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LearnDash Instructor Role: Add Multiple Instructors + Frontend Course Creation

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Add multiple LearnDash instructors, payout course commissions, manage assignments, essays, and comments, create courses & quizzes on the frontend of your site, and much more with the LearnDash Instructor Role plugin by WisdmLabs.

We’ll walk you through every feature of this powerful LearnDash plugin. We’ve got step-by-step instructions, screenshots, and videos to help you understand how this plugin can turn your LearnDash site into a learning marketplace for multiple instructors.

Table of Contents

Instructor Role Plugin Video Walkthrough

We created a 47-minute walkthrough video (with chapters) so you can explore every feature of the LearnDash Instructor Role plugin.

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Multiple Instructors for LearnDash

One of the benefits of the LearnDash Instructor Role plugin is that you can have multiple instructors for the same course. The author you set on the edit screen will always be the primary instructor. If you navigate to the Edit Course page, make sure you’re on the Dashboard tab, and scroll to the bottom, you’ll see a spot for Share Course.

Click the dropdown and search for all users that have the Instructor role. You can add as many as you’d like to the course.

Add multiple instructors to LearnDash course

How to add multiple instructors to a LearnDash course.

Display Multiple Instructors on Course Page (or any page)

You can use the following shortcode to display all the instructors of a particular course:

[all_instructors]

This shortcode will output all course instructors, with their avatar, name, and a link to their instructor profile page.

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Use the following parameters to customize the shortcode output:

  • display_img=0 – Hides the instructor avatar
  • size=40 – Changes the size of the instructor avatar, in pixels
  • display_name=0 – Hides the instructor name (only display avatar)
  • visible=3 – How many instructors to output
  • exclude_author=1 – Excludes the primary author and only displays shared instructors
  • course_id=123 – If you use it on a page other than the course page, you must include this parameter, along with the course ID

Display LearnDash Instructors in the Course Grid

By default, the instructors are not displayed in LearnDash course grid items. To add them, use the following code snippet. We recommend the Code Snippets plugin.

if ( ! function_exists( 'ir_custom_add_instructor_details' ) ) {
	/**
	 * Add course instructor details in course list
	 *
	 * @param array $data
	 * @param object $post
	 * @param array $shortcode_atts
	 * @param int $user_id
	 *
	 * @return string
	 */
	function ir_custom_add_instructor_details( $data, $post, $shortcode_atts, $user_id ) {
		if ( learndash_get_post_type_slug('course') == $post->post_type ) {
			$instructor_data = '<div style="padding: 10px;">'.do_shortcode( "[all_instructors course_id='{$post->ID}']") . '</div><div class="caption">';
			$data = str_replace( '<div class="caption">', $instructor_data, $data );
		}
		return $data;
	}
	add_filter( 'learndash_course_grid_html_output', 'ir_custom_add_instructor_details', 10, 4 );
}

You’ll see the [all_instructors] shortcode in that code. Feel free to modify it with any of the parameters we mentioned above, just be sure to leave the course_id parameter in there.

NOTE: This only works for the old version of the course grid that uses the [ld_course_list] shortcode. It does not work for the “LearnDash Course Grid” block or [learndash_course_grid] shortcode. Also, the avatars are about 80px instead of the 32px they are when using [all_instructors]. I believe this is due to LearnDash’s legacy course grid CSS.

LearnDash Instructor Email Notifications

There are two types of email notifications that you can have sent to your instructors:

  • course purchase notification
  • quiz completion notification

There are a few others in relation to admin approval of instructor course content changes, but we discuss them in our section on instructor content updates.

For both notifications, you can customize the subject and email body. There are also a handful of shortcodes you can use to dynamically insert information about the instructor, course, or quiz.

Course Purchase Notification

NOTE: This notification requires that you sell your courses using the LearnDash-WooCommerce integration. I don’t think it’ll work if you’re using any of LearnDash’s payment methods.

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This email will be sent to all instructors of a course every time that course is purchased by a new user.

You can use the following shortcodes in this notification:

  • [site_name] – Site title
  • [course_name] – Course name
  • [instructor_name] – Instructor’s name
  • [customer_name] – Customer name

Quiz Completion Notification

This email will be sent to all instructors of a course every time a quiz that belongs to that course is completed by a student.

