Frequently Asked Questions - Teaching With CALI Lessons

With so many lessons, faculty and staff may have trouble finding lessons that are relevant to their students . Luckily, we have tools to aid in your search to assign or suggest appropriate lessons:

  • Search: use cali.org's search bar (top right) to search CALI lesson names and descriptions. Please note: CALI's website search covers a LOT of material, so you may have to refine your search several times to find an appropriate lesson.
  • By topic: browse lessons sorted by topic, listed in alphabetical order. Some subjects' full list of lessons are very long, so don't forget about your browser's find function (CTRL + F or CMD + F) to search the page for keywords.
  • By author: many of our law professors and librarians write multiple lessons for us. You may even see your professor!
  • By subject outline: matches subtopics traditionally covered in certain subjects with corresponding CALI Lessons.
  • New lessons list: look here or subscribe to the new CALI Lessons RSS feed to see the newest CALI Lessons.
  • Updated lessons list: this lists the most recently updated lessons, also with an RSS feed.

Once you find a lesson, you most like would want to review its content. If you would like to review, you can, of course run the lesson as if you were a student. But there are a couple of faculty-only features to aid in your review of a lesson, and you may find these features more convenient than reviewing the student version:

  • Lesson Text - a full text version of the lesson that includes all questions, answers, and feedback contained within in the lesson; all on one web page. LessonText is easy to print and suitable for reading in your favorite comfy chair.
  • Mapper - a visual presentation of a lesson's structure showing branches and right/wrong choices.

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Yes! The following features are available to faculty. Please note: you must be logged into CALI with a faculty account in order to view them.


  1. LessonText: This provides all of the content of the CALI Lesson - questions, answer and images - in a single webpage. It makes printing and reviewing a lesson much easier.
  2. LessonLink: This tool provides a special URL to an existing CALI Lesson. When students use that to take the lesson, faculty can view their performance via their LessonLink Dashboard.
  3. AutoPublish: This is a tool within the CALI Author software (which powers CALI Lessons) that allows faculty to edit existing lessons or write their own educational materials and publish it on the CALI website. AutoPublished lessons have the same score tracking ability as LessonLink lessons.
  4. Mapper: The lesson Mapper gives a graphical view of a lesson and allows you to see the various branches that some of our CALI Lessons have.

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On the left hand side of every CALI Lesson page there is a box called "Teaching Guide".   Here's a brief overview of what they are:


  1. Mapper is the term CALI uses to denote a map - similar to a subway route map - that represents all the pages in a CALI lesson, choices students could make and the paths the lesson might follow. Some CALI lessons are rather complex in structure and include Socratic dialogues with the student where the student's choice decides the next question in the lesson.
  2. LessonText is a special feature that permits faculty to see an entire CALI lesson as a single text document. The lesson's text is displayed as a webpage and can be printed for viewing in a comfy chair or copied into a word processing document.
  3. LessonLink is a CALI Tool that allows you to view your students' performance on this CALI Lesson. For more information about LessonLink, read its FAQs and instructions.
  4. Download is what you click to download the lesson and all associated images in the CALI Author software format.  You will need to first download CALI Author.

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LessonText is a special feature that permits faculty to see an entire CALI lesson as a single webpage that can be printed for viewing in a comfy chair or copied into a word processing document. LessonText is designed to help teachers see "inside" CALI Lessons to help them evaluate a Lesson. To locate the LessonText for a particular lesson:

  1. Log into CALI's website with your faculty account.
  2. Select the lesson you wish to see in LessonText format. You can select the lesson by browsing by subject area, casebook, or author.
  3. Click "Faculty View". This will take you to the LessonText of the lesson.

FAQ Topics

Once you find a lesson, you most like would want to review its content. If you would like to review, you can, of course run the lesson as if you were a student. But there are a couple of faculty-only features to aid in your review of a lesson, and you may find these features more convenient than reviewing the student version:

  • Lesson Text - a full text version of the lesson that includes all questions, answers, and feedback contained within in the lesson; all on one web page. LessonText is easy to print and suitable for reading in your favorite comfy chair. The link to the LessonText appears on the informational page of each lesson.
  • Mapper - a visual presentation of a lesson's structure showing branches an d right/wrong choices. This allows you to see the various paths a student may take through a lesson.

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Mapper is a pictorial representation - similar to a subway map - of a lesson's contents. Faculty use Mapper for a variety of reasons. Some faculty like to see the extent (number of questions, amount of branching in a lesson) of a lesson before reviewing it themselves or assigning it to their students. Mapper can also be printed out for use in class, or even open on the faculty member's computer screen during class. This allows faculty to know the "right" path through a lesson's Socratic dialogue. As the class debates a choice in open class, the professor can guide students through the lesson knowing places (1) where the lesson may loopback to the original question, or (2) take the students through a series of related followup questions often designed to challenge the students initial response or to fill-in knowledge the students may be lacking. Of course, these same reasons for using Mapper are applicable for any lessons worked through by students during a professor's office hours. Mapper's benefit is faculty can use it to guide students through a particular sequence of questions.

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Yes, however only faculty may download CALI Lessons to their computer. Using our AutoPublish feature, you can then republish the lesson with any edits that you choose to make.

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Yes, we allow (and encourage!) faculty to edit or modify existing CALI Lessons to better suit their pedagogical needs. It's just another of the many benefits we provide our members. To edit CALI Lessons, faculty will need to download and install the CALI Author software. As with any software or tool, there is a slight learning curve with using it, but for the most part, if you can use a word processor and webpages, you can use CALI Author. Of course, we are always happy to provide training or tips on using it. After editing, the new lessons can be republished to the CALI website via the AutoPublish feature. Don't worry - you're not going to replace the existing lesson! The edited lesson appears on a separate place on the website only discoverable by those whom you give the URL to. As an added benefit, AutoPublished lessons have score and performance tracking capabilities.

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Yes! You can easily post a link directly to a CALI Lesson, LessonLink, AutoPublished CALI Lesson, or QuizWright Quiz in Course Management Systems like TWEN, Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, etc. There are two tips to make sure this works correctly:


  1. Suggest students log into CALI before following the link to the CALI Lesson. They can always log in when the arrive, but they may get an access denied error for LessonLinks and AutoPublished CALI Lessons and become confused.
  2. Set your link to open in a new webpage, completely outside of your CMS.

Read on for more explanation... Just like any link, you can post a link directly to a single CALI Lesson to direct your students to it. Just click on the lesson name in the list of lessons, copy the URL from your browser, and then paste that URL wherever you like. Just like this: /lesson/815 But - and this is very important - in many classroom management systems the links will not work correctly unless you set the link to the CALI lesson to open in a new window. Oftentimes a CMS' default is to open links within the CMS or with a CMS wrapper around the external link. CALI lessons don't react well to that. So when you're using TWEN, Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, or any CMS... always double-check your own CALI link and ensure the link opens in a completely new and clean window. NOT within the CMS.


Signs that your CMS link will be problematic:


  • Looking in your CMS link's properties or settings, you see that the option to "open link in new window" (or similar) is not checked or selected.
  • You follow your link and it opens with the frame of your CMS around it.
  • Your CMS or college logo is visible after following the CALI lesson link.
  • The URL in the window starts with anything other than our website's: http://www.cali.org.

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