Setting Up a Course (Advanced Mode) Quick Steps

Start at instructor's My Courses page.

1. Click "Create a new course ..." link.

2. Choose the “Advanced Mode” radio button and then “Next.”

3. Select from the “Select A Curriculum” drop-down menu and sub-menus as needed to choose the desired course.

4. Arrange Content. See details below.

5. Schedule Course. See details below.

6. Confirm Schedule Options, Assessment Options, and General Information. See details below.

7. Confirm Course.

Access Course Builder, the tool used to create an OLI course section, by clicking the “Create a new course ...” link on an instructor's My Courses page.

Use Course Builder to create a new course for the first time or create a new course section in a new semester. Using Course Builder creates the newest version of the course incorporating any updates, new content, and bug fixes. Simple Mode condenses the course creation process to a few decisions, a default structure and schedule (or no schedule). See "Setting Up a Course (Simple Mode)". Advanced Mode provides opportunities to arrange and delete content, add content from other courses, and customize the schedule.

Choose the “Advanced Mode” radio button and then “Next.”

Select from the “Select A Curriculum” drop-down menu and sub-menus as needed to choose the desired course.

Note: View brief descriptions and access more detailed descriptions by clicking the “Full course description” links.

Arrange Content

The Arrange Content screen allows reordering or removing sections of the standard syllabus and adding content from other curricula.

Note: For more information on adding content from other curricula or content areas, see “Adding Content from other Curricula” below.

  1. Click Next at the bottom of the screen to accept the default arrangement and content.

  2. Click the up and down arrows to change the sequence of the sections.

  3. Click the remove button next to the module(s) or unit(s) to remove content.
    Note: Rearrange content before deleting content. Rearranging content resets deleted sections. 
  4. Click the “Next” button at the bottom of the screen when the content is arranged as desired.

Schedule Course

The Schedule Course screen allows setting the dates of the course and managing how and when quizzes and other assignments are accessed by students.

Note: Availability is different than assigned or due. Availability defines when the content is accessible to students. The date assigned and date due specify when students can start an assignment and by when they must complete the assignment. For example, assignments can be available to students after the due date to review work.


Enter the start and end date of the course. Select the time zone from the Time Zone drop-down menu or “Other…” if the desired time zone is not listed.


Schedule Assignments is only shown in Advanced Mode of the Course Builder. It allows assigning dates that quizzes, assignments, and content will be available and/or due. The most common option is to choose None then open and close dates to quizzes or other graded assignments as preferred once the course is built.

Note: All dates may be set or changed once the course is built.

Schedule Options

All Materials and assignments are available immediately and are not closed. This is the default and skips the rest of the schedule course screens.

Course Builder assigns availability dates and due dates automatically spanning the duration of the course based on input of preferred days of the week for due dates and any "blockout" dates when assignments should not be due. It will only schedule high stakes, graded assignments.

Note: Assignments are either high or low stakes. Both types of assignments provide feedback to the student. Only high stakes assignments record student performance in the grade book. The instructor sees student work on high stakes assignments but not low stakes activities. High stakes activities are graded. Low stakes activities are ungraded.

For more information on Automatic Scheduling, see "Scheduling Assignments with Automatic Scheduling" below.

Manual Preset

Manually edit the dates after Course Builder adds dates spanning the course duration based on input of preferred days of the week for due dates and any "blockout" dates when assignments should not be due. On the Schedule Course screen, click on a date/status next to any high stakes assignment to change the graded/not-graded status of the assignment or the available or due date. Click the “Next” button at the bottom of the screen to proceed when done.

Note: Use caution in changing an assignment to ungraded as assignments may not be changed from ungraded back to graded and will no longer appear in the Gradebook.

Just in Time
All assignments and course materials will be unavailable to students at the start of the course. Manually release and/or close the assignments during the run of the course.

Assessment Options

Set details of the graded assessment options. During the initial course build, the assessment options affect all assessments in the course. Once the course is built, settings can be modified globally or for individual assessments.

