The Lesson activity in the CLE allows instructors to transform course content into an interactive experience for students. The lesson activity "branches" from one page to another, depending on how students interact with the content. Lesson pages can consist of text, various types of media, or quiz-type questions that students must respond to continue with the activity.
A lesson page generally requires students to make some sort of choice once they have read the content or answered the questions. The students' choice determines which page they are shown next in the sequence. Lessons can be simple and linear, or they can be more complex and have various configurations available.
Use a lesson to:
- Present content in a variety of ways to suit student preferences. For example, you allow students to choose if they would like to watch a lecture video or read the transcript instead.
- Create a scenario or simulation that allows the student to practice decision-making skills or apply principles to solve a problem.
- Use the branching capabilities to provide remediation when a student answers a question incorrectly.
Instructors should carefully plan any lesson(s) before adding it to the CLE as a lesson activity.
Recommended Lesson Workflow
Plan Lesson Content
- Gather any text or media resources that will be incorporated into the lesson, including any supplemental information.
- Develop the lesson content and write any text or questions (multiple choice, matching, true/false, etc) and relevant feedback
- Design how the lesson should flow - where will certain sections branch to another?
- Determine how the lesson will be scored, if at all. *
*Note: Lessons may be set up as graded or non-graded activities. This article will not cover grading lesson activities. For information about grading lessons, please review Moodle Docs.
Example lesson content:
|Information and/or Question
In this lesson, you will:
Recognize the most common symptoms of COVID-19
Identify the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19
|COVID-19 Symptoms: Next Page
Add a Lesson
- Open the CLE (cle.ucsf.edu), and go to the course where you would like to add the lesson activity.
- In the CLE course, Turn Edit mode on and then navigate to the course section where you would like the lesson to be added.
- Click Add an activity or resource in the Section/Topic where you want the lesson to be.
In the activity chooser, click Lesson from the list of activity tab. The Adding a new lesson page will open.
- Configure lesson settings (view next tab).
- Click Save and display or Save and return to course.
- Name: Enter a name for the Lesson activity (required).
- Description: Add a description (optional); click on the tick box underneath the description field to display the description underneath the activity title on the CLE course page.
- Progress bar: Enable this to show a bar at the bottom of the page that displays approximately how much of the lesson the student has completed.
- Display menu: Enable this to allow students to navigate through the pages in the lesson.
- Linked media: Upload any relevant media here - a link entitled "click here to view" will appear in a block called "Linked Media" to the right of the lesson. Images and videos will display in a pop-up window, other file types will be downloaded to the local 'downloads' folder.
- Display ongoing score: If enabled, students see their score as they work through the lesson. It won't display for instructors previewing the activity.
- Minimum grade to display menu: Select a grade (percentage) to enable this setting - students must complete the lesson once and obtain the set grade before they can see all the different pages upon review
- Slideshow: This setting enables a pre-set height and width for the content; we recommend leaving this setting to No.
- Maximum number of answers: only affects what the instructor sees; use it to specify the maximum number of answer options that can be used in a lesson. For example, if you are only using True/False questions, you can set this to 2.
- Use default feedback: Select whether you want to Use default feedback, i.e. "That's the correct answer/That's the wrong answer", for any questions asked.
- Link to next activity: Choose this to give students a link to another activity when they reach the end of the lesson.
- Available from Enable this to choose a date when this activity will be available
- Deadline: Enable this to choose a date when this activity will no longer be available
- Time limit: Enable this to limit the amount of time students can interact with the lesson
- Password protected lesson: Enable this to make this lesson available only by entering a password
- Allow student review: Enable this to allow students to go back through the lesson before exiting.
- Provide option to try a question again: Enable this to allow students who answer a question incorrectly the option to try the question again.
- Maximum number of attempts: This setting sets the maximum number of attempts for any question in the lesson (and can be set to unlimited).
- Action after correct answer:
- Normal: follow the lesson path
- Show an unseen page: pages are shown in random order with no page shown twice
- Show an unanswered page: pages are shown in a random order, with pages containing unanswered questions shown again
- Number of pages to show: This setting specifies the number of pages shown in a lesson. It is only applicable if normal was not selected for Action after the correct answer in the previous setting. If this is set to 0, all pages are shown.
- Grade: Select the grading method from the following options:
- None (default)
- Scale: Choose from a variety of options in the dropdown list
- Point: Assign a value to the lesson with a maximum of 100.
