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STUDIO: The Authoring tool for the Open edX platform

STUDIO is the content management system or authoring platform for creating and configuring Courses and course libraries in the Open edX platform. 

Studio is the place where you’d go to author your course, create and built course content, add and organize courseware, add and configure activities, import external content, upload course files and configure course policies and settings.  It allows multiple users to work even simultaneously on the same course.

It is a separate application, but it uses the same authentication as the LMS (same email and password), but only course authors (users with specific permissions for one or more course) need to log in to studio. If a learner accidentally logs in to STUDIO, he’ll reach the STUDIO home page, but nothing more.

Studio can be supported in multiple languages.

This article will describe some of its main features / components.

 

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Adding Course Contents

The Course Outline

One of the first tasks to be done in Studio is to create the Course outline, by adding sections, subsections to contain the units that will have the course content.

For each section or subsection, the author can configure the release date and visibility options.

You can drag and drop sections, subsections and units to their desired location, and easily clone, move or delete these same objects when building your course.

Subsections can be configured as prerequisites, so that the learners will be required to complete one before being able to enter the next.

Adding Contents to each unit

Authors can add different types of components to each of the units to enrich the learner’s experience.  These are some of the most important:

  • HTML components
  • Video component
  • Discussion component
  • Basic problems
    • Multiple choice
    • Checkboxes
    • Text input
    • Numeric Input
    • Dropdown
  • Advanced problems:
    • Open response assessments
    • Drag and drop exercise
    • Image mapped input
    • Custom build problems
  • Advanced components (XBLOCKS):
    • Image explorer 
    • Survey
    • Problem builder
    • Scorm
    • Flow Control
    • and many more

Course updates

Authors can notify students of important dates or exams or any other important announcements. Each update is marked with a date and is written in plain text or in HTML format.

Additional Pages

Pages represent the different tabs in the course interface. 

Some pages are created by default and are required for the course to work, such as:

  • Course: This page contains the course outline.
  • Discussion: This page contains any exchange with the students.
  • Progress: This page shows the students advance in the courses.

Some pages are optional, and appear only when the author enables some specific functionality:

  • Teams: create teams to share the relevant information of your courses.
  • Textbooks: upload texts to reduce the loading times of your learners.
  • Notes:  leave notes to your learners providing special instructions for an assignment.
  • Custom pages: create personalized pages to provide additional course content to your students such as grading policy, course calendar or, course slides.

Authors can create additional pages for a course and also set the order of the pages as required.  This allows extra flexibility to add HTML content to courses outside of the main course structure.

Users can see the additional pages even if they are not yet registered or logged in a course.

Files & uploads

Authors can easily drag and drop or select local files to upload course files, images, audio to foster interaction with the learners.

The list of files can be sorted by different properties and searched by keyword. 

Files can be blocked to prevent them from being accessed by users that are not enrolled in the course.

Textbooks

Textbooks that support the course content can be added to the course in PDF. Authors can choose to split each chapter of the textbook in a separate PDF file to help students navigate this content easily.

Course Settings

Course Schedule and details

The course schedule defines when a learner can enroll and start a course.

This page includes the course overview, image, details, estimated time requirements prerequisites, and a course introduction video.

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Grading configuration

This setting defines the criteria for a course to be considered approved, failed, or graded by a letter.

It is also possible to grant grace periods to students whose assignments are already late.

 

Course team

Divide the members of your team to assign different categories according to their role.

There are 2 different roles:

1. Staff role: co-authors with write and edit permissions.

2. Admins: team members can add or remove other course members.

Group configuration

  • Create content groups that can be used to personalize the content availability for different cohorts in the course.
  • Try group configurations and conduct A/B tests.

Course Advanced Settings

Through this page, it is possible to edit specific course functionality to control specific course settings.

Course Certificates

Only Staff or Admin roles team members can issue certificates to their learners after they complete a particular course. Through this setting, they can define a course title, one or multiple signatures, and edit or delete a certificate before activate it.

Tools

Export/imports courses

On this page, the author can replace an existing course or import a new one, created or edited outside of Studio.

It is possible to export: course content and structure, course dates, grading policy, group configurations, and settings on the advanced settings page.

The format for the export or import of courses in the Open edX platform is OLX.

Checklists

Create checklist enables authors to include all the important items that they need to complete before launching a course.

 

Studio is a very powerful tool that empowers course authors to create course structures and add content, activities, and resources for their learners.Visit the official documentation to find out additional details about the tools and configurations available.

Alternatively, edx.org offers an online course to learn how to use studio called STUDIOX. Enroll in this free course and continue exploring the possibilities with the Open edX platform.