Building a course

Filming is over, and we’re now on to the ‘course build’ phase. Although our videos will form the skeleton of the course, we still need to integrate them with written explanations, examples, activities and problem sets. We have a huge amount of work ahead still if we are to make this course successful, from structuring content and planning activities to writing text and creating graphics and interactive applets. Luckily EdX makes compiling content as easy as possible for us.

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The EdX Studio

We manage and build our course through EdX Studio, the editing side of the EdX platform. Studio has a very clean interface, and a comprehensive but easy-to-use instruction manual. It’s very easy to add simple quiz questions, written content and images, and if we want to add anything more complex we can edit the html or embed iframes. This will be particularly useful when we come to embedding applets into the course.

Although EdX make things as easy as possible for us when it comes to building our course, we’re still finding it very slow work to add content. There’s far more to creating content than we first thought. It’s one thing to decide that we want an example to demonstrate a certain concept, but another thing to choose a topic, find a suitable open access data set (or simulate one), write the text, produce images, design and create applets, ensure accessibility requirements are met, design quiz questions that test the correct knowledge, and check everything! Fingers crossed things will speed up with practice.

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