What are courses?
On uTeach Cloud, courses are what might be called “syllabi” in traditional educational settings, but functionally we can use them to do a bit more. The main purposes of using courses on uTeach Cloud are to:
- allow teachers to track progress through the course
- share course information and files (PDFs, videos, etc) with students
- allow admin to monitor progress of courses to facilitate communication with students
The basic structure of courses looks like this:
- Course: this is the unit which can be associated with a class. It contains all the information for the course.
- Unit: courses are broken up into units, which broadly group together lesson information.
- Lessons: lessons are units to hold information like objectives, vocabulary, tasks, PDF files, audio files, videos, etc. Lessons can be synced to a single classroom lesson if you like or you can use the materials in a single lesson over the course of several classroom sessions. It’s up to you.
- Tasks / Homework: these are the individual activities that you will complete during a lesson or assign for homework, and useful for tracking and communicating specific progress between admin, teachers, and students.
So, courses can hold a lot of information. Let’s move on to how to set up a course!
Step 1: Add Course
Navigate to the “Add Course” page where you will input basic information about the course.
Step 2: Add Units
You’ll find your new course in the course list.
Your course will not have anything yet, but let’s go ahead and click on “Add Unit”.
Put in some simple information about your first unit and click “Add”.
Now you’ve got your first unit! Great! You’ll notice that besides the title you give to the unit, the units are automatically numbered.
Step 3: Add Lessons
Once you’ve added some units, you can go ahead and click on a unit title to open up the unit information.
Let’s go ahead and click on the “Add Lesson” button. You’ll notice that the fields you have here depend on your “Lesson Settings” so let’s take a quick detour and see how those work.
Sub-step: Lesson Settings
In the “Lesson Settings” page you will see different lesson fields, which you can turn on or off. You can also decide whether each field should be required or not. This can be a bit intimidating, but it’s useful because it will help you to remove fields you don’t need to keep your lessons from being unnecessarily cluttered.
Set things as you’d like and click the “Edit” button.
Now we’re ready to add a lesson.
The text fields are fairly self-explanatory, but please notice the “Exercises” and “Homework” fields. These are both programmable, in that you can add as many fields as you need for a given lesson. Let’s look at some example information.
After you’ve input some basic information like this, you’ll be able to see it in your course.
Great! Now what if you want to add some videos or files to the lesson? After the lesson is generated, you can go ahead and click on “Edit Lesson”.
Simply drag & drop files into the fields you have selected and add youtube links (as many as you would like) before clicking “Edit”.
You’ll be able to easily change the file names after you’ve saved the edits.
If you’d like, use the pencil marks to change the file names.
Now, go ahead and add as many lessons as you need to the unit following the same process.
Step 4: Add Courses to Classes
To make courses useful, you need to link them to classes. This can easily be done (as a default settings) when adding a new class or when editing an existing class, but you can also assign a course when scheduling a class.
When generating a new class
Simple select the default course when making a new class.
When editing an existing course
Very similar to adding a course! Just change the default course.
When scheduling a class
If your default class is set, just click OK! Otherwise, change the course to whatever you’d like.
Courses are simple to set up and use, and can provide a lot of value for managing the progress of your classes and students. Creating a lot of courses can be time-consuming depending on how much detail you want to be input, but for schools who want to easily share classroom data with students it’s a good use of time. If you simply want to track progress, then a more bare-bones approach will work fine. If you want to share YouTube links (songs etc) with your students, you can set up your courses as something like a link repository.
Let us know if you have any questions!