iOLab > Using the Lesson Player as an Instructor

Document created by Digital Support on Feb 20, 2018Last modified by Digital Support on Apr 26, 2018
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The iOLab lesson player provides a mechanism for delivering step-by-step hands-on lessons to students online, saving their data and their responses to questions as an online lab report that can be graded by their instructor. As of iOLab software version 1.64.1457, the lesson player has the ability to create a printable PDF version of a student's lab report, and as of version 1.65.1484 we added a lesson import button.

Install latest software

To begin using the lesson player, make sure you have downloaded and installed the latest software version for Windows or Mac.

Download demo lesson

A demo lesson has been created to help you explore the capabilities of the lesson player. Download the file You can delete this file after you complete the next step, importing the lesson.

You can import future lessons using the same process used here for the Demo lesson.

Import a lesson

Run the iOLab application and click on the folder icon.

  1. Click the Lesson list tab.
  2. Click on the Import a lesson button.
  3. Select the file in your Downloads folder.
  4. Click the Open button.

View the lesson in the lesson list

The demo lesson will now appear in your Lesson list tab, as shown below.

Notice that there is another lesson file there as well, called IOLab-documentation. This file came as part of the application (i.e. you didn't need to install it) and contains detailed documentation on the commands recognized by the Lesson Player. If you need to learn how to create lessons, read the documentation in this lesson.

Click on the lesson to open it

Open up the Demo lesson and take a look at what's included. The first page has a video that will show you some basics on how to use the lesson.

View lesson files

You can explore the elements of the actual lesson if you go to the Documents/IOLab-Workfiles/activities folder on your Mac or PC.


The Import_yyyy-mm-dd... folder contains the lesson material you just imported. Open the folder to find the Demo.html file that defines the lesson and the images folder that contains images used in the lesson. Opening the Demo.html file in any text editor will allow you to view and edit the html code of the lesson.


Share lesson files with students

Once you have created your own lesson, share it with students using your preferred method, such as e-mail, shared drive, posting it on your LMS, etc. Lessons can not be shared on the shared acquisitions repository at this time. Students will download the file and work on the lesson, then submit it back to you. You may also want to provide instructions for students on how to submit their lab results. The different possible methods are shown below.

Students submit results

As of iOLab software version 1.64.1457, the lesson player can create a PDF file for each completed step of a lesson. Students can also create a merged PDF file of the entire lesson or a .lab file of the entire lesson. You can see the details of these methods in the steps below.

Once students have created their completed lab report, they must submit it to you using your preferred method (e-mail, shared drive, posting it on LMS, etc.). Lessons can not be shared on the shared acquisitions repository at this time.

To create one PDF of the entire lesson (recommended)

In order to enable the PDF feature, students will need to install the free PDFtk toolkit:

You or your students can then download a single printable PDF file of your entire lab. To do so, click the document icon under your lesson in the lesson list. You will not see this document icon until you install PDFtk as shown above.


To view individual PDF files for each slide

Students can view and share individual PDF files for each lab slide in your lesson by opening the following file path on their computers: My Documents > iOLab-WorkFiles > reports > [subfolder with a string of numbers and letters, such as "199cd9aa-f77a-46c5-9e34-627d14436c1e"] > slide_000, slide_001, slide_002, etc.

To export the lesson as a .lab file

Asking for a .lab file allows you to open your student's completed lesson in the iOLab application. To export the .lab file, students will click the export icon under your lesson in the lesson list.

You can always create a merged PDF file from a student's .lab file later, as long as students are using application version 1.64.1457 or newer.

To open a .lab file in the iOLab application, click the folder icon to open the Resource Manager, click the Lesson List tab, then click Import a Report. Select and open the student's lab file to view it in the iOLab application. You can then create a merged PDF of the lab the same way students do.