Your first exercise

Let's start with the simplest kind of exercise. It's simple, but powerful.

This type of exercise gives a textual prompt on a direction panel, and have the student record a response. There is no video/audio. We will create a few direction panels first using PowerPoint, and then upload the panels and set up the exercise using SE.

Create direction panels

Download a direction panel template available on the "Authoring Guide" page, if you haven't already. Make a few panels like these:

slide 1   slide 2

Save the file as a PowerPoint file first, and then save it as a set of JPEG image files. Rename the JPEG files as d01.jpg, d02.jpg, d03.jpg etc. Select the files and zip them into a zip archive. The zip file name doesn't matter. Let's call it "".

Set up an exercise in SE

Log into your SE account and go to the author mode. Let's create a new chapter. Under "Add a new chapter" type "My authoring practice area" and click "Add". A chapter by that name is added to the table at the top. Let's open this chapter by clicking this "open" icon:open icon

Now you are in the "My authoring practice area" chapter. Naturally, there are no exercises here yet. On this page, you should see two forms corresponding to the two exercise templates SE offers. We will use the Stop 'N Compare template. Fill out the form this way and click "Add".

template form


You should now see the exercise in the table at the top. Open the exercise by clicking the open icon.

The only thing left to do is to upload the direction panels. Under "Add item directions and videos (zip file)", choose the zip file you created earlier (""), and click "Upload". If all is well, you should see exercise items added to the table at the top.

Congratulations! You have just created your first exercise.

Test your first exercise

Let's see how your first exercise works. In order to run this exercise in the student mode, it has to be assigned. That is done in the instructor mode. Close the author mode window or tab. From the portal page, go to the instructor mode. You will see all the exercises in your course listed. Check the assignment column next to your first exercise, and click "Save display & assignment settings". Now close the instructor mode window, return to the portal, and from there, go to the student mode. You should see your first exercise listed. Click the red arrow to run it.

Additional tips

  • The example above elicited single sentence responses, but you can easily modify it to elicit a longer stretch of speech: e.g. "Talk about your family for 2 minutes. Give as many details as you can."
  • You can also use a photo, a video clip, or a picture and have your students describe it.
  • You can display a map on a direction panel and ask the students to give directions from point A to B.
  • The "model" exercise format is the only format that doesn't require video/audio. If you put in video/audio, it will be available for your students to play under their control.