Skip to content

Lesson Production

Description / Purpose

Following the process outlined in this document will produce one lesson that aligns with the Lesson Content Standards

Lesson Production Process

To create a lesson, a Curriculum Developer must complete the following steps.

Steps 1 and 2: Learning Standards + Lesson Outline

The first step of authoring a lesson is outlining the lesson along with the learning standards that this lesson will teach. It should take a little over a week to finish the outline and have a rough draft of all of the learning standards covered in the module. The outline should follow the standards of What Makes a Good Outline?

Needs Review: Lesson Outline

Steps 3 and 4: Narrative Drafts and Checkpoint Drafts

Next, all the narratives and checkpoints must be drafting in a google document. This is done because google docs has an amazing suite of tools for reviewing and suggesting edits to content, so this malleable first stage should occur there.

  • Narrative drafts for all exercises.
  • Checkpoints for all exercises.
  • Workspaces summaries for all exercises (the complete code does not need to be written)

The order of the completion of these can vary based on the author's preference. For example, if an author is working on two lessons, one option is to do narratives/checkpoints/workspaces for one lesson at a time, the other is to do the narratives for both, checkpoints for both, workspaces for both together. Both are acceptable approaches.

While writing, make sure the checkpoints and narratives following the content standards What Makes a Good Narrative? and What Makes a Good Checkpoint?.

Needs Review: Narrative and Checkpoint Drafts

Steps 5 and 6: Workspace Drafts and Lesson Draft in Author

The narrative and checkpoints are then moved into Author. Additionally, once the lesson is in Author, workspaces should be written. Workspaces should follow the What Makes a Good Workspace? content standards.

Step 7: Tests

Tests are written for all checkpoints. These tests should follow the What Makes a Good Test? content standards.

Step 8: Final Review + Revisions

Once tests are complete, the lesson must go through a final stage of review from start to finish.

Step 9: Savepoints

With final review completed and all necessary revisions made, starting and ending save points must be recorded for each exercise in the lesson.

Milestones/Deliverables for Production

We can break up those steps into 4 discrete deliverables, each of which should get reviewed by a Curriculum Developer before proceeding to the next step. Here are the deliverables for producing a single Lesson content item.

Deliverable Description Duration (external) Duration (internal)
Lesson Outline The Lesson Outline is an overview of each exercise in your Lesson. You will produce this deliverable by making a copy of the Lesson Outline Template in your Google Drive folder. 5 days production + 2 days review 3 days production + 1 day review
Narrative and Checkpoint Draft Draft of the narratives and checkpoints for every exercise in the lesson. You will produce this deliverable by making a copy of the Narrative and Checkpoint Draft Template in your Google Drive folder. 7 days production + 2 days review 4 days production + 1 day review
Lesson Draft Full narratives, checkpoints, workspaces, and tests for every exercise in the lesson. You will produce this deliverable in Author. 8 days production + 2 days review 5 days production + 1 day review
Final Lesson Final narratives, checkpoints, and workspaces with all savepoints, tests or default passes for all exercise checkpoints. You will produce this deliverable in Author. 5 days production 3 days production + 1 day review

Sometimes lessons are produced in parallel with one another. For example, if a module is going to contain 2 lessons, 1 quiz, and 1 project, it makes the most sense for the lessons to be produced in parallel and have their outlines, narratives and checkpoints, etc. all produced on the same schedule. In this event, we'll increase the time allowed for each deliverable by half of the production time of a single lesson version of that deliverable. The duration is then:

Where is the number of lessons being produced in parallel and is 31 days, the production duration of a single lesson being produced.

Example Timeline

The following diagram shows the deliverables to produce a lesson in a day by day gantt-like chart. Each row or "week" contains five days because Codecademy internal employees work on a normal weekday schedule. If the author of the lesson works an irregular schedule the same process can be used, just treat each box as a standalone "workday" rather than a specific day of the week.

Light green days are dedicated to production, darker green days are when deliverables are due, and yellow days are when the content is being reviewed.

A diagram of the lesson production process.