Frequently Asked Questions

LessonLink is a feature of the CALI website that allows faculty members to assign CALI Lessons, QuizWright quizzes, and CALI Author self-published lessons to their students.  When students work on one of these CALI resources via a LessonLink, the faculty can track student performance, view grades, and access detailed analytics.

LessonLink creates a unique URL that teachers provide to students. Once students begin work on a CALI Lesson or other resource uisng a LessonLink teachers have access to the students' work at varying level of detail. There is a basic grade report that shows how students did on on a particular Lesson or Lessons. Grade reports can be viewed online or downloaded as a spreadsheet. For a more detailed review there is an analytics view of student performance that shows how students did with the Lesson and offers question by question comparions across all the students in your class.

When using LessonLink there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Grades and performance data for LessonLinks are only visible online to the faculty member who creates the LessonLink. In a co-teaching situation grade information will need to be downloaded as a spreadsheet and shared among colleagues.
  •  Anyone with a CALI account and the LessonLink 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.
  • LessonLinks do not prevent students from running a CALI Lesson directly. If a student runs an assigned Lesson directly from the Lesson page there is no way to convert that into a LessonLink.

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 button to "Create New LessonLinks".
  4. Enter your course name. This can be anything you would like.
  5. Pick the semester in which students will be using the LessonLinks, 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.

Self-publsihed lessons use 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 Self-Published 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.

CALI Lessons and Self-Published 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 Self-Published Lessons, nor do we modify or update them. Self-published lessons are purely the creation of your professor and, thus, CALI makes no gaurantees about self-published lesson content.
  • Self-published lessons are not publicly visible at, 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 self-published lesson have access to that lesson.
  • Self-published lessons have a special SPL logo in the upper-left, in place of the CALI Lesson logo found on regular CALI Lessons.

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.

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.

CALI Lessons are best suited to interactive questions that engage and challenge students to learn and to think about the material.

One technique to account for different levels of student learning, different learning styles, and to provide more teaching opportunities, is to create branching questions. Branching questions also allow use of interactive questions to replicate the Socratic questioning style used in the law school classroom. Branching questions can appear at any point in a Lesson and make it more individualized for students.  For example, branching questions can be used to address specific strengths and weaknesses that each student brings to the Lesson. Any one Lesson may contain one or more question models.

CALI has identified five models of question formats: (1) Nintendo-ing, (2) Expert mode; (3) Novice Mode; (4) Stick to your response; and (5) Fill out your knowledge/Remedial branch. All of these formats are useful in interactive materials.


A Lesson utilizing questions in a basic building block format is the most common, and the most linear, style of question. Here, regardless of the student's answer, the student progresses to the next question. CALI has dubbed this style of questioning "Nintendo-ing," since the student simply clicks through the Lesson in a linear manner. This question style is very useful for review material, or places where we want to drill students on their understanding of concepts underlying any issue.



In the "Expert" mode questions are still presented in a linear fashion. However, when students answer a particular question correctly, they skip ahead in the Lesson. Thus, students who correctly answer a "threshold" question about the material are not bored by a review of the initial concepts or basic materials. Instead, they can move directly to the more challenging questions. Consequently, in "Expert" mode students' progress can be individualized to match their skills and understanding of the material. Moreover, based on the method of naming pages, students do not necessarily know that they have skipped ahead, or conversely been taken the slow route through the Lesson. This style also allows for the student to have a different experience with the Lesson the second or third time he works through the material.

As you can see, this style of questioning can be used to replicate the style of teaching you might use in the classroom. In a typical classroom you might ask students a question to gage their general understanding of the material. Based on the class' response you will either move forward with the material (the "Expert" mode) or re-examine some of the more basic material.



The "Novice" mode is related in theory and structure to the "Expert" mode. Here too students move through the Lesson in an individualized fashion. In contrast to the "Expert" mode though, students who answer a threshold question incorrectly are directed to a remedial branch where the exact root of their misunderstanding or their deficiencies can be explored. For example, suppose students have a common misconception about joint tenancy. A question in the Lesson can ask them about this topic. Students answering with the common misconception can be directed to a tutorial designed to correct their mistaken understanding. Students who understand the misconception and answer the question correctly progress through the Lesson without having to do any of the extra questions. And, as with any other question model, based on the method of naming pages, students may not know that they have been diverted to refresher or more basic material.


"Stick to your response" emulates a technique faculty often use in the classroom of introducing possibly conflicting material, or additional facts, into students' analysis. In this question model a student who selects the correct response to the question will branch to an additional line of questioning that can inquire whether the student took factor 'X' into consideration when selecting his answer. As a result, a student's response can be challenged and analyzed. Here too, faculty can address misconceptions, gray areas of the law, or weaknesses in students' analysis. Finally, like any of the other question models, "Stick to your response" can be combined with other question formats. For example, students who select the correct response would branch to a series of questions that are directed to a higher level of analysis and that explore a more difficult concept. In contrast, students who select the wrong response would branch to a series of "Remedial" questions designed to reinforce the underlying theories and basic concepts of the problem.


The final question model combines features of the previous four models and adds something new. Like the "Novice" mode, students who answer incorrectly branch to a series of questions designed to work on their fundamental knowledge of the material. And while students giving the correct answer branch to a series of questions like the "stick to your response" model, here students are not pressed to defend their response. Instead, the student's knowledge and understanding is expanded by questions that delve deeper into the material.


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.

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'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.

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.

Yes! You can easily post a link directly to a CALI Lesson, LessonLink, CALI Author self-published lesson, or QuizWright Quiz in Learning Management Systems (LMS) 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 Self-Published CALI Lessons and become confused.
  2. Set your link to open in a new webpage, completely outside of your LMS.

At present, you cannot automatically transfer scores from CALI Lessons into your LMS. 

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 LMS' default is to open links within the LMS or with a LMS wrapper around the external link. CALI lessons don't react well to that. So when you're using TWEN, Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, or any LMS, always double-check your own CALI link and ensure the link opens in a completely new and clean window. NOT within the LMS.

Signs that your LMS link will be problematic:

  • Looking in your LMS 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 LMS around it.
  • Your LMS or college logo is visible after following the CALI lesson link.
  • The URL in the window starts with anything other than our website's:
CALI Author is the software that powers CALI Lessons. Faculty at CALI member schools may use it to edit existing CALI Lessons or create their own learning objects.