Textbooks, whether physical or digital, are a core part of the educational experience. Although some might think that an online course would be completely devoid of textbooks, modern day LMSs can allow you to connect textbooks and/or other PDF content to your eLearning courses. The Open edX LMS is just one such platform. With the Textbook feature available out of the box in Open edX Studio, you can enhance the type of content available inside of your Open edX courses. 

Textbooks in the Open edX LMS

The Textbooks feature in Open edX Studio allows you to connect one or a group of PDF files to your Open edX course. This content type will sit outside of the blocks of content (known as “Components”) that appear on your standard course pages (known as “Units”). In this way, the Textbooks in your course act as supplemental material that your Learners can access and refer to at any point in the course.

The video below walks you through the process of adding Textbooks to your Open edX courses.

Adding Textbooks to Your Open edX Course

Adding the Textbooks:

  1. To add a Textbook to your course, visit your instance of Open edX Studio and find your course.
  2. From the top navigation menu, click “Content” and then “Pages and Resources”; note that in releases prior to the Open edX Olive release, you will click “Content” and then “Textbooks”
  3. If you’re on the Open edX Olive release, click “Textbooks”
  4. Here, you’ll see the Textbook interface

Adding the Content:

  1. Each textbook you add to the system will consist of a Name, a Chapter Name, and a button to add a Chapter Asset, which is the actual PDF file you will be uploading to your course
  2. To select and upload your textbook, click “Upload PDF”
  3. Click “Choose File” to use your file browser to upload your PDF
  4. Once your file is selected, click “Upload” to add the file to your course
  5. Optionally, you can Save now or add new Chapters or additional PDFs by clicking “Add a chapter”

Other Considerations about Open edX Textbooks

Note that you can add one PDF for your entire course but the recommendation is to upload a separate PDF for each chapter of your textbook. This is to ensure simpler file management and better load times for your Learners. Therefore, you may want to break your textbook PDF into separate, smaller PDF files before you upload them to your Open edX course. You can also use this functionality to upload groups of PDFs to your course instead of breaking one PDF into multiple files.

When you add a Chapter, you can only add a Chapter Name and Chapter Asset. If you are uploading a group of PDFs that are not chapters, we recommend using a comprehensive Name, like “PDF Resources”, then you can input the name of each file in the “Chapter Name” section.

Get Started

Textbooks are just one of many content types that can be added to Open edX courses. Content like videos, HTML text blocks, quiz questions, and custom content types, are all available in the Open edX LMS. Get started with the Open edX sandbox today and get help from an Open edX marketplace provider when you’re ready to take your LMS to the next level.

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