Unlocking Prerequisite Lessons in Thinkific: How to Improve Your Students’ Learning Experience


Thinkific is a powerful platform that enables you to easily create and sell your courses. One of the many features that make Thinkific stand out is its Prerequisite Lessons, which can help you improve your student’s learning experience by providing a structured and engaging pathway to mastering your course material.

Prerequisite Lessons allow you to create a customized learning experience that guides your students through a logical content progression. By requiring students to complete certain lessons before accessing more advanced material, you can ensure they have the foundational knowledge they need to succeed.

This article will explore the ins and outs of Prerequisite Lessons in Thinkific, from enabling the feature to creating effective prerequisite content. We’ll also cover the benefits of using Prerequisite Lessons in your courses, common issues you may encounter, and how to overcome them. 

Whether you’re new to Thinkific or a seasoned pro, this guide will help you unlock the power of Prerequisite Lessons and take your course content to the next level.


How to Use Prerequisite Lessons in Thinkific

Prerequisite lessons in Thinkific are simple to set up, but they can greatly impact your students’ learning experience. Here’s how to set up and customize your prerequisite lessons in Thinkific:

Setting Prerequisite Lessons

To set a lesson as a prerequisite, follow these steps:

  1. From the admin dashboard menu, select “Manage Learning Products” > “Courses” > Your chosen course where you want to set prerequisite lessons.
  2. Select any of your lessons within the course curriculum section of the Course Builder page.
  3. Within that lesson, you’ll find a checkbox next to the phrase “Make this a prerequisite.” To set a lesson as a prerequisite, just check it off.
  4. Click “Save” to save your changes.

Once you have set up your prerequisite lessons, students cannot move on to the next lesson until they have completed the prerequisite.

Customizing Prerequisite Messaging

You can customize the text your students will see in the Course Player when they encounter a prerequisite lesson. Here’s how:

  1. From the admin dashboard menu, go to “Settings” > “Learning content” tab > “Modify Text: Learning content.”
  2. You can modify the text your students will see when they try to move on without completing their prerequisite. These texts are divided into three sections: Heading, Explanation, and Label for prerequisite lessons that appear in the course player.
  3. Once you’re finished editing the texts, click “Save” to save changes.

By customizing the prerequisite messaging, you can give your students clear instructions and motivation to complete their prerequisite lessons before moving on to new content.

Understanding the Student Experience

Accessing Prerequisite Lessons

When students try to access a lesson with a prerequisite, they will see a message informing them that they must complete the prerequisite lesson first. Once they complete the prerequisite lesson, they can access the next lesson.

Tracking Progress

Thinkific makes it easy for students to track their progress through the course, including their progress through prerequisite lessons. Students can see which lessons they have completed and which ones they still need to finish before moving on to new content.

Unlocking New Content

Once a student has completed a prerequisite lesson, they can access the next lesson in the course. Doing so makes the learning experience more structured and ensures students have the foundational knowledge they need to succeed.

Using prerequisite lessons in Thinkific, you can provide your students with a clear and engaging learning path. Setting up and customizing prerequisite lessons is simple, and the benefits to your student’s learning experience can be significant.


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Benefits of Using Prerequisite Lessons in Thinkific

Using prerequisite lessons in Thinkific offers a range of benefits to course creators and students alike. Here are some of the key advantages of using this feature:

Improved Learning Experience

Prerequisite lessons help to create a structured learning path that guides students through the course material in a logical order. 

Students can reinforce their knowledge and build a strong foundation for future learning by completing prerequisite lessons before moving on to new content. This approach leads to a more efficient and effective learning experience.

Higher Engagement and Retention Rates

When students can see their progress and know what they need to do to move forward, they are more likely to stay engaged and motivated throughout the course. By using prerequisite lessons, you can reduce the likelihood of students dropping out or becoming disengaged.

Customizable Learning Paths

You can use prerequisite lessons to create customized learning paths that meet the unique needs of each student. For example, you might use prerequisite lessons to identify students needing additional support or challenge and provide them with tailored content.

Flexibility in Course Design

Prerequisite lessons can be used to introduce new concepts or skills or to review and reinforce existing knowledge. This flexibility allows course creators to design comprehensive and engaging courses without overwhelming students with too much information at once.


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Tips for Creating Effective Prerequisite Lessons

Define the Learning Objectives

Before creating any prerequisite lessons, defining the learning objectives you want to achieve is important. Consider what knowledge or skills your students need to master before moving on to the next phase of the course and how you can help them to achieve those objectives through your prerequisite lessons.

Create Relevant and Engaging Content

Prerequisite lessons should be relevant, engaging, and aligned with your learning objectives. Use a variety of media formats such as video, audio, images, and text to make the lessons engaging and interactive. Utilize real-world examples, case studies, or scenarios to contextualize the learning material and help students to connect with the content.

Set Realistic Completion Requirements

Ensure that your completion requirements for prerequisite lessons are realistic and achievable for students. Students should complete the prerequisite lessons within a reasonable amount of time and with reasonable effort. 

Use quizzes, tests, or assignments to assess students’ understanding of the material and provide them with feedback and opportunities for improvement.

Provide Clear Feedback and Support

Providing clear feedback and support to students as they progress through the prerequisite lessons is important. Offer feedback on their assignments or assessments, and provide opportunities for them to ask questions or seek clarification if they need it. 

Use the Thinkific platform to communicate with students through email, discussion forums, or private messages, and make yourself available to help them when needed.


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Common Issues and Solutions

While Thinkific’s prerequisite lessons feature is a powerful tool for enhancing student learning, it’s not uncommon to run into a few issues when setting up and using it. Here are some common issues and their solutions:

Issue #1: Prerequisite Lessons Not Unlocking

If your students are having trouble accessing prerequisite lessons, the first thing to check is whether you’ve correctly set up the completion requirements for each lesson. 

Ensure that the prerequisite lessons are set up correctly and that students have completed all the required activities before moving on to the next lesson.

Issue #2: Completion Status Not Updating

If students’ completion status for prerequisite lessons is not updating correctly, you can try a few things. 

First, ensure that the prerequisite lessons are set up with the correct completion requirements. If the issue persists, check whether there are any bugs or technical issues with Thinkific, and if so, contact their support team for assistance.

Issue #3: Difficulty Accessing Prerequisite Lessons

If students are having difficulty accessing prerequisite lessons, check whether there are any technical issues with the Thinkific platform. Ensure that the prerequisite lessons are visible in the course curriculum and that students have the necessary permissions to access them. 

If the issue persists, provide clear instructions on accessing the prerequisite lessons, and offer support to help students overcome difficulties.


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In conclusion, Thinkific’s prerequisite lessons feature effectively improves your students’ learning experience and engagement. Setting up prerequisite lessons ensures your students have the necessary knowledge and skills to complete your course.

In this article, we’ve discussed how to use prerequisite lessons in Thinkific, their benefits, tips for creating effective prerequisite lessons, and common issues and solutions. By following these guidelines, you can create a seamless and effective learning experience for your students.

In summary, prerequisite lessons in Thinkific:

  • Enable you to create custom learning paths
  • Improve student engagement and retention rates
  • Help you to design flexible course structures
  • Provide opportunities to customize the learning experience

As you continue using Thinkific’s prerequisite lessons feature, remember that effective course design requires ongoing evaluation and improvement. By incorporating student feedback and regularly assessing your course materials, you can create a truly effective and engaging learning experience for your students.

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