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Lesson module FAQ

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Where are Branch Tables?

In Moodle 2.0, the official name of a branch table page was changed to "Content" page. The documentation is slowly being changed to reflect this change. The features of this page did not change.

Import PowerPoint does not work

"No data" or some other error shows up after an attempt to import.

  1. Complicated PowerPoint. Too many images, text boxes or fancy features.
  2. Wrong version of PowerPoint
  3. Site error - try the tested zip file at

Jumps not working in a question

A wrong answer should go to "this page" in my lesson. But after the student answers it, the student goes to the next page.

  • See adding/editing a lesson and Maximum Attempts in Lesson settings. If maximum attempt is set to 1, then the student will be advanced to the next page after they choice a wrong answer that is sent to "this page". If it is set to 2, after the student selects the wrong answer the 2nd time they will be sent to the next page. This can be used to keep the student out of an endless loop when than can not answer a question correctly.

Edits of answers or branch buttons are not saved

I have a 4 answer multiple choice question. I can only seem to save the first two answers, their jumps and feedback. Any edits on the last answers, their jumps and feedbacks are not saved. Moodle does not tell me there is anything wrong. Same thing happened with a Branch table, I can not seem to get the last two descriptions change after I save an edit. GRRRRR!

  • Go back to your lesson settings. Maximum number of answers/branches is probably set to 2, change it to 4 or the maximum number of answers or branch descriptions in your lesson. Now the edits can be saved.
Tip: Changing the "Maximum number" as a teacher builds a lesson is a trick used to limit scrolling passed unused answers or branch choices to get to the save button. For example, 15 pages have 4 choices but one page will have 8 choices. The teacher will use "Maximum number" at 8 setting only when they initially create that page, then switch it back to 4. They (and their students) will always see all 8 answers but the lesson setting will prevent them from editing some of them.

What is the difference between a Branch and a Branch Table?

In Moodle 2.0 the name of the Branch Table page changed to Content page, to help get rid of the confusion that these similar names created.

A Branch Table (in 2.0 called a Content page) is like a Question page. However, a branch table can not be scored and a teacher can not give a response. Both pages have a content area, offer a student choices and these can lead to other pages (jumps).

Many Moodlers call a series of pages in their lesson "a branch". Usually the student will enter the series by jumping from a page that is not directly before the "branch". Thus, a student will "branch" off the lesson path from a missed question and visit a series of pages for review before they are returned to the main lesson path again.

Some Moodlers think of a Branch Table as an index page or as a context page. Where each choice sends the student off on a branch. At the end of the series of pages (maybe just one), the student is sent back to the starting branch table. This process is sometimes called a classic branch.

Confused yet? :) Maybe Branch structures will help.

Multiple Choice and Multianswer issues

When I check the multianswer box in a multiple choice question, it does not work. It makes random jumps and does not put the teacher's response with the students choice.

  • In a Lesson module multianswer question, all the correct choices must have the same jump and teacher response. All the wrong choices must also have the same jump and teacher response.

Are there some examples of Lessons I can see?

I have been to demo.moodle and looked at the Lesson section, are there more examples of Lessons used in a real course?

The lesson was completed but it does not record it

  • Every lesson must have one question that a student must answer in order for it to show up in some reports. This can effect Grades and a Lesson's dependency setting (see other FAQs below).
Tip: There are lots of creative ways to put in a question, such as setting a multiple choice question so that all answers are correct and the answers act like a content (branch table) page. Or put in content and then award 1 point for "next page" as the answer, do not include the score in grades.
Tip: Due to a specific Lesson's design, some students can complete the lesson without answering one or more questions which have been placed in the Lesson. When Lesson can not record any scores for a student, no grade is pushed to the gradebook. It may appear therefore that Lesson is being inconsistent in recording grades.

Dependency in Lesson does not work

The second lesson tells the student they must complete the first one. They did, what is wrong?

  • For dependency to work, you need to have at least 1 question page in the lesson. The student may not need a minimum score, but Lesson needs to know that the student tried a question. You can always put a question as the first or last page, You don't need to ask a question but do put in an answer of "continue" with a jump of the next page.
  • Also for dependency to work, the lesson can not be a practice lesson.

How to add sound to a lesson page

There are some detailed instructions and options on linking to sound files.

Can I turn off the answer shuffle in a lesson?

