The first step in course creation is making sure your user account has the correct privileges on your Platform. To check, log in to your platform, then click the Courses tab in the main navigation. In the upper right corner of the page, you should see a Create New Course button. If this doesn't appear for you, please contact us so we can set you up with this ability.
Creating Your First Course
- Full Name - Enter the full name of your new course. This will show up on the course link and on reports.
- Short Name - this is a shorthand way of referring to a course, such as ENG102 or COMMS. This name will be used several places where the long name is not appropriate.
- Catalog - Select which course catalog you would like your course to exist in. Users can browse by catalog on the Courses page of your platform.
- Category - Select which category you would like your course to exist in. Users can further browse by category on the courses page of your platform. Depending on your permissions on a catalog, you may be able to add more categories to the catalog. If you have any questions, please ask a Global Classroom Administrator.
- Summary/Description - Enter a description of your course here. This information will show up when a user browses courses on the Courses page of your platform.
- Course Format - This refers to the layout of your course. The list of course formats to choose from are:
- Weekly format - This course is organized week by week with a clear start date and finish date. A section will be created for each week of your course.
TIP: If you want all your students to work on the same materials at the same time, this is a good format choice.
- Topics format - This course is organized into numbered topic sections.
TIP: This is a good choice if your course is objective based and if each objective may take different amounts of time to complete.
- Social format - This format is oriented around one main course forum which appears listed on the main page. It is useful for situations that are more free form.
TIP: This is a good option if you have a large SCORM package that you want to use as an entire course. Your students will only be able to interact with the SCORM package.
- Number of weeks/topics - This setting is ONLY used by the weekly and topics course formats. In the weekly format, it specifies the number of weeks that the course will run for, starting from the course start date. In the topics format, it specifies the number of topics in the course. Both of these translate to the number of sections down the middle of a course page.
- Start Date - This setting affects the display of logs and the weekly format topic dates. The start date will appear in the first section of the course. This will not affect courses using the social or topics formats.
- Cost - If you choose to charge a cost for enrollment into your course, you can set the price here. Users will have to make a Paypal powered transaction in order to become a student in your course. The owner and Global Classroom fees can vary, please ask a Global Classroom Administrator if you have any questions.
- Enrollment Key - If you do not set a price on a course, you can use the enrollment key to restrict course access to certain users. If this is set, when a user clicks on your course, they will have to enter this value to enroll in your course.
- Is Visible? - If this value is checked, your course will be visible to users on your platform. When unchecked, this box will hide the course until you are ready for users to see your course on the Course page.
A course page has left and right side columns for course blocks, and a center column for all course resources and materials. Here are some important parts of the course page:
- The main navigation tabs are on the course page, and you can quickly go back to your Dashboard, Pages, Groups, or Courses pages by clicking them.
- The platform's chat and messaging systems are in the upper right corner of the page. To chat with a user or send a message, click on the appropriate icons.
- There is a default block layout for a catalog which includes a My Courses, Settings, Search, Invite to Course, and Calendar block. As a teacher, you can add, delete, move, or edit these blocks to your liking. To perform these actions, you must first Turn Editing On, by clicking the appropriately named button in the upper right within the grey bar.
- ID number - The ID number is an alphanumeric field that is generally not displayed to students.
- Hidden sections - This option allows you to decide how the hidden sections in your course are displayed to students.
- News items to show - How many news items should show in the Latest News block. If set to 0, the latest news block won't appear.
- Show gradebook to students - This controls if all grades within the course can be seen in the Grades page, which is available from the main course page.
- Show activity reports - These reports show a student's activity and contributions in the current course. You can turn off student access to these reports using this toggle.
- Maximum upload size - This setting defines the largest size of file that can be uploaded by students.
- Group mode - This setting allows you to group the students in your course. The options are:
- No groups - There are no sub groups, and everyone is part of one big community.
- Separate groups - Each group can only see their own group, others are invisible.
- Visible groups - Each group works in their own group, but can also see other groups. (The other groups' work is read-only.)
- Force group mode - If the group mode is forced, than this mode will be applied to every activity in the course.
- Default grouping - Groupings are a set of groups that enable students to be arranged into different sets of groups for each activity. If a grouping is created, a default grouping for course activities and resources may be set with this option.
- Availability - This setting corresponds directly to the Is Visible? setting you selected upon initial course creation.
- Force language - If you force a language for the course, the interface of the course will be in the language you choose. If you do not see the language you desire here, contact your Catalog Administrator or a Global Classroom Administrator to have the language installed.
- Completion tracking - You can enable or disable completion tracking, which is a feature you can utilize to set prerequisite conditions on courses or activities to move forward in a course.
