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August 2017 Open edX Product Update

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It's that time again! Summer is in full swing here at edX headquarters, and we've been hard at work to bring new features and enhancements to you and your learners.

Improvements for Learners

The edX mobile app with social media sharing options visible.

Learners now have a one-stop place to see the latest course updates, important course dates, and the course outline. On July 24, we merged the former Course and Home pages into the Course page, where learners can quickly find the information they need as well as access tools such as course bookmarks. We hope these changes help orient learners as they start and work through your course! 

In addition to these navigation changes, we've released version 2.9.1 of the iOS and Android mobile apps. This latest version includes an Important Dates section to help your learners keep track of deadlines, and also includes options to share your courses on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.

Improvements for Course Authors

We get it: life happens. So occasionally, you may want to change the score a learner received on a particular problem. We've added a setting on both the instructor dashboard and the Staff Debug viewer that allows course authors to override learner scores for individual problems, so you can accommodate learners with special needs. For more information, see Override a Learner’s Score for a Problem in Building and Running an Open edX Course.

You may want to provide a different course experience for some of your learners—especially if your course offers different enrollment options. As of mid-July, course teams can create different content for learners based not only on cohorts, but also on enrollment tracks. And, not only does the content vary by enrollment track, but the course discussions can, too. For these divided discussions, we've created the Group Community TA role—it's the same as the Community TA role, but Group Community TAs can only moderate and create posts in discussion topics in the group that they belong to. For more information about course experiences based on enrollment track, see Offering Different Content to Different Learner GroupsAbout Divided Discussion Topics, or About Discussion Moderation Roles in Building and Running an Open edX Course.

Data Improvements

You asked for it, and we delivered! Learner grades are now included in weekly data packages. To view grades, see the grades_persistentcoursegrade and grades_persistentsubsectiongrade tables. Meanwhile, the new edx.forum.thread.viewed event joins our roster of discussion events, providing course teams with even more information about discussion participation. For more information, see Course Grades Data and edx.forum.thread.viewed in the edX Research Guide. 

Additionally, we've added a "Passing Learners" column to the table on the Courses page in Insights (and to the CSV download for this table), so you can easily see how many learners are currently earning passing grades in your course.

The table on the Courses page, showing the new Passing Learners column on the far right.

Coming Soon

We're thrilled to announce that, starting soon, enhanced profiles will be availble for learners! Learners can use new profile options to show off their certificates, accomplishments, and more.