  • In short, no. Turning off the page and answer shuffle are Quiz options, but neither is found in Lesson. A minor hack to the Lesson code is possible but that would impact the entire Moodle site.
TIP: If you don't need to score students answers in a question, then consider using a Content page instead of a Multiple Choice or a True/False question.

How can I change the default for Arrange Branch buttons horizontally?

I used to know, now I am clueless. Just imported 200 slides and the box is checked on every one. How can I change the default?

Can I change standard words used by Lesson?

  • Yes. You or your site administrator can edit the language file called Lesson.php. This will impact the whole site. Your site administrator might create a language just for you, in Lesson settings use the force language option.

Grrr something happened, lesson list is not right, I can't move things

Try a backup and restore of your course to solve some of those "quirky" issues.

  • Example: I was building a course, started adding lessons to topic 2 and then realized I should move it up to become Topic 1. Did that and continue to add lessons to topic 1, then lessons to topic 2 etc. Later I had to add lessons to topic 1. I did but could not move them between those first lessons I created. Every time I tried to move them they went to the bottom of topic 2! I also noticed that my list of just lessons, showed those first lessons as being in the correct course display order but showed they were in Topic 2!.
  • Moral: Sometimes a backup and a restore will re-establish harmony and fix things.

What happened to my HTML code on a Lesson page?

I had the lesson page formatted just the way I wanted by using the HTML source toggle on the tool bar. I went back in to tweak my code and some of my code was missing!

  • Lesson will "clean" up your HTML code every time you toggle into HTML text. This can be frustrating, especially if you are trying to get a flash file to display just right. Save you work in a text editor, so the next time you tweak it, you can paste all your code back in.

What does the future hold for the lesson module in Moodle 2.0?

As stated in our Roadmap, funding is required if lesson module improvements are to be included in Moodle 2.0.

If your organisation is able to offer funding, please submit a ticket at the helpdesk.

If funding is not received in time, as Martin mentioned in the September developer meeting, Moodle HQ will most likely step in and do some emergency work to get the lesson module working in Moodle 2.0.

If lesson module improvements matter to you, even if you can't organise funding, you can still help in other ways:

  • Discuss possible bugs and improvements with other lesson module users in the Lesson module forum.
  • Check the list of unresolved lesson issues in the Moodle tracker to see whether your bug or improvement has been reported previously. If not, create a new issue (you'll need a tracker account in order to do so) making sure you provide clear steps of how to reproduce the bug. Post the tracker issue number in the forum discussion to encourage others to comment and/or vote for it.
  • Check the list of popular lesson issues and vote for the ones which you'd most like to see fixed. This helps developers determine development priorities.
  • Watch all unresolved lesson issues of interest to you so that you're notified via email of any changes to issues. Often developers add comments requesting further information or testing.

Students do not see content in end of branch page

"End of Branch", "Start" and "End Cluster" pages are special navigational pages that students do not see. A teacher can see their content in edit mode but this content is never displayed to a student, nor in preview mode to the teacher. Use a different kind of page and figure out how the student will reach it via jumps at the right time.

Moodle 2.0 uses the words "Content page", instead of "Branch Table".

Pages are not displayed in the lesson's left menu

The Lesson module's left menu navigation feature, only displays content (branch table) pages. If your lesson only has question pages, it will not display any pages. Use a content page before a series of question pages, so your students will know where the series starts. Alternative, use the same content page and put links to each of the question using descriptions and jumps. Remember, you can effectively have the student jump past (not view) this content page as they go through the lesson and only reach it via the left menu.

Students are not returning to where they left the lesson

A student has left the lesson after looking at 10 pages. The next time they return to the lesson they start at the beginning again. How can the student return to the same place?

You have seen more than one page of this lesson already. Do you want to start at the last page you saw?

Several things must be met before this will happen. First make sure your lesson settings allow the student to retake the lesson and that this lesson is not a "practice" lesson. The important thing is that the above words are not exactly correct. They are correct only when the student left immediately after answering a question in a Lesson. For the purposes of returning to the same place, Lesson only remembers question pages as benchmarks. So lastly, make sure you have questions scattered in your Lesson for this feature to work and tell students.

TIPs: Use a content page at the start of the lesson as a table of contents, so the student are forced to remember where they are but can jump to your teaching points. Or put a question at the start or end of every "teaching point". And of course, you can tell your students how it is going to work.

See also