If you're working on a course for your students, there are times when you want to make sure that students have a good grasp of certain content before they're allowed to move ahead in the course. With our prerequisite lessons, you can now prevent students from skipping ahead in a course before they've completed all the content prior to those chapters! Read on for more information on how to do this.
Prerequisite lessons will prevent students from accessing the content in later chapters and instead, display a message that tells them which lessons need to be completed before they can move on. All chapters after a prerequisite lesson will not be accessible so that chapters are completed sequentially in the order you designed them to be taken!
Setting a lesson as a prerequisite
In your Course Builder, any of our lessons can now be set as a prerequisite for future chapters. What that means is that in order for a student to move past it, they will need to complete the lesson. For example, successfully passing a quiz or completing a survey, and then use the Next button to mark the lesson as completed.
To set a lesson as a prerequisite, just check off the Make this a prerequisite setting in the lesson itself and then don't forget to save your changes.
Once you've done that, the lesson will show up with a prerequisite label in both your Course Builder as seen above, and in the Course Player when you preview the course as a student.
If a student tries to move on to lessons in the chapters following the prerequisite lesson, the lessons will appear greyed out and display a message indicating to the student that they need to complete the prerequisite lesson(s) before they can view the lesson. The Course Player will display all prerequisite lessons in the chapter that the student needs to complete.
Customizing your prerequisite messaging
You can customize the text that your students see in the Course Player for for your prerequisite lessons by using the Modify Site Text feature. This is available under Settings > Learning content > Modify text: Learning content in your Admin Dashboard. From there, you are able to customize the following:
- The heading your students will see when they attempt to move forward without completing a prerequisite.
- The explanation your students will see when they attempt to move forward without completing a prerequisite.
- The label for prerequisite lessons that appears in the Course Player.
What happens if I have multiple prerequisite lessons in one chapter?
Your students will need to complete all prerequisite lessons in the chapter to move ahead to subsequent chapters. If they have only completed 1 of 2 prerequisite lessons in the first chapter, they will see a message letting them know to finish the incomplete prerequisite lesson if they try and access a lesson in the second chapter.
Does marking a video lesson as a prerequisite require the student to watch the whole video?
With online courses, there isn't a surefire way to ensure that a student has sat in front of their device and actually watched the full video you've included in your course. You can always remove the play-bar so that a student can't fast forward the video and then we recommend including a short quiz that requires a passing grade to ensure the student has a good understanding of the content included in the video. From there, you can set the quiz lesson as a prerequisite rather than setting the video lesson as the prerequisite to ensure that the student knows all they need to before moving on to the next chapters.
Can I set a whole chapter a prerequisite?
The prerequisite feature is linked to individual lessons, so if you would like all the lessons within one chapter to be required in order for the student to move to the next chapter, you will need to individually set each lesson as a prerequisite.
What if I want to include a 'resources' chapter at the end of my course, will my students be able to access it if I have prerequisite lessons prior to that chapter?
If a student has not yet completed a lesson marked as a prerequisite, they will not be able to move ahead to any chapters that follow the chapter containing the prerequisite lesson. If you'd like to include additional material for your course as a resource library, we recommend adding an additional page and setting it to private so that students can access the page at any time while they're taking the course.
How do I know if my prerequisite lessons are working as expected? When I preview my course as a student, I can still access all the lessons even though I have prerequisite lessons.
If you are signed in as the site owner or as a course admin and are working on the curriculum for a course, when you preview the course as a student, all the lessons will remain accessible even though you don't have the prerequisite lessons marked as complete. This is so that you can double check how your content shows up in the Course Player. You can check if your prerequisite lessons have been set up correctly as you'll see the PREREQUISTE label on the lesson or you can always sign up with a test student account to see how the prerequisite messaging will work for your students!