Sensei LMS 4.0 Introduces New Block-Based Learning Mode Course Theme – WP Tavern
Full site editing has arrived in Sensei LMS in the latest version 4.0 of the plugin. The main feature of this update is Learning Mode – a new block-based theme that gives course authors the ability to customize the learning experience in ways that weren’t possible before.
This release also updates the nine-year-old plugin’s menus and admin screens to make it easier to find, reducing the number of top-level menus.
“Until now, all course content was displayed in your regular WordPress theme, just like any post or page,” Sensei’s rep Ronnie Burt said. “However, it is not always the best learning experience for students, as the site header, sidebars and other content can be distracting. We have developed the learning mode to solve this problem. So your lessons are the main focus of the students.”
Learn mode is built into the plugin and brings the full site editing capabilities launched in WordPress 5.9 to lessons and quizzes. This does not apply site wide – only to LMS content URLs. The rest of the site uses the regular and active WordPress theme.
The learning mode is free, not a paid add-on, and it is also optional. Sensei LMS users who update to version 4.0 can continue to display their course content directly in their WordPress themes as they have been.
Sensei is one of the first plugins to offer this kind of separate theme, integrated into the FSE application. It allows course authors to make their own customizations to courses and templates using blocks. Things like additional instructions, announcements, advertisements, links, are now much easier to insert. Colors and design can also be customized to match site branding.
This particular implementation highlights the potential of FSE where these types of template changes can cost owners of custom development sites hours before the template change is at their fingertips. Many other types of plugins that introduce their own patterns could benefit from a similar approach. It will be interesting to see how FSE opens up WordPress customization beyond themes.