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Course sections provide an additional way to organize your content. You can still structure your course into lessons and/or items, but now you can add optional sections as well.

What Are Course Sections?

Sections are simple, text-only headings that can be used to break your course content into… sections. Think of sections as chapters. They can only be added at the top-level within a course. In other words, sections must be placed before (and outside of) lessons.

Course → Section → Lesson → Item

Other important notes regarding sections:

  • Sections are text-only headings. They do not directly contain content. All content is still placed within lessons and/or topics.
  • There is no limit to the number of sections you use.
  • Sections are unique to every course. They cannot be shared across multiple courses.



Theme 1 (section)

  • Lesson 1
  • Lesson 10

Theme 2 (section)

  • Lesson 1
  • Lesson 10

… and so on.


How to Use Sections

Add New Section

Within the course builder (below any lessons or topics you have already added):

  1. Click the + New Section Heading link
  2. Type the name of your heading
  3. Hit Enter, or click the Add Section Heading button

Move Sections

To drag & drop a heading:

  1. Immediately preceding the section heading, look for an icon with 6 dots
  2. Hover over that icon
  3. Click and hold down your mouse
  4. Drag the section to its new location
  5. Release your mouse

To move a section up or down one level at a time:

  1. Locate the up and down arrows immediately preceding the section heading
  2. Click either arrow to move the section in your desired direction

Remove Sections

To remove a section:

  1. Hover over the section you’d like to remove
  2. Click the red Remove link



Before you publish your course go through all the setting, one-by-one and make sure that you have everything set up correctly. 

Course Materials

Course materials are additional materials enhancing your course content. You can include PDF files or other downloadable files in this area. You can compile text, add images etc.

  1. Next to Course Materials, toggle the switch on
  2. Add your materials in the box (HTML is supported)

Course materials are displayed to your users in a separate tab, alongside your main course content.

Course materials are shown to all users (even those not enrolled in the course).


Course Certificate

You can provide e a certificate to users who complete a course. Keep these things in mind:

  • You need to create a certificate first, before it will appear in this list.
  • The certificate will be available once the student has completed all steps (lessons, items & quizzes) associated with the course.
  • A button will appear on the course page for the user to download their certificate.

Simply select the certificate that you’d like to associate with this course.

Certificates may also be associated with quizzes.


Course Content

The course content setting determines who can see the list of lessons, topics & quizzes that make up your course.

This does not affect the content of your course page which will always be displayed to everyone.

  • Always visible (default)
    Display list to everyone, whether or not they are enrolled in the course.
  • Only visible to enrollees
    Only display the list to users enrolled in the course.

If  Always visible is selected, a non-enrolled user will not be able to click on a lesson, item or quiz and they will see a message that says, “You don’t currently have access to this content.”


Custom Pagination

Pagination is the number of course steps displayed at one time, the user has to use buttons to navigate to subsequent pages. You may choose to customize this on a course-by-course basis.

  1. Toggle the Custom Pagination setting on
  2. Enter a number for lessons per page
  3. Enter a number for topics per page

This setting applies to both the course content table (displayed on the course page), as well as the course navigation widget for this course.


Course Prerequisites

Prerequisites allow you to choose another course (or courses) that a user must complete before taking this course. When selecting a course(s), you have two options:

  • Any Selected (default)
    If a user has completed any one of the selected courses, they will be able to access this course.
  • All Selected
    The user must complete all selected courses in order to access this course.

To add a course prerequisite:

  1. Next to Course Prerequisites, toggle the setting on
  2. Choose either Any Selected or All Selected
  3. Click in the box to search for a course. Add as many courses as you’d like.

To remove a course prerequisite:

  1. Click the x next to the course name


 Course Points

Incentive your users with course points. Points can also be used as a prerequisite for another course.

To enable course points:

  1. Next to Course Points, toggle the setting on

Required for Access

This is the number of points a user must obtain before gaining access to the course.

For example, let’s say you have a few beginner-level courses that each award 50 points upon completion. You might also have an intermediate-level course. If you want the student to complete at least 2 beginner-level courses (2 courses x 50 points/ea. = 100 points) before taking the intermediate-level course, you could set the required for access setting to 100 points.

Awarded on Completion

This is the number of points a user will receive for completing the course. In the above example, all of your beginner-level courses would set this value to 50.

The provided examples are just to explain how course points work. You can use any numbers you’d like, and customize the course points to fit your learning curriculum.

Course Access Expiration

With course access expiration, you can choose to provide access to a course for a limited time period, based on the user’s enrollment date (aka: when they signed up for the course).

  1. Next to Course Access Expiration, toggle the setting on
  2. Enter the number of days the course will be available for
    • This will automatically count that many days from the user’s enrollment date
  3. Choose whether or not you want the user’s course & quiz data to be deleted when access expires
Once data is deleted, it is gone forever. If you choose to enable the Data deletion setting, we recommend you make a backup first.


Linear vs. Free form

You can choose how you want your users navigate through your course. You have two options:

  • Linear (default)
    Requires the user to progress through course steps in the order in which you’ve laid them out. They cannot jump around and skip lessons, topics or quizzes. Ex: A user must finish the first lesson before they can take the second one.
  • Free form
    Allows the user to move freely through the course without following the course steps in any particular order. Ex: A user may take the tenth lesson before completing the first one.


