5.1. Getting Started with Course Content Development

When you are done setting up your course, you are ready to build your course content.

This chapter provides an outline of the steps involved in developing your course content, with links to more details. See:

5.1.1. Understanding Course Building Blocks

Before you begin, you should understand the building blocks of an edX course.

  • The course outline is the container for all of your course content. The outline contains one or more sections.
  • Course sections are at the top level of your course and typically represent a time period. A section contains one or more subsections.
  • Course subsections are parts of a section, and usually represent a topic or other organizing principle. A subsection contains one or more units.
  • Course units are lessons in a subsection that students view as single pages. A unit contains one or more components.
  • Course components are objects within units that contain your actual course content.

5.1.2. Creating New Course Content

Once you understand the way edX courses are structured, you can start organizing your content and entering it into Studio.

You create sections, subsections, and units in the course outline.

For graded subsections, you also set the assignment type and due date.

You create components in the unit page.

In addition, you control content visibility by setting release dates on the outline and publishing units.

The following diagram summarizes the content creation workflow:

Diagram of the content creation process

It is recommended that you test course content throughout the creation process.

5.1.3. Making Course Content Visible to Students

When you create your content, you’ll also specify if and when students will be able to see it. Content visibility depends on several factors:

For more information, see Controlling Content Visibility.

5.1.4. Making Course Content Searchable

Learners can search course text in HTML components and video transcripts by using the Search box in the upper-left corner of the Courseware tab.

Before learners can search your course, Studio must index the content. Studio indexes all new course content automatically when you publish the content.

If necessary, you can manually reindex all of the content in your course at any time. Typically, you would only manually reindex your course content if learners see unexpected search results. To reindex your course content, select Reindex Content in the upper-right corner of the Course Outline page. Reindexing usually takes less than 30 seconds.

5.1.5. Revising Content

You can revise your course content at any time.

The following diagram summarizes the content revision workflow and content visibility:

Diagram of the content creation process

It is recommended that you test course content during the revision process.