11.2. Adding Course Updates and Handouts#

You can create course updates and handouts in Studio.

Course updates are communications, especially a welcome message, that learners see at the top of the Course page when they enter the course. A welcome message is an important way of making each learner feel personally welcomed to the course, and of providing orienting information that helps learners succeed with the course.

After learners have read the welcome message, they can dismiss the message. The message is automatically dismissed seven days after the learner first views it if the learner doesn’t actively dismiss it first. Learners can access the dismissed message and any other updates from the Updates link in the sidebar on the Course page.

Handouts are links to files that you upload in Studio, for example, a PDF version of the course syllabus, or an article that you want learners to read. Learners see the list of course handouts under Handouts in the sidebar.

The **Course** page as it appears to learners, showing the course welcome message in the main reading area, and in the sidebar, the **Updates** link under the **Course Tools** heading and links to handouts under the **Course Handouts** heading.

11.2.1. Add a Course Update#

On the Updates page in Studio, you see the list of updates sorted in the order that they were created (most recent at the top of the list). You can edit or delete a previous update using the pencil and trash icons. If you create a new update, learners do not see the update on the Course page unless it has the latest chronological date of all existing updates.

an image of the Updates page. From this page you can add a new update by clicking on the button located at the top right hand corner of the page. Additionally, you can edit a previous update by selecting the pencil icon or delete an update by clicking on the trash icon. You can also add a course handout by clicking on the pencil icon on the right side of the page.

To add a course update, follow these steps.

  1. In Studio, select Updates from the Content menu.

  2. Create your update in the text editor that opens.


    To make sure that your announcements are accessible, if you use headings inside an announcement, make sure that you use only level 6 headings. The structure of the course Course page uses heading levels 1-5.

    • Specify a date for this update. By default, today’s date is already entered. You can change the date using the calendar tool, or by entering some other valid date.

  3. Select Post.

    Your new update becomes available to learners immediately. If the update has the latest chronological date, it is shown to learners on the Course page, otherwise the update appears on the Updates page.

If you select “+ New update”, you see an editor that has many options for styling in the toolbar.
  1. Optionally, choose whether to send a notification about your update to the edX mobile app.

  • Learners can choose to turn off notifications for individual courses or for all courses. The Course page continues to show updates.

  • Updates appear on the Course page, even if you do not send notifications.

11.2.2. Add a Course Handout#

To add a course handout, you upload a file in Studio, then add an entry to a list of handouts, specifying the URL to your uploaded file and providing a handout title.

You can open the Studio Files page in another browser window to make this process easier.

To add a course handout, follow these steps.

  1. In Studio, select Updates from the Content menu.

    On the Updates page, you see a Course Updates panel and a Course Handouts panel.

    The **Course Updates** page in Studio, showing the Course Handouts panel.
  2. In the Course Handouts panel, select Edit.

  3. In the editor that opens, add the link to your new course handout.

  4. Select Save.