How to Use SoftChalk Lesson Builder
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Edit Text 2
Insert a Heading 3
Insert an Image 3
Insert an Audio, Video, Flash or Shockwave File 5
Linking to a Powerpoint Presentation or Excel 6
Insert Special Characters or Math Characters 7
Insert a Table 7
Insert a Hyperlink 8
Add a Text Annotation (TextPopper) 9
Creating Page Navigation 10
Add Quiz Questions (QuizPopper) 10
Add Activities (Flash Cards, Labeling, SeekaWord, 12
DragNDrop, Crossword Puzzle, Ordering, Hot Spot)
Lesson Reporting 12
Select a Style, Title and Layout Style Properties 13
Customizing the Sidebar 15
Zipping Up Your Lesson 17
Opening a Packaged (Zipped) Lesson 18
Packaging the Lesson for Uploading (e.g. into WebCT) 18
Uploading Your Lesson into WebCT 19
Uploading Your Lesson to Homedirs (lesson not in WebCT 24
Making a Link to Your Lesson on Homedirs 26
Free Download 28
Questions? Contact the CTL front desk at 4804617331 or
Melanie Kroening (4804617799, firstname.lastname@example.org),
Donna Gaudet (4804617929, email@example.com),
or Peggy Johnson (4804617703, firstname.lastname@example.org).
You can download the latest instruction manual on using SoftChalk from
http://www.softchalk.com. Click on the Support tab.
last updated 91806
You can undo or redo the previous action using the Edit menu. Alternatively, you can
undo your last action by hitting the control and Z keys simultaneously. You can redo
your last action by hitting the control and Y keys simultaneously.
Insert a Heading
To insert a heading, type in the text for the heading. Highlight the text (drag your cursor
over the heading text). Then use the pulldown menu on the right hand side of the tool bar
(it probably says Plain Text until you change it) to select Page Heading.
For illustration purposes, type in at least two headings (at different locations in your
Insert an Image
When you want to insert an image, use the Insert pulldown menu or the insert image
tool on the toolbar. Notice that you can also use this pulldown menu to insert a link to
audio or video files. Images are supported that are in gif, jpg, or png format.
Browse to your image.
If you wish to specify what the viewer will see when they mouse over an image, type in
the Alternative text box. (The Long Description box is used for text that can be read by
special programs like Jaws readers. )
You can change the size of the image if you wish using the Change width and/or
Change height options.
Use the alignment options on the toolbar to center your image if desired (or align left or
Insert an Audio, Video, Flash, or Shockwave File
Use the Insert pulldown menu to select Media. Audio files may be midi, wav, au, mp3,
aiff, ram, rmf, mp3, aiff, wma, mid or ra format. Video files may be avi, mov, mpg, wmv,
or mpeg. Flash files are swf. Shockwave files are dcr.
Click in the appropriate radio button for your file type. Browse to Select file
If you wish the file to be displayed “inline” with the text of your lesson, click in the
radio button in front of “Linked file”. If you wish the activity to appear as a link in the
text of the lesson, click in the radio button preceding the words “Inline player”.
If you’d rather not insert the media into your SoftChalk lesson (it make be a large file),
you can type in the URL of the audio or video hyperlink into the File path or URL
Linking to a Powerpoint Presentation or Excel
You can put a hyperlink to a Powerpoint Presentation or an Excel file you have created
anywhere in your lesson, including the Sidebar. The Powerpoint slides and Excel files
placed within the SoftChalk lesson will now be images; thus, they are no longer editable.
To put a hyperlink in a SoftChalk lesson
· Select text or an image in your SoftChalk lesson that you want to use for the
hyperlink (by dragging your mouse across it).
· From the toolbar, select Insert. Then select Hyperlink.
· Select the desired file by browsing to the file location.
· Check the box to open link in a new window. Click OK.
This procedure will assure that
a copy of your Powerpoint or
Excel file will be packaged into
your SoftChalk lesson when
you zip it up and upload it to
To put a hyperlink in a sidebar
· From the toolbar, select Properties. Then select Sidebar.
