Key takeaway: There are 4 key parts of the lesson editor; the content preview window, the content editor, the content navigation bar and the LMS template library. Look at each segment individually while you’re getting the grips.
The lesson editor is one of the most important places in the Ed LMS. This is where you create the content of your lessons, and where the bulk of your time will be spent while creating microlessons in Ed.
As befits such a critical aspect of the LMS, there is a lot going on here. However it can be broken down into 4 manageable sections:
The content preview window
The content editor
The content navigation bar
The LMS template library.
We will start first by reviewing the content preview window.
Content preview window
The content preview window is on the lefthand side of the lesson editor. Here you can view how your lesson’s content will display within the Ed app (meaning you don’t need to hop between your computer and device to check out how things are going). It displays the slide you are currently editing (which we will cover when reviewing the content navigation bar).
The content preview window is much more than just a static impression of your lesson. You can actually interact with your app as it appears in the device (1). This lets you emulate your users’ experience by clicking to tap, drag and swipe your way through your lesson. This immediate feedback helps you quickly hone your work to ensure it is as effective and intuitive for your users as possible.
To see how your lesson will look on other screen types, use the device selector (3) to change how you view your content. This is useful for checking that content looks good regardless of how users access it. Make sure to check out how the lessons look in iPad (both horizontal and vertical). You can also view the slide in its different states (i.e. prompt, interacted and answered) by using the interaction selection dropdown menu (2).
Finally (the most important part of the lesson editor) the save button (4) should be used liberally and regularly. Unlike other areas of the Ed LMS, the lesson editor does not use autosave. Published lessons are automatically updated in users’ devices when you save them, so the use of autosave here would be problematic for when you are halfway through making changes to a slide.
The content editor is where you configure the current slide you are on. The fields which you configure vary slightly depending on the template you are using. In this example, we are looking at the Multiple Choice template. As you type, the content preview window automatically updates to reflect changes you make.
For most use cases, the only fields which you need to configure are Title (1), Answers (3), Answer Text (5) and Star Reward (10). Get accustomed to these areas of the content editor; you’ll be using them a lot!
Continuing with the full breakdown of each aspect of the lesson editor, the Title field (1) to set the question which appears at the top of the slide.
Optional configurations for the slide follow (2). In Multiple Choice, you can decide whether the answers display in a random order or in the order in which they have been input in the LMS. You can also configure how many answers are selectable - if there is more than one right answer for your question then this is where you would set that up. While these options can be configured, they have been set up to have the best configuration by default and can be largely ignored except for tinkering specific to the question you are asking.
In the Answers fields (3) you can configure: the answers available within the slide. Again, changes made in the Content text fields here automatically update in the content preview window. Let Ed know which of the answers are correct via the Correct checkbox; if it’s checked then it’s right.
You can add or remove answers as required (4). The minimum amount of answers available in a Multiple Choice slide is 2 and the maximum is 8. To add an answer, simply click Add a section, and to remove one, click Remove this section!
Scrolling down within the content editor you can see further configuration fields. Editing the contents of the Answer Text field (5) alters the text which displays within the takeaway popup. You can also optionally alter the reinforcement which appears when a user gets a question right or wrong (although this isn’t required) (6).
A Core Message can be set to appear at the bottom of the takeaway (7). Displaying in a larger font, this can be used to further reiterate the key message of the slide.
The Prompt field (8) which tells users how to interact with the template content can optionally be edited. 99% of the time this should be left as is, however it can be updated to better reflect what you are asking them to do (particularly useful when configuring game templates).
Unique to Multiple Choice amongst interactive templates, the Time Limit (ms) field (9) lets you set how long a user has to answer the question. By default the time limit feature is turned off. To turn it on, type the length of time (in milliseconds) you want to allow for answering the question.
Finally, the Star Reward field (10) allows you to configure the number of stars awarded for a correct answer. In the above example, we’ve set this to 1, and the answer “True” as correct. Therefore if the user answers “True” to this question when they see it in the app, they will be rewarded with 1 star.
The content navigation bar
The content navigation bar is found on the righthand side of the lesson editor. It gives you a quick overview of every slide currently contained within your lesson (1), displaying the Title and Answer fields of slides where applicable.
You can also change the order of slides within the lesson by dragging and dropping them to reposition within the content navigation bar. To go directly to editing a slide, simply click on it within the bar. The slide you are currently editing is highlighted (2).
Additionally displaying next to each slide in the content navigation bar are two icons; a cog and a bin (3). Clicking on the bin icon removes the slide, while clicking on the cog opens the LMS template library, to allow selection of a new template to apply to that slide. Be aware that changing a slide’s template removes all information which has been input to the previously used template.
An Exit slide is included in every lesson (4). It can’t be removed, and always appears at the end of the lesson (to ensure that users can finish their content). You can optionally alter the text which appears on the slide.
Finally the Add a new slide button (5) allows you to create a new slide after the slide which you are currently editing. It automatically opens the LMS template library for you to select which template you want to apply to the slide.
LMS template library
The LMS template library contains all of the templates which you can use to build your lesson. At the top you can navigate which category you want to choose from (1), be it Content tempates or interactive templates such as Concepts, Game, Multiple Choice, Numbers and Relationships. Browse what’s available to see what you think would suit your lesson.
To help you figure out which template works for your situation, you can interact with each of the templates from within the template library (2). Once you’re happy with your selection, click on the name of the template (3) to add it to your lesson.