What is Composer? It's a tool within TILE that allows you to build and manage online courses. Creating a new course is easy, once you get familiar with the basic steps and key terms.


There are five basic steps to create a course in TILE Composer:

  1. Set Up the Course. This mainly involves naming the course, adding lessons to it, and setting certain parameters. (For more information, refer to the Build a Course guide.)
  2. Add Resources. In this step you will point to existing learning content online, or upload new files directly to TILE. (For more information, refer to the Add Resources or Upload Offline Resources guides.)
  3. Set Up Activities. Effective learning requires "doing." In this step you will set up learning activities such as Discussions, Video Activities, and Virtual Labs. (For more information, refer to the Add a Discussion, Add a Video Activity, or Add a Virtual Lab guides.)
  4. Add Assessments. In this step you will add new quizzes and other assessments, or convert assessments you already have for the online environment. (For more information, refer to the Adding Assessment guides.)
  5. Test and Refine. The final step is to test your new course to make sure everything looks and works like you want it to. If needed, TILE Composer makes it easy to make adjustments. (For more information, refer to the Testing a Course guides.)

Key Terms

It's helpful to get familiar with a few key terms before building your first course. 

  • Course. A course is the learning program you want your learners to complete. It consists of one or more lessons (or skills) and may be short (e.g. 1-2 hours), or much longer (e.g., 40 hours, one semester, etc.). 
  • Lesson/Skill. A lesson is a unit of instruction within your course. It may be equivalent to one "session" or one "week" of your course, it depends on your course structure. Each lesson may contain learning resources, activities, and/or assessments. (Lessons may also be referred to as skills, modules, units, or sessions.)
  • Resource. A resource is a learning artifact or piece of content, such as a video, PDF, slide deck, online article, or tutorial.
  • Activity. An activity is a learning event where the learner is required to apply one or more concepts, such as a Discussion, Video Activity, Reflection Question, Presentation, or Group Project.
  • Assessment. An assessment is an informal or formal evaluation of the learner's knowledge or skill in a certain area. This may be done with a Quiz, Video Assessment, or Virtual Lab Assessment.