7.1. Getting Started with Course Content Development

When you have finished setting up your course, you are ready to build your course content.

This section provides an outline of the steps involved in developing your course content, with links to more details.

7.1.1. Understanding Course Building Blocks

Before you begin, you should understand the building blocks of an edX course.

  • The course outline is the container for all of your course content. The outline contains one or more sections.
  • Course sections are at the top level of your course and typically represent a time period. A section contains one or more subsections.
  • Course subsections are parts of a section, and usually represent a topic or other organizing principle. A subsection contains one or more units.
  • Course units are lessons in a subsection that learners view as single pages. A unit contains one or more components.
  • Course components are objects within units that contain your actual course content.

7.1.2. Creating New Course Content

Once you understand the way edX courses are structured, you can start organizing your content and entering it into Studio.

You create sections, subsections, and units in the course outline.

For graded subsections, you also set the assignment type and due date.

You create components in the unit page.

In addition, you control content visibility by setting release dates on the outline and publishing units.

The following diagram summarizes the content creation workflow:

Diagram of the content creation process

It is recommended that you test course content throughout the creation process, including making sure that the content is available for learners who access courses using the edX mobile apps. For more information, see Designing Your Course For a Mobile Experience.

Note

Keep in mind that course updates that you make might take longer to appear in the edX mobile apps than on the edX site. In particular, newly published content can take up to an hour to update on the Android app.

7.1.3. Making Course Content Visible to Students

For more information, see Controlling Content Visibility and Access.

7.1.4. Making Course Content Searchable

Learners can search course text in HTML components and video transcripts by using the Search box at the top of the Course page.

Before learners can search your course, Studio must index the content. Studio indexes all new course content automatically when you publish the content.

If necessary, you can manually reindex all of the content in your course at any time. Typically, you would only manually reindex your course content if learners see unexpected search results. To reindex your course content, select Reindex Content at the top of the Course Outline page. Reindexing usually takes less than 30 seconds.

7.1.5. Revising Content

You can revise your course content at any time.

The following diagram summarizes the content revision workflow and content visibility:

Diagram of the content creation process

It is recommended that you test course content during the revision process, including making sure that the content is available for learners who access courses using the edX mobile apps. For more information, see Designing Your Course For a Mobile Experience.

Note

Keep in mind that course updates that you make might take longer to appear in the edX mobile apps than on the edX site. In particular, newly published content can take up to an hour to update on the Android app.