How do I control access to Lessons pages?
Lessons Sequencing is Not Recommended for Most Cases
Warning: The Sakai Support Team does not recommend instructors use the sequencing feature in Lessons. This feature has not yet reached maturity. Not only can the implementation of sequencing yield a confusing navigational experience for students, its ability to require the completion of some items can often be subverted by students' accessing these items in the Assignments, Forums, or Tests & Quizzes tools. Furthermore, if the instructor hides the Tests & Quizzes tool from students, to prevent such access for example, then students will not be able to access any instructor defined Feedback for the assessment in question; Lessons is not able to display feedback that the instructor defines for an assessment in Tests & Quizzes.
Despite the caveats about sequencing, if an instructor really wants to use this feature, we highly recommend scheduling a consultation with the Sakai Support Team (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The case for sequencing
Some instructors must be able to control the order in which students perform certain learning tasks. In some cases these requirements are mandated by external groups, particularly for certification and licensing assessments.
Typically, Lessons does not force students to take a specific path through course material. However, Lessons does permit instructors to define the ordering of specific requirements, while allowing students the freedom to look ahead when doing so does not violate those requirements. Instructors accomplish this by specifying some items in the Lessons page(s) as required. Furthermore, instructors can declare that some items cannot be accessed by students until all required, preceding items are finished.
A typical scenario:
- Each unit in the form of a Lessons page has some reading material and a quiz. An agency requires that students can't get credit unless they have read some of the material.
- Once students have completed all units, they take a final certification test.
To do this, organize the material into units with distinct Lessons pages, each with a quiz as the last item on the page. Use the Edit button to set some of the readings as required through the Require this item checkbox. For the unit quiz, check Do not release this item until all prerequisites are completed. When Do not release [...] is checked, the item will be grayed-out until all items above it that are marked required have been finished.
You can also declare a whole page as required through the Require this page checkbox, found by clicking the Page Settings icon.
In our example, all Lessons pages would be marked required, and the final page that contains only the final certification test would be marked Do not release this page until all prerequisite pages are completed through the corresponding checkbox in Page Settings.
Forcing a specific order
We recommend not specifying more requirements than necessary. However, you can make all items required and restrict access to each, forcing students through a fixed sequence of tasks.
To require items to be performed in a specific order, mark them all as required, and then set all except the first item as Do not release this item until all prerequisites are completed. Because do not release [...] releases an item when all items above it have been finished, this method enforces a fixed path through learning tasks.
Required tests and assignments
Required tests and assignments are a bit more complex than readings. For tests and assignments, you can not only require that the student complete them but also that they achieve a minimum score in order to proceed to other learning tasks.
If you set a minimum score, think about what to do if the student does not meet that benchmark. Thus, you might want to configure the assignment or test in question to allow for resubmissions. Such settings are controlled within the Assignments and Tests & Quizzes tools.
Note that you can have more than one item declared Do not release [...] within a unit. Thus you can have several required readings, an assignment that is not available until each reading is accessed by the student, followed by more readings, and then a final quiz or assignment. An item marked Do not release [...] is available to a student when all of the required items listed above it have been completed.