Hello from Cambridge! As a new season begins here in New England, we want to keep you up to date on ways we’ve been working to improve the Open edX platform. These changes are currently visible in non-named versions of edX and will be included in Dogwood, scheduled for November 2015.

Image showing date and location of the 2015 Open edX Conference.

Open edX Conference

As you may have heard (because we’re just a little bit excited about it), the second annual Open edX Conference is taking place October 12–13 at Wellesley College. With nearly two dozen talks lined up—including a keynote address by Scratch creator Mitchel Resnick—this conference is sure to spark innovative ideas that allow you to enhance your Open edX instance. And, of course, there’s the post-conference hackathon on October 14–15 at CIC Boston. You can find more information at the Open edX Conference website. We look forward to seeing you!

Instructor Dashboard Changes

Thanks to contributions from our open source community, we’ve made some Instructor Dashboard improvements to help course teams find information more easily. First, we’ve moved the report of all learner submissions for a specified problem to the Data Download page. Additionally, you can now view course start and end dates, including times in universal coordinated time (UTC), right on the Course Info page instead of having to switch over to Studio. The Course Info page also lists the number of sections that the course includes. 

Multiple choice problem showing feedback that contains HTML links.

Hint/Feedback Problem Bug Fix

We recently fixed a bug in our new hint/feedback problems: when a choicehint tag contained HTML tags such as link tags, learners could not see the content inside the HTML tags or any content following the HTML tags. You can now use HTML inside choicehint tags without errors.

Accessibility

We’ve continued our efforts to improve accessibility in both Studio and the LMS. In the last month, we’ve made unit pages easier to navigate with a keyboard, so you can more easily add new components and select options for advanced components. Additionally, we’ve sought to enhance color contrast throughout the platform to make edX tools more accessible for the visually impairedincluding updating the calculator in the LMS so that the text you and your learners enter is easier to see. For more information about accessibility, see Accessibility Best Practices Guidance for Content Providers in Building and Running an Open edX Course.

Next Open edX Release: Dogwood

The next named release of Open edX, Dogwood, is planned for late November of this year. This important new release will include Django and Python upgrades as well as lots of new features that make Open edX easier to use for developers, course teams, and learners. For up-to-the-minute information about this release, visit the Dogwood page on the Open edX wiki, or check out our Twitter feed or the edx-code mailing list.