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How to Track User Progress in an Online Course with a Checklist

AccessAlly Pro comes with a built-in progress tracking feature that allows you to create progress bars and pie charts, and track the user’s journey through your online courses. Progress tracking depends on “Checklists” to gain the necessary progress information. The tutorials on this page show you how to create these checklists and start tracking your students’ progress.

Tutorial 1: How To Add Checklists to A Page

This is a basic tutorial to show you how the checklists work – and how you can easily add them to any WordPress post or page with the shortcode adder.

Please note that the shortcode generator is now located on the top admin bar of your WordPress site.Dashboard Shortcode Adder

ProgressAlly objective lists

Front-end example (checklist the user sees)

Step 1: Edit the page

To set this up in ProgressAlly, go to the page where you’d like to add the checklist items. This is located under Pages > All Pages and can be opened by clicking on the ‘edit’ link.

You can also edit pages from your Offerings content area.

Screenshot of what page to edit

Step 2: Add objectives to the page

Add new objectives to the page by scrolling to the ProgressAlly Page Settings area and selecting the ‘Objectives’ tab.

Back-end example (what the site admin sees)

Objectives List

There are 8 types of objectives:

  • Text: Checkboxes that can be completed by the member.
  • Media: To add media that has been placed in the Media tab.
  • Quiz: To complete the objective automatically when a quiz has been completed.
  • Page / Post: To complete the objective automatically when another page or post’s objectives have been completed.
  • Note: To complete the objective automatically when a note has been added and filled in by the member.
  • Download Protected Content: To complete the objective automatically when designated material have been downloaded.
  • Download Certificate: To complete the objective automatically when a certificate is downloaded. See ProgressAlly Interaction for details.
  • Offering: This type of objective automatically tracks all pages under an offering. It will show up as a list of all the pages with objectives. Each page objective can only be checked off when that page is completed. See How to Track Course Progress to find out more!

Step 3: Add the objectives shortcode to the editor

The objective list can be placed on the page by using the AccessAlly shortcode generator or by using the AccessAlly shortcode icon in the editor and selecting the option ‘Objective List’.

Example of objective list shortcode

Objectives Shortcode

Note: As of AccessAlly 3.7.5 (released October 2021), objective items can be reordered during the setup process using simple drag-and-drop; objective table have flexible styling options (checkout the progressally_objective shortcode here)

Tutorial 2: How to Add Partial Objectives to a Page

By default, if you have an objective list, all included items will be shown on it. However, it is possible to separate the items so that each of them appears in a different area on the page.

This will show you how to create a partial objective checklist.

Step 1: Use the shortcode generator

Select the ‘Objective List’ option and check on the ‘Do NOT show all objectives and only show the selected one(s).’ checkbox.

Step 2: Select objective(s)

Check each objective you would like to display in your list.

Partial Objective List

Shortcode example:
[progressally_objectives objective_id="2,3"]

Tutorial 3: How to Track Progress Across Multiple Pages

Do you want to track progress across several lessons in an online course?  Here’s how to do that.

Step 1: Add an Offering objective or individual page/post objectives

The easiest way to track progress for an entire course is to use the Offering objective type. This will automatically add and remove new pages that get added to your Offerings, so your progress tracking stays accurate as your courses evolve.

Screenshot of objective for whole offerings

If you only want to track specific pages, you could choose these individually using the Page/Post objective type instead. This is more of a legacy feature, since the whole Offering tracking is the least error-prone and easiest to set up.

Page / Post Objective Types

Step 2: Add the objectives shortcode to the editor

The objective list can be placed on the page by using the AccessAlly shortcode generator or by using the AccessAlly shortcode icon in the editor and selecting the option ‘Objective List’.

Example of objective list shortcode

Objectives Shortcode

Note: Offering and Page / Post objectives can not be checked off explicitly by the member. They are automatically marked as complete when the member has completed all of the objectives on the module pages listed.

Also, if a page or post is NOT added to the objective explicitly or the specified page or post doesn’t have objectives, the objective will still be counted toward the total completion percentage and can never be completed.

If you delete a page or post in WordPress make sure that there or no empty pages or posts in your objective lists afterward. Or simply using the Offering objective type to have your checklists automatically updated.

If you’d like to add links to each objective in the list, you can alter the link description to add an HTML link the following way:

HTML Example:
<a href="#">Complete Day 1</a>

The # sign needs to be replaced by the URL of the module page.

Link to Module Page

To learn more about how to show progress information for a whole course, visit:
How To Show Progress For All Course Pages
Updated on October 19, 2021

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