You can use the following shortcodes in this notification:

  • [$userid] – User ID
  • [$username] – Username
  • [$useremail] – User email
  • [$quizname] – Quiz name/title
  • [$result] – Quiz result, in percentage
  • [$points] – Points scored

Email Notification Setup

To set up these instructor emails…

  1. Navigate to LearnDash LMS > Instructor > Emails
  2. Click on either the Course Purchase or Quiz Completion tab
  3. Enter your subject line and email body text
  4. Click “Save Changes”

Get the Instructor Role plugin →

Instructor Dashboards: Frontend vs Backend

With the LearnDash Instructor Role plugin, you can make use of a frontend dashboard, backend dashboard, or both. Many users prefer to block instructor access to the WordPress admin area (/wp-admin/), so disabling the backend dashboard comes in handy.

Disable LearnDash backend dashboard setting

To disable the backend instructor dashboard:

  1. Navigate to LearnDash LMS > Instructor > General Settings
  2. Check the box for Disable Backend(WP) Dashboard
  3. Click “Save Changes”

This will disable the backend dashboard, completely prevent instructors from accessing any part of your WordPress admin area, and automatically redirect them to the frontend dashboard page.

Let’s take a look at each dashboard separately so you can decide which one you’d like to use.

LearnDash Frontend Dashboard

LearnDash Instructor front end dashboard example

The LearnDash Instructor frontend dashboard, built with the block editor (Gutenberg).

Feature Overview

  • Customizable page layout: You can use any type of page template you want, and add the blocks you need anywhere on the page. Continue using whatever block plugins or custom designs your theme offers.
  • Add any custom text, buttons, or other blocks to the page, in addition to the standard instructor information. Style everything with the block editor.
  • Modern design
  • Optional left sidebar with tabs
  • Custom icons & text for each sidebar section
  • Main navigation & footer are displayed above & below the dashboard content
  • Color & font choices are available in the block editor
  • Add a custom bottom to the top of the left sidebar. It can launch the frontend course creator, or link to any URL of your choice.

Setup

When you first install the Instructor Role plugin, a new page called Instructor Dashboard is created for you. You can use this page, rename it, or create a new one. But you need to have a dedicated page to use as your frontend dashboard.

  1. Create the page, or use the one WisdmLabs has created for you
  2. Navigate to LearnDash LMS > Instructor > Frontend Dashboard
  3. Next to “Select Frontend Dashboard Page,” choose the page you want to use
  4. Click “Save Settings”

LearnDash Backend Dashboard

LearnDash back end instructor dashboard example

LearnDash instructor backend dashboard example

Feature Overview

The backend instructor dashboard has the following features. All of these are available from LearnDash LMS > Instructor > Backend(WP) Dashboard.

  • Use a custom label to replace “LearnDash LMS” in the sidebar menu (LMS Label)
  • Use a custom dashboard title (see screenshot above)
  • Customize the left sidebar menu. Show/Hide/Reorder items. (LearnDash & Logout items cannot be removed)
  • Add custom menu links
  • Add a custom logo to appear in the top corner
  • Use a preset color scheme, or create custom colors for your brand
  • Choose a Google Font for the entire dashboard
  • Choose which information appears on the Overview screen (courses, students, earnings, products, reports, submissions)

Check out the LearnDash Instructor Role plugin →

Backend Dashboard Pros

One of the biggest advantages to using the backend dashboard over the frontend is the menu customization. You have near full control over what appears in the left sidebar menu. Technically, you could build a custom menu using the block editor, with some custom blocks that expand/collapse sections, but it would require a lot of work.

The other advantage only applies to users who use comments on their site, but the backend dashboard allows a LearnDash instructor to manage comments. The frontend dashboard does not provide a way to add comment moderation.

Backend Dashboard Cons

The only real downside for me is the design. Most people will like the frontend dashboard design much better, plus you can use block plugins or third-party design tools in the block editor to customize the frontend dashboard. The backend dashboard is what it is.

LearnDash Frontend Course Creation

The LearnDash Instructor Role plugin is one of only two plugins that offer frontend course creation. Let’s take a look at how it works.

Regardless of whether you’re using the frontend or backend instructor dashboard, there are ways to get to the frontend course creator from both.

In the backend dashboard, you’ll see a new button on your All Courses screen that says Add New via Frontend Course Creator. The same button is available for quizzes when on the All Quizzes screen.

In the frontend dashboard, you have the option to add a button to the left sidebar, and make it open the frontend course creator.

NOTE: Currently, the frontend course creation tool is only available for desktop. It will not work on smaller screens.

LearnDash frontend course creation builder

Add lessons, topics, and quizzes from the frontend of your LearnDash site.

Creating Courses & Quizzes

Once you open the frontend course creator, you’ll have almost all the same options that you’re used to in the backend of WordPress.

