5.1. Course Policies#

You create a course policy file to specify metadata about your course.

5.1.1. Create the Course Policy File#

You define policies for your course in the policy.json file.

Save the policy.json file in the policy/<course-name> directory.

The <course-name> directory must match the value of the url_name attribute in the course.xml file.

5.1.2. Course Policy JSON Objects#


The start date for the course. For example: "2017-09-05T12:00".


The start date displayed in the course listing and course about pages. For example: "2017-09-05T12:00.


Whether the policy graph should be disabled (true) or not (false).

enrollment_start, enrollment_end

The dates in which students can enroll in the course. For example, "2017-09-05T12:00". If not specified, students can enroll any time.


The end date for the course. For example: "2017-11-05T12:00".


The URL for an end of course survey. The link is shown after the course is over, next to certificate download links.


Custom pages, or tabs, in the courseware. See below for details.


An array of time intervals during which students cannot create or edit discussion posts. For example, you could specify blackout dates during exams. For example:

[[""2017-10-29T04:00", "2017-11-03T04:00"], ["2017-12-30T04:00", "2018-01-02T04:00"]]

Course team members with the Discussion Moderator, Community TAs, or Administrator role are not restricted during blackout periods.


Whether the calculator is shown in the course (true) or not (false).


The number of days early that students in the beta-testers group can access the course.


  • cohorted : Boolean. Set to true if this course uses student cohorts. If so, all inline discussions are automatically cohorted, and top-level discussion topics are configurable via the cohorted_discussions list. Default is false, not cohorted).

  • cohorted_discussions: list of discussion topics that should be cohorted. Any not specified in this list are not cohorted.

  • auto_cohort_groups: ["group name 1", "group name 2", ...] If cohorted is true, each student is automatically assigned to a random group from this list, creating the group if needed.


Have pdf-based textbooks on tabs in the courseware. See below for details.


The addition of HTML-based textbooks on tabs in the courseware has been deprecated.

5.1.3. Example Course Policy File#

An example with a few of the settings defined in the course policy file follows.

  "course/course": {
    "advanced_modules": [
    "discussion_blackouts": [],
    "discussion_topics": {
        "General": {
            "id": "course"
    "show_calculator": true,
    "show_reset_button": true,
    "start": "2017-10-01T00:30:00Z",
    "tabs": [
            "course_staff_only": false,
            "name": "Course",
            "type": "course_info"
            "course_staff_only": false,
            "name": "Discussion",
            "type": "discussion"
            "course_staff_only": false,
            "is_hidden": true,
            "name": "Wiki",
            "type": "wiki"
            "course_staff_only": false,
            "name": "Progress",
            "type": "progress"
            "course_staff_only": true,
            "name": "Staff only (Alison)",
            "type": "static_tab",
            "url_slug": "7cf2fccec33541dc81ce5e0e34e2689c"
    "user_partitions": [
            "active": true,
            "description": "The groups in this configuration can be mapped to cohort groups in the LMS.",
            "groups": [
                    "id": 1124782865,
                    "name": "Group A",
                    "version": 1
                    "id": 254579781,
                    "name": "Group B",
                    "version": 1