4. OLX Course Structure#

This topic describes the structure of a generic OLX (open learning XML) course.

For more information about how a specific OLX course is structured, see The Structure of edX-Insider.

For more information about how a course exported from edX Studio is structured, see Example of OLX for a Studio Course.

4.1. OLX and Directory File Structures#

All files and subdirectories that comprise your OLX course are stored within a single directory.

OLX provides for some flexibility in the directory and file structure you use to build your course.

4.2. Top-level Directory#

Starting out, it is easiest to create your courseware structure in a single file, the course.xml file.

This file can contain your entire course, but in most cases, it is convenient to split out large chunks of content into individual files. This is typically done either at the level of large components, such as problems or homework assignments.

Currently, when Studio exports a course, it places each component in its own file.

For example, the edX Platform contains a directory called manual-testing-complete that contains a course with all component types for testing purposes.

Descriptions of the directories needed for a typical course follow. You should set up these directories in preparation for developing your course content.


If you are using custom XBlocks, you can include additional directories that store the XML for XBlocks of that type.

4.3. XBlock Directories#

EdX course components can be broken out of the main course.xml file into individual files. Those files go into directories of the name of the component type (XML tag). For example, components of type html can be placed as individual files in the html directory. If your course does not contain .html files, or if they are all embedded in their top-level components, you do not need to create an html directory.

For information about several examples of these directories, see the following topics.

As the set of XBlocks grows, so does the set of associated XML tags and directories.

4.4. edX Platform Directories#

In addition to the course hierarchy, which is designed to be generic and cross-platform, OLX courses contain a set of JSON and HTML files that specify course policies and non-courseware content.

4.4.1. about Directory#

The about directory contains the following files.

  • overview.html, which contains the content for the course overview page that learners see in the Learning Management System (LMS).

  • short_description.html, which contains the content for the course in the course list.

For more information, see The Course About Pages.

4.4.2. info Directory#

The info directory contains the following files.

  • handouts.html, which contains the content for the Course Handouts page in the course.

  • updates.html, which contains the course updates learners see when opening a course.

4.4.3. policies Directory#

The policies directory contains the following files.

  • grading_policy.json, which defines how work is graded in the course.

  • policy.json, which defines various settings in the course.

  • assets.json, which defines all files used in the course, such as images.

For more information, see Course Policies.

4.4.4. static Directory#

The static directory contains the files used in your course, such as images or PDFs.

For more information, see Course Assets.

4.4.5. tabs Directory#

The tabs directory contains an HTML file for each page you add to your course.

For more information, see Course Tabs.