- Grade category: If a category has been set up in the gradebook, it will appear here as an option for this lesson in the gradebook. If not, leave this as uncategorized.
- Grade to pass: This sets the minimum passing grade and affects activity and course completion.
- Practice lesson: If this is enabled, this lesson will not appear in the gradebook.
- Custom scoring: If set to Yes, each answer may be given a numerical point value (positive or negative).
- Minimum number of questions: If the lesson contains one or more content pages, the minimum number of questions should be set to zero. If your lesson is built as a pool of questions with no content pages, this setting specifies the minimum number of questions that will be used to calculate a grade for the activity.
- Re-takes allowed: Enable this to allow students to complete the lesson more than once
Common module settings, Restrict access, Activity completion, Tags - these settings apply to every activity in the CLE, configure these as needed.
Click Save and display or Save and return to course
Add Lesson Content
Before you start building your lesson, you need to plan it thoroughly. Here are some tips to plan your lesson:
- A lesson is made up of pages that may have content for the student to read or questions for them to answer. The questions can be created by the instructor or imported. The instructor decides the order in which these pages appear.
- You need to have a clear idea beforehand of what you want to do with this lesson. Is it to be a graded, linear learning experience? Or an ungraded, non-linear practice session? Will students be able to go back and revisit areas or is it just a once-only opportunity?
Let’s start building our content in the Lesson.
Adding content and questions to your lesson
When you visit the Lesson page, it will ask you “What would you like to do first?”. The options are:
- Import questions
- Add a content page
- Add a cluster
- Add a question page
Let’s discuss them one by one.
If you have some questions in the following formats, you can import them to use in your lesson by clicking the Import questions link. For general information about these question types, see Import questions.
Add a cluster
A cluster is a group of question pages that will be oﬀered randomly to a student as they work through the lesson. It is best if you have made the question pages beforehand and can then decide where to mark the start and end of the cluster. The start is marked by a "cluster" page and the end by an "end of cluster" page.
Add a content page
This is a page where an instructor can provide information to move the lesson forward without requiring the student to answer specific questions. The student sees the page's title, some information, and then one or more buttons at the bottom to select. When the student clicks on a button, they go to the next page, but their choice is not scored.
- Page title: The title of a content page appears to the student at the top of the page. The instructor will also see the title in the collapsed edit mode when they are working on the Lesson, and they will also be able to choose the title (and hence this page) from the drop-down “jump” lists. The title in a content page is also used with the “display left menu” setting.
- Page contents: This is where the instructor can add information for the student, making use of the Text editor and its multimedia features.
- Content: Here the instructor writes the text description they want the student to click on to get to the next part of the lesson. These words will appear to the student as a button. The instructor can check the box to have the buttons appear horizontally or uncheck it for them to appear centered vertically.
- Number of options available - How many of these you have depends on your choice in the Maximum Number of Answers setting in Lesson settings.
- The Jump - Each Description in a Content page has a Jumps menu. "Jumps" take a student from one page to another. A "relative jump" is "next page" or "end of lesson" whereas an "absolute jump" gives the actual name of a page. The instructor chooses from the dropdown the correct page to send the student to if they click on the button that will be made from this particular description. Any pages created by the instructor will have their titles appear in this dropdown, allowing them to be selected. When a student clicks on a description button, they are sent to the page deﬁned in the Jump associated with the button.
- Once you are done, click Save Page at the bottom.
Add a question page
Here you can choose from a variety of question types which will then be added as pages to your lesson:
These question types are not the same as the Quiz Question types and are in no way connected with quiz questions.
- The format of question pages resembles content pages.
- A typical question page could include:
- Title - the name the student sees at the top of the question page.
- Page contents - the actual question
- Answer/Response/Jump/Score - Based on the response from students, you can deﬁne which page they will see next and the score they will receive.
Here are the question types which can be added to the lesson activity:
- Multi-choice: The student is given a question and a list of answers. The answer list will be shuﬄed every time the question is viewed by a student. By default, they choose one answer, but you can check the box "multiple answers" to allow them to choose more than one answer.
- Essay: Students can write a longer answer as part of the lesson, which can be graded manually by the instructor.
- Matching: This allows you to set up lists that must be matched against other lists, for instance, words, pictures, numbers, etc. The student must match all correctly to receive the score.
- Numerical: This requires a number as an answer. A number within a range may also be accepted as correct. The range separator to be used is the colon:
- Short answer - A student must provide a single word or short phrase answer. The instructor must anticipate the possible answers and enter them in the Jump dropdown boxes, using ** wild cards if appropriate.
