Last September, HarvardX and Databits, an invitation-based website where creative coders, engineers, and data scientists connect and share their work, challenged the Internet to create an interactive visualization of the binomial distribution. Specifically, they asked participants to develop a tool to help students understand a concept in probability — a tool that could be integrated into the Open edX platform and HarvardX courses.

First Business MOOC, an Open edX site from First Finance Institute, which offers business courses, won the challenge! (The runner up was Jean Chereau, a student.) We’re always excited to see community members contributing to the future of education by creating open learning tools like these. The HarvardX-Databits Challenge was an invitation to breathe new life into well-trodden topics and established teaching methods, and developers and designers from around the world stepped up to take it on.

Inspired by the success of the HarvardX-Databits Challenge, we are following suit, and have partnered with Databits to issue one of our own! The challenge: create a progress summary — a “dashboard” — which conveys to a student how he is doing, in the context of his peers. The ideal student dashboard would provide information to each learner on his progress in course videos and problem sets, calling attention to those that are most likely to boost his learning engagement.

Visit the Databits site to see some of the open source contributions from the data visualization community, and step up to the challenge!

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