  • Tabs at the top for Course pageBuilder, SettingsGroups
  • Add a title, featured image, and some course content
  • Course categories & tags on the right
  • The Builder tab lets you add lessons, topics, quizzes, and section headings
  • You can add materials and adjust your lesson & topic settings
  • The Settings and Groups tabs have all the options you’re used to
  • Same thing goes for quizzes: Add questions & answers, choose the question type, access quiz settings, and add existing questions from a question bank on the right
  • Preview, change the status & visibility, and publish your content all from the frontend
LearnDash frontend course creation content page

Add your title, featured image, course intro, and categories/tags.

LearnDash frontend course creation settings screen

Adjust course settings just as you would from the backend of WordPress.

Enable/Disable Various Settings

When allowing instructors to create course content on the frontend, you have the option to restrict certain features.

  • Restrict the course pricing options (open, free, buy now, recurring, closed). You can only allow a specific type of course to be created.
  • Restrict access to LearnDash course categories
  • Restrict access to permalinks. The admin would be responsible for setting the course permalink.

All of this is done from the LearnDash LMS > Instructor > General Settings page.

Get the LearnDash Instructor Role plugin →

Approve Instructor Content Updates

You might want instructors to create their own courses, but maybe you want to approve them before they go live. This could also apply to changes made to courses, lessons, topics, and/or quizzes. The LearnDash Instructor Role plugin allows administrators to approve instructor’s changes.

This works for both the backend and frontend course creation process.

I’ll walk you through some of the steps here, but WisdmLabs has full documentation on their site.

To set up instructor content approval:

  1. Navigate to LearnDash LMS > Instructor > General Settings
  2. Scroll down to Instructor Role Features
  3. Check the box to enable Review course
  4. Click “Save Changes”

Now when an instructor edits any LearnDash content, and clicks the Update button in the editor, they’ll see this message: “Course is sent for review. It will be live once the admin reviews and publishes it.” An administrator will need to approve it before it goes live.

Admin Approval

When an administrator logs in, they need to edit the piece of content that needs approving. They’ll see a button that says “Approve Instructor Update” in the right sidebar Summary section.

Approve instructor update button for LearnDash admins

Sidenote: When approving a course update, I got a message saying it would approve changes for the entire course. I take this to mean it would also approve all lesson, topic, and quiz changes to the course as well… but I couldn’t find anything to confirm that. Please be careful, or check with WisdmLabs support to confirm this.

Warning: When I tested this, as soon as the instructor clicked the Update button, it put the course in draft mode. This removed it from the website. Be very careful using this feature on an active website, as it may confuse your users. Hopefully WisdmLabs can come up with a better solution that stores the instructor updates without pulling the page offline.

Email Notifications

There are two email notifications that you can configure for this process:

  • Admin notification when an instructor submits a change for approval
  • Instructor notification when an admin approves a change
Admin notification settings for instructor content change approval

Admin notification settings for instructor content change approval.

For both emails, you can customize the subject line and email contents. For the admin notification, you can enter a comma-separated list of emails you want to receive the notification.

The following shortcodes can be used in both emails:

  • [ins_profile_link] – Instructor Profile Link
  • [ins_first_name] – Instructor First Name
  • [ins_last_name] – Instructor Last Name
  • [ins_login] – Instructor Login ID
  • [course_id] – Course ID
  • [course_title] – Course Title
  • [course_content_title] – Title of an edited course content
  • [course_content_edit] – Dashboard link of a edited course content
  • [course_update_datetime] – Updated date and time of a course
  • [content_update_datetime] – Updated date and time of a content

WooCommerce Product Content Approvals

The same process I described above also works for WooCommerce products. Navigate to LearnDash LMS > Instructor > Email to customize all the email notifications.

Instructor Commission for Course Sales

One of the other major features of the LearnDash Instructor Role plugin is the ability to pay instructors a commission for each sale to a course they created.

You can use any default LearnDash payment method to sell your courses, as well as WooCommerce. If you choose to sell your courses through WooCommerce, make sure you have the LearnDash-WooCommerce integration plugin, and your courses are associated with your products.

LearnDash instructor commission percentage in backend

Set the LearnDash Instructor’s commission percentage in the settings.

You can set a unique commission percentage for each instructor.

PayPal Setup

In order to pay your instructors, you need to fill out all the information on the LearnDash LMS > Instructors > PayPal Payouts tab.

Also make sure your instructors have entered their PayPal email address in their profile. This can be done from either the backend or frontend dashboard, in the Profile section. Alternatively, you can add this on their behalf.

