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Types of Course Elements

In OpenOlat, various course elements are available with which a course can be structured very flexibly and modularly according to the desired needs. In this way, course content can be structured and provided, collaborative work and exchange can be promoted, the knowledge level of the participants can be checked, and organizational concerns can be covered.

Course elements at a glance

Knowledge Transfer

The following course elements serve in particular to provide and structure course content. Depending on the module, certain externally created content can also be integrated.


The following course elements can be used in particular to test knowledge.

Most of the course elements in the Assessment category are assessable and points can be assigned if needed. Then, further features such as the addition of points or the calculation of pass/fail for the course, based on the assessments of different course elements, can be added. The calculation for traditional courses is done through the course element Structure or at the top course node.

The configuration tab "Reminders" is available for all assessable elements of the knowledge check. Here, e-mails can be sent depending on the processing status of the respective course element, e.g. if an assignment or a test has not yet been processed on a certain date. The possibilities are similar to those in the menu "Reminder" in the course administration.

In addition, the course elements "Survey" and "Form" are assigned to the category "Knowledge check". These enable the integration of OpenOlat forms into the course in order to use them for teaching evaluations, general surveys, structured queries of certain information of the participants, etc.


The highscore, except for the course element "practice" , can be added for all assessable course element as well as for structure elements.

The highscore makes a playful comparison between test participants possible and can be seen as motivational factor. The prerequisite for using the "Highscore" tab is that points are awarded for the selected block (e.g. test, task, evaluation).

First "Show Highscore" needs to be enabled. Optional a starting date can be added. Upon this date the highscore will be shown. Otherwise the highscore is shown directly after finishing the test. Afterword it can be defined, if the user data is shown anonymized or with pre and last name. In the next part it can be chosen, which elements of the highscore should be shown. There is the choice between congratulation title, podium, histogram and top result listing. For the listing it can be defined additionally, if all users or only a certain number should be shown. At least one of the above options need to be selected.


Communication and Collaboration

Course elements in this category are mainly used for collaborative work and exchange among each other. The course elements for virtual classrooms and online meetings are also assigned here.

Virtual Classrooms

With the course elements Adobe Connect, GoToMeeting, Vitero BigBllueButton and OpenMeetings, different virtual classrooms can be used in OpenOlat for synchronous meetings, video conferences or webinars. Which course element will be integrated and which functionalities will be available depends on which configuration your OpenOlat system administrator has selected.

A virtual room allows you to work online (synchronously) with several people who are geographically separated from you. Functions of virtual rooms include live chat, audio and video, desktop and document sharing. When entering a virtual room by means of a course element a new browser window will open in which the virtual session will take place.

To be able to use all functionalities you will need a headset and a connected camera. Depending on your system you might have to download additional software temporarily.

Administration and Organisation


Additional building blocks can be found in the category "Other".

General information on course elements

All course elements have the tabs "Title and description" and "Layout". In addition, there are certain tabs that exist throughout depending on the technical course type. The tab "Learning path" only exists for learning path courses. The tabs "Visibility" and "Access" exist only for traditional courses.

In addition to the course elements, there are other tools and learning resources in OpenOlat courses that can be used to design courses. You will find references to them in the respective chapters.

Performance assessment

A number of course elements can be used either for summative or formative assessment, or serves as performance control tool. The assessable course elements can be viewed in the assessment tool. Further information on these modules can be found, among other things, in the chapter "Assessment":

  • Task (manual assessment)
  • Group task(Manual assessment)
  • Portfolio task (manual assessment)
  • Check list (manual & automatic assessment)
  • Assessment (manual assessment)
  • LTI (automatic assessment, transferred from LTI page)
  • SCORM (automatic assessment, transferred from SCORM module)
  • Test (automatic & manual assessment)