- Manual Enrollments - To enroll students manually, click the Enroll users icon on the far right of the row in the Edit column.
- Global Classroom - To edit a Global Classroom enrollment method, click the Edit icon on the far right of the row in the Edit column. The following settings are available for you:
- Enrollment Key - If you didn't supply a key during initial course creation, or want to change the key, here is where you can change it.
- Allow membership users to enroll in this course for free - If your platform supports memberships, you can allow registered members to enroll in your course for free, and skip the fee.
- Enroll Cost - The cost of your course. A potential user will have to pay this fee for self enrollment into your course.
- Assign role - The role that a user will be given upon enrollment. In most cases, this should be set to Student.
- Enrollment period - You can set a specific time range for a user to be enrolled in your course.
- Start date/End date - You can specify when enrollments become active and inactive for your course.
- Max enrolled users - You can set a maximum course user size.
- Send course welcome message - You can elect to send a custom course welcome message to all newly enrolled users. Customize this message with the following input box.
- File - A file is any document that you want to make available for your students, e.g. Word, Powerpoint, PDF, etc. NOTE: There may be a file size limit to your uploads.
- Click add a resource and select File from the dropdown.
- Enter a name and description.
- Click Add to bring up the File Picker. This is the standard interface that most users will use to manage their files or repositories. Some standard repositories are:
- Server files - files on the site. What you see here depends on your role in the course and your permissions in various system wide contexts.
- Recent files - files that the LMS thinks you have recently added.
- Upload files - This is where you click to upload files and folders from your computer.
- Private files - files that belong to the user.
- Choose your Display type. Selecting Automatic can help prevent user problems with using different browsers, or not having the correct plugins to open your file.
- Click Save and return to course.
- Folder - A folder allows you to display several course resources together. The resources may be of different types and they may be uploaded in one go, as a zipped folder which is then unzipped, or they may be added one at a time to an empty folder on your course page. Clicking on the folder icon, once created, will display a tree list of the resources.
- The Folder resource editing interface is very similar to the File resource. To manipulate the files in the folder, click on the icon next to each file or folder to Zip, Rename, Move, or Delete the file.
- Label - A label serves as a spacer on a course page. You can use it to display text, images, multimedia, or code in between other resources or activities in a section. Labels can improve the appearance of a course if used thoughtfully. NOTE: Over-use of multimedia (sound, video, etc) in labes can slow down the loading of your course page. To use a Label:
- Click add a resource and select Label from the dropdown.
- Enter a name and description.
- Type your chosen words or add your resources. See here for suggestions about using labels in your course.
- Click Save and return to course.
- Page - A page resource creates a link to a screen that displays the content created by the teacher. This resource could be used instead of uploading a word-processed document if that document contains text that is only meant to be read and not downloaded. This resource is just like a Label resource, only the Page resource opens up in a new window, and is displayed on the main course page like a normal resource or activity link. See the Label instructions for instructions on creating a page.
- URL - This resource type will use any external URL you specify and try to display it the best it can, either via embedded page/file, popup window, or automatic download. You can either force this decision if you know which file works best for the display type, or let the LMS handle the decision for you.
- Click add a resource and select URL from the dropdown.
- Enter a name and description.
- Enter the full external URL of the resource, website, or document. If there is a configured repository that can return external files, you can click the Choose a link button.
- Choose the Display type. If set to Automatic, the LMS will decide based on the type of file linked and the users browser plugin settings to display the URL in the best way.
- Click Save and return to course.
- Video URL - This resource works the same as the URL resource, except that this resource is modified to cleanly handle links to video files, namely mp4 files and HTML5 video codecs. To try out the Video URL resource, follow the same steps as the URL resource.
- Assignment - The assignment module allows teachers to collect work from students, review it and provide feedback and grades. Students can submit any digital content, e.g. word-processed documents, spreadsheets, images, audio, and video clips. Assignments don't necessarily have to consist of file uploads. Teachers can ask students to type directly into an online text assignments. There are four types of assignments:
- Upload a single file - A student can upload a single file. Multiple files can be zipped and then submitted. After students upload their files in this arrangement, the teacher can open the submission and use the interface to assign a grade and offer feedback comments.
- Advanced uploading of files - Options include multiple file submission, allowing students to type a message alongside their submission & returning a file as feedback.
- Online text - This assignment type asks students to compose and edit text using the editing tools. This can be set up to allow students to compose, revise, and edit over time, or to allow students only one opportunity to enter a response. Teachers can grade the work online and even edit/provide comments within the student's work.
- Offline activity - This is useful for an assignment performed outside of the LMS. Students can see a description of the assignment, grading works normally, and students will receive notification of their grades.