COURSE GRID SETTINGS - Short Description

A short description of your course. People will read this to understand what your course offers. We suggest using the following format: 

  • Who is it for?
  • What problem does it address?
  • How will it help the student?
  • Is there any enrollment requirements?
  • What format/duration is the course
  • Keep it simple and short.


An introductory video course for first time instructors on the proper way to compile a course description. It is perfect for anyone who wants to sell their courses online. It has no admission requirements and anyone can take this 2 hour course.


Lesson Materials

Lesson materials are additional materials needed for a lesson. Include text, images, PDF files or other downloadable files in this area.

  1. Next to Lesson Materials, turn the setting on
  2. Add your materials in the box (HTML is supported)

Lesson materials are displayed to your users in a separate tab, alongside your main lesson content.


Assignment Uploads

Assignment uploads cannot be enabled if lesson timer are enabled.

File extensions

You can specify exactly which file types may be uploaded.

  • Enter each allowed file type in the box (without the leading .)
  • Separate multiple file types with a comma
  • Leave blank to allow any file type to be uploaded

For example, enter the following to allow only Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint files:

  • doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx



DOCUMENTS (pdf, doc, docx, xla, xls, xlt ,xlw, xltm, xlsx, rtf, txt, asc, c, cc, h, srt, pot, pps, ppt, wp, wpd, idt, pages)

COMPRESSED FILES (zip, 7z, rar)

IMAGE FILES (jpg, jpeg, jpe, png, bmp, gif)

AUDIO FILES (wav, wma, mp3, m4a, m4b) 

File size limit

You can specify the maximum file size allowed to be uploaded.

  • Enter a number, followed by M (for megabytes)

For example, to limit uploads to 5 megabytes, enter 5M.

The Nest Lab sets a maximum file size limit. The lower limit will always be used. If you’re having trouble receiving assignment uploads, please contact us for assistance.


If you’d like to award points to a user when they submit an assignment:

  1. Next to Points, turn the setting on
  2. Enter the number of points to be awarded for a submitted assignment


Grading Type

There are two options for how assignments are graded:

  • Auto-approve (default)
    No grading or approval is needed. The assignment will be automatically approved & full points will be awarded.
  • Manually approve
    An admin or group leader must approve the assignment. The lesson cannot be completed until the assignment is approved.

If you choose to manually approve an assignment, you have additional options:

Limit number of uploaded assignments

Enter a number in the box to specify the maximum number of files a user can upload for this assignment.

  • Leave blank for unlimited (default)

Allow file deletion

Enable this option to allow the user to delete their own uploaded files. This is only possible up until the assignment has been approved.

Forced Lesson Timer

Enabling a forced lesson timer will require the user to spend a certain amount of time on the lesson page before they can mark it complete. The lesson cannot be completed until the set time has elapsed.

  1. Next to Forced Lesson Timer, turn the setting on
  2. Enter the time in the following format:
    • HH : MM : SS (hours : minutes : seconds)

The countdown timer will appear below the “Mark Complete” button.


Sample Lesson

You can turn any lesson into a sample lesson, which will make it available to all users, regardless of whether or not they’re enrolled in the course. This is a great way to showcase your teaching style, or entice someone to enroll in or purchase your course.

Sample Lessons Use-Cases

  • You want to entice prospective customers to purchase a course by offering the first lesson for free
  • You want to capture email addresses (leads) of people interested in your course
  • You want to offer the entire course for free without requiring an account, but want to sell access to the final exam

When a visitor views the course content table, the sample lesson(s) will be indicated by a “Sample Lesson” label. When the lesson is clicked, visitors are immediately taken to the lesson content. It is not possible to mark a sample lesson as complete. To do so, a visitor will need to have an account and be enrolled into the course.

If a sample lesson includes items and/or quizzes, then those too are marked as samples and can be viewed.

Lesson Schedule

The lesson schedule allows you to make a lesson available at a specific time. A lesson can become available immediately, or at some point in the future. You have the following options:

  • Immediately (default)
    The lesson is made available as soon as the user is enrolled in the course
  • Enrollment-based
    The lesson will be available X days after the user enrolls in the course
  • Specific date
    The lesson will be available on a specific date


If you have a very intricate subject matter with many aspects or just an overwelming amount of content, you can use items to create even more hierarchy in your course. You might choose only to create section headings and add lessons to each section, but items give you one additional level of organization.

Items must be added to lessons. You cannot have a course with only items. If your course only requires one level of hierarchy, simply uses lessons instead.

Just like lessons, you can add many different types of course material to your items —text, images, video, PDFs, presentation slides and more. You’ve also got a few additional display settings for items. There are a few distinct differences between lessons & topics, all of which we’ll cover in this section.

Lessons vs. Topics

  • Lessons are listed above items in the course hierarchy
    • You can have a course with only lessons, but you cannot have a course with only items. Items can only be added beneath lessons.
  • You can offer sample lessons, but not sample items.
  • You can only drip-feed & schedule lessons for a later date. There are no direct scheduling options for items.
    • However, items do inherit the schedule of their parent lesson. If a lesson is scheduled for January 1, 2020, all the associated items will be released on January 1 as well.