6.8. Testing Your Course Content

The way your course looks in Studio is different from the way that learners will see and experience it when it is live.

It is recommended that you test your content continually as you build your course, so you can interact with your course from a learner’s point of view.

Note

If you use content groups in your course to designate content as visible only to particular students, see Preview Cohort-Specific Courseware.

For information about setting up a beta test for your course, see Beta Testing a Course.

6.8.1. Preview Course Content

You can preview course content before a course is live or before you publish specific units, to test how content will appear to students when it is released.

When you preview course content, you see the latest course content that is configured in Studio. You see content in units with the publishing status Draft (Never published), Draft (Unpublished changes), or Visible to Staff Only.

Note

If you use content groups and have designated components in a unit as visible only to particular groups, the visibility status indicates that some content in the unit is visible only to particular groups. For information about previewing course content if you use content groups to designate content as visible only to particular groups, see Preview Cohort-Specific Courseware.

Note

If you use randomized content blocks in your courseware, you cannot preview unpublished units that contain content from randomized content blocks, because the randomized content is not assigned until after the unit is published. For information about viewing the actual content that has been assigned to a particular student from a randomized content block in a live course, see Specific Student View.

For example, you publish a unit with a video and a discussion.

A unit in Studio with a video and discussion

Students see the same content in the LMS.

A unit in the LMS with a video and discussion

You later decide to add a multiple choice problem to the unit, before the discussion. Before you publish this change, you can see how the question will look to students by previewing the unit in the LMS.

A unit in Studio with a video and multiple choice problem. (The discussion component below the multiple choice problem is not included in the screen capture).

When you click Preview and select to view the course as a Student, you see the unit in the LMS with the multiple choice question. This preview shows how students will experience the unit after you publish the change.

A unit in the LMS with "View as Student" selected, showing a video and a multiple choice problem. (The discussion component below the multiple choice problem is not included in the screen capture).

In the live course, students continue to see the existing content, without the multiple choice question, until you publish the change.

Note

When the unit’s state is Published and Live, the preview and the live version of the courseware are exactly the same. Selecting either of View Live or Preview gives you the same view.

6.8.2. View Your Live Course

While you are working in Studio, you can test your live course by viewing it in the LMS as all students, or a particular student, would see it. You can see your course in Staff View, Student View, or Specific Student View. If you are using content groups to designate specific content as visible only to particular content groups, you can see your course as a content group would see it.

You can view the course as a member of these groups.

Role When You “View As” This Role
Staff You see all content in the course, including content that is hidden from students.
Student You see any content that is intended for all students.
Specific Student You see content that is intended for the student whose email or username you specify.
Student in <Content Group Name> You see content that is intended for all students, as well as any content specifically set to be visible to this content group.

To switch to your live course and see how it appears to members of the groups in the table above, follow these steps.

  1. From the course outline page in Studio, click View Live or, from a unit page in Studio, click View Live Version.
View live button on the outline View Live Version button on the unit page
  1. In the live view of the course in the LMS, from the navigation bar at the top of the page, select one of the options in the View this course as drop down list, as described in the table above.

The course view refreshes and the content is presented as a member of the selected group would see it.

For details about each view, see Staff View, Student View, or Specific Student View.

6.8.2.1. Staff View

In the LMS, to view your live course as anyone with the role of Staff would see it, use Staff View.

Image of the Courseware page in a live course with Staff View indicated at top right and a View Unit in Studio button

When you view your course in Staff View, you can execute tests to make sure that your course works the way you intend. For example, before the release date of a subsection, members of the course team can work through the problems to verify that the correct answer gets a green check for correct, and that any answer other than the correct one gets a red X for incorrect.

6.8.2.2. Student View

Note

If your course has not started, you cannot see your courseware when you use the Student view. To see your courseware before the course has started, add yourself as a beta tester on the Instructor Dashboard. Make sure to set the course start date and the Days Early for Beta setting so that you can see the content that you want. For more information, see Beta Testing a Course.

In the LMS, to see the course content in your live course that is intended for all students, use the Student view.

Note

If you have enabled your course for cohorts and have designated some content as visible only to certain content groups, you can select a content group from the View Course As dropdown list to see the content exactly as a student in a cohort associated with that content group will see it. For details, see Preview Cohort-Specific Courseware.

To switch to the Student view, click View this course as and select Student from the drop down list.

The "View Course As" dropdown list with Staff, Student, and named content group options shown.
  • You do not see sections or subsections that have not yet been released.
  • If the section and subsection are released, you see units that are Published and Live. For units that are Draft (Unpublished changes), you see the last published version of the unit.
  • You do not see units that are Draft (Never published) or Visible to Staff Only. To see these units, you must switch back to Instructor view or use Preview mode as described in Preview Course Content.
  • You can access the Instructor Dashboard, which has features and reports that help you run your course.

6.8.2.3. Specific Student View

Note

If your course has not started, you cannot see your courseware when you use the Specific student view. To see your courseware before the course has started, add yourself as a beta tester on the Instructor Dashboard. Make sure to set the course start date and the Days Early for Beta setting so that you can see the content that you want. For more information, see Beta Testing a Course.

In the LMS, the course content in your live course as one particular student would see it, use the Specific student view.

Seeing the content in your live course as a specific student sees it is useful in some situations. For example, to adjust a grade or reset the attempts for a problem that was assigned from a randomized content block, you will need to view the courseware as a specific student to see the actual problems that they were assigned. For details about adjusting grades or resetting attempts, see Adjust Grades.

To switch to the Specific student view, click View this course as. Select Specific student from the drop down list, and enter the username or the email address of the specific student that you want to view the courseware as.

Image of the "View Course As" dropdown list with Staff, Student, and Specific student options shown, and the field that is used to specify the student's username or email address.

6.8.3. Open Studio from Your Live Course

When you are viewing your course in the LMS as Staff View, you can open Studio directly.

  • In a unit page, click View Unit in Studio.

    The View Unit in Studio button in an LMS unit

    The unit page opens in Studio.

  • In the Instructor Dashboard, click View Course in Studio to open the course outline.

    Image of the Instructor Dashboard in a live course with a View Course in Studio button

    For information about the tasks you can complete on the Instructor Dashboard, see Managing a Running Course.

  • In the Course Progress page, click View Grading in Studio to open the Grading page.

    Image of the Course Progress page for a student with a View  Grading in Studio button

    For information about checking a student’s progress, see Review How Grading Is Configured for Your Course.