Software Description: SoftChalk Cloud and Create is software that allows users to create engaging lessons for the web quickly and easily. Faculty can style their lesson for a professional look and/or add many activities and quizzes that promote active learning.
Platform: Windows and Macintosh
Cost: No charge
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not sign up for a 30-day trial. VCU has a site license which will be used instead. Be aware that if you are using a 30-day trial, any content you have created could potentially be lost when the trial ends. Disregard any mention of “Private SoftChalk Cloud” on the vendor’s website and in their guides--this is not the license VCU has.
Conditions of License
Use of the SoftChalk products included in this license is subject to all of the following conditions:
All VCU faculty and staff are licensed to use the product at no cost.
The product may be installed on VCU-owned computers and on privately-owned computers.
SoftChalk installation media may be used to install SoftChalk on multiple PCs for licensed VCU users
The use of the products under this license is restricted to VCU-related purposes ONLY. (Note that this applies regardless of how the installation media is obtained and who owns or uses the computer on which the products are installed.)
The products may be used for VCU academic and administrative purposes.
When you separate from VCU, you must immediately uninstall the product from all computers on which you had installed them and those on which you had authorized their installation.
You may NOT resell this license and/or the product it covers.
Create a SoftChalk Cloud Account
Login to the eLearning system to access VCU’s activation key. (The key is in a Word document and will automatically download to your computer as soon as you log in. Check your downloads folder or the bottom of your screen to locate the file, and click on the file name.)
Enter the VCU activation key in the SoftChalk Cloud form and then fill out the rest of the form as necessary.
For Organization Website URL, just put VCU’s main URL, “http://vcu.edu”
After checking both boxes to agree to the terms, click “Join”
Download and Install SoftChalk Create
Select one of the links below (Windows or Mac). The installation file will automatically download to your computer.
Download SoftChalk Cloud Create on Windows Download SoftChalk Cloud Create on a Macintosh
Click on the downloaded file and select “Run”
Accept user agreement
Select the default, “everyone who uses the computer”
Select a folder install location or accept the default
Click “Finish” when prompted
This allows existing content to be published from SoftChalk 7 to the Cloud. Once your content is in the Cloud, you can remove the SoftChalk 7 desktop application and begin using the new version--SoftChalk Create.
1. Launch the SoftChalk 7 application from your computer by clicking on the SoftChalk 7 icon.
2. On the top menu bar, click File.
3. Click Publish Lesson.
4. Select the Accounts tab.
5. Click New.
Tip: If the New button option is not available (grayed out), go back to the Publish tab and click Disconnect.
6. From the "Account Type Selection" list, select SoftChalk Cloud. Click OK.
7. Enter your username and password.
Note: This is not your VCU eID and Password; this is the username and password you created when joining the SoftChalk Cloud website.
8. Click OK.
9. Click Close.
1. Open SoftChalk Publish 7 (the older version of SoftChalk.) Click File from the tool bar and select Open.
2. Locate and click on the file you are trying to open. Select the Index option.
3. Go back to File and select Publish Lesson.
4. Click the Publish tab and make sure your "<user account> (Cloud)" appears in the Account dropdown menu.
5. Click Connect. If it automatically connects and the "<user account> (Cloud)" is not selected, click Disconnect, select the correct option and then click Connect.
6. Enter the Item Name.
7. In the right-hand panel, select the folder you would like to publish to within Cloud. Note: If you have not logged into the Cloud and created folders, then you will only see the default folder "My Lessons & Courses".
8. Click Publish.
9. Once finished, you will get a "Your lesson has been published" pop up. Click OK. You should now see the lesson listed in the right-hand panel as well.
10. Click Close.
Once you have created a SoftChalk Cloud account and migrated all of your existing SoftChalk 7 content to SoftChalk Cloud, you should remove the old SoftChalk 7 application from your computer.
To Create New Content
Click Create Content (1)
Follow the instructions found in the SoftChalk Create Guide.
To Edit Existing Content
Launch the SoftChalk Create application from your computer.
Select File and click Open From SoftChalk Cloud.
Select the packaged content that has been previously published to the Cloud and click Open.
Modify the content as desired.
Select File and click Save To SoftChalk Cloud.
Leave the Item Name as is to replace the file or change it to create a new file with the edits. Click Save.
To Manage Content
From My Content, and select Lessons (2).
This is the default folder for storing your content.
Use the Actions menu (3) on the right-hand side to create additional folders, etc. Once you have published lessons to the cloud, they will appear here.
When selecting Create Content (1) users will launch the desktop app.
When selecting the Edit icon (4), users will open the content item within Cloud.
To edit, click the "Open in Create" link in the top right-hand corner. Once opened in Create, right click the question and select the "Modify QuizPopper" option or just click Insert to add a new question.
When clicking on the Lesson name (5), users will be opening the lesson in the Cloud in order to preview and format the activities.
Before posting a SoftChalk LTI link to your eLearning course, decide if you want to collect scores from your students or if you want your lessons to be “practice” lessons (no scores).
a. In the main editing window of your SoftChalk lesson, right-click on the QuizPopper or Activity and choose “Modify QuizPopper” or ”Modify Activity”.
b. Go to the Options tab and use the Points dropdown menu to assign points.
Add an LTI link in your eLearning (Blackboard) Course
2. Select My Content and click Lessons.
3. Click on the Lesson Name.
4. Scroll down and locate the Lesson Actions area on the bottom right. Highlight the entire LTI Link, right click, and click Copy.
5. Go to your eLearning course, enter the course for which you would like to publish your SoftChalk Lesson.
6. Within a content area, select Build Content and click Web Link.
7. Enter a Name and paste the LTI Link in the URL box.
8. IMPORTANT: Be sure to select the "This link is a Tool Provider" box.
9. If you would like this lesson scored and linked to the grade center, select YES beside "Enable Evaluation."
10. Enter the Possible Points for your lesson and select the settings desired for the other evaluation options (visible to students and due date.)
11. Continue to scroll down and select any other desired settings (description, attachments, etc.)
12. Click Submit.
Learning Systems in Academic Technologies maintains the integration of SoftChalk with VCU’s eLearning environment (Blackboard), while the vendor provides end-user support and troubleshooting.
For assistance with SoftChalk Cloud: login issues, questions and other requests related to the Cloud interface - please contact SoftChalk support directly
For assistance with SoftChalk Create: installation issues, questions and other requests related to the desktop application - please contact SoftChalk support directly
For assistance with downloading SoftChalk Create, or posting SoftChalk content to Blackboard, issues downloading Create, the application license key, or posting/viewing your SoftChalk content in VCU’s eLearning environment, please submit a help request ticket for Learning Systems.
Additional Details and Step-by-Step Instructions