A resounding hello from edX headquarters in Cambridge! The month of January has been a busy one here, as we've worked on numerous improvements for learners and course teams.
Improvements for Learners
Getting help with a specific course from learner support is now easier than ever. Now, instead of having to remember to manually include their course name when they submit a support request, learners can select the course from a drop-down list before they enter their questions or comments. EdX support can then find valuable background information without having to send messages back and forth with the learner first, reducing the time to resolve the learner's concern.
Additionally, to help learners find discussions that are popular or relevant to them, learners can now sort inline discussions by most votes, most activity, and recent activity.
Improvements for Course Authors
You want to make sure that important information reaches the right learners. Course teams that use content groups can now use the View this course as option in the LMS to make sure that their content will be available only to the cohorts that they specify. Additionally, course teams can now send messages to learners according to course track, so you can reach all of your verified or audit learners at one time. (Don't worry—individuals, including staff, who belong to multiple recipient groups will only receive one copy of the message.) For more information about these features, see Viewing Content Based on Roles and Sending Email Messages to Learners in Different Enrollment Tracks in Building and Running an Open edX Course.
At edX, we continue to strive for improvements in accessibility—both on our site overall and for individual elements, including problems. During January, our accessibility team made major changes to the navigation bar at the top of every page on the Course tab. Learners who use screen readers now receive information about elements such as tabs, including the state of the element—for example, the screen reader tells the learner whether the element is collapsed or expanded. Learners who rely on keyboards can now use the left arrow, right arrow, and tab keys to move through screen elements quickly and efficiently. We've also made even more updates to our drag and drop problems, enabling your learners with disabilities to complete them more easily.
We want you to have the most up-to-date information about enrollment as possible. In the Student Profile report, available from the Data Download page on the instructor dashboard, we've added two columns: "enrollment mode" and "verification status". You can now see at a glance not just how many total learners you have, but which enrollment track they've chosen—and whether learners who are enrolled in ID-required tracks have successfully completed ID verification. For more information, see Columns in the Student Profile Report in Building and Running an Open edX Course.