Creating a Course

A learner looking at a screen

Now that you’re set up as an Instructor on Community Heart, it’s time to create a course!

Course” is the word we use to mean a collection of learning material. Within a Course there are two levels of content:

  1. Lessons
  2. Topics (this level is optional)
  • Courses may also have a Quiz (but don’t have to).
  • When a learner completes a course, they may earn a Certificate.

So, the key features we need to explore are: courses, lessons, topics, quizzes, and certificates.

A typical Course structure might look like this:

Good Governance in the Community Sector (Course)

  • Why Good Governance is Needed (Lesson)
    • The State of the Community Sector in Aotearoa (Topic)
    • What “Good” Means (Topic)
  • What Good Governance Looks Like (Lesson)
    • Case Study: Association of Fire Prevention Experts (Topic)
  • Summary (Lesson)
  • Assessment (Quiz)
  • Certificate of Good Governance (Certificate awarded on completion)

How to Start Creating a Course

When you’re logged in to Community Heart, you see a menu on the left. As an Instructor, you have administration options that a general user doesn’t have. Find “Your Courses”. You’ll see a list of all your courses here. Click “Add a New Course” from the top-right of the page.

1. Complete the Key Fields

Key fields:

  • Course Title – this is the title of your new course
  • Course Status – while you’re working on your course, choose “Draft”. When it’s ready for learners, change it to “Published”
  • Featured Image – this is the image that shows in the list of courses, and in the right sidebar of the course page
  • Course Content – this is the text that a user sees before they begin the course. This is visible to anyone, even those who don’t have access to the course material. It should describe what the course is about, and what someone will learn.
  • Course Categories – choose a category for your course. If your course is free to anyone to take (i.e. not restricted in any way), select the category “Free for Anyone”.
  • Cover Image – this is a banner image that shows on the course page. It is black by default, and this image is optional.
  • Save – when you save the course the changes are made immediately.

Once saved, there are additional items available:

  • Move to Trash – this deletes the course and learners can no longer access it
  • View Course – this allows you to view the course on the front end of the website
  • Builder – (new tab) – this allows you to begin constructing the learning material for your course.

2. Build a Skeleton of the Course

On the “Builder” tab you can add lessons, topics and quizzes. It’s useful to build a “skeleton” of the course before you start adding detailed content.

Start by adding a lesson.

  1. Click “New Lesson” and give it a title.
  2. Add as many lessons as you need.
  3. To add a Topic or Quiz, click on the “+” at the end of the Lesson title. Then click “New Topic” or “New Quiz” and give it a title.
  4. Click “Update” to make sure your changes are saved.

View the course on the front end of the website to see how your changes look.

Now that you have created a skeleton of the course, let’s add some detail!

3. Create the Learning Content

From the Course Builder, any of the content can be edited in detail by clicking on the blue pencil icon. See any of these articles for more details:

  • Creating a Lesson
  • Creating a Topic
  • Creating a Quiz
  • All about Certificates

Course Settings

There are some advanced settings available for your Course. Here’s what they mean:

  • Course Materials – creates a new tab on the Course page which describes any course materials (e.g. textbook, resource, files) that a learner needs in order to complete the course. Available to anyone who views the course page, even those not enrolled in the course.
  • Course Certificate – if your learners should earn a certificate by completing this course, specify it here.
  • Course Content – specifies whether your “Course Content” (i.e. the curriculum / skeleton of the course) should be visible to anyone, or just those enrolled in the course.
  • Access Mode – a very important setting to specify access to the course:
    • Open – anyone can access the course. They don’t even need a login.
    • Free – anyone can access the course, but they must have a login.
    • Buy Now – anyone can access the course if they pay for it. Specify the price and the URL will autogenerate when you save the settings.
    • Recurring – anyone can access the course if their subscription is current. Specify the price and the URL will autogenerate when you save the settings. Specify the additional details to ensure the subscription is as you want it.
    • Closed – you control exactly who can access the course. See Manually Add a Learner to a Course for more detail.
  • Course Prerequisites – specifies whether the learner must have completed other learning on Community Heart before taking this course.
  • Course Points – rarely used
  • Course Access Expiration – specifies whether the learners lose access to the course after a specified length of time.
  • Course Progression – specifies how a learner may move around the course:
    • Linear – default, and the most common. The learner must complete the first lesson before moving to the second, and cannot skip ahead.
    • Free Form –  the learner can move freely around the course. Allows for an even more self-directed flow.

The Result!

You now have a course ready for your learning material. It’s up to you to make it awesome!

Next steps:

  1. Finish adding your learning material
  2. Enrol Learners