Welcome! Congrats on being ready to build your first course in Classroom! We recommend following these instructions closely so you gain the context and comfort necessary to learn how the LMS works. Once you go through building one or two courses, you'll be a pro!
1. Add a Course
First, we will go to the Learning Center and hit Courses. Once you land on your Courses page, you will click the Add Course button.
2. Fill in General Course Details
Next, fill in the general details for this course.
There are two spots to insert course descriptions:
- The short description appears at-a-glance to the learner after the course is packaged (i.e., published) to your LMS front end. It only appears to non-bundled packages (packages with only 1 course). Short descriptions are text-only (must be less than 256 characters).
- The long description appears when a learner chooses to see course details. The long description is a rich-text entry, so images, video, and embed are supported. If no long description exists, but a short description does, the short description will appear in place of the long description.
If your course requires a Frequently Asked Questions page, fill out this optional information. If no information is entered, learners will not see any indication of the FAQ.
Classroom comes with several preset levels – Beginner, Standard, Advanced and Expert. If you would like a unique level description, make up your own. You may also want to use this label for a different reason entirely. For example, you may choose to use this label to identify sessions from a specific conference.
Choose the required completion order for courses by assigning a prerequisite course from the drop-down menu. Prerequisites are enforced in the admin Preview.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
CEUs may be added to any course. First select the Add CEU button. If, at any time, you would like to remove CEUs from a course, select the Remove button to the right of any CEU row.
Either create a new CEU type, or choose an existing type from the drop-down list. Many groups use abbreviations for CEU types, but admins are not limited to abbreviations. You may use words, symbols and spaces.
Next enter the number of units your course is worth. Courses may be worth fractional units. For example, if your course is 1 hour and 30 minutes long, you might choose 1.5.
Finally, if your CEU should expire after a certain amount of time, you can add in the amount of days after which that earned credit should expire for the learner. When that credit is earned, it will create an expiration date for that learner based on the date the learner earned it.
Courses may have multiple CEU types.
3. Build Your Course: Adding a Lesson
Now let's get all of the collateral built out so you can get this course closer to completion. If you utilized our article on determining content, you are officially ahead of the game. Getting your content inventoried and organized will ensure you have an easy time uploading everything and, most importantly, that your learner has a clear pathway created for them to absorb and retain information.
To being setting up your lessons and assessments within the course you just created, click the name of the course on the page
On the screen that follows, the first thing you will do is name your first chapter where it says "Title." Hit the Enter key after doing so. When you see the green check mark, you know the chapter title has saved.
Next let's head under Session and click Add Lesson. Give your lesson a name and hit Enter. When you see the green check mark, you know the lesson title has been saved. Then, click the blue icon with the pencil on it to upload your media and configure all conditions.
Good to Know: Classroom divides lessons into two types:
- A text lesson uses the rich-text entry titled “Text Content." Content may include text, pictures, movies smaller than 25mb, embed code, links or inline html. Text content always displays above the media files and PDF lesson material.
- A media lesson has a single video or audio file uploaded into the “Media File” section in addition to possible information in the rich-text entry. Adding a media file converts your lesson into a media lesson, requiring the use of a video or audio file. Files permitted for upload are: mp4, ogv, webm, flac, m4a, mp3, ogg and wav under 1 GB. Media content is always displayed after text content and before pdf lesson materials.
To upload your video, click "Select File." This will pull up a list of media files you've uploaded to your Content Library. If you have uploaded the course video to the library already, you can use the search option at the top to locate it using any key word in the file name. Once you've located the right file, just click Select and the video will be attached to your course. If you need to upload a video, click "Upload file from computer, and choose the correct file from your computer. You will see an upload status bar, as well as a preview of your video as it uploads. Once uploading is complete, click Select to attach the video to your course.
Best practice: create a naming convention for your files that make organizational sense to you so you can easily locate them within the library.