- True/false - The student is given a sentence and must decide if it is true or false.
Moving your lesson forward
- Once you have added your ﬁrst content or question page, you reach the next screen which displays your page title/type/jumps (i.e., where the responses take the student to) and actions you can take next:
- The Actions icons allow you to move (if you have more than one), edit, preview, or delete your pages.
- The drop-down allows you to create another page of your choice:
- Note the different view options:
- Collapsed view: This gives a brief outline of the lesson structure.
- Expanded view: This shows more detail as in the screenshot below.
Ending your lesson
- To bring the lesson to a close, select the "End of Lesson" option from the Jump menu on any relevant pages.
- The student will then see a generic message as in the next screenshot, with a direction back to the main course page or to view their grades.
When you click on the lesson then you will see tabs at the top offering the chance to preview, edit, view reports, or grade essays in the lesson.
- Preview Tab: The lesson opens up in preview mode for the instructor. However, it will not show the score unless the instructor switches their role to a student.
- Edit Tab: The Edit tab allows instructors to alter the lesson once it has been set up. There are two views - Collapsed and Expanded.
- Reports Tab: The reports tab shows the performance of students taking the lesson. There is a general "Overview" and a "Detailed Statistics" tab. Overview Tab: By clicking on the attempt, the instructor can view the student's answers to specific questions. It is also possible to delete a student attempt by checking the attempt and using the pull-down menu to change "Choose" to "Delete". Below the "Overview" can also be seen general statistics: Average score, Average time, High score, Low score, High time, Low time. Detailed Statistics: More detailed reports on individual questions are available from this tab.
Grade essays Tab: Any essay questions which have been set in the lesson can be accessed and graded here.
As students complete the lesson, their scores will be recorded in the gradebook. If you’ve allowed students to attempt each lesson multiple times, their scores may change as they repeat the lesson.
The lesson module has only 4 capabilities:
- add instance - This allows a user to add a new lesson activity to the course This capability is allowed for the default roles of manager and instructor.
- Edit -This allows a user to update lesson settings, add/edit/remove lesson pages, import questions, view lesson reports (via the reports tab) and delete attempts, and grade essay questions (via the grade essays tab) This capability is allowed for the default roles of manager and instructor.
- grade -This allows a user to grade Lesson essay questions. This capability is allowed for the default roles of manager, instructor, and non-editing instructor.
- manage -This allows a user to manage a lesson This capability is allowed for the default roles of manager, instructor, and non-editing instructor.
Creative Lesson Uses
There is a hidden potential in the lesson module that makes it much more interesting than it ﬁrst appears. If you take advantage of the ability of each answer in a question page to link to any other page, you can create branching Choose Your Own Adventure-style simulations or case studies.
- Self-directed learning of a new topic - Use the lesson to introduce a new topic. The learner starts out knowing nothing but can progress at his own pace, reviewing what he is not sure of and moving on when he feels ready.
- Allow for different learning styles - When using the lesson to introduce a new topic, oﬀer pages that deliver the content in different ways, according to how the students prefer to learn. For example, the button "do you prefer to read?" goes to a page of text; "do you prefer to watch a video?" goes to a screencast; "do you prefer to listen to instructions?" -goes to a podcast, and so on.
- Role play simulations/Decision-making exercises - Use the lesson to set up situations where the learner has to make a choice each time and the scenario changes according to their selection. This could be a medical emergency, for example, deciding upon the correct treatment, or a customer relations exercise, learning how best to deal with an awkward client. In an educational establishment, it could serve well in Humanities subjects considering moral/ethical issues.
- Interactive fiction - For younger (and not so younger!) students, the lesson can be used to create a "choose your own ending" type of story where the student reads a page (or even watches a video/listen to an audio file) and then decides upon the character's next move. Apart from the entertainment value of this, it could be used to help guide pre-teens to behave responsibly by taking decisions for a character who is in a potentially dangerous situation.
- Differentiated revision guides - Students can be taken to different sets of revision questions according to their answers, allowing them to progress from basic to intermediate to advanced according to their prior knowledge.
A lesson activity is a self-directed learning tool. The lesson activity’s adaptive ability is what makes it unique. Questions in a lesson can be used to create branch points where students are taken down various paths in the lesson depending on how they answer the question. When each answer to a question takes the learner to a different series of pages, the lesson becomes a self-directed teaching tool.
Watch the following video to learn more about the Lesson Activity in the CLE.