Course metadata guidance page

Return to 'Create a space for your open course'


  • Course full name – this should already contain the name you entered (The full name of the course is displayed at the top of each page in the course and in the list of courses)
  • Course short name – This will be created by the system when your course was set up, in the format 'PUB_123_1.0'.  It will appear in the breadcrumb trail for your course and is also used in the subject line of course email messages.   You will not be able to change this short name unless you have 'course manager' permissions for your course so if you have a very good reason for changing it to something more intuitive, you will need to email with the short name you would prefer and the reason for the change.
  • Duration  Please advise learners how long you might expect them to spend studying the materials.  Enter duration in whole hours.
  • Educational level  Please choose the level that is most appropriate for your content - options are
    Level 0 Beginner – equivalent of up to high school level
    Level 1 Introductory – equivalent to advanced high school or early University undergraduate study
    Level 2 Intermediate – equivalent to University undergraduate level study
    Level 3 Advanced – equivalent to post graduate university study
  • Primary Subject  Choose the primary subject for your course
  • Other subjects  This is optional to have your course associated with other subject areas (you can choose more than one from the list)
  • Primary Skill  Choose the primary skill for your course
  • Other skills  This is optional to have your course associated with other skill areas (you can choose more than one from the list)
  • Provider  This is optional and usually relates to an organisation providing several courses
  • Teaching Language  Please select the language in which your course will be taught. For example, if the primary language of your course is Spanish, then please select Spanish. If you are teaching a language (for example German) but the language used for explaining and teaching is the first language of the learners for whom your course is intended (for example English), then select the first language (English) rather than the language you are teaching (German).
  • Location – Location relates to the country location for which the collection of courses is most relevance.
  • Course collection – Collections have the parent category of 'Collections'. There are other types of category in OpenLearn Create which may only be created or amended by OpenLearn Create Managers. All courses are by default 'OER' and there will be no other choice listed here unless the course creator has created their own Collection.
  • Show enrol button for this course  The enrol button enables users to participate in various aspects of a course like quizzes and forums. Disabling it is only suitable for courses that do not contain social or interactive tools.
  • Copyright – Choose from a number of different license types:

    OER licences

    • Public domain
    • Attribution: CC BY 
      others can distribute, remix, tweak and build on your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for original creation. The most open licence available.
    • Attribution-ShareAlike: CC BY-SA 
      others can distribute, remix, tweak and build on your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for original creation and licence their new creations under identical terms.
    • Attribution-NonCommercial: CC BY-NC 
      others can remix, tweak and build upon your work non-commercially, their new works must acknowledge you and be non-commercial but they don’t have to use the same licence terms for derivative works
    • Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: CC BY-NC-SA 
      others can remix, tweak and build upon your work non-commercially as long as they credit you and licence their new creations under the identical terms.

    Not OER licences

    • Attribution-NoDerivs: CC BY-ND 
      others can redistribute unchanged and attributed to you, commercially and non-commercially.
    • Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs: CC BY-NC-ND 
      others can only download and share as long as they credit you, but they cannot change it or use it commercially

  • Study planner start date – this defaults to the date you created the space, you can use the drop-down boxes to change the date.  The setting determines the start of the first week of a course in weekly format.  It also determines the earliest date that logs of course activities will be available.
  • Feature – If you would like your course to be featured on the home page of OpenLearn Create, please request it via Please note that OLC managers reserve the right to change featured courses regularly so your course may only appear on the home page for a limited period of time. You will need to ensure that you have completed the Summary information, provided a logo and an image so that it can be displayed correctly on the home page.


  • Course summary – this should already contain the short description you added when creating the space.  The course summary is displayed in the list of courses. A course search searches course summary text in addition to course names.
  • Course image files

Course format

  • Format – The course format determines the layout of the course page.
    • Study planner
    • Topics format - The course page is organised into topic sections
    • Weekly format - The course page is organised into weekly sections, with the first week starting on the course start date
  • Number of sections – select from the dropdown section how many sections your open course/resource will have
  • Hidden sections - defaults to ‘hidden sections are completely invisible’. 
    This setting determines whether hidden sections are displayed to students in collapsed form (perhaps for a course in weekly format to indicate holidays) or are completely hidden.
  • Course layout – defaults to ‘show all sections on one page’. 
    This setting determines whether the whole course is displayed on one page or split over several pages.


  • Force language – this defaults to ‘olc_english (ocw_english)’ which is English.  
    There are a number of language packs available in OpenLearn Create now in addition to English, which translate some of the backend menus and some of the front end layout text to the chosen language.  Some language packs are more complete than others. 
    Choose the language you need for your course from the dropdown list.
    For more information about the language packs on OpenLearn Create see Can I change the language of my course navigation menus to the language of my choice?
  • News items to show – Defaults to ‘0’. 
    This setting determines how many recent items appear in the latest news block on the course page. If set to "0 news items" then the latest news block will not be displayed.
  • Show gradebook to students – Defaults to ‘No’. 
    Many activities in the course allow grades to be set. This setting determines whether a student can view a list of all their grades for the course via a grades link in the course administration block.
  • Show activity reports – Defaults to ‘No’.  
    Activity reports are available for each participant that shows their activity in the course. As well as listings of their contributions, such as forum posts or assignment submissions, these reports also include access logs. This setting determines whether a student can view their own activity reports via their profile page.

Files and uploads

  • Maximum upload size – defaults to 110MB. 
    This setting determines the largest size of file that can be uploaded to the course, limited by the site-wide setting set by an administrator. Activity modules also include a maximum upload size setting for further restricting the file size.

Completion tracking

  • Enable completion tracking – defaults to ‘No’. 
    You only need to use this if you are planning to have some kind of assessment activity in your space for which users may earn a certificate or badge.  If enabled, activity completion conditions may be set in the activity settings and/or course completion conditions may be set.


  • Group mode – default setting is ‘no groups’. 
    This setting has 3 options:
    • No groups - There are no sub groups, everyone is part of one big community
    • Separate groups - Each group member can only see their own group, others are invisible
    • Visible groups - Each group member works in their own group, but can also see other groups
  • The group mode defined at course level is the default mode for all activities within the course. Each activity that supports groups can also define its own group mode, though if the group mode is forced at course level, the group mode setting for each activity is ignored.
  • Force group mode – default setting is ‘no’. 
    If group mode is forced, then the course group mode is applied to every activity in the course. Group mode settings in each activity are then ignored.
  • Default grouping – default setting is ‘none’. 

Role naming

  • This setting allows the displayed names for roles used in the course to be changed. Only the displayed name is changed - role permissions are not affected. New role names will appear on the course participant’s page and elsewhere within the course. If the renamed role is one that the administrator has selected as a course manager role, then the new role name will also appear as part of the course listings.


  • Tags - default is 'no selection'.  You can enter tags or select from the dropdown box.


  • Agree to moderate learner contributions in collaborative activities
    If you create a forum, blog or other collaborative activity within OpenLearn Create you will need to agree to moderate it and close it down if you are no longer able to moderate collaborative activities in the course.
  • I agree to comply with The Open University website accessibility statement

    Return to 'Create a space for your open course'

    Last modified: Tuesday, 11 June 2024, 8:18 AM