Frequently Asked Questions - CALI Lessons

Access to CALI Lessons (and certain other materials) is limited to faculty, students and staff of CALI's member organizations. If you fall into this category, you'll need to create an account on CALI's website before you can continue. To create an account, you'll need two things:


  1. A CALI Authorization Code from your school or organization.  A list of CALI representatives that have the code is available on the CALI website.  Alternatively, they are usually available in the library.
  2. An email address.  Any email address will work provided it's not a Hotmail address, which we've had to ban due to spammer activity.

During registration, you will be asked to create a username and password for your CALI account.  This is what you'll use to log into CALI from then on.

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Yes.  Scores are automatically saved when you take a CALI lesson.  To resume:

  1. Log into the CALI website.
  2. Hover over "CALI Dashboard" so that the drop down menu appears.
  3. Click on "My Lesson Runs."  This will take you to a page that will list all of your CALI lesson activity.
  4. Click on "resume" for the lesson you would like to resume. It will return you to the spot you were at when you quit the lesson.

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The most likely reason for this error message is that you are not logged into the CALI website.  All CALI Lessons, LessonLinks and Autopublished lessons can only be viewed by those that are logged in.  If you do not yet have a CALI username and password, please view the FAQ on how to obtain those.

At the top of the webpage is the drop down to log in.  After logging into the CALI website hit refresh.  If that does not work, close the page and refollow the link you were given.  Do not try to search for the lesson by title, as the link may be to an Autopublished lesson or a LessonLink.  Those require access by a specific URL in order for your performance to be recorded.

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LessonLink Lessons will generally appear exactly like a regular CALI Lesson. That's because they are one!  They just have a special URL that allows your professor to track your score and performance. There are a few ways to tell if you are taking one.


  1. When you are running a CALI Lesson look for the LessonLink logo in the upper right of the Lesson viewer.
  2. You are sent to a CALI Courses page with several lessons listed. It will have "courses" in the URL and the CALI Lessons listed will have "LessonLink" in their URL.
  3. The URL of the CALI Lesson that your professor gives to you has "LessonLink" in it.
  4. When you view your "My Lesson Runs" dashboard, your professor's name will appear in the "professor" column. If it's a regular CALI Lesson, this column will be blank.

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With so many lessons - over 1,000 in 48+ subjects! - students may have trouble finding the lessons that apply to them. Luckily, we have several ways to aid students in their search for the right CALI Lessons.

  • Search: use cali.org's search bar (top right) to search CALI lesson names and descriptions. Please note: CALI's website search covers a LOT of material, so you may have to refine your search several times to find an appropriate lesson.
  • By topic: browse lessons sorted by topic, listed in alphabetical order. Some subjects' full list of lessons are very long, so don't forget about your browser's find function (CTRL + F or CMD + F) to search the page for keywords.
  • By author: many of our law professors and librarians write multiple lessons for us. You may even see your professor!
  • By subject outline: matches subtopics traditionally covered in certain subjects with corresponding CALI Lessons.
  • New lessons list: look here or subscribe to the new CALI Lessons RSS feed to see the newest CALI Lessons.
  • Updated lessons list: this lists the most recently updated lessons, also with an RSS feed.

 

Note: if you are a faculty member reviewing lessons for use in your course, we have some other tips for you in deciding which lesson to assign, please see this FAQ.

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Only the student or CALI will be able to see the score, with two exceptions:


  • The first exception is when the student explicitly indicates that they want to submit the score for review by a faculty member. This would be in conjunction with the LessonLink and/or AutoPublish services. You can learn more about these in their respective FAQs.
  • The second exception is that CALI will use the scores as a way to improve its lessons without revealing any personal detail about the student. When used in aggregate, scores can be used by CALI to determine if there are improvements to be made to a CALI lessons. The aggregate scores of all students who take a lesson may be shared with the lesson's author to see if there are ways to refine or improve the lesson for future students.

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No, at this time CALI Lesson scores cannot be deleted by students or CALI staff.

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CALI Lesson scores remain available for the life of a CALI account.


