Viewing a lesson

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Viewing a lesson.


In an existing lesson, there are 2 basic lesson views types for a teacher: preview and edit. There are several variations of these views which depend upon the needs of the teacher and the version of Moodle. A lesson must have at least one page before it can be viewed. This page will not cover Grades in the course administration block, that will give a teacher another view of how students did in the lesson.

When the lesson already has content

There are three main ways in which the teacher can view a lesson after the first page(s) has been added:

  • Navigation view - Preview tab
  • Expanded - Edit tab
  • Collapsed - Edit tab

Navigational tabs for the teacher were added in Moodle 1.6 . The views can be selected by clicking on a tab.

Lesson Tabs Expanded short-1 6.JPG

Expanded Edit View

In the expanded view, the teacher sees the pages in the edit order. There is the page title, an edit or action bar, a view of the page content, and more information about the jumps.

Lesson Edit Expanded 1 9.JPG

The action bar next to the page title, allows the teacher to move, edit, preview or delete the page.


Here is a detail showing a single content (branch table) page.

Lesson Edit Expanded single page.JPG

Notice the blue links that repeat at the top bottom for page insertions. These separate every page in the expanded view. Lesson insert page types circle1.GIF

Tree or collapsed view

Lesson Edit Collapsed 1 9.JPG

In the collapsed view, the teacher sees the pages in edit order, with the page title, type of question and where the jumps will take the student. It also has some edit-action functions to the right. In either the collapsed or expanded edit view, the pages are presented what is called the edit (logical) order.

Lesson Edit Collapsed edit functions.JPG

These action functions allow the teacher to move, edit, preview, delete or add a page type (pull down menu).


Older versions

In version 1.5, there is a lesson setting under "other" called tree view. In version 1.6 this is located under the edit on the collapsed tab.

Lesson collapsed view logical order.JPG

These views show the teacher the structure of the lesson in what is called the edit order. It shows the page titles and uses colors to show different types of pages. There are icons to edit, move and delete the pages. In 1.8, this view also shows the jumps associated with branch tables.

Preview or Navigation order

There are several ways a teacher can see how a lesson's navigation order "works" from a student's perspective. Remember that jumps make the Lesson module adaptive or individualize based upon a student's choices. Preview tab is a way to view some of the adaptive nature of compiled lesson. The Preview tab will start the lesson at the first page in the edit order. While there are exceptions, the lesson will then appear in the navigational order seen by students when they make a choice.

Another way to view the lesson is to click on the preview icon which is part of the action bar which is next to every page in the edit mode. This will start the lesson at that page.

TIP: navigation view will often depend upon the choices the student makes. In lessons with more complicated structures, each student maybe presented with a different navigation view.
TIP: If, in the lesson settings, the teacher has chosen to display the left menu, the student will see that menu on the left hand side. This menu is visible only when teacher is in the navigation view. The teacher sees if currently using the All pages view or the Tree view.

Older ways to check navigational order

In Version 1.5 and earlier there are two ways to preview this as a teacher. One is to use the Check Navigation link, located at the start and end of the lesson in 'all pages view'. The Check Navigation link starts the lesson at the first page, the way a student would see the lesson initially. In Version 1.6 this tool is placed on a tab and is called Preview. Another way to see how things works is to use the individual page preview buttons labeled as "Check Question" or "Check Branch". The Check Question or Branch buttons "launches" the lesson at that page.

When the lesson has no content

When adding a new lesson activity to a course, Moodle will first ask the creator to decide on the settings of the lesson (see Adding/editing a lesson). Next Moodle will ask how you want to start editing your lesson. When in doubt, start by adding either a question page or content (branch table) page from the menu shown below.

This is a 1.9 version of the initial screen
TIP: It is a good idea to first create the majority of a lesson's pages with content and/or questions page format. And then if desired, add jumps to those pages and then add navigational pages that create classic branches or clusters.