To update class information for a class session in Forum, you must make those changes to the corresponding lesson plan in Course Builder and publish the lesson plan. Any edits made and published to the lesson plan will be visible to all users who have access to that class.

Note that viewing, editing and publishing lesson plans in Course Builder is dependent on your course role. For more information on roles, see this article.

Understanding the lesson plan page

The lesson plan page has a few key navigational elements. The below numbers correspond to the numbers displayed in the above screenshot.

  1. The top bar of the lesson plan page contains information about the course, lesson plan number, lesson plan title and total duration of the lesson plan.

  2. These tabs allow you to switch among three different views:

    1. Edit LP: This is the default view where you can make edits to the LP

    2. View LP: This is a preview of the PDF LP that is displayed in Forum

    3. Resources: This is where you can create and manage resources used in the LP, such as Pre-Class Workbooks, breakout resources, and more

  3. Basic Class Information is where you can set information displayed on the Forum Class page, such as Pre-Class Work. Fields that are visible to only instructors or instructors and students are marked as such (e.g. Purpose of Today's Session is visible only to instructors).

  4. This is the timeline for the lesson plan. The timeline represents the order and groupings of activities and steps that the instructor will go through when in the Forum classroom. Click on each step or activity to view more of its details.

Adding Activities and Steps

Editing lesson plans will mainy consist of adding or updating Activities and Steps. As an instructor in the Forum Classroom, you'll progress through one step at a time. The Activity is just a grouping to help organize many steps. For example, an Activity called "Class Introduction" could consist of Steps such as a round of introductions a course overview slide, and a slide introducing the learning objectives of the class. See screenshot below of this Activity page with different Steps.

To add an Activity, click the Add an Activity button at the bottom of the lesson plan timeline. To add a step, click the Add a Step green button at the bottom of the Activity page:

From there, you can choose which pre-made Activity or Step to add to the lesson plan.

Adding resources to a lesson plan

In the resources tab of the lesson plan editor you can edit existing resources or add new resources for use in the class. Uses in class include as breakout notes or featured on the main stage.

To edit an existing resource, select that resource from the current list of resources in the left hand menu.

To add or create a new resource, open the drop down menu Choose resource type under Create a new Resource. You can create new resources that are listed in this dropdown menu (e.g., Google Documents, Whiteboard, Python notebook,), link secure urls (i.e., “https”) to show in class, or upload a resource from your computer. File types allowed for upload include: pdf, jpg, png.

Using text boxes in the lesson plan editor

Text boxes throughout the lesson plan editor generally feature the same capabilities:

  • Formatting capabilities (all located in the text box toolbar): Create headers, add bulleted lists, add numerical lists, create blockquotes, create code blocks, bold text, italicize text, underline text, insert a link (i.e., select a portion of text and select “insert link” and add the url for the link in the pop-up window), insert an image (i.e., select “insert image”, follow instructions in the pop-up window to add an image from your computer or from a url).

  • Images cannot be resized in the text boxes, so select smaller images to insert.

Exceptions to the above:

  • Poll question text box: any formatting, images, or links added to this text box do not translate in Forum where the poll question is viewed. Best practices are to include only text in the poll question (bold, italics and underlining text is fine) and feature any images, bulleted lists, or links in a separate resource onstage during the poll (e.g., in a 2-up with the poll on one side and the resource on the other side).

  • Slide editor works differently than the other text boxes.

Note the visibility of each text box in the bottom right corner. If “Visible only to faculty” the text box is visible only in the lesson plan PDF, which students do not see. If “Visible to faculty and students” students will see the text in Forum, either on their dashboards (e.g., pre-class work, readings why/use) or in class.

Stealing the lock

To avoid editing conflicts, Course Builder only allows one user to make edits to a page at a time. It also will try to ensure that there are no conflicting edits made by the same user. Lesson plans are "locked" in order to avoid these editing conflicts.

If you have a lesson plan open in one tab and try to work on the same one in another, you'll see the below message. Before you choose Open, make sure you have not made any changes you'd like to save on the other tab. Otherwise, those changes will be lost.

You'll see a similar modal if someone else has the same lesson plan open. In this case, the modal will display the name of the person who has the lesson plan open. Be sure to reach out to the person listed before stealing the lock from them. Otherwise, the changes they are working on will be lost.

Saving changes to a lesson plan

Changes to a lesson plan are automatically saved. There is no need to explicitly save any changes. You'll see Saving... text at the top left of the page to signify that changes are being saved. If there are any issues with saving, the page will display an alert.

Publishing a lesson plan

Publishing changes on a lesson plan will push those changes to all corresponding sections in Forum. To learn more about the relationship between Forum and Course Builder, see this article.

Only reviewers (and admins) can publish a lesson plan to Forum. If you do not see the button to publish, make sure you have the correct role.

Make sure you do not publish a lesson plan close to the start time of any class, across all sections, that use this lesson plan. Lesson plans can take up to 4+ hours to publish, and publishing changes during a class can cause severe issues for participants during the class.

To publish a lesson plan:

  • Make sure that the course has been published to Forum already, and that the section information has been correctly set up. This requires entering in the section start date, weekly meeting times, etc.

  • Click on the cloud icon in the top right of the lesson plan page

  • Verify the lesson plan to ensure there are no errors

    • If needed, fix any errors in the lesson plan

  • Click on the cloud icon again and click Publish

Adding and viewing comments

Only authors, reviewers and admins can leave comments on a lesson plan in Course Builder.

To add a comment, hover over the right margins of the lesson plan until you see a comment bubble appear. Click on the comment bubble, type in your comment and save. You can also view comments from your colleagues by clicking on existing comment bubbles. The numbers in the existing comment bubbles represent how many comments are in the thread.

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