How to Use Lessons for Online Learning During School Closures

Instructor: Jordan White

Jordan has been a writer, editor and Web researcher for educational publications since 2010. He holds a bachelor's in English from Western Michigan University.

When schools have to close, learning and completing assignments can become much more challenging, especially for students who aren't used to relying on online learning. In these situations, can be a great online learning tool for teachers and students.

What Offers Students has a lot to offer its users in both content and site functionality.

When it comes to content, offers learning resources across most academic disciplines (from literature to calculus) at most levels (from elementary to college), in addition to specialized content for users with special education needs, or English Language Learners (ELL.)

To support all that content, also includes a number of site feature and functions that users can utilize in order to learn more efficiently and effectively.

Understanding Lessons, Chapters, and Courses content is organized in the following way:

Individual lessons cover specific topics in bit-sized pieces, in about 500-1,000 words. An example of a lesson would be 'Active Transport in Cells: Definition & Examples'. These lessons can either be in video format (about 5-10 minutes long) or text-based.

These bite-sized lessons are organized into 'chapters' that cover similar content. Chapters are about 3-15 lessons that all center on a broader subject, such as 'Cell Membrane Model, Components & Transport'.

These chapters are organized into 'courses,' which offer broad coverage of a specific level of learning (like a class) or which focus on preparing for a specific test. A course title might be something like 'Biology 101: Intro to Biology.'

Students using can take advantage of various learning opportunities at the lesson, chapter, and course levels.

How to Use the Videos includes tens of thousands of short, fun, animated videos that users can view to learn any number of academic concepts. While watching these videos, students could benefit from the following tips and tricks:

  1. Pause the video often and take notes. To ensure that they're not missing anything, students will find it useful to pause after major points are made, take notes, and then resume the video.
  2. Stop and go back to repeat important or confusing points. In a live lecture, students would be able to raise their hand and ask a question, but a video lacks that ability. One effective way for students to learn confusing concepts will be to repeat sections that they're having trouble understanding. Watching an example or listening to a definition multiple times can help with comprehension and understanding.
  3. Use closed captioning. If students are having trouble hearing the video, or aren't sure what a narrator it saying, the captions of a video can be very useful.
  4. Speed up or slow down the play speed of a video. If a student finds that the pace of a video is too slow for them and they're finding it boring, setting the video play speed to 1.25x or 1.5x can be useful. Conversely, if the video is moving too fast, slowing the video down to .75x or .5x can help slow the pace of the information and could help students absorb the information more clearly.
  5. Use the timeline to find important information. Whether the student is on their first watch or they're re-watching a video, using the Timeline option to find specific information can help students narrow in on certain topics they want to learn or re-watch.

In the image here, you can see the timeline bar of the video, the closed captioning option, the timeline expansion, and the speed adjustment feature highlighted:


Using the Transcripts

Every video lesson comes with a transcript, which is the information of the video in text form. Students may find it useful to read along with the transcript as they listen to the video, in order to solidify the information they're hearing with the aid of text.

There are also a few different options for students to print out the transcripts of these videos. For instance, students can use the 'Print: Transcript' option to print the transcript out and use it in addition to the video. Students can highlight and take notes on the transcript as they review the material, which can be a great study aid to take with them and review later.

In the image below, you can see the transcript and the print options highlighted:


How to Use the Quiz and Practice Exams

Every academic lesson on comes with a built-in 5-question multiple choice quiz that covers the major points of the lesson and helps students test their knowledge. Students should consistently take advantage of this feature to double-check what they do and don't know after each lesson. Quizzes also come with explanations for answers when a student gets a question wrong, and will direct them back to the point in the video that explains the concept behind the question.

Quizzes are available in the Quiz tab of the lesson and can also be printed out as a 'Worksheet.' (This can be useful for teachers who want to print these quizzes out as assignments for class.) Here you can see the quiz tab and the print as worksheet button:

quiz and worksheet

In addition to lesson quizzes, also offers 'chapter exams'. From a given 'course page,' you can find that the lessons are grouped into 'chapters' that contain multiple lessons. A chapter exam will provide users with a 30-question exam made up of questions covering topics from all throughout the chapter. also offers 'practice finals' for every course, which is a 50-question exam comprised of questions that cover topics from all throughout the entire course.


Flashcards are available as a 'chapter' in many courses, usually formatted as 'Studying for' and the name of the course, at the bottom of the list of chapters. Each flashcards set is designed to reflect a specific chapter in the course. So if a student is studying lessons in the chapter 'Cell Membrane Model, Components & Transport' in Biology 101, they could use the flashcard set 'Cell Membrane Flashcards' in the chapter Studying for Biology 101.

Here you can see the Studying for Biology 101 'chapter' within the larger course asset, and the list of flashcard options students can choose from:


Instant Answers

Students using online resources may struggle without the live, in-person guidance of a teacher. To address that need, offers a service called Instant Answers, which allows students to submit any academic question they might have to one of our many experts, who span a wide variety of academic fields. All accounts start with several Instant Answer 'credits,' and additional credits can be purchased as needed. Instant Answers are commonly answered within 1-4 hours, and if the question is not answered within a maximum of 72 hours, the student will receive their credit back.

Instant Answers can be located on the left-hand column on a user's dashboard.

Summary offers a wide variety of academic resources for users are all levels of education with a wide variety of learning styles and academic goals. To full utilize, students can use the following strategies:

  1. Utilize the various functions of the videos, such as pausing, rewinding, captions, the timeline, and the speed controls.
  2. Print the transcript in order to highlight and take notes.
  3. Take the quizzes and practice exams to test retention and knowledge. Quizzes can also be printed as assignments.
  4. Use the flashcard sets provided as a final chapter for many courses
  5. Use the Instant Answer feature to ask questions. Questions are commonly answered within 1-4 hours.

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