Scores from the current semester can be viewed on a student's "My Lesson Runs" page. Previous semester lesson scores will be found in chronological order on this page under the "Past Lesson Runs" tab.

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CALI Lesson scores are saved automatically, even if you don't remember to click the "Exit & Resume Later" link at the top of the page within each CALI Lesson." However, they will not be reported unless you click the "finalize my score" button.

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Generally speaking, faculty are unable to view student performance on CALI Lessons. There are three exceptions:


  1. Students provide the faculty member with a printed or digital version of the certificate that appears at the end of lessons. This will provide only the score for the lesson.
  2. The faculty member creates a LessonLink and can view the scores and question by question performance directly via the "Current LessonLinks" tab for LessonLinks created that semester, provided that they are logged in with the faculty account that created the LessonLink.
  3. The faculty member creates an Autopublished CALI lesson and can view student scores and question by question performance directly via the "Published Lessons" link, provided that they are logged in with the faculty account that created the Autopublished lesson.

For information on how to create LessonLinks and Autopublished lessons, please view their FAQs.

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Strictly speaking, you can't change the score of a lesson once you have answered all the questions. You can change answers, but the original score will remain.

If you have not finalized a lesson and still have questions to answer, you can resume and finish the CALI Lesson. This will change the final score of the lesson. You are also able to take CALI Lessons as many times as you wish.

Please note: if you are taking a LessonLink CALI Lesson or an AutoPublished Lesson, your professor will be able to see multiple lesson runs. For more information on resuming a lesson, LessonLink or AutoPublish, please see their respective questions in the FAQs.

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Generally speaking, only the student knows which CALI Lessons a student has taken and what their score was. However, if a faculty member would like to use CALI Lessons for formative or summative assessment, they have a few options to find student scores.


  1. They can have students submit a lesson certificate that shows their completion and performance on a CALI Lesson. Each certificate lists the students' name, when they finalized the lesson, how many questions were attempted and how many they answered correctly.
  2. If you use LessonLink, you will be able to view the scores and question-by-question performance of your students on a CALI Lesson.

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No. Any time after you complete a CALI Lesson, you can retrieve and print your certificate.
  1. After logging into CALI, go to your "Lesson Runs" page by following the link from the "CALI Dashboard" dropdown.
  2. Click on the highlighted percentage score of the lesson that you want a certificate for.
  3. You will be taken to the "Detailed Score Report" for the lesson.
  4. At the top of the score report, there will be a link to "print certificate."
  5. From there you can print the certificate or take a screen shot that can be emailed.

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There are two ways to print your CALI Lesson certificate.


  1. After you have completed every page in a lesson or clicked the "complete the lesson" link in the lesson's table of content, you will be taken to the final page of the lesson. This is the certificate. At the bottom there is a button that says, "Print this score." Click to print.
  2. On the same page as in the instruction above, there is a button that says, "Finalize this score." Click this and your score will be finalized. It also means that you will not be able to resume the lesson. At any time you may go to either your "Current Lesson Runs" (for lessons that you have taken this semester) or "Past Lesson Runs" for all other lessons. Click on the percentage score for the lesson you would like a certificate for. This will take you to a detailed score report. There will be a link to "Print Certificate."

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If your professor is using LessonLink and you correctly followed the special URL your professor provided to you, your professor will see your scores by viewing their LessonLink Dashboard. You won't have to do anything. However, if you did not use the URL that your professor gave to you, they will not be able to see your score.

If your professor is not using LessonLink or you did not use the URL that they provided, you can still show that you've taken a CALI Lesson by printing off the CALI Lesson Certificate. Please view the FAQ on CALI Lesson Certificates for complete instructions on how to print or save them.

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LessonLink is a service from CALI that allows faculty members to create a unique URL for their students.  When students run a CALI lesson via a LessonLink, the faculty can see the students' performance.

Anyone with the unique URL can run the lesson - it is not unique to a particular law school. The lesson performance of anyone who follows the LessonLink URL (and only those people) will be viewable by the faculty member who created the LessonLink.

