DIY CALI Lessons

6152609569_ede61a0445_nAs you (hopefully) know, CALI lessons are written and peer reviewed by law professors.    But did you know that you can still write your own lesson and publish them to our website?  We don’t intentionally keep this a secret, but for some reason people are always surprised to learn this!

CALI lessons are created by CALI Author. Any faculty member at a CALI member school can download CALI Author and either create their own lessons or download a current lesson and edit it. If you go to a lesson page, e.g., look for a light blue link that says “windows” to the left of the green run button. That’s the download link. Download the lesson and its images and then contact us here at CALI for the password to edit it.  That we do keep a secret!

So, one could take CALI Author, and either with new content or edited content, hit “AutoPublish” under the file menu button and publish a lesson on our website. It won’t appear anywhere in the list of “official CALI lessons” (which, remember, are edited and peer reviewed for quality). Only people who have the URL can find this lesson. But other than that, it has all the bells, whistles and functionality of a published “official” CALI lesson.

For in-class purposes, one can then use it as an alternative to a PowerPoint presentation in a classroom lecture. Unlike PowerPoint, faculty can take advantage of the branching logic capabilities of CALI Author and work through hypotheticals or go down various paths and lines of inquiry. You could also include questions in the lesson for students to work through at their seat while the person in the “hot seat” is being orally questioned or put questions at the end for students to do for review out of class. It can be left up on our website for the entire semester – so students can go back and redo the lesson out of class for finals review – or you can delete it immediately after class.  The choice is yours!  Best of all, since it’s an AutoPublished lesson, it has the LessonLink features so the faculty member can go back and view student answers and see if certain concepts need to be reviewed again or if it “sunk in.”

Out of class it can be used for “flipped classroom” prep. Again, since CALI Author provides powerful logic and branching capabilities, it can be an excellent alternative to an in-class lecture and can be created without the need to do any screen casting or recording.

Questions?  Please don’t hesitate to ask!  I can be reached at sarah at

Photo from the CALI flickr stream, where there are hundreds of creative commons licensed images for you to use!


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