Open edXⓇ - Components of a Course


For creating the course content, we need to understand below course components.

  • HTML Components
  • Video Components
  • Discussion Components
  • Problem Components
  • Content Libraries

HTML Components:

HTML Components are the basic building blocks of your course content. It is like the skeleton of our course. HTML components are used to add and format text, links, images etc. We need to follow the Best Practices for HTML Markup before we start working with HTML components. We can user either Visual Editor or Raw HTML Editor. Visual Editor provides word processing like interface with which we create, edit, and format the content. However, Visual Editor does not provide us full control over the content as it does not support custom formatting or scripts. If we need to include custom formatting or scripts in our content, then we need to go for raw HTML editor.

Video Components:

We use video components to add videos to our course in Studio. In video components, we add the name and location of our video, as well as the video transcript. Before we add a video to a course, we need the following items.

  • A place to host, or store, your videos.
  • A video that meets the recommended specifications.
  • A transcript for the video.

To help make sure all standard browsers can play our video,it is strongly recommended that we use .mp4 format. Videos should be as short as possible. Because, Learners are more likely to finish watching videos that are no more than 5-10 minutes long.

Discussion Components:

A discussion component gives learners a chance to respond to and interact with each other about a specific subject. Discussion topics that we create by adding discussion components in our course are known as content-specific discussion topics. When we add a discussion component to a course unit, in the LMS, learners see only the discussion, together with the display name of the discussion component, the category, and the subcategory. edXⓇ recommends that we add an HTML component before each discussion component to introduce the topic that we want learners to discuss. The discussion component itself does not contain any text and can be easy for learners to overlook.

Problem Components:

Using this component, we can add a set of problems to a course. Problems are added to a course outline at the course unit level and these problems can be chosen from Common Problem Type or Advanced list. The common problem types include problems such as multiple choice and text or numeric input. The advanced problem types can be more complex to set up, such as math expression input, open response assessment, or custom JavaScript problems. Problems can be either graded or ungraded.

Content Libraries:

In Studio, we can create a library to build a pool of components for use in randomized assignments in your courses. We can add HTML components, problems, and video components to a library. Open response assessment and discussion components are not supported in libraries. When you create a library, you are automatically assigned an Admin role in that library. We can give other Studio users access to your library. These are the levels of access for libraries.

  • User – Users can view library content and can use library components in their courses, however they cannot edit the contents of a library.
  • Staff – Staff can use library components in their courses. In addition, as content co-authors, they have full editing privileges in a library.
  • Admin – Admins have full editing privileges for a library. In addition, they can add and remove other team members from library access. There must be at least one user with Admin privileges in a library.

We can import and export libraries into the studio. When we import a library, the imported library completely replaces the existing library and its contents. We cannot undo a library import. Before we proceed, it is recommended that we export the current library, so that we have a backup copy of it.


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