Lessons are pages in a virtual textbook, organized into chapters, or modules.

Lesson tree

Let's talk about lesson ingredients, then how ingredients are mixed together.

Lesson ingredients

Lessons have text and images, like a textbook, but they have so much more. They have videos.


They have multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions.

Multiple-choice question (MCQ)
Fill-in-the-blank (FiB) question

They have open-ended questions.

Open-ended question

That screen shot shows another ingredient, a character. I use characters to simulate students taking the course, along with the real students. Characters do worked examples, ask questions, model social interaction, and more.

Lessons can have simulations, calculators, sandboxes... whatever makes sense for your course. Here's a sandbox for a web tech course.

A sandbox in a lesson

Lessons have exercises embedded in them.


Mixing lesson ingredients

You mix ingredients to create a good student experience. Many of my lessons have this structure:

  • Activate prior knowledge with questions.

  • Position the lesson within the course

  • Lesson body. A mixture of direct explanations with schemas, worked examples, and exercises. Mix other ingredients to taste.

  • Summary

There's more on lesson structure in the SCDM.


Course design
Conditional content