4.4. Glossary

A - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - L - M - N - P - R - S - T - V - W - XYZ

4.4.1. A

A/B Test

About Page

The course page that provides potential students with a course summary, prerequisites, a course video and image, and important dates.

See Providing a Course Overview for more information.

Advanced Editor

An XML-only editor in a Problem component that allows you to can create and edit any type of problem. For more information, see The Advanced Editor.

Assignment Type

The category of graded student work, such as homework, exams, and exercises.

For more information, see Establishing a Grading Policy.

4.4.2. C


A document issued to an enrolled student who successfully completes a course. Not all edX courses offer certificates, and not all students enroll as certificate candidates.

Checkbox Problem

A problem that prompts the student to select one or more options from a list of possible answers. For more information, see Checkbox Problem.

Chemical Equation Response Problem

A problem that allows the student to enter chemical equations as answers. For more information, see Chemical Equation Problem.

Circuit Schematic Builder Problem

A problem that allows the student to construct a schematic answer (such as an electronics circuit) on an interactive grid.

See Circuit Schematic Builder Problem for more information.


A group of students who participate in a class together. Students who are in the same cohort group can communicate and share experiences in private discussions.

Cohorts are an optional feature of courses on the edX platform. For information about how you enable the cohort feature, set up cohort groups, and assign students to them, see Using Cohorts in your Courses.


The part of a unit that contains your actual course content. A unit can contain one or more components. For more information, see Developing Course Components.

Content Experiment

You can define alternative course content to be delivered to different, randomly assigned groups of students. Also known as A/B or split testing, you use content experiments to compare the performance of students who have been exposed to different versions of the content. For more information, see Creating Content Experiments.

Content-Specific Discussion Topic

A category within the course discussion that appears at a defined point in the course to encourage questions and conversations. To add a content-specific discussion topic to your course, you add a discussion component to a unit. Students cannot contribute to a content-specific discussion topic until the release date of the section that contains it.

For more information, see Working with Discussion Components and Creating Discussion Topics for Your Course.

Course Accordion

The left-hand navigation bar in the courseware that shows the sections and subsections for a course. The word “accordion” is intended to evoke the folding and unfolding of an accordion, because when you click a section, the section expands to show subsections.

Course Catalog

The page that lists all courses offered in the edX learning management system.

Course Handouts

Course handouts are files you make available to students in the Course Info page.

See Add Course Handouts for more information.

Course Info Page

The page that opens first every time students access your course. You can post announcements on the Course Info page. The Course Handouts sidebar appears in the right pane of this page.

Course Run

The term in which your course takes place. You set the course run when you create your course. For more information, see Create a New Course.


The page where students access the primary instructional materials for your course. Sections, subsections, units, and components are all accessed from the Courseware page.

Course-Wide Discussion Topic

Optional categories that you create to guide how students find and share information in the course discussion. Examples of course-wide discussion topics include Announcements and Frequently Asked Questions. Students can contribute to these topics as soon as your course starts.

For more information, see Creating Discussion Topics for Your Course.

Custom Response Problem

A custom response problem evaluates text responses from students using an embedded Python script. These problems are also called “write-your-own-grader” problems. For more information, see Write-Your-Own-Grader Problem.

4.4.3. D

Data Czar

A data czar is the single representative at a partner institution who is responsible for receiving course data from edX, and transferring it securely to researchers and other interested parties after it is received.

See the edX Research Guide.


The set of topics defined to promote course-wide or unit-specific dialog. Students use the discussion topics to communicate with each other and the course staff in threaded excahnges.

See Managing Course Discussions for more information.

Discussion Component

Discussion topics that course staff add directly to units. For example, a Video component can be followed by a Discussion component so that students can discuss the video content without having to leave the page. When you add a dicussion component to a unit, you create a content-specific discussion topic.

See Working with Discussion Components for more information.

A problem that asks students to choose from a collection of answer options, presented as a drop-down list. For more information, see Dropdown Problem.

4.4.4. E


edX’s online course about how to create online courses. The intended audience is faculty and university administrators. It is also the first course ever to have been developed entirely using edX Studio.

edX Edge

A less restricted site than edX.org. While only consortium members can create and post content on edX.org, any users with course creator permissions can create courses with Studio on studio.edge.edx.org, then view the courses on the learning management system at edge.edx.org.

edX Studio

The edX tool you use to build your courses.