· Select the option you want for your Sidebar heading: Handout, Learn More,
More Resources, or Text.
· Type in some text.
· Select the text (highlight it by dragging mouse).
· Using the right click menu while the text is selected, select Hyperlink.
· Browse to the file you wish to link and select it.
· Check the box to open link in a new window. Click OK.
Right clicking will open a menu with many of the features found in the main menu.
Insert Special Characters or Math Characters
Choose the Insert menu and then select Special Characters (e.g. copyright symbol or
registered symbol) or Math Characters from the pulldown menu.
Insert a Table
Choose the Table menu and then select Create Table.
In the dialog box that appears, select the number of rows, columns, etc. that you
desire. If you want the border of the table to be invisible, set the border width to 0.
To modify your table, place the cursor within the table. Use the Table menu on the
toolbar to select the appropriate action.
Insert a Hyperlink
· To insert a hyperlink (link to a website), type into your SoftChalk document
words that describes the hyperlink, e.g. "MCC Homepage".
· Select the text "MCC Homepage" by dragging your mouse over the text to
· Use the Insert menu to Insert Hyperlink.
· A dialog box will appear that includes http:// in the URL text box. Type in the
rest of the URL, e.g. www.mc.maricopa.edu
· Click the checkbox to "Open the link in a new window". This will open a new
browser window when the link is clicked.
· Click OK.
· To modify an existing hyperlink in your document, select the text associated with
the link. Use the Insert menu (on the toolbar) to select Insert Hyperlink. The
Insert Hyperlink window will open and you can modify, replace or delete the
Add a Text Annotation (TextPopper)
Use the TextPopper tool to add a mouseover annotation or definition with your text.
· Highlight a word (or words) that you want to annotate, e.g. highlight the word "
· From the Insert pulldown menu on the toolbar, select TextPopper.
· In the dialog box that appears, fill in the bottom text area to display a note or
definition when the viewer mouses over the word "DNA". If desired, use the top
text area to display a word or phrase (such as the term being defined). You can
rightclick on your mouse in either the top or bottom area to get more formatting
options (e.g. set bolding or italics, include hyperlinks).
· Select the appearance you want. Stickaround TextPoppers remain open in the
text until closed by the user.
· When the viewer has the mouse over the word DNA, this popup box will appear:
· To modify a TextPopper, click your cursor so it is located within the TextPopper
in your document. Then choose the Insert menu, and TextPopper. In the
TextPopper window, make your changes. Choose OK after you've made your
changes or Remove to delete the TextPopper from your document.
Creating Page Navigation
To enable multipage navigation links, insert pagebreaks within your lesson. Use the
Insert pulldown menu (on the toolbar) to select the Page Break option.
Alternatively, if you hit the Control and Enter keys simultaneously, a page break will be
inserted at the location of the cursor.
When you save the lesson, the pages will be separated and linked to each other, with
arrows automatically added for navigation.
Add Quiz Questions (QuizPopper)
Insert quiz questions periodically in your text to encourage interactivity. The
QuizPopper tool allows you to easily insert true/false, multiple choice, multiple answer,
short answer, matching, or ordering questions.
· Click your cursor in the location of your document where you wish the quiz
question to appear.
· Use the Insert pulldown menu (on the toolbar) to choose the QuizPopper option.
· In the Q & A tab, enter your question or statement. Then provide answer choices.
· Select the correct answer by clicking in the appropriate radio button.
· Within the QuizPopper dialog window, you can rightclick on most of the text
boxes where you type questions, answers, feedback and hints. This will dispaly a
textediting menu so you can bold the text, make it italic, etc. You can also insert
Special Characters or Math characters.
· If desired, you can enter feedback for correct or incorrect responses.
· In the Hint tab, you can choose to make a hint available.
· In the Options tab, you can set the link icon or text, choose to hide or show the
question when your lesson is opened, and make the quiz appear inline in the text
or in a popup window. There is also an option to set the question value.