Faculty members may create an unlimited number of LessonLinks.  You should create new LessonLinks each semester so as to seperate the data.  Only the faculty who creates the LessonLink will be able to view the results.

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Creating a LessonLink is very easy! The whole process takes about five minutes.


  1. Make sure you are logged into CALI with a Faculty account.
  2. Go to the LessonLink page on the CALI website.
  3. Click the link to "Create LessonLinks".
  4. Enter your course name. This can be anything you would like.
  5. Pick the semester in which students will be taking the LessonLink, not when you are making it.
  6. Select the CALI topic area which best describes your course. If you are teaching a class that covers more than one legal subject area, don't worry! You can back later and select another topic.
  7. A list of all the CALI Lessons tagged with that subject will appear. You can then check the box next to the lessons that you would like to create LessonLinks for.
  8. Click "Create LessonLinks" at the bottom of the page.
  9. At this point you will be taken to a page that is titled with the name of the course you entered in Step 4 above. This page will have all the LessonLinks you have created.

Once you've created a set of LessonLinks here are some ponts to consider


  • There is an option to edit or add LessonLinks this course's list of LessonLinks. Just look for the add/edit link.
  • You should also receive an email with the URLs of your course page and LessonLinks. If the email doesn't show up in a few minutes please check your spam/junk folder.
  • The URL of the course page or the URLs of each individual LessonLink can be shared with your students via email, your school's LMS (Canvas, Moodle, Blackboard, TWEN,etc) or any other means of communication.
  • Using the course page or the individual LessonLinks depends on whether you wish to allow the students to view all of the LessonLinks at once or if you prefer to make them available on a more structured basis.
  • To view student scores and performance, go to your "Current LessonLinks" dashboard. From there you can click the "details" button to view more information.
  • While you can put a LessonLink URL into a Microsoft Word document, but students won't be able to Ctrl-Click to follow the link.  This is a limitation of Word and not LessonLink. Converting to PDF is your best option. This article explains all the gory details.

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AutoPublish is a feature within the CALI Author software that allows faculty members to create their own lessons, quizzes or study aids.  It also provides the opportunity for editing existing CALI lessons. This could be done to change the length of a lesson or to add in jurisdictional differences, for example.

All AutoPublished Lessons appear on the CALI website and have the same style as "Official" CALI Lessons.  However, only those people with the URL of the AutoPublished Lesson will be able to find and use it.  It will not appear in search results of the CALI website nor will edited lessons replace the "Official" version.

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CALI Lessons and AutoPublished Lessons look a lot alike - after all, they reside on the same website and are created with the same software. They will also both show up in a student's "My Lesson Runs" dashboard. However, there are some important differences between the two:

  • CALI does not review the content of AutoPublish Lessons, nor do we modify or update them. AutoPublish lessons are purely the creation of your professor and, thus, CALI makes no gaurantees about AutoPublished lesson content.
  • AutoPublish lessons are not publicly visible at cali.org, unlike regular CALI Lessons available to all authorized users through the CALI Library of Lessons. Only users who have been given the URL to an AutoPublish lesson have access to that AutoPublish lesson.
  • AutoPublish lessons have a special AutoPublish logo in the upper-left, in place of the CALI Lesson logo found on regular CALI Lessons.

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On the left hand side of every CALI Lesson page there is a box called "Teaching Guide".   Here's a brief overview of what they are:


  1. Mapper is the term CALI uses to denote a map - similar to a subway route map - that represents all the pages in a CALI lesson, choices students could make and the paths the lesson might follow. Some CALI lessons are rather complex in structure and include Socratic dialogues with the student where the student's choice decides the next question in the lesson.
  2. LessonText is a special feature that permits faculty to see an entire CALI lesson as a single text document. The lesson's text is displayed as a webpage and can be printed for viewing in a comfy chair or copied into a word processing document.
  3. LessonLink is a CALI Tool that allows you to view your students' performance on this CALI Lesson. For more information about LessonLink, read its FAQs and instructions.
  4. Download is what you click to download the lesson and all associated images in the CALI Author software format.  You will need to first download CALI Author.

