Our tool for setting up courses is called the Course Builder. The Course Builder is accessed by clicking the “Create a new course” link on an instructor’s homepage. This link is located at the bottom of the My Courses section.

My Courses listing of courses that you have made or in which you are enrolled.

Note: The Course Builder can only be accessed by instructors. If you do not have an instructor’s account on the OLI server, please email olihelp@lists.andrew.cmu.edu for information.

Course Builder Options

When you launch Course Builder, you will be asked to select one of four options. You can either create a new course, or if you have already created courses, you can copy a course, edit a course, or delete a course.

Select “Create a new course” when doing one of the following:

  • Creating a new course for the first time
  • Creating a new course section in a new semester

Note: Do NOT use “Create a new course from an existing one” across semesters. This literally copies the old course. Updates, new content, or bug fixes implemented since your old course was created will NOT be included in the copied course.

There are two modes of operation for creating a new course: Simple Mode and Advanced Mode.

Simple Mode condenses the process, giving you a default structure and schedule (or no schedule) and require you to make only a few decisions. Advanced Mode provides opportunities to customize content, schedules, and the look and feel of your course.

We will only describe the Simple Mode here.

Form for choosing the mode of course creation. "Simple" is selected.


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”.

The Select Curriculum form

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.

Schedule Course

Note: The start and end dates are only for system use. 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 screen is the place for you to:

Name Your Course
Give your course a name that makes sense to both you and your students.
Create an Admit Code
Choose a unique admit code (each section must have a unique code). Students need this admit code 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. If you choose to have one, enter and confirm your course password. Passwords are case sensitive, must be 412
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 before hand.

Confirm Course

The next page is a confirmation page. Review all of the settings for your course. 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 test a new system before working in the course. Also, be sure to remind students to test their systems, especially at the beginning of the semester.