Pathwright allows admins, editors, and teachers to edit their course Path anytime - even when learners are already enrolled and working through the content. You can even get away with building your course while in-progress if you observe a few simple rules. 😉
While you are permitted to edit anything at any time, significant edits or deletions may negatively affect the progress of learners already enrolled. Below we'll describe the most common scenarios and what to do to safely make your edits. If you have any questions, feel free to open a new chat or email us.
Without further ado, here are the basics for how to edit your course while in-progress.
⚒️Planning to create a course in-progress
If you plan to build or add to your course while it is in-progress, with learners enrolled, we heartily recommend the following:
- Map out all your lessons and steps before the course starts and publish them.
- Lock all lessons that have unfinished content with future start dates before enrolling learners. Your first lesson or two, at minimum, should be ready to go.
- Finish building the locked lessons before the start date is reached and publish your edits. If you don't hit your deadlines, move back the start date as needed.
🤔 Why do it this way?
Publishing all lessons and steps while locking unfinished content will allow learners to see the basic structure of the course without seeing into your construction zones.
It will also prevent the undesirable scenario where the learners "complete" the course before you've finished adding all the content because you haven't published all the lessons and steps to their paths. When a course is completed, it will go under the "Completed" courses filter on their homepage, and it won't be the first thing they see when they log in anymore.
📖 How does publishing work?
Each learner has their own version of the course "Path." When you add or edit content on a Path that you're editing, it is not shared with learners until 1) you publish the content and 2) they log in and open the course, loading any new content onto their unique path. Unpublished edits will be flagged on the step or on the Path.
When you're using a Master version and multiple cohorts, edits that you make to the Master aren't shared with learners until you publish. When you publish, the edits are shared to all cohorts and learners will receive the updates next time they log in or reload the course. See more on how publishing works.
🚦 Revising your course while in progress
How do you know when to go, when to stop, and when to proceed with caution?
✅Go: You can make small edits (edit text, fix typos, replace links and files, cosmetic changes, etc.) to the content of a step anytime and anywhere and it will update everywhere it is used. If you edit the point value on a step, scores will be recalculated for learners who have already completed the step.
🛑Stop: We do not advise completely revamping a course that already has learners enrolled, especially if you'll be editing or removing assessments or discussions. Instead, make a copy of your course and make your revisions in the copy.
If it's a public course, retire the old course by making it invite-only. Current members will retain access indefinitely unless you've set an end date. Make the new, revised course public in its place.
We do not advise converting a course using our legacy content to the new "Blocks" content builder if you already have learners enrolled. Instead, make a copy and convert the steps in the copy following this guide.
🚧Proceed with caution: If you are planning to add, delete, rename, or reorder lessons or steps, or if you plan to add or delete assessments or discussions within a step in a course that is in-progress, please check the detailed scenarios below. The more complex your setup and the more extensive your edits, the greater the chance of impacting current learners' progress.
Here are some sample scenarios to help you answer more specific, detailed questions about whether to make a particular edit. These scenarios assume that you have learners enrolled who may have already completed the content you're editing.
1. Editing a course with a single cohort
A Pathwright account typically starts out with simple courses that each have a single cohort in which learners can enroll. If your account has multiple cohorts enabled, please read the tips that follow, but also see section #2 below. If you are an admin or editor, and your homepage has a "Design" tab, then you have multiple cohorts enabled.
For accounts that are not using multiple cohorts, all edits are made on a single Path that is accessible to admins, editors, and teachers. Each learner and moderator receives an individual copy of this Path when they register and it is updated with any edits each time they log in.
- Small edits to content inside steps (editing text, fixing broken links, replacing a video, etc.) will not affect learner progress.
- Edits to content that may affect progress include: deleting a discussion, deleting a submit box from a step, deleting quiz/test questions or answer options.
- Edits to settings, such as changing "required" status, may change a learner's completion percentage since only required steps count towards completion.
- Edits to point values may change a learner's score.
- Editing or rearranging lessons, steps, and dividers or adding new lessons, steps, and dividers may mean that a learner who progressed past a certain point in the course will notice uncompleted steps earlier in the course next time they log in.
- Replacing legacy content with Blocks content, when that content includes quiz/test questions, discussions, or submissions, will delete any previous learner responses on that step. It will not affect completion of the step otherwise.
2. Editing a course with multiple cohorts
If your account has multiple cohorts enabled, admins and library editors can see a "Design" tab on their home page.
For accounts using multiple cohorts, most edits should be made on the Master Path, which is only accessible to admins and editors. In addition, each cohort Path can be customized by an admin, editor, or teacher. Each learner and moderator receives an individual copy of this Path when they register and it is updated with any edits each time they log in.
Please review the tips above under section #1. In addition, we've written a more specific article on how to make edits when you're managing multiple cohorts.
3. Editing a Collection
If you're using the "Collections" feature to bundle together a series of courses into a single Path, some extra editing guidelines apply.
- To edit the Master content in a single course, go to that course's Master version and make your edit. This will update the content everywhere it is used, including inside any Collections that the course belongs to.
- You can edit the Master Path of the Collection by adding, removing, reordering, and regrouping courses.
- Each cohort Path can also be edited. Courses that are removed from the cohort Path can be added back later by a staff member.
- When you give someone Course Editor access to a Collection, they can add public or members-only courses or courses in which they are enrolled as Course Editor to the Collection and remove or rearrange courses included on the Path. They can add new cohorts and edit all course and cohort settings.
They cannot add private courses to which they have no access and they cannot access the content of any courses in the Collection (unless they are given access to those courses individually as a Course Editor).
- When you invite a Teacher to a cohort within a Collection, they can remove courses from their Path or reorder their Path. If you'd like to give a Teacher a custom course that they can build and add to their Path, create a new course and invite them to that course as a Course Editor.