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Yes! The following features are available to faculty. Please note: you must be logged into CALI with a faculty account in order to view them.


  1. LessonText: This provides all of the content of the CALI Lesson - questions, answer and images - in a single webpage. It makes printing and reviewing a lesson much easier.
  2. LessonLink: This tool provides a special URL to an existing CALI Lesson. When students use that to take the lesson, faculty can view their performance via their LessonLink Dashboard.
  3. AutoPublish: This is a tool within the CALI Author software (which powers CALI Lessons) that allows faculty to edit existing lessons or write their own educational materials and publish it on the CALI website. AutoPublished lessons have the same score tracking ability as LessonLink lessons.
  4. Mapper: The lesson Mapper gives a graphical view of a lesson and allows you to see the various branches that some of our CALI Lessons have.

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Yes, we allow (and encourage!) faculty to edit or modify existing CALI Lessons to better suit their pedagogical needs. It's just another of the many benefits we provide our members. To edit CALI Lessons, faculty will need to download and install the CALI Author software. As with any software or tool, there is a slight learning curve with using it, but for the most part, if you can use a word processor and webpages, you can use CALI Author. Of course, we are always happy to provide training or tips on using it. After editing, the new lessons can be republished to the CALI website via the AutoPublish feature. Don't worry - you're not going to replace the existing lesson! The edited lesson appears on a separate place on the website only discoverable by those whom you give the URL to. As an added benefit, AutoPublished lessons have score and performance tracking capabilities.

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With so many lessons, faculty and staff may have trouble finding lessons that are relevant to their students . Luckily, we have tools to aid in your search to assign or suggest appropriate lessons:

  • Search: use cali.org's search bar (top right) to search CALI lesson names and descriptions. Please note: CALI's website search covers a LOT of material, so you may have to refine your search several times to find an appropriate lesson.
  • By topic: browse lessons sorted by topic, listed in alphabetical order. Some subjects' full list of lessons are very long, so don't forget about your browser's find function (CTRL + F or CMD + F) to search the page for keywords.
  • By author: many of our law professors and librarians write multiple lessons for us. You may even see your professor!
  • By subject outline: matches subtopics traditionally covered in certain subjects with corresponding CALI Lessons.
  • New lessons list: look here or subscribe to the new CALI Lessons RSS feed to see the newest CALI Lessons.
  • Updated lessons list: this lists the most recently updated lessons, also with an RSS feed.

Once you find a lesson, you most like would want to review its content. If you would like to review, you can, of course run the lesson as if you were a student. But there are a couple of faculty-only features to aid in your review of a lesson, and you may find these features more convenient than reviewing the student version:

  • Lesson Text - a full text version of the lesson that includes all questions, answers, and feedback contained within in the lesson; all on one web page. LessonText is easy to print and suitable for reading in your favorite comfy chair.
  • Mapper - a visual presentation of a lesson's structure showing branches and right/wrong choices.

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Once you find a lesson, you most like would want to review its content. If you would like to review, you can, of course run the lesson as if you were a student. But there are a couple of faculty-only features to aid in your review of a lesson, and you may find these features more convenient than reviewing the student version:

  • Lesson Text - a full text version of the lesson that includes all questions, answers, and feedback contained within in the lesson; all on one web page. LessonText is easy to print and suitable for reading in your favorite comfy chair. The link to the LessonText appears on the informational page of each lesson.
  • Mapper - a visual presentation of a lesson's structure showing branches an d right/wrong choices. This allows you to see the various paths a student may take through a lesson.

To locate the LessonText for a particular lesson:

  1. Log into CALI's website with your faculty account.
  2. Select the lesson you wish to see in LessonText format. You can select the lesson by browsing by subject area, casebook, or author.
  3. Click "Faculty View". This will take you to the LessonText of the lesson.