By default, media lessons require the learner to complete 85% percent of the video content to proceed. Admins may remove this requirement entirely or change the percent required for each lesson. Choosing a percentage will restrict a learner from moving on to the next component until they have watched the video to your specifications.
After you have uploaded your text content and media file, you can enter the amount of time you estimate the learner will spend consuming the lesson content. If the amount equals zero, then no indication of time will be displayed.
Remember, all sessions must be contained in a chapter. Although content may be created within any chapter, the assigned chapter may only be edited within the session editors. The chapter dropdown displays all available chapters. If you ever need to reassign you session to a different chapter, just choose the new chapter from the dropdown and it will be rearranged for you.
Once you build out more sessions, you will be able to select a session that needs to meet your outlined conditions (i.e., watching a certain percentage of a video or achieving a certain score on an assessment) in order to move on.
Good to Know: Prerequisites may only be sessions within the same course. Prerequisites are removed from an entire course if contents are rearranged with the action arrows on the course creator.
Best practice: To be be sure the course flow makes sense with the presence of prerequisites, it is a good idea to add them last.
Learners may also receive information from files uploaded to the lesson materials section. Upload files for the learner to download or read throughout the session. PDFs can be embedded and available for download, while other file types will not embed and would only available for download. If you only want items to embed within the page but not be available for download, you can uncheck the "Display attachments section". Note: This will remove the "attachments" section that displays on the screen of this lesson. However, depending on the browser and PDF reader that a user is utilizing, the ability to download a document from within the reader may still exist.
Make sure your content titles are descriptive since the learner will identify the files by their titles. You may upload any number of files, but each should be less than 20 MB.
Remember, to the learner, the order in which items display is: Text content, media file, and then lesson materials.
4. Build Your Course: Adding an Assessment
Assessments are collections of questions. Outside of Classroom, you may call them tests, quizzes, exams, pre-tests, knowledge checks or surveys.
To add an assessment after a lesson or at the end of a course's chapter, click Add Assessment, and give it a name. Press Enter.
Next, let's click the blue edit pencil next to the assessment to set up its conditions. Here is what you need to know to do that:
- Assessment Description: Fill this out to convey text, picture, links, embeds or small video information to your learner. This information will display on top if there is no Introduction media file ( more on that soon).
- Time/Attempt Limit: All assessments may have time or attempt limits. Entering ‘0’ in either field removes limits. A time limit displays as a countdown during the assessment. Time continues when the learner closes the browser or exits the assessment.
- Introduction Media File: This will display first to the learner if you choose to upload one. Simply choose your file, and then select Upload. Only mp4, ogv, webm, flac, m4a, mp3, ogg and wav files under 1 GB are permitted through this upload point.
- Assessment Type: Classroom divides assessments into two types, graded and ungraded. This means that a learner either may pass/fail an assessment with a required number of points/percentage, or will take the assessment with no summary information. Finishing an ungraded or passing a graded assessment may qualify an individual to receive a certificate.
- Chapter: This is where you tie an assessment to the chapter it belongs to.
- Passing Score: Graded assignments display options for selecting passing criteria and, within the question editor, answer points. By default, graded assignments are passed at 60%, but this value may be changed. You may also choose a specific number of points to pass an assessment, but the questions must be entered prior to making this selection accurately.
- Assessment Materials: These may be uploaded as files or through url addresses. These files will not be embedded, and are only available to download prior to the start of the assessment. Each file should be less than 20 MB.The learner will identify the files based upon the file names.
- Prerequisite: Prerequisites are selected within the individual assessment editor and dictate what lessons are to be completed before an assessment can be accessed.
- Default Answer Count: If you are entering questions manually, it saves time to make the default answer count the lower limit for your multiple-choice questions. Each question will begin with this number of empty responses.
- Shuffle Answers: For an assessment with many multiple-choice questions, put the answers in random order with the ‘Shuffle answers’ checkbox. This helps you avoid decisions about where the correct answer(s) should appear. If you use questions which rely on ordered solutions or True/False, ‘Shuffle answers’ may be disabled on an individual question with a similar checkbox. Shuffle answers does not affect current questions; it functions while creating new questions.
