Salutations once again from edX headquarters in Cambridge! As the leaves have been bursting into color outside our office, we’ve been busy inside with lots of updates that we think you’ll enjoy.
Improvements for Learners
Assessments are important—and edX has just improved answer options for all assessment types so that learners can complete them successfully. Among other updates, we’ve consolidated the Check and Final Check buttons into one Submit button, and have moved less frequently used actions (such as Save and Show Answer) over to the side. We’ve also more clearly indicated to learners whether problems are graded or ungraded. For more information, see Coming Soon: Enhancements for Standard Problem Types on the Open edX portal or Updated Options for Answering Problems in the October 10 release notes.
While we were making our assessments more intuitive, but we were also improving LMS navigation. We’ve added “Previous” and “Next” text to the left and right arrow buttons at the bottom of the unit page and in the course navigation bar, and we’ve made the Bookmark option on each page stand out more. We’ve also changed the indicator for a learner’s current unit from a gray background to a blue underline. For more information, see Coming Soon: Course Navigation Changes on the Open edX portal or Course Navigation Updates in the October 10 release notes.
Improvements for Course Authors
When you create assessments, have you ever wished you could make some words bold in the problem text? Or change the text color? Or add a link? For our core CAPA problem types, such as multiple choice or text input problems, you can now do all that and more! Using the advanced editor, you can include HTML tags inside the and
While we were adding all these options for problems, we also added an option for rescoring them: when you rescore a problem, either for an individual learner or all learners, you can now specify that you only want the system to update scores if the learner's score improves. This new option is available in the Staff Debug Info option for each problem and on the freshly de-cluttered Student Admin page on the Instructor Dashboard.
Speaking of de-cluttering, we've removed the unused Scored field from the randomized content block component type. (Because grading is set at the subsection level, this action won't affect your course.) And, speaking of grading, when course staff perform a staff assessment to override a learner's peer grade for an open respose assessment (ORA) problem, the problem is now correctly marked as complete.
And we didn't stop with problems and grading. Other improvements we've made include adding a warning in the video component if you don't upload an .srt file for a language you've specified, increasing proctored exam security so that learners must have an active ID verification status with edX before they can open a proctored exam, and adding the ability for course teams to create custom pages that only course team members with the Staff or Admin role can see.
For more information, see the following resources.
- Adding Multiple Correct Responses for numerical input problems
- Using the Script Element for multiple choice problems
- Using the Script Element for checkbox problems
- Rescore Learner Submissions for a Problem
- Randomized Content Blocks
- Override a Learner’s Assessment Grade
- Add a Custom Page
Improvements for Researchers
We haven't left researchers out! In October, we were proud to announce that Insights now includes Learner Analytics, a tool that tracks activities including videos watched and problems attempted on a per-learner basis. Now you can easily find out who's doing well in your course, and who could use some extra attention. For more information, see Announcing Learner Analytics in Insights.
In addition, we've added a Course Home link to the Insights navigation bar to help you find your way around more easily. We've als resolved an Insights issue so that users of all supported languages can now load graphs and tables. And for data czars, we've recently added two new SQL tables to data packages that identify the role or roles that users have in a course. For more information, see Analytics in the October 24 release notes.
Improvements for System Administrators and Developers
We've continued our efforts to make the Open edX platform more flexible for Open edX administrators. We've added the ability for administrators to configure third party authentication differently for each of their sites. Note, however, that if an Open edX installation acts as a SAML service provider, configuration settings only apply to the default site—each other site must be configured separately. For more information, see Enabling Third Party Authentication.
At edX, we continue to work toward making our platform accessible for users with disabilities. The changes we've made to core CAPA problem types make these problems much more accessible, especially for learners who rely on keyboards or screen readers. We've also improved the survey tool to make navigating among questions and reviewing survey results easier, and we've increased the contrast on the sign-in page for Open edX sites. In Insights, we've updated the