See What is Studio? for more information.


Practice or practical problems interspersed in edX course content to keep the learner engaged. Exercises are also an important measure of teaching effectiveness and learner comprehension.

4.4.5. F


4.4.6. G

Grade Range

Thresholds that specify how numerical scores are associated with grades, and the score required to pass a course.

See Set the Grade Range for more information.

Grading Rubric

List of the items that a student’s response should cover in an open response assessment.

See Rubric for more information.

4.4.7. H

HTML Component

The component where you add and format text for your course. An HTML component can contain text, lists, links and images.

See Working with HTML Components for more information.

4.4.8. I

Image Mapped Input Problem

A problem that presents an image and accepts clicks on the image as an answer.

See Image Mapped Input Problem for more information.


A tool in edX Studio that loads a new course into your existing course. When you use the Import tool, Studio replaces all of your existing course content with the content from the imported course.

See Import a Course for more information.

4.4.9. L


A document markup language and document preparation system for the TeX typesetting program.

In edX Studio, you can Import LaTeX Code into an HTML Component.

You can also create a Problem Written in LaTeX.

Learning Management System (LMS)

The platform that students use to view courses, and that course staff members use to manage enrollment and staff privileges, moderate dicussions, and access data while the course is running.

Live Mode

A view that allows course staff to review all public units as students see them, regardless of the release dates of the section and subsection that contain the units.

See View Your Live Course for more information.

4.4.10. M

Math Expression Input Problem

A problem that requires students to enter a mathematical expression as text, such as e=m*c^2.

See Math Response Formatting for Students for more information.


A LaTeX-like language you use to write equations. Studio uses MathJax to render text input such as x^2 and sqrt(x^2-4) as “beautiful math.”

See A Brief Introduction to MathJax in Studio for more information.

Multiple Choice Problem

A problem that asks students to select one answer from a list of options.

See Multiple Choice Problem for more information.

4.4.11. N

Numerical Input Problem

A problem that asks students to enter numbers or specific and relatively simple mathematical expressions.

See Numerical Input for more information.

4.4.12. P


Pages organize course materials into categories that students select in the learning management system. Pages provide access to the courseware and to tools and uploaded files that supplement the course. Each page appears in your course’s navigation bar.

See Adding Pages to a Course for more information.

Preview Mode

A view that allows you to see all the units of your course as students see them, regardless of the unit status and regardless of whether the release dates have passed.

See Preview Course Content for more information.

Problem Component

A component that allows you to add interactive, automatically graded exercises to your course content. You can create many different types of problems.

See Working with Problem Components for more information.

Progress Page

The page in the learning management system that shows students their scores on graded assignments in the course.

4.4.13. Q


A question is a type of contribution that you can make to a course discussion topic to surface an issue that the course staff or other students can resolve.

See Managing Course Discussions for more information.

4.4.14. R


List of the items that a student’s response should cover in an open response assessment.

See Rubric for more information.

4.4.15. S


The topmost category in your course. A section can represent a time period in your course or another organizing principle.

See Developing Course Sections for more information.

Short Course Description

The description of your course that appears on the edX Course List page.

See Describe Your Course for more information.

Simple Editor

The graphical user interface in a Problem component that contains formatting buttons and is available for some problem types. For more information, see The Studio View of a Problem.

Split Test


A division that represents a topic in your course, or another organizing principle. Subsections are found inside sections and contain units. Subsections can also be called “lessons.”

See Developing Course Subsections for more information.

4.4.16. T

Text Input Problem

A problem that asks the student to enter a line of text, which is then checked against a specified expected answer.

See Text Input Problem for more information.


A printed version of the content of a video. You can make video transcripts available to students.

See Working with Video Components for more information.

4.4.17. V

Video Component

A component that you can use to add recorded videos to your course.

See Working with Video Components for more information.

4.4.18. W


The page in each edX course that allows students as well as course staff to add, modify, or delete content.

Students can use the wiki to share links, notes, and other helpful information with each other.

4.4.19. XYZ


EdX’s component architecture for writing courseware components.

Third parties can create components as web applications that can run within the edX learning management system.