How To Create a Course With Sensei LMS (Step-by-Step Guide)

Do you want to learn how to create a course with Sensei LMS? Then this post will help you out. Sensei LMS is a familiar Learning Management System for WordPress. It’s built by Automattic and is really powerful and effective when it comes to online course creation. You can create and sell your courses online with Sensei LMS. You can make a complete course with videos, media files, quizzes, and also add certificates which the students will receive upon the completion of the course.

While creating online courses, you might face several challenges such as adding the right description, designing a proper course outline, and putting the entire course together. Sensei LMS has set everything up for you so that you can easily add everything and create the perfect course you envisioned. In today’s post, we’re going to learn how to create a course in Sensei LMS.

Getting Sensei LMS on board

First we need to get Sensei LMS, one of the popular LMS plugins for WordPress. In one of our previous posts, we’ve done a Sensei LMS review. You can check it out to learn more about this LMS plugin. But in this tutorial, we’ll essentially learn how to build a course in Sensei LMS.

The plugin has a free version that we can use to create our courses. It’s available to download from the Plugins section from your WordPress dashboard. Just go ahead and search for Sensei LMS, then install and activate the plugin. As soon as the plugin is installed, it will launch a setup wizard.

The setup wizard has 4 steps. The 2nd and 3rd steps are the most important here. In the 2nd step, you’ll be asked the reason why you want to use Sensei LMS. You’ll be given a list of choices, such as teach students, provide certifications, train employees, sell courses, generate income, etc. Whatever your purpose is (or are), choose and click on “Continue”.

In the 3rd step, you’ll be given the option to choose various features for your eLearning site. These features are available in the form of extensions. Features like certificate awarding, course post creation, content drip, etc. are available here. You’ll notice that some features are paid while some are free. 

One interesting thing to note here, the WooCommerce integration or the feature that allows you to create paid courses is not free. That means you can create courses in the free version of Sensei LMS, but to actually sell your courses you need a paid plan or purchase this particular extension.After this step, you can complete the setup wizard and move on to the actual course creation.

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How to create a course with Sensei LMS

Once you’ve completed the setup wizard, you’ll see the Sensei LMS menu on your WordPress dashboard. In the Sensei Home section, you can see some quick links. Under the ‘Courses’ quick link, you can find options to create a course, create a demo course, and also import a course. Now that everything is set up, let’s learn how to create a course in Sensei LMS.

You can open up the course builder by clicking on “Create a course” or you can go to Sensei LMS > Courses and click on the “New Course” button on top.

sensei lms dashboard

After opening up the course builder, we can now start creating our online course. So let’s go through some easy steps and create our course.

Creating course title and description

As soon as you launch the course builder, you’ll be prompted to set a course title and description. Add a course title and description and click on the “Continue” button. You’ll be able to change these later on if necessary.

sensei lms course title and description

Next we can select a course layout style.

Choosing a course layout and outline

Next, we can select a course layout style. This is a good feature as you can decide how your course is going to look to your students or users. You can choose any layout you wish, but we’re going to choose the default layout.

choosing a course layout and outline in sensei lms

After selecting a layout, you will be given the option of how to start your course outline. If you have the paid version of Sensei LMS, you can use AI to generate a course outline for you. This particular feature might be really helpful as creating a complete course outline can be time taking.

sensei lms blank course outline or create with ai

But we will start with a blank section and add the outlines manually. Don’t worry, if you already have an outline in mind, this won’t take long!

Adding lessons and modules

Now comes the main part of your course building. The way Sensei LMS lets you build your course is quite interesting. A course in Sensei LMS is structured with two things, Modules and Lessons. Modules are like chapters, and you can add multiple lessons within a module. Lessons are the main part as it contains texts, images, videos, etc.

sensei lms course builder

As you can see from the screenshot above, we’ve created a few modules and added some lessons within a module. You can add modules with the help of Gutenberg block. However, this block is special and is only available within this course builder.

You’ll find a small ‘+’ icon with a text below “Add Module or Lesson”. Click on it, and you’ll find the option to add lessons and modules.

sensei lms add lesson or modules button

However, having modules is optional. If you want, you can only add lessons to your course. But adding modules and placing relevant lessons within the respective modules makes your course look more structured.

This part of the course building might take you some time as you’re putting together your entire course here. So plan ahead how you’re going to build your course outline here.

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Adding lesson content

After adding the course outline, we now need to add content within our lessons. From the course builder, you’ll see “Unsaved” under each lesson. This means your lessons are created but not saved. Click on it, and a small bar will appear on top of the lesson. Now click on “Save to edit lesson”. After a few seconds you’ll see instead of “Unsaved”, it now says “Draft”.

sensei lms edit lesson option

Now if you click on a lesson, you should see the option to edit the lesson. Just simply select the lesson you want to edit and click on “Edit lesson” to start adding content within that lesson.

