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Lessonbuilder

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Example of Lessons tool used in a Brock University course
Example of Lessons tool used in a Brock University course

Lessons (previously "Lessonbuilder") is a tool that allows an instructor to organize resources, activities, and media on a single page. You can have as many Lessons pages in your site as needed. Each Lessons page can be customized to suit the needs of the lesson, including links to other site tools, conditional release of items and content, student content pages, LTI tools, and more.

With the Lessons tool, instructors can organize the course by unit, module, week, topic, or any other grouping that makes sense for the site.

Much of the help for Lessons is integrated right into the tool, but you may want to review Rutgers' information on Lesson Builder.

Some of the items contained in Lessons, as itemized in the adjacent list.
Some of the items contained in Lessons, as itemized in the adjacent list.
Here is a screenshot of a Brock University example of the Lessons tool with a brief video tour.

[edit] Common uses

  • Build an 'interactive syllabus' to support traditional face to face courses. Enhance your existing course syllabus with hyperlinks to resources (whether stored on your course site or across the web), internal links to online assignment or quiz submissions, and photo or video media.
  • Create structured online lessons, modules, or chapters. Regardless of the format of your course, the Lessons tool is capable of delivering structured online lessons containing links to internal or external readings, embedded media, internal links to assessment and assignment submission, structured subpages, and selective release.
  • Selectively put some elements of course content online. Because the Lessons tool does a particularly good job of delivering embedded, streaming video (such as those from Youtube) or images, it might be useful to create a brief lesson containing media and its supporting text.

[edit] Basic Elements of a Lessons Page

Lessons pages may contain any of the following items:

  1. Page title
  2. Text item (i.e. content on the page)
  3. Content links to items in Resources such as files or URLs
  4. Links to published assessments
  5. In-line question items on the page
  6. Items may be designated as required
  7. Links to forum topics
  8. Student Comments on the page
  9. Links to Student Pages where students may create their own content
  10. Links to subpages
  11. Items may have prerequisites (i.e. conditional release)



[edit] Adding the Lessons Tool

Instructors can create a new Lessons page or multiple Lessons pages through the Edit Tools section of Site Info.

When you add a new Lessons page, a folder is automatically created in the site Resources tool with the Lesson page name.

[edit] Adding Content to Pages

Anyone with the appropriate permissions can add content to a Lessons page. Content is added to an existing page by instructors choosing one of the options found across the top of the Lessons tool:

Adding content to the Lessons tool

To add content click at the top right Add Content +. You will then have the following options:

  1. Add Text: Add an item using rich text editor. Uses the standard Rich Text Editor
  2. Embed content on page: Add an image, video, Flash file, web page, etc. Use this to embed the item on this page. Use Add Content Link instead if you want a link to an item rather than showing it on the page.
  3. Add Content Link: Add link: Upload file or use existing file in Resources tool and add link to it, or enter a URL for another site
  4. Add Subpage: Create a new page on which you can create content, or link to an existing one
  5. Link to an assignment: Link to an existing assignment in Assignments tool
  6. Link to Quiz: Link to a test or quiz
  7. Link to Forum Topic: Add a link to a Forum topic.
  8. Add Checklist: Create simple checklists for students
  9. Add Question: Create simple multiple-choice or short-answer question, can show results as poll
  10. Add Comments Tool: Add a section allows students to enter comments.
  11. Add Student Content: Add a section where students may create their own pages.
  12. Upload content in ZIP file: There is specific support for Camtasia, Wimba Create and Articulate, but any ZIP file may be uploaded. See the help in the dialog for more information.
  13. Add External Tool: Link to a web service that uses the IMS LTI standard to integrate with this system.


Editing is done inline by selecting the adjacent Edit button, marked with a pencil on paper icon.

[edit] Student Specific Content

Blog-style comments can be added by students, with no addition permissions, by choosing Add Comments Tool through More Tools.

Similarly, students can be given a whole section to add their own Lessons pages by choosing Add Student Content through More Tools.

[edit] Adding YouTube Video Clips

https://YouTube.com content can be added directly to a Lessons page, without the need to copy code.

  • Find the URL of a YouTube video clip either by copy the address at the top of your web browser or copying the link in the Share this video area under the clip.
  • Ent the Lessons page that you would like to have the YouTube clip appear
  • Click on Add Multimedia at the top of the tool
  • Paste the YouTube URL into the box marked URL. Any instance of http in the URL should be replaced with https .
  • Click Save

A description of the clip and changes to its dimensions can be added by clicking Edit.

Enter the desired Width and Height for your video in number of pixels or percent of screen, and/or enter a description in the Item Description text box. Then, click Update item to save your changes and return the display to the Lesson Page with the embedded video and description.

[edit] Adding Subpages to a Lessons page

  • Choose Add Subpage.
  • Enter the subpage information.
    • Enter a titleor Click the Choose Existing Page link to select from the index of existing pages in the site.
  • Select the Next page option if desired.
  • Select the Show as button rather than link option if desired.
  • Click Create.

[edit] Importing Lessons from other course sites

Because the Lessons tool stores local media to which it directs students (such as documents, videos, and weblinks) within the Resources tool, it's import to ensure that Resources tool content is also selected when performing an import from another Isaak-Sakai site. It's further necessary to first enable the Lessons tool in the site that is to receive Lessons content from another site. This can be done via the Site Info tool in the new site.

Selection of both Resources and Lessons during site import
Selection of both Resources and Lessons during site import

[edit] Video - Creating an interactive syllabus

[edit] Common Questions about Adding Content to Lessons

Common Questions about Adding Content to Lessons:

[edit] Additional Resources

Other articles about Isaak/Sakai's tools and how instructors can use them:

Core Tools:   Image:Flag blue.png Announcements | Image:Page edit.png Assignments | Image:Lessons-icon.png Lessons | Image:Comments.png Forums | Image:Report.png Gradebook | Image:Folder.png Resources | Image:Calendar.png Schedule | Image:Pencil.png Tests and Quizzes

More Tools:   Image:User comment.png Chat Room | Image:Folder page.png Drop Box | Image:House.png Home | Image:Comment.png Messages | Image:Chart bar.png Statistics | Image:Page world.png Web Content


Related articles:   How to add tools to your course | Using the Text Editor | Manage Groups | Permissions and roles | Contact the CPI for help


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