Using Optional Lessons in a Course

  • Updated

Using the Optional Lessons feature allows you to mark a lesson as 'not required' for course completion. Your students are able to view optional lessons at their discretion, and they'll be included in the overall Curriculum and Course navigation, but only the required lessons will count towards their Course completion status.

Frequently Asked Questions on Optional Lessons

Here's a step-by-step on how to set a lesson as optional:

  1. Navigate to Course Management within the Skilljar Dashboard.
  2. Select the Course, then the lesson that you'd like to mark as optional.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the edit section and expand the Settings and click the box next to Optional Lesson:


  4. Scroll to the bottom of the edit page and click Save Lesson to save this new setting.

Viewing Optional Lessons on the Course Platform

Once a lesson has been set as optional within the Skilljar Dashboard, that lesson will be marked with a dotted circle along with the appended text "(optional)" after the lesson name on the Curriculum Page. Here's what students will see:


Note: If a Quiz lesson is marked as optional and the student does not earn a passing score, the student will see "(did not pass)" next to the Quiz lesson name.


Frequently Asked Questions on Optional Lessons

What happens if an existing lesson in a course is marked as optional?

  • The progress bar shows the required lessons that a student completes vs. the total number of required lessons in the course. If the student has already previously completed the course, the course completion date remains the same.
  • Course completion will only occur if the lesson is transitioned to complete either in the Course Platform upon the student viewing the lesson or within the Skilljar Dashboard on the Students page.
  • If the lesson(s) that is marked as optional is the only remaining lesson for a student to complete the course, the student has not completed the course and will need to view the lesson to trigger course completion.
  • Going forward from the lesson change within the Skilljar Dashboard, any students taking the course (with optional lessons) for the first time will see the course marked as completed once they'e finished the required lessons.

What happens when an admin adds a lesson to an existing course?

  • The course progress bar shows the required lessons that a student completes vs. total number of required lessons in the course.

What if every lesson in a course is optional?

  • The course will be automatically marked as complete once any lesson is viewed.

What if I want to hide or modify the “optional” text on the curriculum page?

  1. Navigate to the Languages page in Theming.
  2. Select the applicable Language Pack and click Courses and Lessons > Curriculum Page.
  3. Locate the "optional" string and make any desired changes in the text field, then hit Enter.
  4. If you'd like to completely remove "optional", simply add a space in this text field, then hit Enter.

     Note: This change will need to be updated separately on all Language Packs.

How do optional lessons work with sequential navigation?

  • Optional lessons will be treated as a required lesson in sequential navigation. Students can only progress through the course by completing every lesson (optional and required) in order.

How is session time impacted by optional lessons?

  • Session time is not impacted by optional lessons. Session time will be calculated by the total amount of time students spend in the course, including both required and optional lessons.

Have additional questions regarding Optional Lessons? Reach out to Product Support at and we'll help you along!

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