Instructor's User Guide
Chapter 1: Getting Started
To start using LearningBranch, every user needs a profile, a course on the platform and a group (of students) assigned to their course.
This chapter will walk you trough the steps to create your profile, your course on LearningBranch and course groups (student rosters). If you already have them, you can skip this chapter.
Creating Your Profile
If you do not have an instructor profile on LearningBranch, please contact the haluk.tuncay [at] mcgill.ca (subject: LB%20Profile%20Creation, body: Hello%2C%0A%0AI'm%20going%20to%20use%20LearningBranch%20for%20the%20first%20time.%20Could%20you%20kindly%20create%20my%20instructor%2Fstudent%20profile%3F%0A%0AYour%20Name) (ed-tech consultant) to requestan account.
After your profile is created, you will need to create a course and a group (a class list) linked to your course on LearningBranch so you can invite your students and have them practice on your content via LearningBranch.
Creating Your Course
AMLF sends out a "Course Creation Form" prior to the start of each term. You can fill out the form so we can automatically create your course(s) and group(s) for you.
However, if you wish to create them yourself, you can follow the steps below:
Step 1: After you login on your profile, click “Create Course” in the “Courses” tab.
Step 2: Enter your course details, then click “Save.”
Creating Your Course Groups
In LearningBranch, “groups” are class lists that we create and link to courses. Each course needs a group (or groups, if there are more than one section) so that student profiles can be added/registered to a course. If you have multiple sections for the same course, then you will need multiple groups.
To create a group and link it to your course, follow the steps below:
Step 1: After you login on your profile, click "Create Group" in the "Groups" tab.
Step 2: Name your group (class list) the same way you name your course and click "Setup Group Now".
Step 3: Click on "Courses" in the middle pane, then click on "Add Course(s)" to link a course to this group.
Step 4: Link your course to the group you just created.
Chapter 2: Developing Your Course
After your course is created on the system, you will need to add your own content and/or educational materials. We mainly use LearningBranch to prepare oral activities for L2 learners. That said, it is also possible to use LB for written activities, as well.
To build your course on LB for the first time, please go through the tutorials below. If you will use content from a previous term or course, please contact the ed-tech consultant so that the content is transferred to the new course.
Building Your Course Content
You can add almost all types of content to your course:
Texts, audio clips, audio recording boxes, images, videos, multiple choice items, checker boxes, fill-in-the-blank questions, text/image making questions and more.
Check out the following activity chart to learn about various LB activities and their differences:
Learning Branch Activity Types & Quiz Modes
It is a good idea to add multiple types of content to your course because differentiating exercise items helps students be more engaged and allows them to use knowledge in a more versatile and critical way.
Here is also a webinar recording on how each activity works:
Video: Building Your Course Content (starts at 01:30)
Especially when building audio recording lessons/assessments, be mindful that dividing your lesson into two or more pages is always a good idea. If you are adding more than five or ten audio recording items in a single worksheet page, make it a two-pager. Remember that some features (such as the resume/record) may build excessive data for computers with limited cache after clicked on several times, as each resume/record adds a new audio recording for a single item which are all stored on the local computer until the next page is turned, when the data is uploaded to the platform. For that reason, we suggest avoiding the resume/record feature on assessments especially if there are many audio recording items in a single page. For technical questions or queries, check out the LearningBranch Knowledge Base or use the Live Chat Support feature:
LearningBranch Knowledge Base: https://help.learningbranch.com/en/
LearningBranch Live Support: https://portal.learningbranch.com/mcgill/ (Chat button on bottom left)
Adding Students to Course Groups
Once your content is ready, you can start adding your students to your LB roster (groups). To add students to groups use one of the methods below.
Method 1: Sending Self-Registration Links to Students
In LearningBranch, students can self-register to course groups with the unique links generated by the instructors. This is the recommended method to invite students to your course since it allows them:
- to choose their own passwords and avoid security issues,
- to register any time during the add/drop period.
Here is a video tutorial on how to generate self-registration links for your students.
Tutorial: How to send Self-Registration Links to Students
Method 2: Adding Students Manually (email the Ed-tech Consultant)
Alternatively, you can send your class lists to the ed-tech consultant so that they can be bulk-added. However, if students are bulk-added:
- they will all have generic passwords, which they will need to change later.
- changes in the class roster (during add/drop period) will have to be manually reflected in the LB roster each time.
Chapter 3: Assessment and Feedback
After your groups are settled, you and your students can start working on LearningBranch. You can track the progress of your students, assess their work and leave feedback for them.
Please read and view the tutorials below to learn the right steps.
Tracking Student Progress
To view and score your learner's work use the Track page.
The Tracker is good for scoring and reviewing large amounts of learners' work, both Worksheets and SocioLearner activities. Open the tracker using the Track Progress button at the top of the Lesson page, or beside the course title on the Course page.
On the Track page, each box represents an activity. The icons are:
- hourglass: the learner hasn't started or finished the activity
- pencil: the learner has completed a SocioLearner activity and is waiting for the instructor to score it.
- number: the learner's score for the activity
- checkmark: an unscored, completed activity
Click an icon to open learners' work. You can review all activities, and make comments and score SocioLearner activities.
Adding Comments and Audio Feedback
You can leave individual comments and audio feedback for exercise items In LearningBranch. We have created extensive video tutorials to show you and your students how to communicate via LearningBranch (add comments and audio feedback) and improve their work:
Tutorial: How to add Comments/Audio Feedback to Exercises on LearningBranch
If you have any questions about this manual, please email our haluk.tuncay [at] mcgill.ca (subject: LearningBranch%20Query, body: Hello%2C%0A%0AI%20have%20a%20question%20about%20LearningBranch...%0A%0AYour%20Name) (educational technology consultant) with your question and get immediate assistance.