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Yes! You can easily post a link directly to a CALI Lesson, LessonLink, CALI Author self-published lesson, or QuizWright Quiz in Course Management Systems like TWEN, Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, etc. There are two tips to make sure this works correctly:

  1. Suggest students log into CALI before following the link to the CALI Lesson. They can always log in when the arrive, but they may get an access denied error for LessonLinks and AutoPublished CALI Lessons and become confused.
  2. Set your link to open in a new webpage, completely outside of your CMS.

Read on for more explanation... Just like any link, you can post a link directly to a single CALI Lesson to direct your students to it. Just click on the lesson name in the list of lessons, copy the URL from your browser, and then paste that URL wherever you like. Just like this: /lesson/815 But - and this is very important - in many classroom management systems the links will not work correctly unless you set the link to the CALI lesson to open in a new window. Oftentimes a CMS' default is to open links within the CMS or with a CMS wrapper around the external link. CALI lessons don't react well to that. So when you're using TWEN, Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, or any CMS... always double-check your own CALI link and ensure the link opens in a completely new and clean window. NOT within the CMS.

Signs that your CMS link will be problematic:

  • Looking in your CMS link's properties or settings, you see that the option to "open link in new window" (or similar) is not checked or selected.
  • You follow your link and it opens with the frame of your CMS around it.
  • Your CMS or college logo is visible after following the CALI lesson link.
  • The URL in the window starts with anything other than our website's: http://www.cali.org.

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CALI Author is the software that powers CALI Lessons. Faculty at CALI member schools may download the software and use it to edit existing CALI Lessons or create their own learning objects.

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CALI Lessons scores only viewable by the student and in aggregate by CALI for purposes of research and improvement of CALI lessons. When faculty view scores, it is only after students have explicitly given their permission with full disclosure. If you have any concerns, please contact us directly for further discussion.

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LessonLink Lessons will generally appear exactly like a regular CALI Lesson. That's because they are one!  They just have a special URL that allows your professor to track your score and performance. There are a few ways to tell if you are taking one.


  1. When you are running a CALI Lesson look for the LessonLink logo in the upper right of the Lesson viewer.
  2. You are sent to a CALI Courses page with several lessons listed. It will have "courses" in the URL and the CALI Lessons listed will have "LessonLink" in their URL.
  3. The URL of the CALI Lesson that your professor gives to you has "LessonLink" in it.
  4. When you view your "My Lesson Runs" dashboard, your professor's name will appear in the "professor" column. If it's a regular CALI Lesson, this column will be blank.

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For citing a CALI lesson in bluebook format, you should generally follow rule 18.2.2. Here’s an example:


  • Wayne Schiess, Punctuation and Grammar Basics for Law Students, The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (September 12, 2014), http://www.cali.org/lesson/585

With ALWD, you will follow rule 40.0 and its subdivisions. Here’s the same lesson in ALWD format:


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Yes, however only faculty may download CALI Lessons to their computer. Using our AutoPublish feature, you can then republish the lesson with any edits that you choose to make.

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Clicking that link will not save the CALI Lesson to your web browser. Instead, we provide users with a way of saving links to CALI Lessons in one place - the Bookmarks dashboard. This is a way to keep track of CALI Lessons that you may want to take, not just ones that you have taken, without searching through our library of over 1,000 CALI Lessons. You can always remove a CALI Lesson bookmark at any time.

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CALI Lessons are generally designed so that students can run them without supplemental materials. However, several Civil Procedure exercises encourage users to read parts of the Roger C. Park and Douglas D. McFarland book called Computer-Aided Exercises on Civil Procedure (7th ed. 2014) (eLangdell Press). This book is available for free in several formats from CALI's eLangdell Press.

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CALI Lessons are interactive tutorials designed to help law students improve their knowledge of legal concepts through a process of presenting a concept and then immediately testing them on it. Studies have shown that this is one of the most effective way to learn and retain knowledge.

CALI currently has over 1,000 tutorials in over 40 legal subjects. All CALI lessons are written and peer reviewed by faculty at CALI member schools. They can be used for assessment by faculty or for student self-study.

CALI Lessons are absolutely free for students and faculty at CALI member schools to use. However, you must register on the CALI website. Please see your CALI representative to get the authorization code needed to register.

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