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Frequently Asked Questions - Lesson Information for Faculty

LessonLink is a service from CALI that allows faculty members to create a unique URL for their students.  When students run a CALI lesson via a LessonLink, the faculty can see the students' performance.

Anyone with the unique URL can run the lesson - it is not unique to a particular law school. The lesson performance of anyone who follows the LessonLink URL (and only those people) will be viewable by the faculty member who created the LessonLink.

Faculty members may create an unlimited number of LessonLinks.  You should create new LessonLinks each semester so as to seperate the data.  Only the faculty who creates the LessonLink will be able to view the results.

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Creating a LessonLink is very easy! The whole process takes about five minutes.

  1. Make sure you are logged into CALI with a Faculty account.
  2. Go to the LessonLink page on the CALI website.
  3. Click the link to "Create LessonLinks".
  4. Enter your course name. This can be anything you would like.
  5. Pick the semester in which students will be taking the LessonLink, not when you are making it.
  6. Select the CALI topic area which best describes your course. If you are teaching a class that covers more than one legal subject area, don't worry! You can back later and select another topic.
  7. A list of all the CALI Lessons tagged with that subject will appear. You can then check the box next to the lessons that you would like to create LessonLinks for.
  8. Click "Create LessonLinks" at the bottom of the page.

At this point you will be taken to a page that is titled the name of the course you entered in Step 4 above. This page will have all the LessonLinks you have created. There will also be an option to continue creating LessonLinks and add them to this course's list of LessonLinks. You should also receive an email with the URLs of your course page and LessonLinks. The URL of the course page or the URLs of each individual LessonLink can be shared with your students via email, TWEN or any other means of communication. (Note: You can put a LessonLink URL into a Microsoft Word document, but students won't be able to Ctrl-Click to follow the link.  This is a limitation of Word and not LessonLink. Converting to PDF is your best option. This article explains all the gory details).  It depends on whether you wish to allow the students to view all of the LessonLinks at once or if you prefer to make them available on a timed basis. To view student scores and performance, go to your "Current LessonLinks" dashboard. From there you can click the "details" button to view more information.

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AutoPublish is a feature within the CALI Author software that allows faculty members to create their own lessons, quizzes or study aids.  It also provides the opportunity for editing existing CALI lessons. This could be done to change the length of a lesson or to add in jurisdictional differences, for example.

All AutoPublished Lessons appear on the CALI website and have the same style as "Official" CALI Lessons.  However, only those people with the URL of the AutoPublished Lesson will be able to find and use it.  It will not appear in search results of the CALI website nor will edited lessons replace the "Official" version.

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CALI Lessons and AutoPublished Lessons look a lot alike - after all, they reside on the same website and are created with the same software. They will also both show up in a student's "My Lesson Runs" dashboard. However, there are some important differences between the two:

  • CALI does not review the content of AutoPublish Lessons, nor do we modify or update them. AutoPublish lessons are purely the creation of your professor and, thus, CALI makes no gaurantees about AutoPublished lesson content.
  • AutoPublish lessons are not publicly visible at cali.org, unlike regular CALI Lessons available to all authorized users through the CALI Library of Lessons. Only users who have been given the URL to an AutoPublish lesson have access to that AutoPublish lesson.
  • AutoPublish lessons have a special AutoPublish logo in the upper-left, in place of the CALI Lesson logo found on regular CALI Lessons.

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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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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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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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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:

  • 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.
  • Search: use cali.org's search bar (top right) to search CALI lesson names and descriptions.
  • By casebook: find your casebook's author and title, then see what CALI Lesson(s) match up with specific pages in that book.
  • By subject outline: matches subtopics traditionally covered in certain subjects with corresponding CALI Lessons.
  • By Author: many of our law professors and librarians write multiple lessons for us.
  • 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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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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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: http://www.cali.org/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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CALI Author is the software that powers CALI Lessons. Faculty at CALI member schools may download the software and use it to edit existing CALI Lessons or create their own learning objects.

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