Take learning to the next level with Sensei 1.6

Written by Dan Johnson on June 25, 2014 Blog, News, Product News.


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

Question Bank

Sensei's Question BankVersion 1.6 of Sensei takes the question bank feature (implemented in version 1.5) to the next level, including several advanced quiz construction facilities.

The new question bank can be populated with your categorised questions, independently of quizzes, so you can create a quiz containing random selections of questions from any category, and your questions can be reused in any number of quizzes.


We look forward to hearing how you make use of this notable advancement in your online courses.

email-senseiEmail Notifications

You can now have Sensei email you whenever a learner starts or completes a course, or when they submit a quiz for grading.

And learners can get emails when they complete a quiz or a course, and when a quiz they have submitted has been graded.

Course Previews

Give prospective learners a sample of what they can expect from your course, by allowing them to view certain lessons before purchasing.

Sensei Course Previews

Once they see the quality of your lesson content, they’ll be far more likely to take the plunge and sign up for the full course.

Learner Management

Sensei version 1.6 allows you to manually add/remove learners to/from courses and lessons, giving you complete control over who is taking your courses.

Teacher Role

We’ve added a teacher role, which you can assign to any user, enabling them to grade quizzes, view course analysis, and manage learners, without having to give them admin access.

Private Messaging

Learners and teachers can now interact directly with the new private messaging system, making it easy for students to ask you questions about your lesson content.

Custom Menu Items

Sensei menu items can now be added and ordered individually, all from within the WordPress menu editor.

Sensei menu items

A note on updating

When updating to Sensei 1.6, any Sensei menu items you had previously enabled in the settings will be removed, so you’ll need to go to Appearance > Menus and add those menu items again from the new Sensei menu panel.

In addition to all of the above, there is also an improved quiz settings panel, simple drag & drop ordering of lessons and courses, and an option to display the full course content, instead of an excerpt, to unregistered users.

See the changelog for a list of all the new features, and check out our improved and updated Sensei documentation for details of how to use them all.


In case you missed it earlier this week, we also released three free Sensei extensions, and the Sensei Modules extension has been given a much needed makeover in the latest version, so make sure your extensions are all updated too.

Sensei Modules
A new look for the Modules extension

We hope you’re as excited about all these new features as we are, and we look forward to hearing how you are using them in your online courses.

Purchase Sensei Today

29 Responses

  1. jimi.moore
    June 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    This update came at the perfect time for me. Thanks Dan!

  2. rethinkinghome
    June 25, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    Well done!

  3. samantha9
    June 25, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    Thanks for the update! Looking for ways to use the features. Does it work with Bookings for a coaching/mentoring type business?

  4. Cesar Falcao
    June 26, 2014 at 1:38 am #

    Great update! I think It just need drip content – and a better Course page template, or something to customize it easily – then it’s perfect.

    • Hugh Lashbrooke
      June 26, 2014 at 8:24 am #

      We’re currently looking into a content drip extension for the future. As for the course page template – you can override that template (along with all the others) in your theme by following this guide: http://docs.woocommerce.com/document/sensei-theming/. If you’re looking for a more specific method of customisation then let us know and we will see if it fits into the goals for the plugin.

  5. muzza
    June 26, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    Pretty snazzy- looks to be moving forward in a nice direction.

  6. Tom Harrigan
    June 26, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    This is fantastic. Major props to you Dan! I’m guessing Hugh had a hand in this as well, yes? High fives gents 🙂 Sensei has matured so much

    • Dan
      June 26, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

      Thanks Tom. Yes, Hugh is the true Sensei master, I just try and break all his hard work 😉

    • Hugh Lashbrooke
      June 26, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

      Thanks Tom – Sensei really has grown a whole lot recently 🙂

  7. medieladan
    June 26, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

    Where can I find the updated Sensei? I have the Sensei Version 1.5.4, and when I tell my licencekey – It says I allreade got it… And it says here http://woocommerce.com/products/sensei/ that “Release Date
    January 21, 2013” – how can I get the Sensei 1.6?


    • Hugh Lashbrooke
      June 27, 2014 at 7:21 am #

      Please log a support ticket and we will look into this for you.

  8. gdrayson
    June 26, 2014 at 10:51 pm #

    There seems to be a major problem with the new modules plugin – It doesn’t work like you suggest above – please see: http://www.onlinemagicsecrets.com/course/balloon-twisting-101/

    What do you think is wrong?

    • gdrayson
      June 27, 2014 at 2:34 am #

      The lessons don’t seem to be attached to the modules in the list…

  9. BabaOo
    June 27, 2014 at 4:47 am #

    I am thrilled about this update.

