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How Arbisoft Helps Open Source Education

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(Editor's Note: this guest blog post comes from Fatima A. of Arbisoft. We appreciate Arbisoft's continued support of the Open edX Conference and the community) 

Arbisoft + Open edX

Open edX now powers 1,500 installs around the world. Top institutions such as MIT and Stanford have used it to open-source their course materials, making the world’s best education available to anyone willing to invest the time and effort to benefit from it. Open edX puts the same tools that edX itself uses to teach its 15 million students into the hands of educationists, researchers, social entrepreneurs, and communities for free--giving everyone a chance to create their own virtual school.

And we’re one of the biggest contributors to this platform, with one of the largest continuously engaged dev teams working exclusively on Open edX projects anywhere in the world. Our team has contributed critical features MOOC users have come to expect–including In-course Re-verification (ICVR), proctored exams, microsites, digital certificates and timed exams. Arbisoft and edX have been in partnership since 2013, working together towards the same aim of making a high-quality education accessible to people no matter where they are in the world.

Why Open edX Matters to us "We are motivated by our desire to build software services and products that people love. Working with platforms like Open edX is definitely a big part of that plan."   -- Yasser Bashir, CEO Arbisoft

Open edX is free, transparent, and motivated by something besides the bottom line--giving everyone a chance to learn. Open edX aligns with a core value that also drives Arbisoft: help more than just yourself. Unsurprisingly, education is one of our strongest verticals. We seek to make an impact with our work and perhaps nothing has as big a life-changing impact as access to education. We’re doing our bit to bring about positive change by supporting changemakers.

This is why we see ourselves as stakeholders in the future of Open edX: it’s a fun, cost-effective, amazingly extensible way to bring a great education wherever there are Internet signals. And we believe more people should know about it. A community deserves to grow around this open-source education technology, to further develop and adapt it to our changing needs; it’s a cause worth working together for.

In part our strong commitment to Open edX is also a reflection of our roots: our engineering HQ is based in South Asia, where we’ve seen public spending on education and supportive infrastructure are severely lacking yet mobile penetration (and, with it, access to mobile Internet) far outpaces both. What could be possible if we bridged this growing education gap with an online platform that scaled gracefully to accommodate users and availability of resources? That’s the potential we see in Open edX, not just for this region but all over the world.

#OpenedX2018

We’ve attended every conference since the second one held in 2015, and our involvement has rapidly grown over the years from participation to sponsorship and knowledge-creation. Last year, 8 people from our team attended the conference. This year, members of our team will also speak: they’ll be conducting a technical deep-dive offering a behind-the-scenes look at what happens in the lifecycle of a video on an Open edX install.

Our session will walk attendees through the entire cascade of processes from upload to encoding, hosting, multilingual support, and eventual delivery to the end user. Video makes up about 80% of the content at edX and it is one of the most important means of delivering information in a typical online course. Yet most people--even developers that use Open edX regularly--don’t always have clear insight into a vital part of their platform’s content footprint. This is our way of making good on our promise to openness beyond just our own code.

But it doesn’t just end there for us. We help edX’s teams do the great work they do, so throughout the four days that the Open edX conference brings together engineers, educators, and decisionmakers, we’ll be there to inform, innovate, troubleshoot, and strengthen the support around this software. And after all the conference activities are over and we’re all headed home? Our developers will still be hard at work, coming back brimming with new ideas and ready to submit our latest pull requests to the Open edX repo.

Here’s to seeing you all in Montreal!

 

By: Fatima A. / Arbisoft

We’re a full-service software development firm with 4 locations around the globe. Over 10 years, our award-winning team of 300+ software engineers, SQA professionals, and Agile project managers has built and maintained enterprise-grade software in diverse industries such as education, healthcare, retail, and travel. Our clients include global leaders such as edX, Kayak, MIT, and Stanford University. We're the perfect technology partner for organizations looking to change the world.