· Click OK when you are finished constructing the quiz.
· To modify or remove a QuizPopper, click on the QuizPopper icon within your
document. Then choose the Insert menu, Modify Question or Remove Question
· After you have created several QuizPopper questions, you can highlight them and
put them in a list (use the bullet/list tool) You may also create a Table
and place quizpoppers within the cells of the table.
Add Activities (Flash Cards, Labeling, SeekaWord,
DragNDrop, HotSpot, Sorting, Crossword Puzzle,
From the Insert menu (on toolbar), choose the type of Activity you want to add to your
SoftChalk document. Each Activity has its own Help tab with instructions on how to use
it. Simply complete the dialog menu for the Activity. Then click OK to insert the activity
into your lesson.
Note: These activities appear in a popup window, so you may have to disable a popup
blocker to see them.
To modify an Activity, rightclick on the activity's icon within your document. Or you
may click on the activity's icon within the document. Then choose the Insert menu and
select either Modify Activity or Remove Activity.
When a student completes the activities in your lesson, you can generate a report of the
experience. From the toolbar, choose the Properties menu. Select Lesson Reporting.
You can then opt to have the program print a certificate of completion for the student,
print a summary of his/her score, and or email completion/score results to you.
Select a Style
· Use the template for color and theme for your file. Pull down the menu for
Properties and select Style Properties.
· With the Styles tab selected, choose a style from the options that appear by
clicking on the style you want to use (you can choose a “nonstyled” lesson also).
Then click OK.
· To see the style you have selected applied to your document, click on the Preview
menu on the toolbar and select Preview Document.
or click on the Preview button .
Title and Layout Style Properties
After making your style selection, click on the Title and Layout tab at the top of the
Style Properties dialog box. Here you can enter a title for your lesson, a footer, and
select the page layout and navigation options.
· Enter a Lesson Title and subtitle if desired in the Lesson Title dialog box.
· Customize the text for the Footer as desired. Leave the box checked to display a
copyright notice and/or the date last modified. Uncheck either box if that item is
· The Style Layout dialog box allows you to select a right or left justified layout.
This selection will change the location of the sidebar and heading.
· The Table of Contents dialog box allows you to choose none, one, two, or all
three options of how the TOC will be displayed. If you choose none, the TOC will
not be automatically generated.
· The Navigation options box allow you to specify whether you want arrows or
page numbers to be displayed in the navigation bar at the top of each page of a
multipage lesson. Selecting the "On This Page" sidebar option will display
bookmark links to page headings and subheadings on the sidebar of the lesson
· Click OK to save your selections.
Customizing the Sidebar
1. The Sidebar allows you to highlight information on the lesson page by
placing the information in a left or a rightsidebar column. There are two
ways to create a sidebar. You can create a sidebar Table of Contents link
and a sidebar On this Page module by making the appropriate selections
on the Style Properties/Title and Layout dialog (see previous directions
in section entitled Title and Layout Style Properties.)
2. You can create customized sidebars by choosing the Properties menu,
then Sidebars. There are four different types of sidebar modules that you
may customize: Handouts, Learn More, More Resources, and Text
Only. To begin customizing a sidebar module, choose one of these to
display in the Sidebar dialog.
· Type in the text you wish to be displayed in the textbox provided on
screen. You can rightclick within the textbox to access text formatting
options, such as creating a hyperlink in your sidebar. The icon that will
appear in the sidebar is visible with each option (Handouts icon, Learn
More icon, etc.) The Text Only sidebar does not have an associated
icon. Instead you may type in a title that you want to appear in the
Sidebar module in place of the icon (so you can customize the name of
your sidebar module).
· By default, the Sidebar module will be created for the lesson page you
were editing when you opened the Sidebar Dialog. You can change the
page placement of the Sidebar module by modifying the For Page
option in the Sidebar Dialog box. You can also direct that the sidebar
be placed on all pages (click the Copy to All Pages in the Sidebar
· You may insert one of each type of Sidebar module on each lesson
page. So, for example, you could have one each of Handouts, Learn
More, More Resources, and Text Only on each page.
