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Spotlight on Appsembler, Keystone Sponsor of #OpenedX2018

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(This guest post comes to you from Appsembler, a keystone sponsor of the Open edX 2018 conference and a long-time contributor to the Open edX community. Welcome, Appsembler!)

We’re thrilled to be a keystone sponsor for the 2018 Open edX Conference. This is our fourth year in a row sponsoring the conference, and we are very grateful to be a part of such a vibrant community of lumineers.

Tell us about Appsembler. What makes you unique?

 

At Appsembler, we believe that the learner comes first. We simplify the delivery of online training so learning professionals can focus on what truly matters: their learners.

We offer two distinct products that lets you deliver seamless learning experiences: Tahoe and Virtual Labs.

Tahoe is our SaaS learning platform which enables you to build and deploy a branded Open edX site within minutes. Virtual Labs enables you to deliver hands-on, personalized virtual training labs so learners can learn by doing.

What has Appsembler been busy with since last year’s conference?

This was a busy year for Appsembler, and called for us to be open to change and dig deep as a company. We celebrated a lot, with some of the year’s most monumental achievements including:

Who are your customers, and how do they benefit from your services?

Our customers range from high-growth technology companies and government agencies, to universities and training companies. While the list is growing, there a few common threads that led these organizations to choose Appsembler as their online training solutions provider.

  • Ability to scale: Customers like Cybereason, a cybersecurity company headquartered in Boston, MA needed an agile training solution that would scale as quickly as they were growing. They chose Appsembler as their partner to deliver online training and have been able to build a scalable learning machine that makes their customers, employees and partners more successful.
  • Hands-on learning: InterSystems, an industry-leading vendor for database management, rapid application development, and healthcare information systems - partnered with Appsembler’s to deliver custom lab environments for students to learn InterSystem’s software via Appsembler’s virtual labs product.
  • Ease of use: Companies like Aquent saw the value of Open edX, but needed a partner to help their development team make the software effective. With Appsembler’s deep expertise and Open edX solutions like Tahoe, companies are able to deliver courses to learners in minutes, not months.
  • Rate of innovation: Metalogix, a provider of software for leading ECM systems chose Appsembler to help push the limits of the Open edX platform and extend the hidden capabilities of the software. Metalogix is able to keep pace with advances in online learning by leveraging the power of Open edX and Appsembler.

What open source contribution(s) are you most excited to share with the community?

A new reporting app for Open edX.

A number of factors converged to provide the impetus for a new reporting app. These factors were driven by a gap in reporting functionality between the analytics available per course via the LMS instructor dashboard, the large-scale MOOC-oriented analytics of Open edX Insights, and the Open edX analytics pipeline for Insights.

This led members of the Open edX community, including Appsembler, to develop their own reporting solutions.

At Appsembler, we decided we wanted to open source our reporting app to give back to the community. The existing ‘Appsembler Reporting’ app evolved to meet specific customer needs, and was anticipated to become a point of reference more than a tool that could garner wider community involvement. Therefore we decided to start from the ground up with the lessons we learned from ‘Appsembler Reporting’ to develop ‘edX Figures’.

While in early development, Jill Vogel of OpenCraft posted a call for lightweight analytics on the ed Xchange forum, and outlined four points:

  • Real time (or near real time) updates
  • Lightweight deployment
  • Flexible reporting
  • Simpler contributions

These four points catalyzed our design focus on the initial release, to create a unified analytics dashboard that can be installed in the Open edX LMS, provide site-wide metrics, and quick navigation to course-specific metrics.

What can conference attendees look forward to seeing from Appsembler this year?

The team is delighted to have the opportunity to speak on a wide variety of subjects during the conference. We’ll be participating in a few key areas like:

Lighting Talks

  • Keeping up with Open edX releases while maintaining dinosaur browser support
  • Building a future-proof and fully modular React LMS frontend
  • What does it mean to be a Learner First organization?
  • edX-figures, a lightweight analytics app

Presentations

  • The challenges of Multi-tenant Open edX

Workshops

  • Open edX 101 - Basic course authoring
  • Getting Started with Open edX Development
  • Mobile Apps InstallFest

BoFs

  • Authoring Tools
  • Certificates and Badges
  • Putting Learners First
  • Design
  • APIs, LTI, and other integration-related TLAs

What’s ahead for Appsembler?
Across the organization and around the world, we saw tremendous growth in 2017. “Learner First” will be a key theme for Appsembler in 2018, as we focus to make our suite of products more learner centric. Key happenings include:

Virtual Labs: Product momentum and expansion within our hands-on learning platform, Virtual Labs - where instructors can spin-up custom labs for students to practice in their own learning environment.

Tahoe: Exciting releases planned like course access groups, APIs, customizable email templates, reporting and more.

Team growth: We’re hiring account executives and engineers!

For more information, come say “Hi” to our team during the conference or simply click here to start your product tour.