Course Settings

Course settings are available at Settings > Course.

You can get to advanced course settings by going to Settings > Advanced course settings.

This page groups the (non-advanced) course settings into categories rather than presenting them in the order in which they appear on the course settings page.

If you are looking for a setting by name, search this page using Ctrl+F (for Windows) or Command+F (for Mac).

View-only Settings

URL Component

The course URL component tells you the URL for the course. For example, if the course URL component is /better_readings and your site is at, then the course would be available at

You cannot adjust the URL for a course here, but you can make changes by going to Settings > Advanced Site Settings and editing the Course URLs setting.


The namespace identifies where the data for a course is kept. Typically, the namespace is the course URL component prefixed with ns_. For example,


The namespace is useful when working with your course’s data. For example, you need it to specify which course you are interested in when working with the Cloud Datastore to track student data.

Course Page Settings

If you are hosting a single course, you may want to add site-wide information to the course to promote your organization. The following settings let you add items to the header or footer of every course page that tie the course to your organization.

Additional page settings can be found in Settings > Site Settings.

(If you are hosting multiple courses, consider using the Course Explorer and its settings.)

Show G+ Button

Checking this setting puts a G+ button next to your site name to allow students to recommend your site to others in their Google+ circles.

Extra Tabs

By default, a registered student sees three tabs : Announcements, Course, and Progress. (If you have configured a discussion forum, then there will also be a Forum tab.)

You can add and configure a custom tab in the course navigation bar to display other information to students.

For the tab’s content, either provide a link to uploaded HTML or to an external site. Or add the content for the tab in the content editor provided.

Like default tabs, a custom tab will be available in the navigation bar of every course page.

Learn more about tabs on the navigation bar.

Course Homepage Settings

These options appear on the course homepage to introduce the course.


This is the title of your course. Changing the title here will not change the course URL or namespace, but it will change what students see on the course homepage and in the Course Explorer. It will also change the course’s title in the dashboard.


Add a summary or teaser for your course. The abstract appears below the course title and above the syllabus.

You can use any of the components in the rich text editor. Learn more about using the content editor.

Instructor Details

Add information about the course instructor. These details appear to the left of the course title.

Image or Video

Add an image or a YouTube video to the course homepage. Provide a link (including the http:// or https://) to the image or video.

If you are linking to a video, you may use most of the common YouTube URLs that you see when viewing it. If you have problems, use the YouTube embed URL.

To find the embed URL, go to the video at YouTube. Under the video’s frame, click Share and then the Embed tab. In the text box, find the src attribute and the web address that is its value. This address will begin

Copy that web address (without the quotes) and paste it into the Image or Video setting.

Image Description

Include text to be read in place of the image or video.

Explorer Page Settings

The following settings capture course details to display in the Course Explorer.

Show in Explorer

By default, a course is listed in the Course Explorer for any user who has access to the course based on its availability. Uncheck this box if you want to keep this course off the Course Explorer for all users, regardless of whether they can access the course. This is useful when you want to offer a course, but it doesn’t fit in with the set of courses you are advertising on the Course Explorer.

Estimated Workload

The number of hours estimated to complete the course.


The subject area of a course and/or the group of courses to which the course belongs. (Students can filter the Course Explorer to show only courses in a certain category.)

Course Data Settings

The following settings enable data collection and analysis.

Google Analytics ID

This ID is required to work with Google Analytics to perform custom analytics on student data.

Google Tag Manager ID

This ID required to work with Google Tag Manager examining data on how users interact with tags.

Enable Student Analytics

This setting controls whether to record student events as students work through the course. Recording student events enables analytics about your course, but it comes with a price. Recording student events takes App Engine resources, will count against your App Engine quota, and may incur costs. This setting is on by default.

Removal Policy

This setting specifies whether you will keep student event data after a student has unenrolled from the course.

Keeping event data for unenrolled students may improve the quality your dataset. Or it may simply be take up space.

Personal student data (like name and email address) are always removed immediately by Course Builder.

Google API Settings

These settings are required credentials for your course to work with Google APIs. For example, your course must call the Google Drive API to import a Google Doc from Google Drive. You can get this information from the Google Developers Console’s API Manager.

Google API Key

Learn more about this setting.

Google Client ID and Secret

Learn more about this setting.

Other Admin Settings

The following settings are concerned with other course administration tasks.

Course Admin Emails

Add an email or multiple emails to this field to grant the account holders course-wide admin access. The email must be associated with a Google account, and course admins have complete access to a course.

If you’d like to offer a limited set of permissions, Course Builder also lets you define roles with a subset of admin permissions.

Auto-Index Course

This setting causes your course to be indexed daily so that a student’s search results will always be up to date.

Keep in mind that indexing is resource-intensive and will count against your quota and may incur costs. This setting is off by default.

Advanced Course Settings

All of the course settings in Settings > Course are also specified in

  • course.yaml - the course’s current settings
  • course-template.yaml - the default values for course settings

Edit course.yaml in advanced editor

To edit course.yaml directly, go to Settings > Advanced course settings and click on Advanced Edit.

Changes made to course.yaml on this page will be saved directly to the course’s datastore and will be available immediately - just like changing the settings in other dashboard pages.

The course-template.yaml file cannot be edited in the dashboard. It is shown on this page so that you can refer to the default values for course settings.

If you want to edit course-template.yaml, you can do so in your local copy (but not using Notepad!) and then redeploy to App Engine.

Warning: If you are using Windows and editing locally, do not use Notepad. Use another text editor such as WordPad or Notepad++. Notepad will not respect the formatting of .yaml files, and the files will be unusable.