- Forum - The forum module is an activity where students and teachers can exchange ideas by posting comments. Forum posts can be graded by the teacher or other students. Forums in a course are separate from forums within groups in the community area of our platform. There are five forum types to choose from:
- A single simple discussion - A single topic discussion developed on one page, which is useful for short focused discussions.
- Standard forum for general use - An open forum where anyone can start a new topic at any time; this is the best general purpose forum.
- Each person posts one discussion - Each person can post exactly one new discussion topic (everyone can reply to them though). This is useful when you want each student to start a discussion about, say, their reflections on the week's topic, and everyone else response to these discussions.
- Q and A forum - Instead of initiating discussions, participants pose a question in the initial post of a discussion. Students may reply with an answer, but will not see the replies of other students to that question in that discussion until they have themselves replied to the same discussion.
- Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format
Other options include:
- Setting a subscription mode for the forum
- Enable Read Tracking, allowing students to read and un-read posts
- Grading based on rating by a scale, combined with how all ratings are combined to form the final grade
- Glossary - The glossary activity allows participants to create and maintain a list of definitions, like a dictionary. The entries can be searched or browsed in different formats. It can be collaborative or entries only made by the teacher. You can categorize entries. The auto-linking feature will highlight any word in the course which is located in the glossary. Site wide glossaries can be created that work in all courses.
- Lesson - The lesson module presents a series of HTML pages to a student, who is usually asked to make some sort of choice underneath the content area. The choice will send them to a specific page in the Lesson. In a Lesson's page simplest form, the student can select a continue button at the bottom of the page, which will send them to the next page in the lesson. There are 2 basic lesson page types that a student will see: question pages and content pages. There are also several advanced navigational pages which can meet more specialized needs of the Teacher. The Lesson module was designed to be adaptive and to use a student's choices to create a self directed lesson.
The significant difference between a Lesson and other activity modules available comes from its adaptive ability. With the Lesson module, each choice a student makes can show a different teacher response/comment and send the student to a different page in the lesson. Thus with planning, the Lesson module can customize the presentation of content and questions to each student, with no further action required by the teacher.
Other options include:
- Setting a time limit, availability, and deadline
- Assigning grades and grade options
- Lesson flow control
- Pop up to a file or web page
- Activity dependency
- Quiz - The Quiz module allows the teacher to design and build quizzes consisting of a large variety of question types. These questions are kept in the question bank and can be re-used in different quizzes. Quizzes can be configured to allow multiple attempts. Each attempt at a question is automatically marked, and the teacher can choose whether to give feedback and/or show the correct answers. The Quiz can display feedback and scores at different times during a quiz based on review options. There is a wide variety of Quiz reports available for a teacher. A single quiz can automatically select random questions from different categories of questions. A teacher can determine the number of questions per page, the position of questions, and insert labels with information at any place between questions. There are a large amount of Quiz options. Please refer to this page to get an in depth rundown of all the Quiz options.
- Survey - The Survey module is a course activity that provides a number of verified survey instruments, including COLLES (Constructivist OnLine Learning Environment Survey) and ATTLS (Attitudes to Thinking and Learning Survey), which have been found useful in assessing and stimulating learning in online environments. Teachers can use these to gather data from their students that will help them learn about their class and reflect on their own teaching. Currently, our LMS only offers specific types of surveys. The survey types include:
- COLLES - Constructivist OnLine Learning Environment Survey - The COLLES comprises an economical 24 statements grouped into six scales, each of which helps us address a key question about the quality of the online learning environment:
- Relevance - How relevant is online learning to students' professional practices?
- Reflection - Does online learning stimulate students' critical reflective thinking?
- Interactivity - To what extent do students engage online in rich educative dialogue?
- Tutor Support - How well do tutors enable students to participate in online learning?
- Peer Support - Is sensitive and encouraging support provided online by fellow students?
- Interpretation - Do students and tutors make good sense of each other's online communications?
The COLLES has been designed to enable you to monitor the extent to which you are able to exploit the interactive capacity of the World Wide Web for engaging students in dynamic learning practices.
- ATTLS - Attitudes to Thinking and Learning Survey - The theory of 'ways of knowing', originally from the field of gender research provides us with a survey tool to examine the quality of discourse within a collaborative environment. The ATTLS is an instrument to measure the extent to which a person is a 'connected knower' (CK) or a 'separate knower' (SK). People with higher CK scores tend to find learning more enjoyable, and are often more cooperative, congenial, and more willing to build on the ideas of others. Those with higher SK scores tend to take a more critical and argumentative stance to learning. Studies have shown that these two learning styles are independent of each other. Additionally they are only a reflection of learning attitudes, not learning capacities or intellectual power.