Creating Courses

To create a new course, open Course Manager, and click the Create Course button. In the dropdown menu, select New course or New subcourse.

In the creation window, you will see a number of fields to be filled:

The Basic information section includes:

  1. Course name: create a name for your course.
  2. Cover image: upload from your device, or choose it from the Media Gallery. A 4:3 JPG or PNG image under 200kb is recommended.
  3. Summary: Briefly describe the course in this field. This summary can be read by learners in the course information. 
  4. Categories/Custom Vocabularies: apply categories to your course.

The next section, called Course settings, includes:

  1. Membership type. There are three membership types: 
    1. Open: any user can join by clicking the Join button.
    2. Restricted: any user can send a request to join by clicking Send Request. The instructor either approves or dismisses the request.
    3. Closed: the instructor assigns the users; the course is not visible to everybody.
  2. Course completion criteria (1 or more have to be selected):
    1. Manual approval required means that the instructor needs to give a course grade for that course to count as completed.
    2. Lessons required - means that all lessons on the course need to be completed.
    3. Learning paths required - means that all learning paths on the course need to be finished.
  3. Organization for course members: - this course will be used for the organization of user hierarchy purposes. The organization itself is also created.
    1. You cannot create an organization course as a subcourse to a non-organization course.
    2. For an existing organization course, you can create sub-courses (sub-organizations).
  4. User group for course members - all members of the course are automatically assigned into a new user group. You can use this feature in various ways - for example, when you create a Learning Path and add this user group to it, later, when the course gets new participants, they will automatically also become participants of this learning path, due to being in the user group. It helps you avoid adding new users manually to the learning paths relevant to the course.
  5. Allow manual membership management - this defines the user management scope for instructors, allowing them to add and delete members in courses. It's more relevant for organization courses.
  6. Instructors: choose the instructors for this course.
  7. Active: set the active status of the course.
  8. URL: choose a URL to be used for that course, e.g. typing "valamis" here will make your URLs look like this: <domain name>/web/valamis

The next section is called Presets and templates:

  1. Visual preset: Template or Theme. Note that you can only choose your Site Template once during creation. After that, you can only change the applied Theme.
  2. Course pages: Private, Public, or both. Private pages are not visible to guest users. Depending on the choice, you can add descriptions separately for Public and/or Private pages for the Landing Pages. You can also choose the course templates for these types here.
    • Under both Private and Public templates, you can toggle the setting Allow propagation of changes from template. This means that if you disable it, your course will be untouched even if the original course template has been edited.

The rest of options are groups into Additional course information:

  1. Availability period - set the dates from and until which it will be available to the users.
  2. Estimated duration - define how much time it might take for the learner to complete the course. This value can be used in analytics.
  3. The maximum number of participants: set a limit on the number of concurrent participants in the course.
  4. For sub-courses: Limit membership to members of the parent course.
  5. Prerequisite learning paths: list the prerequisite learning paths that are required to be achieved in order to access the course.
  6. Course duration - The number of hours granted upon completion is defined here, and will be stated in an xAPI Statement when the user completes the course. This data (and credits) can be used in analytics.
  7. Course credits - assign the number of credits granted for completing the course. This is not displayed anywhere, but it is stored for use in Analytics.
  8. Keywords - Keywords can be used to index courses. If you want some topic to be relevant to the course, but don’t want to mention it in the title, description, or categories, you can use keywords for this purpose.
  9. Grading scale - defines the grading scale used when evaluating the content on this course.

Created courses can be saved as a draft, meaning that only certain members will be able to access it (for construction purposes), or be published immediately or later. The course status is indicated in the main view.

Adding users to a course

  1. To manually add members to a course, choose Edit Members in the Action menu.
  2. In the following dialog, choose Add users. Select the users you want to add to the course. The users should already exist in the environment.
  3. Additionally, in the Actions menu, you can set permissions for user roles on available courses, and go to Private or Public pages directly. 

Course Manager Preferences

The Preferences in the Course Manager contain several settings that may be useful for administrators. The Preferences modify the settings that are available to course creators and allow pre-defining certain options for created courses. Note that for any changes to take into effect, you need to save them. Also, the Preferences only apply to the specific Course Manager on that specific page; any other Course Managers located on other pages of the environment may have different Preferences set up on them. 

Let's take a look at the Preferences. 

The first part is related to the course list that is shown in the main view of the Course manager.

  1. Show child courses only - Course manager will only show subcourses of a current course
  2. Display organization sites - defines whether Organization type of sites are shown in the Course manager
  3. Use the custom portlet title from Look and Feel settings - allows you to define a different portlet title for Course Manager by defining it in the Look & Feel settings. 
  4. Filter courses by categories - makes it so that only the courses with selected categories are shown in this instance of Course Manager.

The next section is called Predefined course creation settings. These settings define some default values for created courses. When pre-defined, these fields will not be available to users, when creating a new course.

  1. Predefined template for public/private pages- a default site template for different types of pages.
  2. Course pages - Public, Private, or Public & Private.
  3. Predefined membership type - Open, Restricted, or Private
  4. Create organization course
  5. Allow manual membership management for courses
  6. Allow manual membership management for organization courses
  7. Course completion criteria
  8. Created course should be active - forces the newly created course to be active immediately
  9. Preset categories - show courses of only specific categories

The role assigned to course creator define the following:

  1. Predefined site role
  2. Predefined organization role

Configuration fields visibility defines what type of fields are available during course creation, such as course credits, logo, URL, and more. 

The rest of the options include:

  1. Limit membership to the members of the parent course 
  2. Enable user group creation - allows the possibility to create a user group for course members as described above.