Previewing Courses and Pages


Understanding the Preview Course

A preview course provides a current view of the blueprint, viewed from within the course development environment. It shows the student experience of the final course. This article covers how to build a preview course, when to rebuild it, and how to navigate between the Smart Author pages and the preview course. 


Building and Viewing a Preview Course

1. On your new Blueprint, build a preview course by clicking on the more options, and Edit.


  • Note: If you had already built a course preview, on more options, click on Preview.


2. On the Blueprint Editor, click Build to build the new course preview.



Preview Options for a Page

The preview course allows authors to navigate through pages as a student would. To make an edit to a page, enter into Smart Author directly from the preview course page. Click the grey arrow on the bottom-right corner of the page and a new browser tab will open with that Smart Author page. 


Once changes are complete, click the save icon in the bottom-right bar or the top-right corner of the page.



When the save is complete, you can review the updates via preview. There are two ways to preview the changes:

1. Go back to the preview course tab and refresh the browser window.

2. Preview from the Smart Author tab of that page. To do so, click the eyeball icon either on the bottom right of the editor or on the top of the page next to Preview Page.



Note: Refreshing a Preview Course Page When you refresh the preview course page, the most recent changes will be reflected. If you use the eyeball icon in Smart Author to view the preview, it will generate a single instance of that page in a new tab. This instance is outside the rest of the course. It's a best practice to close these tabs after reviewing.

Note: Saving Changes  Remember to save work in Smart Author by clicking the save icon. Clicking the preview (eyeball) icon will save and preview in one step. Work will be auto-saved when you navigate to another Smart Author menu tab. Work will not save if you close the browser tab. 


When to Rebuild a Preview Course

Rebuild a preview course by clicking Re-Build

After you build a preview course, the date and time appear in the Blueprint Editor. The date and time are updated every time you build a new preview.


A preview course is a snapshot of what your content looks like at the time you built the preview course. That's why the date and timestamp are on the blueprint manager. You will want to rebuild the preview course and view a new version when you:

  • Change the blueprint organization itself (adding or removing units, modules, pages)
  • Update assessments
  • Update assignments

It's a good idea to periodically rebuild the preview course when you are doing heavy development.