Getting Started

Welcome to the Next Tech documentation for creating and embedding interactive lessons! Lessons are created using an interactive What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) editor that allows you to view an interface almost identical to what your users will see, and then quickly preview the lab to test it as a user.

Creating a Lesson

Lessons can be created from the Creator page. First, we recommend creating a course. Even if you don't plan on publishing a course on Next Tech, courses are a useful way to organize content and enables additional functionality.

From the Creator page, you can also rename, move, copy or delete lessons. You can also rename or delete courses. Any lessons in a course that is deleted will be moved to the Ungrouped section.

Once you've created a selected a course, click New Lesson to get started. You'll be taken to a page that looks like this:

Getting started creating a new lesson, selecting the stack

From here you can name your lesson and select the programming environment you'd like to use (the page will reload when you select a new environment to load a sandbox for that environment).

Once you've selected your environment, click on the 'Instructions' button on the left hand menu to start adding instructions:

Instructions panel

From the left hand menu you can add instructions, tests, grading, and configure every part of the interface. A tooltip will be displayed when you hover over each menu item to explain what it is.

Previewing Your Lesson

To preview your lesson, click the green "Preview" button in the top menu bar. Your lesson will update to exactly what the user will see:

Previewing your project

If you've already completed part of the lab, or want to reset the lab to its original state, select the settings icon in the lower left corner:

Help and settings
Resetting a project to its original state

This will reset instruction progress, grades, test results, Codey messages, file contents, and any other changes to the initial lab state.

The blue Files dropdown in the top menu bar allows you to load either the saved starter files or the solution files for the lab. Clicking Load Starter replaces the current files shown in the editor with the starter files. Clicking Load Solution replaces the current files with the solution files.

Simply toggle the lesson back to edit mode by clicking the Edit button to continue working on it.

Working With Files

Adding Starter Files

To save files for the user to start the lesson with, click the Files dropdown, then click the Save Files button in the top right corner. This will save the current files as the starter files, it's not recommended to use this while previewing your project.

Other lesson elements (instructions, tests, grading weights, etc.) are saved automatically.

Snapshots are limited to 50MB, so any files/folders that are larger than this must be listed in the Excluded Files Patterns (found in the Settings in the Creator) for the autosaving to work correctly.

Adding Solution Files

Currently, solution files are only used for your convenience while creating content, but we'll be doing more with them in the future.

Anything placed in a /home/nt-user/workspace/.solution directory (so .solution when you first load the editor) is a solution file. When you load the solution files by clicking Load Solution under the file menu in the top right of the editor, the starter files will be replaced with the solution files.

Wrapping Up

At a high level, this is how the Next Tech lesson editor works! We have plenty of other articles on how to configure every element of the lesson, so be sure to check those out as a next step.