The Lesson activity is a powerful tool for delivering instructional content to students on GauchoSpace. It can be as simple as an ordered series of instructional material or as complex as an interactive lesson with flexible content that adjusts to student participation. The Lesson Activity requires a lot of preparation and prior planning, so it is best to have instructional material ready before creating the lesson in GauchoSpace.
This guide is organized around four important tasks to complete in order to construct a Lesson Activity in GauchoSpace.
Stages of Constructing a Lesson activity:
- Add the activity to your course site.
- Edit the activity to include instructional content.
- Add questions for students to answer.
- Adjust the administration settings, lesson flow, and grading as needed.
Similar to constructing a quiz or using the feedback tool in GauchoSpace, the Lesson activity requires that you first add the activity to your GauchoSpace site and then enter the activity to add instructional content, questions, etc.
To add a Lesson activity to your course site:
- Log in to GauchoSpace and enter your course site.
- Click Turn editing on.
- In the week or block where you want to add the Lesson, click Add an activity or resource.
- Go to the "All" tab and then select Lesson.
- Give the Lesson a name by entering it into the text field.
- You can edit the Lesson administration settings later*; but if you want to keep this activity hidden from students, click Common module settings to expand the options for that area, and then use the drop-down menu next to Visible to select Hide.
- Click Save and return to course (or, click Save and display to begin adding content and questions).
*Note: With the exception of visibility to students, it is generally recommended to adjust the Lesson Administration Settings for appearance, preconditions for access, etc. after the entire Lesson, including its contents and questions, has been created.
Once you have created the Lesson activity in GauchoSpace, you can click on the Lesson itself to view a preview and begin to add instructional content.
To add instructional content to a Lesson:
- Click Add a content page. This will open a new page for you to edit.
- Give the content page a title.
- In the Page contents text field, enter the instructional content that you want students to view.
- Check or uncheck the boxes next to Arrange content buttons horizontally and Display in menu.
- Arrange content buttons horizontally: Content buttons, or Jump buttons, navigate students to the next page in the lesson. Instructors can design the lesson with multiple content buttons to allow for more navigation options, such as returning to a previous page, jumping to a new page, or continuing with the linear path of the lesson, to name a few.
- Display in menu: Instructors may optionally include a page menu, like a Table of Contents. The setting to enable or disable the menu is in the Lesson administration settings. Selecting Display in menu will include the content page title in the lesson menu.
Note: As you create more content and question pages, the titles of those pages will become options in the drop-down menu next to Jump. Therefore, you may need to create all of your content pages first, and then return to each one to modify the jump button navigation settings.
Example Content Page
Below, the example depicts a "Start" page for a lesson. The Page contents provide an overview of the lesson, and then the Jump button takes students to another page where the lesson begins.
Here is what the page looks like in Preview mode:
If you want students to answer questions before moving forward or finishing the lesson, then you will need to add one or more Question pages.
To add a question page to a lesson:
- From your main course page, click on the Lesson itself to open it.
- Click the Edit tab to open the editing pane in an expanded view.
- In the region where you want to add a Question page, click Add a question page here. This will open a new page.
- Use the drop-down menu to select a question type (e.g., essay, matching, multichoice, numerical, short answer, or multiple choice).
- Click Add a question page. This will take you to a new page.
- Depending on the question type you have selected for this question page, the editing fields will be slightly different. Enter the instructions for students, as well as the question(s) they should answer.
- If applicable, enter the correct answers in the answer fields.
- If applicable, indicate the point value of each question on this page.
- Click Save page.
A feature of the Lesson Activity is creating a Lesson Cluster, or a group of question pages appearing in a different order for each student. Click here to learn more about Lesson Clusters.
Example Question Page
All question pages require a Page title and Page contents. The example below is an essay question page, asking students to respond to four questions about a picture before moving on to the next page in the lesson.
Here is what the page looks like in Preview mode:
The way you modify Lesson administration settings will depend on your preferences and instructional goals, so what follows in this section of the Lesson Activity Guide is an explanation of each setting in Lesson Administration.
When you create a lesson activity in GauchoSpace, there are lesson administration settings that determine the general appearance, availability, and preconditions for access. Additional settings, including lesson content, assessment questions, etc. must be accessed by entering and editing within the lesson activity.
- Name: Required. This is the name of your lesson (e.g., Literary Elements)
- Description: A description of your lesson.
- Display description on the course page: Checking this box will make the description appear on the main course page.
Click Show More... to see all Appearance settings.
- Linked Media: You can include a link to a file (e.g., containing a problem set or reading) for students to access as part of the lesson.
- Progress bar: Selecting Yes from the drop-down menu will display a bar at the bottom of the lesson page. The progress bar will communicate how far into the lesson the student has reached.
