13.2. The edX-Insider course.xml File#

The courseware for edX-Insider is defined in the course.xml file and follows the organization described in The Courseware Structure.

13.2.1. edX-Insider Course Hierarchy#

The edX-Insider courseware is organized into chapters, sequentials, and verticals.

For example, the following XML defines the first chapter, sequential, and vertical in the course.

<chapter display_name="Pedagogical Foundations: Constructive Learning"
    <sequential format="Learning Sequence" graded="true"
        display_name="Overview (go here first)"
        <vertical display_name="Week's overview" url_name="Week_s_overview">
            <html display_name="Week overview" filename="Week_overview"
                <done display_name="Read week overview"
                    url_name="Read_week_overview" align="right"/>

The vertical Week's Overview contains an HTML component that references the file Week_overview in the HTML directory.

Learners see this content in the Learning Management System as follows.

The HTML component as a learner sees it.

13.2.2. Sequentials that Contain XBlocks#

One advantage of OLX (open learning XML) is the flexibility it allows in how you organize your course. For example, edX-Insider demonstrates that you can nest XBlocks and problems directly in a sequential, without the need for a vertical. This streamlines the course creation process while maintaining consistency in how students interact with courseware.

The following example XML defines a sequential that has, as children, an HTML XBlock, a reference to a vertical that is defined in another file, and a reference to a problem defined in another file.

<sequential display_name="In-class exercise" url_name="in_class">
    <html display_name="Overview" url_name="overview">
            <p>In the on-line portion, . . . </p>
            <table border="0">
                    <td align="right">3pm-3:10pm</td><td>Welcome!</td>
                . . .
    <vertical url_name="in_class_ora"></vertical>
    <problem url_name="res_survey" filename="res_survey"
        display_name="Survey: What next?">

The learner sees this sequential as follows.

The sequential as a learner sees it.