3. To remove a sidebar module from a page:
· Open the dialog for the Sidebar module you wish to remove. (For example,
if you wish to remove the Learn More module for your page, select the
dialog for that module.)
· To remove the Sidebar module from one page only, first make certain you
have the correct page selected by using the For Page: option on the
· Click the Clear Text button to remove all information from the text box.
· To remove the Sidebar module from all pages, click the Clear Text button
to remove all information from the text box. Then, click the Copy to All
Pages button. Then click OK.
Zipping Up Your Lesson
Zipping up your Soft Chalk file compresses it (makes it a much smaller file size). This is
handy if you want to transport your files from one computer to another.
To zip up a Soft Chalk file:
· Use the File pulldown menu (on the toolbar) to Save your file.
· Use the File pulldown menu again to select Package Lesson, and then Zip
SoftChalk will create a zip file that contains your lesson and all associated files. It stores
the zip file in the same folder on your local hard drive where it saved your original lesson.
The zip file will have the same title as your original lesson with the zip file extension
(.zip). So if your original lesson is titled "DNA", the zip file will be entitled "DNA.zip".
Opening a Packaged (Zipped) Lesson
If you want to open a file you have zipped up, you can use the File pulldown menu (on
the toolbar) to select the Open Packaged Lesson option.
Packaging the Lesson for Uploading (e.g. into WebCT)
· Use the File pulldown menu (on the toolbar) to Save your file.
· Use the File pulldown menu again to select Package Lesson, and then Zip
Uploading Your Lesson into WebCT
First you will upload the zip file into your WebCT course. Then you will unzip the file
and link it to the appropriate course content.
1. uploading the zip file of your Soft Chalk lesson
· Open your WebCT course and click on the Build tab.
· Select File Manager within the Designer Tools
· Click on Get Files on the next screen that appears.
· Browse to find the zip file on your computer that you created in SoftChalk. It will
have the zip icon next to the file name. Note: You may have to click on the My
Files icon to make the My Computer icon appear.
· Upload the zip file by clicking on the file name and selecting Open. A folder will
now appear in your Files list that has the extension ".zip" (e.g.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you already have a SoftChalk file with the same name
as the file you just created, change the name of your new file. Otherwise you will
replace your older SoftChalk lesson with the new one you just uploaded.
2. unzipping (extracting) your Soft Chalk lesson
· Browse to find the uploaded zip file. Click on the action link next to the
name of the file to access the Extract command.
· A new folder will appear in the File Manager that contains your SoftChalk lesson
and all files associated with it (such as images, audio files). The folder will have
the same name as your original SoftChalk file had.
· Click on the folder to open it. You will see your lesson (the file that has an html
extension) and all the files that are associated with it.
3. making a link to your Soft Chalk lesson
· With the Build tab selected, select Learning Modules from the list of Course
Tools. Then click on the button to Create a Learning Module. Name this
Learning Module as desired.
· Use the Action Link to rename the Learning Module if you wish by choosing
· Click on the name of your SoftChalk learning module (underlined module
name, e.g. SoftChalk Directions in above example).
· Click on the Add File button to create a link to the html file (lesson) you created
in Soft Chalk. Use the Action Link to select Browse for Files.
· Check the box to the left of the name of the html file in the SoftChalk folder you
uploaded into your course (and extracted). Note: If you have more than one page
in your lesson, you will see several files with the html extension but some have
numbers in their name (e.g. PegSoftChalkDirections2.html,
PegSoftChalkDirections3.html). Choose the html file name WITHOUT a number
in the title (e.g. PegSoftChalkDirections.html).Then click OK. When students
click on this learning module, it will take them to your Soft Chalk lesson.
