Big Decisions in Achieve: Pre-Built or Start From Scratch

Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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When creating a new course in Achieve, you will often be presented with the option to start with a pre-built course or browse resources. Each of these options has pros and cons, which we will describe below. The help articles listed below will also give you some insight into next steps once you have decided whether to start with a pre-built course.

Screenshot 2021-09-15 115232_PrebuiltORResources.png


Pre-built courses

Pre-built courses:

  • Are a great starting point for beginner instructors who would like a default approach to organizing their course
  • Are organized into units according to the text on which your course is based
  • Have a wide variety of curated resources already added to the course based on what is typically used or recommended
  • Have even more resources available to add from the Content Library if you'd like to supplement what comes with the pre-built course

The items in a pre-built course are already added to your course and do not need to be added from the Content Library, but you can always remove them or add more. You can choose from the items added to your course which ones you would like to assign with a due date and points.

Bulk assigning may be more difficult in a pre-built course

If you would like to assign items in bulk in a pre-built course, you will have to find each of the items in the course and check the box for it. In some cases, it may be easier to find and select resources to assign in bulk when browsing resources in the Content Library because it has a search feature. However, if the item is already added to your course (as many will be when using a pre-built course), you will not be able to assign it in bulk using the Content Library. The checkboxes will be greyed out and not allow you to select the item for bulk assigning.


If you choose to Browse Our Library Of Content rather than Start With A Pre-Built Course, you will no longer have the option to use the pre-built course. Make sure this is the option you want before you select it. (If you choose not to use the pre-built course and later decide you'd like to try it, you can do so only if you create a new course.)

Browsing resources rather than using a pre-built course allows you to:

  • Search for and add only specific resources to your course (You can type in a term to search for, or filter items by Chapter/Topic, Resource Type, or Recommended Use)
  • Easily create your own units and course organization as you add items to your course
  • Easily assign items or change their visibility as you add them to your course

If you're not sure, start with a pre-built course

A pre-built course gives you a starting point to work from when building your course. You can still add resources or remove any you don't like. You can also add or remove units and reorganize resources in the pre-built course. The only drawback of using a pre-built course is that it may be more cumbersome to assign items in bulk or organize items in your course, since you can't do it as part of the process of adding them.

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I've been working in publishing since 1997, doing everything from the front desk to marketing and sales, and a few things in between. And I love working working with media and helping students succeed.