Note that you can also create and edit both modules and lessons from the WordPress dashboard. Just go to Modules or Lessons and then either create a new lesson, edit, or delete those.

module and lesson options in sensei lms dashboard

When you edit your lesson for the first time, you’ll be given the option to add the lesson title and layout. Similar to the part where we added our course title and description. We can check out various lesson layouts here. You can select the “Video Lesson” layout if you are planning to upload a video series for your course. But as usual, we will select the default layout.

sensei lms lesson layout options

Do not worry too much on the layouts because you can add in your own elements within the lesson. For example, for a typical course, we can expect some texts and a video. Even though you haven’t selected the video lesson layout, you can still add your videos by using the video block. Simply access your Gutenberg blocks by clicking on the ‘+’ icon on the top right corner of the screen, and look under Sensei LMS. You’ll find all the blocks you need to shape the lesson the way you want.

sensei lms blocks

Note that you can add interesting blocks such as interactive video, featured video, lesson properties, quiz, lesson action, and various other blocks that Sensei LMS offers. So experiment with all the blocks and decide how you want to design your course lessons. In our case, we simply added some texts, and used a featured video block. Then we added the URL of one of our YouTube videos. You can also upload your videos to the WordPress media library and select it from this block.

Typically that is how an online course is created. With texts, and videos. If you choose this approach, consider enabling the video “Required” feature. This will ensure that students have to watch the full video in order to complete the lesson. We will learn how to do this in the next section.

Accessing course settings (course price, video required, course prerequisites)

After you add in your course content, you should also take a look at your course settings. You can do this before adding lesson content too. In the course builder, you can find the “Course Settings” option on the right sidebar. Click on it to expand it.

sensei lms course price and access settings

There are lots of things to do here, but we will just discuss a few. The first option that we see is the pricing. If you want to sell your course, this option must be enabled. However, do keep in mind that you need the WooCommerce extension for this. In the free version you might not be able to access this option.

Again, you can look at the course access settings or the course drip content system. You can choose when the course will be available. You can either choose “Immediately” or choose a specific date. Note that the content drip settings are also available when you’re editing a lesson. Just scroll down to see the option.

sensei lms content drip settings

Again for the course access end settings, you can choose when the student’s access to this course will end. You can choose never, after a set period, or choose a specific date. Select the settings that are best suited for your course.

If you want your students to watch the lesson videos in order to complete the lesson, enable the “Required” feature under the Video section.

sensei lms video required feature

Now in order to complete the lesson, students must watch the video.

There are other course settings such as course prerequisite, teacher selection, course notification, feature this course, etc. You can go ahead and explore the other settings.

Adding Quiz

Now that you have a course outline with modules and lessons, you can add quizzes to your course to make it more engaging and interactive. 

You can access the quiz builder from Sensei LMS > Questions. Here you can create questions and later on, edit lessons and then add the questions from there. There’s also an alternative method of accessing the quiz builder and we’re going to do that. First let’s edit a lesson.

Now click on the ‘+’ icon and add the quiz block.

This will automatically select a quiz category and bring you an interface where you can create your question. By default the Multiple Choice quiz category is selected. You can choose from 7 different quiz categories including true or false, gap fill, single line, multi line, file upload, etc.

sensei lms quiz builder

You can also add an answer feedback and award points for answering the question correctly. For a multiple choice question, we have to first write the question, then add a description (optional), add multiple options, and choose the correct answer/s.

After you’re done, you can simply click on “Publish” or “Save draft” to save your changes. Do keep in mind, when you hit “Publish”, the course will be available publicly. Therefore, publish the course only when it’s complete.

That’s all you have to do!

Adding certificate

If you want, you can also add a course certificate. Students will be awarded this certificate upon completion of the course. For this, you need to enable the Certificate plugin. If you’ve selected this feature during the setup wizard, you should already find it in your WordPress admin dashboard. But in case you didn’t, you have to go to Plugins > Add New Plugin and search for “Sensei LMS Certificate”. Install and activate it.

sensei lms certificate builder

After the plugin has been activated, you’ll find it on your dashboard. Now you can create your certificate from here. Since this is a course creation tutorial, we won’t go into details about certificate creations. But after you create your certificate, go to your course builder and from there you’ll find the certificate option from the right sidebar. Click on the dropdown and choose the certificate you’ve created. Now save your changes and your course will have a certificate!

Once you’re done with your course creation, click on the “Publish” button in the course builder to launch your course. That’s how to create a course in Sensei LMS.

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Now you know how to create a course in Sensei LMS. As you can see how simple it is to create and publish courses in Sensei LMS. Using this workflow you can create multiple courses and create your own eLearning marketplace. There still are various options and features that we can talk about, but this will only make this tutorial lengthy. We encourage you to explore the plugin and experiment with different settings. That is the best way to master Sensei LMS.

So that’s it for today, we hope that this post was helpful for you. Now go out there and create some awesome courses!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links and we may receive a small commission if you purchase something by following them. However, we recommend services/products that we believe good to serve your purpose.

Staff Author

Staff Author

A team of WordPress enthusiasts led by Arafat Bin Sultan, a seasoned professional with over a decade of experience in tech blogging, content marketing, and video creation.

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