LearnDash instructor PayPal email setting

Paying Your Instructors

Instructors must be paid manually.

Once you’re ready to pay an instructor, navigate to LearnDash LMS > Instructors > Commission Report. If an instructor has unpaid earnings, you’ll see a Pay button next to their name. Click that button, follow the instructions in the popup, and submit the form to confirm payment.

Get the WisdmLabs Instructor Role plugin →

NOTE: The payout functionality for instructors only works if you have a PayPal business account with PayPal Payouts activated.

Student/Teacher Communication

NOTE: This feature requires the BuddyPress plugin with the private messaging module enabled. It also works with the BuddyBoss Platform plugin, which we usually recommend over BuddyPress.

You must also be using the LearnDash 3.0 active template (LearnDash LMS > Settings > General), and enable Focus Mode.

Once you enable the “Student Communication” option in LearnDash LMS > Instructor > General Settings, your students will see a blue question mark bubble in the bottom-right of the screen when in focus mode. Clicking this icon will open up a form where the student can submit a question or comment.

The instructor can view and respond to all comments via the private messaging area in either the frontend or backend Instructor Dashboard.

Learn more about student/teacher communication here →

LearnDash Instructor Profile Pages

Each user that you set up as a LearnDash instructor will get their own profile page. This can be accessed at yoursite.com/instructor/instructor-name/. Instructor name is the username of the WordPress user.

Example LearnDash instructor role profile page

The instructor profile page consists of the following:

  • Instructor Name
  • The word “Instructor” to denote they instruct at least one course
  • The instructor’s avatar
  • The number of courses the instructor teaches
  • The number of enrolled students in the instructor’s courses
  • A list of the instructors courses, which uses the LearnDash course grid add-on
  • A list of the instructor’s social media links
  • Custom content about the instructor, if you’ve added it
  • (if active) If you’re using the Ratings, Reviews & Feedback plugin, a third tab will appear showing the ratings/reviews for that instructor

You don’t have to use these pages if you don’t want to. There’s a setting to automatically add links to them from the course pages (more on that below).

Custom Content on Instructor Profile Page

LearnDash instructor role profile settings page

While the design of the instructor profile pages leave a lot to be desired, you do have the ability to add your own content. Unfortunately, there’s not much flexibility here. You can add two types of content:

  • paragraph text
  • lists

You can add an unlimited number of sections, which each section being either a paragraph or a list. You can also drag & drop to reorder this content however you’d like.

Each section has the following customization options:

  • title
  • image
  • data type (paragraph or list)
  • icon

The title is what appears at the top of each section in an <h2> tag.

Image

The image is optional, but when used, shows up to the left of the content. WisdmLabs provides two stock images for you to use (education & achievements), as well as provides a custom option.

Unfortunately, you have to guess exactly the right size of image to use, otherwise it will overlap with the content. Until WisdmLabs fixes this issue, we recommend an image with a width of between 145-155 pixels, depending on how much space you want between the image and content.

Icon

The icon shows up to the left of the content—either one time for paragraph text, or repeatedly for each list item.

You can choose between two default icons (students or trophy), or choose any one of the WordPress Dashicons. You cannot use your own custom icon.

How to Add New Instructor Sections

  1. Navigate to LearnDash LMS > Instructor > Profile
  2. Click the “Add” button
  3. Fill out your details
  4. Click the “Add” button at the bottom of the popup
LearnDash instructor role new section content popup

Choose between “paragraph” or “list” when adding a new content section.

You can also edit existing sections by clicking on the wrench icon, adjusting the information, and then clicking the “Save” button (as seen above).

How to Reorder Instructor Sections

From the same page as above (LearnDash LMS > Instructor > Profile), hover your mouse over the up & down arrows, click, hold, and drag each section up or down.

To delete instructor sections, click the red trash can icon next to the appropriate section.

Once you’re finished, be sure to click the “Save” button at the bottom.

How to Add Instructor-Specific Content to Each Section

Once you’ve added the sections for the type of content you want to include on each LearnDash instructor’s profile, now it’s time to fill out that content for each instructor. Alternatively, you can have your instructors fill in their own.

LearnDash instructor profile content

Biography (paragraph), Education (list), and Achievements (list) on a LearnDash instructor’s profile.

  1. Navigate to Users > All Users, or have your instructors navigate to Users > Profile
  2. Scroll down to the Introduction Section Details section near the bottom
  3. Fill in the appropriate content
  4. Click the “Update User” or “Update Profile” button

Now that content will appear on the instructor’s profile page.

