New to some of these terms - How do I use course runs?

Hi, just getting up and started so somewhat of a newbie. What is a “course run”, and how do I set it up? I thought I’d create a course and make it available and learners would take it when assigned. But the idea of “course run” has me wondering what I am missing. How should I set this?

Courses can be run different times with different dates, and each of those is a course run. You can visit and search for “course run” to see a variety of related docs.

Hi @klawton and welcome!

I moved your question to the “Educators > Authoring” section of the forums (“developers” is a category for those writing code for the Open edX project). If you experience further questions while authoring your course, definitely post in the “Educators > Authoring” section! This has a better chance of alerting the right people.

OK, Thanks for that, but it doesn’t help me right now.
When I read the descriptions in the docs it sounds like I am setting up a class for a school year, or a college environment. Thats not my case. I am building e-learning (initially) classes to deliver to customers when they require it. There is a gating factor of assigning them the class.
This means any individual can be assigned the class at any time.
How do I understand a “run” in this sense?
It is one big run?
Or is it lots of little runs?
Do I run it for a fiscal/calendar year? DO I need to re-run/update each year?
I don’t find any discussion on this in the documentation.

Another suggestion is to checkout this free course on StudioX: Creating a Course with edX Studio
Which is about the studio/course authroing side of Open edX.

Runs can become valuable as you plan across a lot of time or a lot of customers. The initial case (individuals can be assigned the class at any time) might only need one long course run, and that’s great - it can last for quite a while if your content is stable and your learners all expect the same experience.

And eventually, operationally, you may want to update the course content (replace a lesson, or reweigh the grading scheme) - that could disrupt all the grades earned by students who have already completed them. Or you might find that having data from a lot of learners who are long-gone makes managing newer, active learner data and discussions cumbersome. Or a specific group of learners might need special deadlines or communications.

All of these have features that can help manage this in a course run! But at some point, it may be easier to separate out new learners into a new space to start fresh with whatever configuration/data is needed. The actual cadence on when this is needed is up to you.

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@jaakana Thanks, that answer helps a lot. And to be honest, it isn’t explained like that in the documentation.

I’m glad, and that’s good feedback. If it helps to bring it back to the documentation now, I believe these sections highlight some of the most long-lasting decisions when setting up a course run (i.e. stuff that isn’t easily updated once the course is live)

Pacing: 6.2.2. Scheduling a Course Run — Building and Running an edX Course documentation

Start and End dates 6.2.2. Scheduling a Course Run — Building and Running an edX Course documentation

Grading: 7.8. Course Licensing — Building and Running an edX Course documentation

Licensing: 7.8. Course Licensing — Building and Running an edX Course documentation