Not all CALI lessons are not linear. To the student they may appear linear and some are in fact linear. But the option to create complex branching questions that allows the student to “choose his own adventure” through responses is available to the lesson’s author.
When Faculty are logged into the CALI website they can see a map of any lesson along with the lesson’s full text. The map and full text are features exclusive to faculty to aid their use of any lesson. The map allows faculty to see where the lesson branches or skips over sections. Branching questions simulates the Socratic dialogue that takes place in class. And, they allow for more complex questions that personalizes the learning for students. A student’s wrong choice can be explored in a series of branching questions that allows the student to find out why his choice was wrong and get him back on track for better understanding the material. Likewise, a student’s correct choice can be challenged to ensure the student’s selection was made for the right reason.
Recently, in reviewing Professor David Welkowitz’s lesson in Civil Procedure – Joinder, I was reminded of just how complex some CALI lessons can be.
Professor Welkowitz had just completed his revisions to the lesson, as part of CALI’s extensive revision project. And, my team and I were working through the lesson to catch any random typos. In the course of reviewing his lesson, we thought we’d gotten caught in a loop with one of the questions. I took pen to paper and plotted the question’s path from the main question through all follow-up questions, to the next question, accounting for every choice that a student could make. As you can see, a student’s choice for each follow-up question – based on his understanding and analysis – determines his path through the lesson.