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Using Custom Course Builder to Customize Content in PLATO Courseware


Account Administrators and Program Administrators can use the Custom Course Builder to create a new custom course from scratch, start from an existing custom course, or add a new resource to existing content and save it as a custom course.

Resources that can be added using the Custom Course Builder include the following:

  • Plato Courses
  • Plato Titles
  • Custom Courses
  • Standards content
  • New Unit Folder
  • Documents
  • Dropbox activities
  • Graded discussions
  • Web links
  • End of Semester Tests (dynamically; see step 6 below)

The drop-down menu in the image below shows this list of resources.


You can also modify the existing content in the Plato Courseware management system. Any unit or lesson can be moved up or down within a course. You can rename or delete any unit or lesson if it is not required for a particular learner. You can preview lesson activities within the builder, but not unit tests.


Course customization needs to be done before learners are enrolled in that course. However, only an Account Administrator has the authority to perform this action.  To customize content, instructors will need to work with their Plato Courseware Account Administrator.


Note: Instructors have the ability to customize their class content. Instructors please see the link below for steps on how to customize class content using Class Curriculum:

How to customize content in PLATO Courseware using Class Curriculum

How To

Follow these steps to create a new resource:
1. From your Coursware Program, click Menu.
2. Go to the Resources section and select Custom Course Builder.

Custom course button.JPG
3. Click the Actions button and select Create Custom Course from the drop-down menu.

custom main.JPG

4. Select Resource, Subject, Grade or Standards and then select the Resource Type you wish to modify from the list, and then start building your custom course by selecting the content on the left and dragging into the custom course on the right until you see a . (Note: You can also use the filters on the top to search for specific material by resource type/subject, grade, standard, category, and strand)
5. The elements of the curriculum structure for your selected course will display. You can use drag and drop to move them up and down, click
to remove elements, click  to rename, add/remove unit tests, or to add resources in the curriculum structure.
6. To add resources to the custom course, click
and select the resource type you want to add (new unit folder, Web link, document, dropbox activity, graded discussion, or End of Semester Test).
7. See the Publishing a Custom Resource section below for information about how to save a new resource.

Follow these steps to modify existing content:
1. From your Coursware Program, click Menu.
2. Select Custom Course Builder.
3. Select the Resource Type and then expand the content you that you want to modify.
4. Click the activity you want to add and drag it to the custom course. To add multiple activities, click the activity and hold the Ctrl key and select the activities you want to add. To add the entire course including the end of semester test, click shift all units, course syllabus (everything but the end of semester test) and drag them over. Then, at the course folder level, select Add EOS to add the end of semester test.
5. Drag and drop activities to move them up and down, click
to remove them, click  to rename, add/remove unit tests, or to add resources in the curriculum structure.
6. See the Publishing a Custom Resource section below for information about how to save modified content.

Note: If the Custom Course is constructed from Plato Content that doesn't include a Pretest, Post Test, End of Semester Test, or Modules that incorporate applicable testlets, then the Custom Course being created will not generate questions for the respective tests.


Publishing a Custom Resource
Once an Account Administrator has created a custom course or modified an existing course, it needs to be saved and published to make it available to instructors and learners. After a customized course is published, no further changes can be made to it.

Note: Once the custom course moves to the Course Catalog, there is no way to delete it. However, the course catalog can be modified by Program. The Program Course Catalog allows Account Admins to manage which content appears in the Course Catalog for the program. Deselect courses that you do not want displayed to Instructors and Program Admins catalogs. This feature setting is managed by editing a program in Admin Center>Programs.

The Save Course Menu has several options:

  • Save & Publish: This feature allows the Account Administrator to publish the course for use in the


  • Save & Close: This feature allows the Account Administrator to save and mark a course as finished.

However, the course is not published and can be modified later.

  • Save & Continue Working: With this feature, Account Administrators can save their work as they go.

Other Considerations

Best Practices before customizing content

  • Content can be removed or moved around within the course. Removing modules from the course will also remove corresponding questions from post tests and end of semester tests upon publishing. 
  • Content can be added or combined from other content. External resources such as website links, documents, digital drop box activities or threaded discussions can be added to the course. 
  • Use Digital Drop Boxes for activities that will be scored.
  • Use documents for informational type activities that don't need to be scored.
  • Once the course is customized, the Account Administrator promotes (publishes) it to the Course Catalog and can then create Classes where Instructors can then enroll Learners. 
  • Changes to a custom course cannot be made after it's been published. If changes need to be made, the course can be modified by creating a new custom course from the existing custom course content.
  • Changes to published custom courses visible in the Course catalog can be made by Account Admins via Admin Center>Programs>Program Course Catalog.

How does Courseware retirement affect Custom Content?Edit section

Resources that have been customized using retired courses will still be available even after the retirement date. Although we recommend using the latest course versions as a best practice, it is not necessary to re-customize courses to include new versions of these courses.

How to Archive Custom Courses?

Over time, administrators may wish to organize their Custom Courses to make managing the account easier than ever before. This allows administrators to retire resources they no longer wish to see, while maintaining a relevant course listing specific to the school's needs.
1. Go to Administration Center
2. Hover over Settings

custom course archive.JPG
3. Select Archive
4. Choose the Custom Courses tab

5. Locate desired Course & click Archive to the right
A confirmation message will appear prompting you to click Yes in order to finish archiving, select this when finished.


How to Un-Archive Custom Courses?

1. Go to Administration Center
2. Hover over Settings
3. Select Archive

4. Choose the Custom Courses tab

5. Click View Archived Custom Courses
Locate desired Custom Course and click Un-Archive to the far right.


*Note* Account Administrators will be able to archive Custom Courses in order to clean up their Course Catalog. Once Custom Courses are archived, they will be treated like any Retired Plato Course. This means references to the Custom Course may be visible in some parts of PLATO if there are still Active Classes under it. To remove a published custom course from the course catalog, deactivate the class.