Happy December from edX! We’re excited to announce some new enhancements to our platform that we’re sure you’ll enjoy. 

EdX Insights

Two improvements to edX Insights will help you more easily access and interpret information about the way your learners are interacting with your course.

Insights with the video showing above the graph of the views for that video.Video Preview

When you view a graph of learners’ viewing patterns for a video, a new preview feature allows you to play that video right above the graph. Additionally, you can select View Live to go directly to the unit in the LMS that contains the video component.

For more information, see Engagement with Course Videos in Using edX Insights.

More Engagement Metrics

We’ve added some useful information to the engagement metrics for your course. You can now see both the percentage of total course learners in the past week who were active in the course, watched a video, or tried a problem in the past week, as well as the number of learners in the course that each percentage represents. 

Timed Exams

Have you felt that your exams would be more effective with a time limit? With the new timed exams feature, you can require learners to submit all exam answers within a specific time frame. To do this, you create the exam the way you normally would, and then set the subsection that contains the exam to have a time limit. You can grant additional time to individual learners who have special circumstances.

For more information, see Timed Exams in Building and Running an Open edX Course.

Instructions for Installing an XBlock

We’ve added guidance to our documentation for installing and using XBlocks on the edX platform. This two-step process requires a system administrator to install the XBlock on your instance of Open edX, and then course teams can enable the XBlock in their individual courses. For more information, see Installing an XBlock in Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform

Django 1.8 Upgrade

We’re pleased to announce that edX has recently completed an upgrade from Django 1.4 to Django 1.8, so you can take advantage of the additional functionality that Django 1.8 provides. This Django upgrade has prompted changes to the ways that the edX platform handles transactions, Pip, model migrations, and more. For more information about the changes in this upgrade, see the Django 1.8 Upgrade Release Notes page on the edX wiki or the Django 1.8 pull request in GitHub.

Coming Soon

Several great new features are on the horizon, including a new version of the edX app and a tool that enhances PowerPoint presentations.

EdX Mobile App

Soon-to-be-released versions of the edX apps for iOS and Android will provide a much more complete course experience for learners. In addition to downloading and watching videos, learners will be able to view HTML components and complete basic assessments, which include checkbox, dropdown, multiple choice, and text or numerical input problems.

Office Mix Tool

Our Open edX community has been busy creating even more ways to engage with learners. An open source contribution will soon allow course teams to embed interactive online lessons called mixes. Using the Office Mix extension to PowerPoint, course teams can turn any presentation into a mix, and integrate narration, website links, polls, screen recordings, and more into a presentation. Course teams can then post the presentation online and add a link to the presentation in their courses.