Create a test course demonstrating how to open content pre-course start
Create stories to fill any gaps needed to support this capability
h2 Considerations for Future Stories
For unpublished sections in Studio, provided they are intended for student consumption (aka there is no staff lock), show the Section heading in the LMS course outline with a subtitle for the release date.
Subtitle: "fa-clock-o This is set to be released on August 26th."
Eventually you could imagine letting authors show more than just the section name, but for now this gets some visibility into the highest level future of unpublished (but expected) sections.
When learners reach the end of the course, the Next button is disabled. This has been an issue for a long time, but with a single week of pre-release content we have exacerbated the lack of clarity about whether a student has "finished" or if they have encountered a bug. We could potentially route learners to the course outline with a message saying "You have reached the end of this course. Additional sections or content may be published in the future."
Existing "Add to Calendar" discovery / stories are something else we should do in support of these pilot courses, as it should hopefully improve the likelihood learners return to the course when it starts.