Understanding and Updating Course Content

Content that participants see in the Course tab is displayed in Studio in the Course Outline page. From here, you can see all of the sections, subsections, units, section release dates, assignments, assignment deadlines, publishing and privacy settings for all Course outline content. Read on for definitions, explanations and how-tos relevant to this space in Studio.

Example: The course outline below is the view from the user-facing side of the LMS. We'll use this example to show what the section and subsections looks like in Studio.




These are the top-level navigation items that display in the Course tab. 



These are the second-level navigation items that appear after you click on any section in the Course tab. 



These are pages you can access within a single subsection.  The user-side has back and forward arrows in the horizontal navigation bar to flip between units or pages.



Dates and times on the corresponding page in Studio are given entirely in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).  

Course Start Date:

The very first thing on the Course Outline page is the Course Start Date.  Hover your mouse over the date and you'll see a pencil icon. Clicking this will take you to the Schedule & Details page, where you can edit this date.  This date overrides any earlier release dates that have been applied to sections or subsections. A release date controls when content in the course becomes available to participants in the course.


Section and Subsection Titles:

The next thing you'll see on the Course Outline page is the first section in your course. Hovering your mouse over any section or subsection title will display a pencil icon, indicating you can update the title from here.

Section Release Dates and Visibility Settings

To the right of a section or subsection title is a gear icon.

At the section level, clicking on the gear icon will give you the option to change its release date and time, or to change its visibility in the course to participants.  


A section's settings will override settings applied to subsections within it.  

  • For release dates, a section with a future release date will override a subsection with an earlier release date.  A subsection's release date that is further in the future, however, will be respected.  
  • For visibility settings, a section whose box next to "Hide from students" is checked will hide all subsections and units from participants.  If the box is unchecked, then individual subsection and unit visibility settings will be respected.

Subsection Release Dates and Visibility Settings:

At the subsection level, clicking on the gear icon will give you the option to change the release date and time, the grading setting to apply to any units in this subsection, and any due date to apply to graded items in here.  


  • For release dates, a subsection with a future release date will override a unit with an earlier release date. A unit's release date that is further in the future will be respected.
  • For visibility settings, a subsection that is marked as "Hide from students" will hide all units within it.  A subsection that isn't marked in this way will not override any visibility settings applied to units. 

If you click on "VISIBILITY", you can hide a subsection from participants here as well as indicate whether assessments results are visible.  The same rules and hierarchy apply to subsections as apply to sections. 


In the ADVANCED tab, there are settings for Special Exams and how to limit access to the subsection. 


Subsection Grading and Due Dates:

Marking which content in a course will count towards a grade in your course gets determined at the subsection level. Any subsection can contain any number of units, within which you may have added problem components.  


To enable these to count for a grade in the course, you can:

  • mark a particular subsection as graded by selecting a particular grading assignment type that you have created in the Grading settings page, or

You can also decide if you want your graded assignments in the subsection to have any particular due date, or to be available to participants for an unspecified amount of time.

Note that the due date and time are given in UTC here.  Participants will however see this in Pacific time.  

Any due date you provide here will apply to any problems or questions contained in this subsection.

Unit Visibility Settings:

At the unit level from the Course Outline, if you click on the gear icon > VISIBILITY, you are given the option to hide the subsection from participants. 


When you encounter this option in the Course Outline, this indicates that the content in question will be hidden completely, or made private, from participants.  You as a member of the course team will, however, still be able to see this content.  

Color Coding and Publishing Indicators in the Course Outline

The Course Outline includes the option to, at a glance, know the status of any particular section, subsection or unit in your course. 

  • A black bar will display to the left of a private subsection or section to indicate its status.
  • A yellow bar will display to the left of a drafted or unpublished version of a unit, or a subsection or section containing drafted or unpublished content.
  • A blue bar will display to the left of published, public content.
  • A green bar will display to the left of published, content scheduled to be released in the future.  

Additionally, a section, subsection and unit will all display an upward-pointed arrow icon to indicate that content in here has not been published. 

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