The Maple release contains many features, enhancements, and improvements. Some are the subject of their own blog posts: LTI 1.3 and LTI Advantage support, the overall Maple release, and upcoming posts diving into the Learning MFE, Mobile app enhancements, and a tool known as CourseGraph. In this post we’ll run through a number of smaller additions to the platform, with brief descriptions of what they are.
Jump Navigation in Learning MFE
Jump navigation is the ability to jump to any part of your courseware – from any part of your courseware – at the click of a button, rather than having to navigate manually through units. The navigation display appears as a list of all elements available at that level; for example, clicking the name of the sequence in the following image shows all the other sequences in that unit:
Jump nav is currently rolled out to course and global staff only. It can be turned off using the Learning MFE’s configuration options.
Open Response Assessment (ORA) improvements
Reusable Rubrics: Course staff can now reuse a rubric from an existing ORA in a course when creating a new ORA in the same course. Using a Block ID, course staff can now specify which ORA’s rubric they want to clone into another ORA within the same course.
This is done within Studio. Course staff navigate to the “Rubric” section of the editing modal for the published or unpublished ORA whose rubric they want to clone. After expanding the “Clone Rubric” section, they can copy the Block ID for that ORA.
Next, they can either create a new ORA or navigate to an existing ORA, and open the “Rubric” section of the editing modal. Here, they can either paste the full Block ID of the ORA whose rubric they want to clone or type in a few characters of that Block ID and select it from the dropdown.
Once the correct Block ID is selected, they can select “Clone” and all of the existing rubric values will be replaced with the rubric values from the original ORA.
Additional ORA improvements include an expanded character limit for the feedback section – 1,000 characters may now be used. Additionally, this submission feedback section is now full-width. Finally, within the LMS there is now a new button to directly edit the ORA component in Studio.
Course Authoring: Common Problem Editor Improvements
For ease of editing, the icons in the common problem markdown editor have been updated so that the name of the problem template is more obvious. Additionally, as shown below, the markdown reference sheet is now visible within the editor; the modal window was made larger to accommodate this, ensuring the available authoring space was not reduced.
Fine-Grained Course & Library Creation Permissions
Currently in Open edX Studio, the ability to create new courses and libraries is reserved for administrators, who have the power to create within any organization they choose. This means that the head of one organization, if granted this power, could create courses and libraries not only within their own organization but in any organization that is on the Open edX instance. In larger Open edX installations with multiple organizations, this can be a headache as course teams must make requests of administrators whenever they wish to have a new course or library created.
With Maple’s release, instance administrators can grant users the permission to create courses within one or more specific organizations, thus making course creation something organizations can manage themselves. Users can request creation rights on the Studio homepage, and admins of Open edX installations can handle requests via the Studio Administration Django Admin interface, under the Course Creators option.
Site Operational Changes
Generation of course certificates has changed in multiple ways (full notes):
- Code to generate (create or update) PDF course certificates has been removed from edx-platform; see the deprecation ticket
- Audit track certificates are no longer supported; see the deprecation ticket
- New allowlist behavior is fully rolled out (the term allowlist replaces what was previously known as whitelist)
- The fix_ungraded_certs, regenerate_user, resubmit_error_certificates, and ungenerated_certs management commands have been removed. In their place, please use the cert_generation command.
- Certificate API functions have been moved, so if you have any code in a third party repository that uses this API, point them to the new path. openedx/core/djangoapps/certificates/api.py → lms/djangoapps/certificates/api.py
Course Authoring: Better error messages now appear when problems occur with importing courses on the Studio Import/Export page. For the few that use this feature, they will find better pointers to errors in their course OLX that is blocking a successful course import.
A number of changes have been made to the way your Open edX installation is operated. Worth calling out are these breaking changes:
- Studio is changing to become an OAuth client of LMS, using the same SSO configuration that other IDAs use. This is a breaking change; follow the Studio OAuth migration runbook as part of upgrading to Maple.
django-cors-headers version has been upgraded to 3.2.0, and CORS_ORIGIN_WHITELIST now requires URI schemes. You will need to update your whitelist to include schemes, for example from this: CORS_ORIGIN_WHITELIST = [“foo.com”] to CORS_ORIGIN_WHITELIST = [“https://foo.com”]
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