A walkthrough video (1:17)

Below the video are step-by-step instructions.

OLI's tool for setting up courses is called the Course Builder. Instructors can access the Course Builder by clicking the "Create a new course" link at the top of of their Manage Course page.

Note: The Course Builder can only be accessed by instructors. If you already have an OLI account and need us to add instructor privileges, please email OLI Support. 

Course Builder Options

When you launch the Course Builder, you can choose the default sequence of the course content with Simple Mode, or Advanced Mode, which is the only tool that allows you to remove content from your course.


Simple Mode is designed for instructors who are either new to OLI, or wish to rely on the defaults selected by the system. It collects only information from the instructor that cannot be predetermined and removes as many steps as possible. Mode Selection – Click the "Simple Mode" radio button and then "Next".

Selecting a Curriculum

Select the subject area that you need from the "Select Content Area" pulldown menu. Each area of content will then present a list of curriculums available in that subject. Many content areas will have only one curriculum available. 

Note: Brief descriptions are included and more lengthy descriptions are available by clicking the "Full course description" links.

The "Select A Curriculum" form presents each course's package options. Here, Biology offers three options and their descriptions: Introduction to Biology, Modern Biology, and Biochemistry. The instructor must choose a Biology package and click the "NEXT" button to proceed.

Schedule Course

Note: The start and end dates are only for display/reference purposes. Student access is not restricted by these dates. The time zone allows the system to display dates and times to users for the location in which the course is being taught.

  • Enter the start and end dates for the course
  • Select the appropriate time zone. If the time zone you require is not present, select "Other…" After your course is built, that time zone will be added to the initial list for future use.
  • Click "Next".

General Information

The General Information panel is the place for you to choose:
Give your course a name that makes sense to both you and your students.
Course Key
This is a code you generate yourself; it's not provided by OLI. Choose a unique course key (each section's must be unique). If you deliver your course via Students need this course key to register for the correct section so be sure to give your students the admit code when instructing them to register. The code is not case sensitive, must be 4 to 12 characters in length, and may contain letters, numbers, and/or hyphens. For example, "99101A".
Set A Password
You may set a password for course access as well as an admit code. This is strictly optional; the fields are empty by default, because the Course Key is often the only barrier you want to place between your students and the content. If you choose to have one, enter and confirm your course password. Passwords are case sensitive, must be 4-12 characters in length and contain only letters and numbers. Be sure to keep the password secret and only distribute to students enrolled in your course.
Set Your Admission Process
Decide if students are admitted to the course as soon as they register or if you would rather approve each registration as students enter. This setting is a good way to prevent students from unexpectedly registering after the End Date. 

Confirm Course

The next page is a confirmation page. Review all of the settings for your course, and ignore the . If something is incorrect, use the links on the left hand side to go back to the appropriate step and make corrections. When you finish your review, click "Finish". Congratulations! The next page confirms your course was created and provides you a link to your Manage Course page. 

Note: Always review the System Requirements before working in the course. Also, be sure to remind students to check the System Requirements, especially at the beginning of the semester.