Four Steps to Get Started

OLI’s aim is to combine free, high-quality courses, continuous feedback, and research to improve learning and transform higher education. If you’re ready to check out OLI for yourself, get started in four easy steps.

Request an Instructor Account

You will need to sign up for an instructor account. Once you fill out the form, we will confirm your account via email within two business days. In your confirmation email you will receive additional information and tips on getting started.

If you have set up a student account for yourself, please contact us to upgrade to an instructor account.

Set Up Your Course

Once your account is active, you can create your course using the Course Builder. Step-by-step instructions are available on our Educator Resources page.

Distribute Your Course Key

When setting up your course, you will be asked to choose a short code, called a “Course Key,” that you can distribute to students. Students should first create an OLI account and then use the code to register for your course.

If you would like to give your students more detailed instructions on registering for your course, you can customize our student instructions (available under Educator Resources) with your Course Key.

Registration is instant, but if there is a fee for the course, then students will need to complete payment before gaining access to your class. OLI courses are free for instructors, but some courses have relatively small fees for students who enroll in your OLI roster. These fees are used by OLI to host the course, to maintain its content and technologies, and to provide customer support. Fees are listed in each course description, available from the course listings.

STEP 4 (optional)
Arrange for student access using financial aid

OLI Payment Codes are redeemed like gift card instead of requiring a credit card. If any of your financial-aid students must make their class-materials purchases at the campus bookstore, you can arrange for OLI Payment Codes to be made available. Instructions for redeeming the OLI Payment Code are included with their bookstore purchase. Click here for a sample OLI Payment Code.

Please share this link with your bookstore: Bookstore order form: OLI Payment Codes.

NOTE: Please use this form ONLY for Summer 2017 classes. Fall 2017 OLI Payment Codes will be available soon.


If you have questions about getting started, you may want to contact us, visit the Educator Resources page, or preview our courses.