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May 2017 Open edX Product Update

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Salutations from Cambridge! While we celebrate the arrival of spring here in the north, we hope our users worldwide will enjoy our latest features and updates. 

Improvements for Learners

Mobile 2.8 is here! This latest version of the app for iOS and Android offers synchronized transcripts to accompany course videos and makes all learners' courses visible. Versions of the app prior to 2.5 are now deprecated—learners who have earlier versions will be prompted to upgrade when they open the app.

To provide clearer orientation inside courses and offer learners more immersive experience with course content, we've updated the Course tab to feature a full-page course outline that lists all sections and subsections at once. Learners can select any subsection name to go to that subsection, or just select Resume Course to go to the last page they viewed. When learners view videos, text, and other course content (which now extends all the way across the page), a "breadcrumb" trail shows them the section, subsection, and unit they're currently in. They can also return to the outline easily by selecting Outline at the top of the page. 

The new course outline page and an open course page, with arrows connecting the Outline link to the course outline page and a subsection name in the outline to the subsection name in the course.
The new course outline helps learners orient themselves in your course.

For more information about the new course outline page, see Update: Course Navigation Changes, or check out Why does my course navigation look different? in the edX Help Center. Or, if you want to help test this and other features, send an email message to [email protected].

Improvements for Course Authors

While our Learner team has been busy improving the edX learner experience, our Educator team has been hard at work on features for course authors. First of all, we recently renamed the problem component for open response assessments from "Peer Assessment" to—you guessed it—Open Response Assessment. Additionally, some upcoming changes to the video process will have all our course teams breathing easier, as we eliminate the current 15-step process to enable videos in edX courses. Soon you'll be able to upload videos just as soon as you create a course! Additionally, the learner experience with videos will be significantly improved, especially over slow connections: A new method of distributing video will automatically detect a learner's connection quality and play the best-quality video available for that connection. For more information about these and other upcoming video enhancements, watch this space for an upcoming announcement.

An answered problem that does not show if the problem was answered correctly, or the score.

And our Educator team hasn't been working alone. Our partners at MIT have contributed a new Show Results setting for problems. This subsection-level setting allows course teams to hide problem results from learners, including both whether the learner answered the problem correctly and the learner's score, either temporarily or permanently. Using this feature, course teams can hide exam scores until the exam due date, or administer surveys without revealing responses. For more information, see Set Problem Results Visibility in Building and Running an Open edX Course.

Coming Soon

We're continuing to improve the new Courses page in Insights! Soon, users will be able to filter by XSeries, MicroMasters, and Professional Education programs. Meanwhile, in the LMS, we're also adding more features to the new full-page course outline on the Course tab—including links to the course handouts. 

Improvements for System Administrators and Developers

The 2017 Open edX Conference is almost here! Our Open Source team is making final preparations for the trip to Madrid at the end of the month. We hope you can join us!