- If lessons contain content pages only (i.e., no additional Question pages), the progress bar will not reset if a student wishes to participate in the lesson more than once. Additional interactions with the lesson will read 100% completion on the progress bar, no matter where in the lesson the student is.
- If lessons contain Content pages AND Question pages AND the Re-take setting is enabled, the progress bar will reset to 0% upon reentry to the lesson.
- The progress bar only works for lessons with a linear navigation (e.g., page 1 --> page 2 --> 3, etc.). If you include conditional navigation (e.g., if [___answer], then [___page], the progress bar will not work.
- Display ongoing score: Selecting Yes will allow students to see their scores as they work through the lesson.
- Display menu: Selecting Yes will show a list of the pages (Table of Contents) in the lesson.
- Minimum grade to display menu: If selected, a menu displaying all of the pages in the lesson will be revealed once a student has earned a particular grade on the lesson. This way, a student may review particular pages from the lesson.
- Slideshow: If selected, the lesson will display as a slideshow, with a fixed height and width.
- Maximum number of answers: This setting affects the answer boxes available in the settings of your question and content pages.
- Use default feedback: If selected, students will see a Moodle response (“That’s not the correct answer”) for particular questions.
- Link to next activity: Instructors may select course activities from the drop-down menu. When students reach the end of the lesson, they may click the link and be directed to the next course activity.
As with other course activities, you can set a start and end date for your lesson.
- Time Limit: The instructor may indicate a time limit for the lesson. Students will see a countdown timer as they complete the lesson. When the timer ends, students may continue work on the lesson, but answers are no longer scored.
- Password protected lesson: Instructors may set a password for access to the lesson.
- Dependent on: This allows the present lesson to be dependent on student performance on another lesson in the same course (note: the drop-down menu will only display lessons already created in the course).
- Time spent: An instructor may or may not indicate how long a student should have spent on the previous lesson to be ready for the present one.
- Completed: Check this box if the student needed to have completed the previous lesson as a prerequisite to the present one.
- Grade better than: The present lesson will be available only if the student earned a grade better than the percentage indicated in this text field.
In the Flow Control settings, instructors can determine the ways students navigate through the lesson. It is in this area where instructors can designate whether the larger lesson path will be linear or conditional (e.g., whether students may review work, whether they can complete pages out of order, etc.).
- Allow student review: Selecting this option will place a “Review Lesson” button on the last screen of the lesson. Students may then repeat the lesson, but will only be able to view (i.e., not change) their previous responses.
- Provide option to try a question again: This displays a button after an incorrectly answered question so that the student can try again (but not get credit for it).
- Tip: Leave this off if you are using essay or short answer questions.
- Maximum number of attempts: Using this drop-down menu, instructors may indicate how many attempts students can make on each question. Upon reaching the maximum, students will be directed to the next page.
- Note: When Provide an option to try a question again (above) is set to No, students will be able to retake the question as many times as it is set here, with a score penalty. When set to Yes, then students will be able to retake the question as many times as allowed without a score penalty.
- Action after a correct answer: This is where you can indicate the path for questions. After a student correctly answers a question, the action may be:
- Normal – follow lesson path (students will be directed to the next part of the lesson)
- Show an unseen page – Pages are shown in random order, but no page is viewed more than once.
- Show an unanswered page – Pages are shown in random order, but pages with unanswered questions may be displayed more than once.
Lessons may be graded, in which case a grade item will appear in the grade book, or they may be designated as practice lessons and there will be no corresponding grade book item.
- Grade: Indicate the grading value (point, scale, etc.).
- Grade category: This lesson activity will generate a grade item in the grade book. Indicate which category should house this lesson.
- Practice Lesson: If selected, no grade item will be created in the grade book.
- Custom scoring: With this option, instructors can give a particular number score to each answer (so students may earn partial credit).
- Re-takes allowed: Select this if students are allowed to complete the lesson more than once. Note: This setting only applies to lessons containing Question pages. Lessons consisting only of Content pages can be re-taken even if Re-takes allowed is set to No.
- Handling of re-takes: If re-takes are allowed, this setting specifies whether the grade for the lesson is the mean or maximum of all attempts. Note: The Question Analysis always uses the answers from the first attempts of the lesson. Re-takes by students are ignored.
- Minimum number of questions: This setting specifies the minimum number of questions that will be used to calculate a grade for the activity. Students will be told how many they have answered and how many more they need to answer.
- Note: If you are using only Content pages, then set this number to 0 (the default).
*General Tip: To test the lesson before making it available to students, use a real (or alias/test) student account, rather than switching from the Instructor role to Student role. The switch to student view may not be accurate, but a test-student account will be.
For more information, view the Moodle Docs for the Lesson Activity.