Buy the Instructor Role plugin →

LearnDash Instructor Social Links

On the user profile page, you can also add links to the following social media sites for each instructor. These will show up on the instructor profile page with the associated brand icons.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter / X
  • YouTube
LearnDash instructor's social media links

Only Facebook, Twitter/X, and YouTube are supported.

Plugin Feedback: I’d love to see custom options for these. An instructor might want to link to their LinkedIn profile, TikTok, Github profile, etc. Having the ability to add any social media site, along with a custom icon, would be a nice update.

LearnDash Instructor Profile Page Header

You’ll see a large header at the top of your instructor’s profile page. This contains a horizontal blue bar spanning the entire width of the page, and it contains the instructor’s avatar in a circle.

The instructor’s avatar is linked to their WordPress user profile. WordPress uses gravatar.com to pull in this image. Alternatively, you can use a WordPress plugin that lets you upload a custom image for your users.

Unfortunately, there is no setting to change the color of the blue bar. As of now, you’ll have to use custom CSS to remove it, use a different color, a gradient, or a background image. Hopefully this is something WisdmLabs will add to the plugin in the future.

Link to Instructor’s Profile Page from Course Page

There’s an option in the settings on the Profile tab that adds a link to the instructor’s profile page from “Course archive and single pages.” A few notes on getting this to work:

  • Your theme needs to display the author name & link on these pages. Some themes provide options to hide this information.
  • Even with this enabled, it might still not work.
  • I couldn’t get this to work on Kadence or GeneratePress at all, and only on single course pages with Astra (but not the course archive page).
  • It doesn’t seem to add any link to the LearnDash course grid either, so if you use that to display all your courses, you’ll need to manually enter a link to the instructor profile.

Learn more about the Instructor Role plugin →

LearnDash Instructor Login Redirect

When you assign the Instructor role to one of your LearnDash course creators, you can set a specific page to redirect them to when they login. If you’ve set up a frontend dashboard for your instructors, you can have them land on that page. They’ll see a full overview of their courses, student’s progress, commission from course sales, and whatever else you choose to display on their dashboard.

LearnDash instructor login redirect setting

  1. Navigate to LearnDash LMS > Instructor > General Settings
  2. In the first section, look for “Instructor Login Redirect”
  3. Click the dropdown menu & choose the page you’d like to use
  4. Click “Save Changes”

Instructor Course Reports

Each instructor can view course reports from their Instructor Dashboard, which we covered above.

Course/Quiz Data Export (.csv)

In addition to viewing these reports, there is also an option to export the course data to a .csv file. Look for the Export Course Data button at the bottom of the report on the “Course Reports” section of the Instructor Dashboard.

LearnDash Instructor Comment Moderation

Comment moderation for LearnDash instructor roles

If you’ve enabled comments for LearnDash content, all instructors will be able to moderate the comments on the lessons, topics, quizzes, and courses they manage. They’ll be able to…

  • approve
  • edit
  • reply to
  • spam
  • trash

…the comments right from their Instructor Dashboard.


If you made it this far, thanks for sticking around. We covered just about every inch of the powerful instructor role plugin for LearnDash. I hope you were able to find the information you were looking for.

If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback, please let me know in the comments. I’ll do my best to help you out.

Buy the Instructor Role plugin →

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4 Comments

  1. ِdianat

    Greetings and Regards

    I installed the Instructor Role plugin but I encountered a problem, please guide me.

    I had previously created a training course using the Learn Dash plugin on my site and a number of students had registered in it. Now, after using the Instructor Role plugin, I created two users as Instructors and shared the created training course on the course counter page for those two professors. Now I want to divide the students I registered before among several Instructors. please guide me.

    Thanks

    • I don’t think you can simply split students between two instructors. The students are assigned to courses or groups, and then the instructors are able to administer those courses/groups.

      So I think you’ll need to create two groups, assign each instructor to a different group, assign the students to the group that matches their instructor, and then make sure each group has access to the courses that they need.

      For further assistance, it’d be best for you to reach out to WisdmLabs directly as they know their plugin best.

  2. Dyon

    Does the plugin and commission revenue system only work with WooCommerce? Or also with Stripe Connect?

    • You don’t need WooCommerce to use the Instructor Role plugin. I was pretty sure that the commission system only worked if you sold products through WooCommerce, however, the documentation is not clear on whether it would also work with LearnDash’s default payment methods, including Stripe Connect.

      Since the plugin was recently sold to LearnDash, I would ask LearnDash to clarify which payment methods you can use while still benefiting from instructor commissions.

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