Some courses offer multiple attempts for the assessments. Set the number of attempts for students from 1 to Recommended to Maximum. The Recommended and Maximum options are set by the course authors and can be viewed in the course from within the individual assessment settings after the course is built.
Scoring Model
Dicate how the system handles scoring of multiple attempts. Overall score can be set to highest, lowest, average, first, or last score of multiple attempts.
Set a password for exams to be started. Instructors provide the password to students or a test proctor or a TA. Optional.
Late Submit
By default, assignments may be submitted past any date or time deadline but will not be accepted into the Gradebook unless the instructor approves the late submit.
Late Start
By default, assignments may not be started past the date deadline.
Grace Period
The amount of time (in minutes) after the deadline in which work can be submitted as on time. Late Submit settings will not apply to any assessment submitted during the grace period. The grace period is not displayed to students. Optional.
Time Limit

Sets a time limit for exams. This time is specified in minutes. Optional.

Note: A timed test starts when the student clicks the Start button to start the assessment. If using a password, the password unlock an attempt but does not start the attempt so as to not reduce the time available to enter answers.

Feedback Mode
Determine what feedback the system will give each student and when that feedback will be displayed. Do not use "Immediate (before submit!)" as assessments cannot be submitted.
Review Answers
Set whether or not a student can review their answers before receiving feedback.

General Information

The details on the General Information screen can be edited at any time after the course is created.

Name your Course

Give your course a descriptive name so the instructor and students can verify the course when viewing the title at the top of the page.
Create a Course Key
Choose a unique Course Key (each section must have a unique Course Key). If students access the course at the OLI website and not through a Learning Management System (LMS), students use this Course Key to register for the correct section. The Course Key is not case sensitive, must be 4 to 12 characters in length, and may contain letters, numbers, and/or hyphens. For example, “99-101A.”
Set A Password
Set a password for course access as well as an Course Key. This is strictly optional. 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. Passwords can be used to prevent accidental enrollment once a course has ended.
Set Your Admission Process
By default, students are admitted to the course as soon as they register. Alternately, the instructor can approve each registration. This can be useful if a specific Account ID format is required for students.

Confirm Course

The next page confirms course creation. Review the settings. If necessary, use the links on the left side menu to go back to the appropriate step and make corrections. When finished, click the “Finish” button at the bottom of the page. Congratulations! The next page confirms the course creation and provides a link to the Manage Course page.


Adding Content from Other Curricula

Add content from another content area or that was originally removed during initial course building. Select “Click here to add content from another curriculum” at the top of the Arrange Content screen if you are creating your course using the Advanced Mode. If your course is already created, see Adding Content from Another Curriculum to Existing Courses.

From the Select a Curriculum screen, select the content area where the additional material is located. Then select the curriculum as needed.

Once selected, choose the portions of the curriculum to add to the course using the green arrow next to the Unit(s)/Module(s) of content to add. Then click the “Next” button on the bottom of the screen.

Note: Adding a unit of structure with nested modules will add the nested components as well.

Both the original course contents and the newly added content now display in the course outline. Added content is placed at the end by default. Arrange the order of each section by using the up and down green arrows.

Repeat this process to add content from further curricula as needed.      

Click Update to save the changes.                    


Scheduling Assignments with Automatic Scheduling

Automatic scheduling adds dates to graded activities over the duration of the course. Even when using automatic scheduling, dates may be adjusted at any time in the created course.

Note: Do not use the browser’s back button while making changes to the course schedule.

Preferred Due Days
Indicate which days of the week assignments should be due. 
Time of Day for Due Dates
Indicate the time will be used on all due days for closing assignments. Select the desired time of day from the pull-down menu.
Blockout Days
Choose "blockout" dates to omit from due date scheduling and factor out when calculating time between assignments. These are handy for holidays or long breaks during the run of the course. Enter any dates or date ranges, as specified, into the text box.