8. Starting a Course

This section describes how to start a course and begin doing course work, and how to change settings that apply to a specific course.

As soon as you enroll in a course, you can access some information about the course and change course-specific settings on your dashboard. If the course start date has not passed, you cannot access course lessons or assignments.

For information about self-paced and instructor-paced courses, see Differences Between Instructor- and Self-Paced Courses.

8.1. Find a Course’s Start Date

Often, you can enroll in a course before it actually starts. You can find the course start date on your dashboard; however, the exact time is not published.

  • You do not need to sign in exactly when the course begins.
  • If the course content is not immediately available, check back later on the start date.

To find the course start date, follow these steps.

  1. At the top of any page, select the dropdown menu icon next to your username.
  2. Select Dashboard. Your dashboard lists every course that you are enrolled in.
  3. Locate the course in the list of courses on your dashboard.
    • For courses that have not yet started, “Starts” and the date appear below the name of the course.
    • For courses that are already in progress, “Started” and the date appear.
    • If the course team has not yet announced the start date, a message such as “Coming Soon” appears.
    • For archived courses that are no longer running, “Ended” and the date appear.

8.2. Start a Course

To start work in a course that is in progress, follow these steps.

  1. On your dashboard, locate the course.
  2. Select View Course. The course Home page opens. This page shows important dates and, typically, a welcome message from the course team.
  3. Select Course. The first section of course content opens.

8.3. View an Archived Course

You can enroll or continue to work in some courses even after the course end date. These courses are archived, which means that while you can access the course content, you cannot submit answers for graded problems or participate in course discussions.

To view the content of an archived course, follow these steps.

  1. On your dashboard, locate the course.
  2. Select View Archived Course.

8.4. View a Course Grade

To view your current grade in a course that has not yet ended, see Checking Your Progress in a Course.

To view your final grade in a course that you have completed, follow these steps.

  1. On your dashboard, locate the course. Your final grade appears under the course name.
  2. Optionally, print your dashboard to obtain a record of your achievement in the course.

You can also view the course and open its Progress page to view your final grade, as well as your grades on all course assignments.

8.5. View Certificate Status

If you are enrolled in a certificate track for your course, updates on the status of your certificate, and options for accessing earned certificates, are available in the course card on your dashboard.

For example, if you have earned a certificate and the course team has generated certificates for the course, you can use the View Certificate option to access your web certificate.

Dashboard with course name, grade, and link to the certificate.

For information about how to access certificates, including how to view, print, and share certificates, see Receiving edX Certificates.