5.3. Setting Start and End Dates

This section describes how to schedule your course in Studio.

For information about providing other information for your course, see Setting Details About Your Course.

5.3.1. Overview

The start and end dates you set for your course and for course enrollment are important for prospective and current learners. As soon as enrollment starts, prospective learners can see your course in the course catalog, view the course About page, and enroll in the course. Current learners see your course start or end date on their dashboards.

5.3.2. Determining Start and End Dates

EdX recommends that you consider your course start and end dates, and its enrollment start and end dates, carefully. After you determine the dates for your course, you set these dates and times on the Schedule & Details page in Studio. EdX recommends that you verify all important dates in Studio one week before you plan to start the course.

5.3.2.1. Course Start Date and Time

The course start date and time specify when learners can access published course content. By default, the course start date and time are set to 01/01/2030 at 00:00 UTC to ensure that your course does not start before you intend it to. You must change this setting to the correct date and time for your course.

EdX recommends that you set the start time of your course early in the day, generally 00:00 UTC or earlier. Learners often expect the course to be available on the start date in their own time zones and try to access course content during the day. If you do not specify a start time for your course, learners see the default start time, 00:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The course start time and other course dates and times are displayed in learners’ own time zones, if they have specified a time zone in account settings.

Note

You can set a different advertised start date for your course. You might do this if the exact start date is uncertain. For example, you could advertise the start date as “Coming Soon”. For more information, see Advertise a Different Start Date.

Although learners cannot access any part of your course before the course start date, course team members who are enrolled in the course and who have the staff, admin, or beta tester role can see published content in the course before the course start date. For information about testing your course content before the course start date, see Beta Testing a Course.

5.3.2.2. Course End Date and Time

The course end date and time specify when learners can no longer earn credit toward certificates. Learners can continue to complete available coursework, but cannot earn credit after the course ends. Learners who have earned certificates can view the certificates soon after the course end date.

In self-paced courses, course teams can make certain course components unavailable based on the course end date. For example, course teams can make a final exam unavailable after the end date for a self-paced course. For more details, see Hide a Subsection Based on Date.

Important

If you do not set a course end date, learners cannot access earned certificates.

5.3.2.3. Enrollment Start Date and Time

The enrollment start date and time specify when learners can start to enroll in the course. Ensure that the enrollment start date is early enough to allow learners to both enroll in and prepare for the course.

5.3.2.4. Enrollment End Date and Time

The enrollment end date and time specify when learners can no longer enroll in the course. Ensure that the enrollment end date is late enough to allow learners adequate time to enroll. The enrollment end date cannot be later than the course end date.

5.3.3. Set Course and Enrollment Dates and Times

To set dates and times for the course and for course enrollment in Studio, follow these steps.

  1. From the Settings menu, select Schedule & Details.

  2. In the Course Schedule section, replace the placeholder dates and times with your own information.

    When you make changes on this page, a panel with options to save or cancel your work appears.

  3. Select Save Changes.

Note

The times that you set are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). You might want to verify that you have specified the times that you intend by using a time zone converter such as Time and Date Time Zone Converter.

EdX recommends that you verify that all important dates are correct one week before you plan to start the course.

5.3.4. The Learner’s View of Course Start and End Dates

When learners browse courses, the start date for each course is shown in the course catalog and in the course’s About page.

Course cards in the course catalog, showing each course's start date. The course About page, showing the start date.

To find the URL of your course’s About page in Studio, select Settings and then Schedule & Details.

After learners enroll in courses, the courses appear on their course dashboards. To access the dashboard, learners select their usernames and then Dashboard. For a course that is in progress or has not yet started, the start date is shown. For a course that has ended, the course end date is shown.

The learner dashboard with a course in progress, one that has ended, one that is self-paced and can be started any time, and one that has not started.