    I was told it would also make Sensei WPML compatible is this the case ?


    • Hugh Lashbrooke
      June 27, 2014 at 6:11 am #

      We’re working on that for the next release 🙂

  10. seogaler
    June 27, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    Thanks for a great update! The teachers, email notification and Course Previews, are super features, that I have waited for a long time 🙂

    I do hope that we soon can add a teacher just to one course and let him teach, and fix the content of that course and not all of them!

    I do wonder about the private messaging. Is there any option to turn it one selected courses and off on others? If not I can’t use it.


    • Hugh Lashbrooke
      June 27, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

      Hi Peder,

      Currently private messaging can only be switched on/off globally for all courses & lessons. If there is a demand for this to be done per course then we can certainly look into implementing that as an option. Please post this as an idea on our Sensei ideas forum (http://ideas.woocommerce.com/forums/191508-sensei) – this will give us a better way of judging the need for this feature.

  11. gdrayson
    June 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    There is definitely an issue with the plugin – running on Elegant Themes Divi 2.0 – you will see that the title is giving a weird error to do with Sensei on this page: http://www.onlinemagicsecrets.com/courses-overview/ – and when you go into the course the content is left aligning to the browser window, instead of the content area.

    I look forward to your fixes for these two issues.

    • Hugh Lashbrooke
      June 29, 2014 at 11:54 am #

      I don’t see any issue when viewing your site. If you still have a problem here, please log a support ticket so we can look into it.

    • marcpsummers
      August 14, 2014 at 4:06 am #

      I am having the same issue with Divi 2.0 and Sensei – See the title has and in it 🙁


      And also on this page it is not using a page template to display the course correctly


      • marcpsummers
        August 14, 2014 at 4:50 am #

        I fixed the br and bold issue by editing the theme and replacing


        in header.php – I just need to remember to do this on every upgrade of Divi 2.0

  12. BrandyLynn
    July 8, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    Hi Hugh,

    The update is fantastic, but it appears the button to begin taking a lesson has vanished for my members. I can see it when I am logged in as an admin of course, but no one else can start the lessons. Any known fixes for this? Thank you!

    • Dan
      July 31, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

      Please submit a support ticket so we can look into it for you 🙂

  13. Gustavo Mattos
    July 22, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

    I’m interested in knowing the tool, but the site of you have only access to student. How is the view of the Administrator, Teacher, Moderator?

    I have long experience in e-learning platform and to the choice of a new I need to know if it has some basic requirements.

    You can put me in touch with someone from the commercial area or training / support?

  14. milque
    July 27, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

    Here’s a brief Sensei 1.6 review after I upgraded from 1.5.x

    The good:
    – question bank, nice
    – tutor answer with question, to explain why the answer was like that
    – emails upon completion of quiz, course, etc. Haven’t tried it out yet because we want to find a way to make it a bit more personalised and not for every quiz but only some specific quizzes but it’s a good start towards more engagement via email on top of the interactive platform

    The ‘okay’:
    – tutor management, good to be able to enrol someone or complete courses
    – question bank has no idea when there are multiple questions such as “which one is better?” (which may have multiple meanings in multiple lessons or courses) – would be good if this can be improved a bit

    The nothing changed (this isn’t new information to the team but I’ll share anyway for completeness):
    – still no import capability so still super super manual process when you’ve got a new course with hundreds of questions
    – reporting and tracking in Sensei is still 20th century
    – still different login layout etc from woocommerce, I fail to understand why and it confuses learners where the sensei login doesn’t have a forgot password link whereas woocommerce my account does…
    – still possible to buy multiple courses in woocommerce

    The bad:
    – WP Engine times out (error 502) with tutor management because it takes too long to open thousands of learners. They can’t change it, it’s part of their automatic time out management. So there goes our learner management…
    – no option to merge questions that already existed in multiple courses
    – I don’t have confirmation yet (will raise a ticket) but my sense is that having tens of thousands of learner who do multiple courses may slow things down…

    The ugly:
    – we spent over 4 hours today recreating quizzes because they randomly disappeared from courses for people who had not completed the quiz yet after the upgrade from 1.5.x to 1.6 (none of the sensei update runs made a difference!), 99% of the questions still existed in the question bank. It’s okay again fortunately after a brief panic, but it’s not the first time an upgrade doesn’t go well and doesn’t consider an existing environment… too complicated to explain but it left an unpleasant taste… such a shame because despite the above we’re big fans of the platform and especially what’s possible with it

  15. Matyas
    August 14, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    Hey guys,

    are there any code-solutions for the DIVI Theme yet? I would need code and instructions 🙁

    Best regards,