12.6.2. Preparing to Reuse Course Content


This feature was a closed pilot experiment. This feature is not supported for new users.

To make the content of an existing edX course reusable in an external LMS, you create a duplicate version of the course. You use the duplicate course specifically as a source of content for your external LMS. Based on configuration choices your organization makes for using edX as an LTI tool provider, you might be asked to create the duplicate course on edX Edge or on another host site.

Before you begin work to reuse the content in an Open edX course, check with your development operations (DevOps) team for information about the website to use. At some sites, a completely separate Open edX instance, with a different Studio website, is set up to be the LTI tool provider. Planning for Content Reuse

When you create links to edX course content in your external LMS, you can link to components individually, to all of the content in a unit, or to all of the content in a subsection.

As you plan which parts of the course you want to reuse, note the following considerations.

  • Some edX content can be confusing to learners when it appears in the context of an external LMS. For example, in some configurations, edX course discussions identify learners by their internally assigned edX IDs instead of by their usernames. Rather than linking to a subsection or unit that contains discussion components, you could plan to either link only to specific components or remove the discussion components from the unit or subsection, and then use the features available in your external LMS to add discussion forums to the course.

  • Optional edX course features that create groups of learners based on their IDs, such as content experiments and cohorts, are not designed to provide results for external use. To use features like these for your course, you should plan to set them up in the external LMS.

  • To ensure that edX content remains available without interruption, edX course content appears in the external LMS regardless of the start, end, or enrollment dates that are defined for the edX course.

  • To ensure that learners see only edX content that is ready for use, only course content that is published appears in an external LMS.

For more information about edX features that might not be suitable for use with LTI, see Select Content in the Duplicate Course.

The topics that follow assume use of the edX Studio user interface. However, you can also complete these tasks by exporting the course and then reviewing or editing its XML before you import. Create the Duplicate Course

Before you create a duplicate course, be sure to check with your DevOps team to determine the website that hosts your organization’s courses for LTI use.

To create the duplicate course, follow these steps.

  1. In Studio, export the original course. For more information, see Export a Course.

  2. In Studio on your organization’s host site for LTI courses, create a course. This is the duplicate course.


    If your organization uses the same site as the host for both the original course and for LTI courses, be sure to give the duplicate course a different name or run.

  3. In the duplicate course, import the tar.gz file that you exported in step 1. For more information, see Import a Course. Select Content in the Duplicate Course

To select content in your duplicate edX course for reuse in an external LMS, you use Studio to review the course outline and make note of the components, units, and subsections you want to include.

Using an organizational tool, such as a spreadsheet, can be helpful. For example, you can use a spreadsheet column to identify the type of content (for example, component, unit, subsection), and add their display names to the next column. Additional columns can contain the values that you use to construct the addresses for your LTI links. For more information about addressing content, see Determining Content Addresses.

Optionally, you can streamline the contents of units and subsections by removing components, or disable course features that you do not plan to use.

EdX Content or Feature

Works Well with LTI?

Annotation Problem Components




Content Experiment Components


Course-wide Discussions


Discussion Components


HTML Components


Internal Links


Problem Components


Randomized Content Block Problem Components


Video Components


For information about removing components, see Delete a Component. For information about disabling cohorts, see Disable Cohorts in Your Course. To remove course-wide discussions, you select Settings, and then Advanced Settings, and then delete the contents of the Discussion Topic Mapping policy key. For more information, see Create Course-Wide Discussion Topics. Verify Content Status

Only edX course content that is published appears in an external LMS.


The Hide from students setting for sections, subsections, and units does not affect the visibility of content in an external LMS. Only the publication status of a unit can prevent content from being included.

To verify that all of the content in your edX course is published, follow these steps.

  1. In Studio, from the Content menu select Outline. The Course Outline page opens.

  2. Expand each section and subsection.

  3. Locate units with “Unpublished units will not be released” or “Unpublished changes to live content” below the unit name.

  4. For each unpublished unit, make any changes that are necessary to prepare the content for publication. Alternatively, delete the unit.

  5. Publish the unit. For more information, see Publish a Unit.