A lesson is a collection of activities that are interrelated. Teachers can use the lesson module to share both bookshelf and external resources, which are presented to students as tiles in a step-by-step digital lesson.

This article has four sections:

  • Create the Lesson Shell
  • Add Activities to your Lesson
  • How do Students Submit Work?
  • FAQs


Create the Lesson Shell

Step 1: From the Lesson module, select Create Lesson in the top right corner.

Step 2: Title the lesson.

Step 3: Give directions for the lesson (optional).


Add Activities to your Lesson

💡 Tip from the Otus Team - you must have at least one activity in order to assign your lesson.

There are four types of activities:

  • Add Instructions - this is a simple set of text for students to read.
  • Add from the Bookshelf - add an item from your bookshelf.
  • Add Resource - add resources such as files, videos, and links, to name a few.
  • Add Question - this adds a tile that will prompt the students to answer a multiple choice, true-false, or short answer question directly within the lesson.

See below for details on each.

Add Instructions

This is the simplest type of activity - a set of instructions. There will be nothing for the student to click, view, or watch; just text for students to read. Once you click on Add Instructions, you will...

  • Add a title. and instructions (text only).
  • Upload a picture to display with the activity (optional). For best results, use an image with a ratio equivalent to 300 x 200.
  • Click Save.

Add from Bookshelf

Do you have a resource on your bookshelf that you'd like to use? You can add that resource directly into an activity by selecting Add from Bookshelf.

  • First, it will bring up your bookshelf for you to choose a resource from.
  • Add a title and directions (text only).
  • Upload a picture to display with the activity (optional).
  • Click Save.
  • The bookshelf resource is now in the activity. In the example above, the resource used is a link. On the student view, you can see the button that says Open Link. That button will display the resource type, for example, if it were a file, it would say Open File.

Add Resource

Do you have a resource you want your students to use that isn't already on your bookshelf? You can add that resource directly into an activity by selecting Add Resource.

*note - any new resource you add/create here will automatically be added to your bookshelf.

  • File - you can upload a file (like a PDF, Word doc, Excel spreadsheet...).
  • URL (Link) - you can add a website URL.
  • Image - take or upload an image.
  • Video - record (max 5 minutes) or upload (max 30mb) a video.
  • YouTube - add a YouTube video.
  • Audio - record (max 5 minutes) or upload (max 30mb) an audio recording.
  • Google Drive/OneDrive - add a link to a document in your Google Drive or OneDrive
  • Page - this is a document you create directly within Otus that includes rich text formatting, as well as the ability to add images into the body of the text.

Add Question

Do you want to ask your students a multiple choice, true/false, or short answer question directly within the lesson? You can do that by selecting the Add Question option when creating a new activity.

The example shown below is a multiple choice question.

For more detailed information on adding questions to your lessons, select the button below!

Looking for example images to add to your lesson tiles? Select the button below!


How do Students Submit Work?

Lessons are designed for the delivery of instructional content. If students need to submit work, you can create an assessment and then link it to an activity in your lesson. The most frequently used assessment type for lesson-related assignments is our rubric assessment.

💡 Tip from the Otus Team: Understanding the difference between lessons and assessments: Consider lessons to be equivalent to whole group instruction on the rug or a lecture in class. Students are provided with a series of learning resources. Then the assessments in Otus are equivalent to when the student goes back to their desk and prepares work to turn in to the teacher or when they begin working on the homework/classwork after the lecture.

Once you've created the assessment, select the button below to learn how you can link it to your lesson.



  • Can I re-order the activities? Yes, you can re-order the activities by dragging and dropping them into the order you wish.
  • Can I edit my lesson once I've saved it? Yes, check out this article for more details on editing lessons
  • If I make edits to a lesson, do I have to assign the lesson again? No, any updates you make to a lesson will automatically update for the students. There is no need to reassign.
  • Can I change the colors of the numbers on the lesson tiles? The colors of the numbers on the lessons tiles can't be changed.
  • Can I embed an assessment directly into the lesson? Currently, the best way to add an assessment to a lesson is by using a link to that assessment; however, this feature will be available in the future. Stay tuned!


Next Steps

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