certificates is available, from today, for FREE!

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Empowered and Educated with Sensei

September 24, 2013 - 20 Comments


At WooThemes, education and empowerment are two ideals we hold dear. This has been ingrained within our company culture from day one, and is a lifestyle we all aim to practice- educate and empower others, and ourselves, in order to do more, better.

Over time, these ideals lead to the creation of Sensei, a product enabling the creation and running of online courses via your website; or, enabling the transfer of knowledge and empowerment to others.

Today, we’re proud to announce the latest incarnation of Sensei, version 1.4.0.

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Bob Dunn on Sensei, WordPress Training and “ah-ha” Moments

August 27, 2013 - 9 Comments

In the digital space, there is no greater tool than knowledge. As the industry is ever-evolving, and as new trends, techniques and utilities arise, it’s important to keep up with innovations in the digital space and to ensure one is always at the top of one’s game. I recently had the great pleasure of sitting down with Bob Dunn, avid WordPress enthusiast and online trainer, to discuss WordPress, WooThemes, Sensei, online training and “ah-ha” moments.

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Case Study: BobWP WordPress Online Classes

July 23, 2013 - 16 Comments

5 minutes with WordPress enthusiast and long serving WooThemes customer, Bob Dunn, talking about his latest online classroom helping people build better blogs.

BobWPI’m a WordPress trainer and coach. I ended up in my current field after years of running a marketing, graphic and web design business. For the last four years, I have spent my time doing one-on-one WordPress training and coaching online, teaching in-person workshops, speaking at WordCamps and other conferences, and, basically, live and breathing WordPress. After much trial and error, I finally found the sweet spot for the online Build Your WordPress Blog classes I had been planning.

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Sensei 1.3.0 – Questioned and Graded

May 24, 2013 - 40 Comments


Since the launch of Sensei, our learning management system for WordPress, our aim has been laser-focused on one aspect of the product: enabling the offering of courses. This is Sensei’s core purpose. Keeping this core purpose in mind, our goal when developing Sensei is to ensure the course taking (for your students) and course management (for you, as the facilitator), are as seamless as possible. Our latest version aims to focus on exactly that.

Meet Sensei 1.3.0.

We’ve received really great feedback and ideas from the Sensei user community, many of whom are seasoned education professionals, looking to enter the online learning space (and to sell courses using WooCommerce). After spending some time discussing and fleshing out these ideas, we set about upgrading Sensei to include some much-anticipated new features and to enhance the existing core feature set.

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