Using the Lesson Plan Editor
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Written by Naf
Updated over a week ago

Using the Lesson Plan Editor

Course Builder's Lesson Plan Editor shows the most common settings for a lesson plan—things like activity titles and durations, poll questions, and breakout prompts—in a form-like interface.

You’ll be shown a form that prompts you to customize or fill in the core settings for the lesson—things like activity titles, poll questions, and breakout prompts.

More complex configuration options, such as Forum stage layouts and the specific elements that appear there, are hidden by default. These can be accessed at any time by toggling the "View All Settings" switch in the top right. To learn more about editing these options see: Editing All Settings.

The two editor modes—All Settings View and Default View—offer complementary features for the same underlying lesson plan. You can switch back and forth at any time using the switch at the top right.

(Default) Lesson Plan Editor view

All Settings view

The rest of this article is about the view when the View All Settings switch is turned OFF. Visit Editing All Settings below for more information about other lesson plan settings.

Navigating the timeline

On the left side of the editor window is the Outline View of the lesson plan. Click on any of the blue links to display the corresponding step in the main editing area on the right side of the window. A blue triangle appears next to the currently displayed step.

Editing outcomes

To add or remove learning outcomes attached to a single lesson plan, use the Outcomes field in the "Basic Class Info" section at the top of the lesson plan. Begin typing the name of a learning outcome and the field will autocomplete with any that are attached to the syllabus.

Note: This interface will not allow you to attach new learning outcomes to the syllabus overall. To do that, return to the Syllabus Editor.

Editing activity and step titles

To edit the title of an activity or a step, hover over it and click the pencil icon that appears. Type your changes and press Enter on your keyboard to save them.

Private/Instructor-only content

Some fields have a white background and others have a light purple background as pictured below.

  • Content entered in fields with a white background will be visible to students (the light gray placeholder content will not).

  • Content entered in the light purple fields will be visible only to the instructor.

When you use a template to create your lesson plan, this content will be pre-generated, but you can edit or add to these notes as you see fit.

Required fields

Some fields require content before the lesson plan can be published to Forum. Incomplete fields are marked with an orange dot in the Outline View (left side of the screen) and a red border around the content field in the main editing area (right side of the screen).

Typically, this will include Breakouts, Poll Questions, and slide content for each activity.

Choose a Step Option

Some activities in our templates require choosing a Step Option.

The choices are as follows:

  • Debrief: Discussion with Whiteboard

    • This option will create a whiteboard to facilitate discussion for this step. When this step is selected in the Forum Classroom, the whiteboard will appear on the stage.

  • Debrief: Discussion

    • This option will not create any resources for this step. When this step is selected in the Forum Classroom, the stage can be filled with student videos (if taught virtually), or will be left empty (if taught in-person).

  • Debrief: Feature <Name of Breakout> Group

    • When this step is selected in the Forum Classroom, the instructor will be asked to pick a Breakout resource to share with the class. The instructor can switch back and forth between groups’ resources. This is a good option to show how different groups approached the same problem, or for giving students the opportunity to explain their work to the class.

Collapsing/expanding a step

Click the caret icon to the left of an activity to collapse or expand the view.

Tip: Collapse activities that you’ve finished editing to help focus your attention and scroll more quickly between activities.

Automatic slide updating

If you create a lesson plan from a template, your lesson plan will usually be populated with slides for the Lesson Introduction, Activity Learning Goals, and a Session Summary.

These slides will be automatically populated based on the data you provide in the lesson plan. Below is an example of an automatically generated slide for a Lesson Introduction.

The content is automatically generated based on the slide type:

  • Lesson Introduction slides contain the Unit, Topic, Learning Outcomes attached to the plan, and all Activity Learning Goals in the entire lesson.

  • Activity Learning Goal slides contain the text from the “Activity Learning Goal” section of the slide’s activity.

  • Session Summary slides contain the Learning Outcomes attached to the plan and all Activity Learning Goals in the entire lesson.

Note: Automatic updating on a slide is disabled if you ever manually edit that slide.

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