Uploading Your Lesson to Homedirs (for a Webpage not in
Upload your zipped SoftChalk lesson into a folder on MCC Homedirs (Samba) server. The
lesson will have a zip extension on it (such as DNA.zip).
Use Filezilla to upload your file from either your home or office computer. Filezilla software is
free to MCC faculty. It can be downloaded from the Technology Support Services website at
http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/its/tss/index.html Click on the the File Transfer link on the
left side of the screen to access directions on downloading and using Filezilla. Download
Filezilla to your computer (Filezilla is already loaded on the CTL workshop room computers.)
a. Open Filezilla by clicking on the Start button.
b. select All Programs.
c. Locate Filezilla from the list of programs and click on it to open.
d. Click on File. From the pulldown menu, select
e. Click on New Site.
f. On the next screen:
i. Type in My MCC Homedirs as the FTP site
ii. Type in homedirs.mc.maricopa.edu in Host (the port number will
automatically fill in as 22).
iii. Select SFTP using SSH2 in the Servertype
iv. Select Normal in the Logontype
v. Type in your MCC username in the User
vi. Click on the button to make this your Default site
vii. Click on the Connect button.
g. When prompted to ask for your password, type it in.
h. Click OK.
i. If a screen appears with text and the question, “Store key in cache?”, click Yes.
j. Double click on the www icon.
k. Browse to find the SoftChalk Lesson on your computer.
(If you can’t locate the files, use the Search feature (click on the Start menu, then
Search, type in your file name and hit search.)
l. Drag and drop your SoftChalk lesson (that ends in zip) into your www folder on
Making a Link to Your Lesson on Homedirs (for a Webpage
not in WebCT
Using software such as WinZip, extract the zip file into the folder you created for your
SoftChalk lesson. A number of files will appear in your folder.
If you have a multipage lesson, you will see a number of files that have the name of your
lesson and have numbers on them (e.g. DNA1.html, DNA2.html, DNA3.html). You will
also see a file that has the name of your lesson but no number in it (e.g. DNA.html).
Make a link on your homepage to the file that is present in the folder and ends in html
and does not have a number on it (e.g. DNA.html) by putting in this code:
<A HREF=”http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/~johnson/DNA.html”> DNA Lesson </A>
Substitute your MCC username for “johnson” and the file name you used for “DNA”.
Substitute the name you want your students to see for the words “DNA Lesson”.
Alternatively you can use Front Page or Dreamweaver software and insert a link to the
htm file in your homedirs folder.
Note: This is casesensitive. If the HTML code (htm file) says to go to the swf file that
begins with a capital letter, you need to be sure your swf file begins with a capital letter.
AUTOMATED MCC HOMPAGE
If you don’t have a WebCT page, the easiest way to create one is with the Automated
MCC Homepage option. If you need directions for how to set up your automated MCC
homepage, log on to the CTL homepage at http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/other/ctl
Under the Quick Links heading on the left side of your screen, select (click) on All
1. Click on the arrow to the left of the heading My MCC Portal to bring up a menu
of options. Select Create an Automated Homepage for stepbystep directions.
It will take up to 24 hours before your automatic homepage is created. It will have
this URL: http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/~username where username is your
2. To add a link to your StudyMate game on your MCC homepage:
a. Log into the MyMCC portal (http://www.mc.maricopa.edu)
b. Select the MyTools tab.
c. Select Manage UserLinks.
d. Select Add a Personal Link.
e. Type in the exact URL (full webpage address such as
http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/~johnson/DNA.html ) for the StudyMate
game you uploaded to your homedirs (samba) file. Substitute your
username for “johnson” in this example. Substitute the name of the html
file you created in SoftChalk for “DNA”.
f. Type in the short (20 characters) description (e.g. DNA Lesson);
g. Click on Add Link to save changes.
If you are an MCC employee, the district has a site license for SoftChalk. You can
download the software to your computer at this address:
Log onto this site using your MCC username and password.
SoftChalk Lesson Builder is also available for your use on the computers in the pod
(central work area) in the CTL.