- Assessment Material: These may be uploaded as files or through url addresses. These will not be embedded and are only available to download prior to the start of the assessment. Each file should be less than 20 MB.The learner will identify the files based upon the file names.
- Results Share When: You can choose to share assessment results with the learner always, only upon passing, or never.
- Share What: When you choose to share assessment results "Always" or "Only Upon Passing," you can then choose what you want to share. You can choose as many of the following options as you'd like: Missed questions; Correct Answers; Point Values; and/or Pass/Fail and Score.
Now, let's load in your questions. If you click the Questions button, you will have several options for setting up questions and answers manually including:
Single Response - Text - This option allows your user to make a single selection from a set of answers you have created.
Single response - image - This option allows your user to make a single selection from a set of images you have uploaded
Multiple response - text - This option allows your user to make more than one selection from a set of answers you have created
Multiple response - image - This option allows your user to make more than one selection from a set of images you have uploaded
Open Response - This option allows the user to write in their own response to a question or prompt. Note: Unless there is an exact response that needs to be written in per the answer you provide and the learner will be scored according to their ability to type that exact response, you will instead want to leave the "Minimum points to pass question" for this question type as zero. This is so that the learner can type in a response of their own creation, but will not see this question as having "failed". The admin will be able to review and score after the assessment has been submitted.
Best practice: regardless of which method you use to get assessment questions and answers into the LMS, make sure you are always working off of a hard copy (doc, spreadsheet, etc.) that you can keep on your server as an answer key. It is not a best practice to create and manage assessment details in the LMS only.
You also have an option to Import questions from a .csv file. If you click Import, you will receive instructions on how to upload a full list of questions and answers so they easily go into your chosen assessment. Make sure you download the template so you are setting up the file correctly.
Adding Your Course to a Package
1. Publish Your Course
All the work you've done up until now has been to build the content of a course. You've added all the materials. Now, you need to package the course so that the finished product is published, making it visible to your learners on the front end of your LMS site. First, head to Store and then click Packages. Once you arrive on the Packages page, click Add Package.
Create a Package Name. Most of the time, you'll be creating a package that contains one course, so it's a best practice to copy/paste the name of the course as the Package Name. You can skip Subscription Description.
Duration is required, but 00:00:00 is entered by default. When the value is zero, no duration will be displayed on the front end.
Make sure the check box next to Active is checked if you want this Package to publish when you hit save. If you ever need to take away visibility on the front end for a course, simply unclick the box next to Active. If you would like for the package to be active for a predetermined amount of time, fill in the "From" and "To" with those pertinent dates and times.
You can skip both the "Registration" and "Visible only upon distribution" sections.
Under Courses, select the course (or courses) that you you'd like to be published into the selected package. As mentioned, most packages will contain one course, but you can also add multiple packages to create a bundle.
Under Level, you can select how you want to distinguish the package content to your learners. While these are not required, built-in levels are Beginner, Standard, Advanced and Expert. You can also create a custom level (ideas: Webinar, Podcast, Introduction, etc.).
In order to for the package to show on the front end, regardless of group/permission settings, click "Summary visible for all." This is a good idea if you'd like LMS visitors to see all of your offerings but gain access only to those packages that they are granted permission for (through Groups).
Next, select a group or groups that are able to have access to this package. Any learner inside the selected groups will be able to have access to the learning material. Those who may gain access to a package may include an association member (versus non-member) or someone who paid for the course through an AMS form or your own, standalone payment processor. You can skip "Guest login."
In the Tags area, you are able to type in any tags that you may want to include for each of your packages. These tags will appear with the package on the front end of the site, and will be searchable within your courses as well. As soon as you've created any tag by simply typing it in the box, that tag will then be stored and appear as a drop down going forward so you can tag additional packages in the future.
CONGRATS! You've built and packaged a course! Once saved and published, a package will appear as the below to the users that have permission to see it on your LMS site.