In the latest Open edX release, Palm, there have been many improvements, big and small. In this blog, we’ve done a deep dive into the new Problem Editing experience, the new ORA Grading workflows, and changes to the Discussions tool. In this post, we’ll check out some of the smaller changes that the Open edX engineering teams have contributed to this release.

New Bulk Email Experience

The new bulk email experience for instructors is enabled automatically in Palm. It allows instructors to schedule bulk emails, instead of sending them immediately.

The instructor editing experience is largely the same, with choices of who to send the email to, and places to author the subject and body of the email:

There is an experimental feature enabling instructors to schedule emails to be sent in the future. This is not natively included in the Palm install, but system operators can view the release notes if they wish to implement the feature.

This experience is part of the new Communications MFE.

Improved “New Component” Interface

When creating a new component in Studio, the New Component interface has been improved:

Previously, “Advanced” components were hidden under the “Problem” menu, and the “Drag and Drop” problem type was hidden within Advanced components. 

Experimental Feature: New Learner Homepage

The Learner Home MFE is included in Palm as an experiment – it is not guaranteed to fully work correctly, but is included in order to give the community a chance to preview it. The new Learner Home has many of the same features of the old learner dashboard, with some extended functionality and performance enhancements. It is accessible and easy to style with brand colors.

Course cards show the course thumbnail, information about the course, and the ability to upgrade to a paid track or view/begin a course (if applicable). 

Further course actions (e.g. unenroll, email opt-out settings, and social media share) have been moved to the menu/triple dot icon on the course card.

At the top of the Learner Home is a new button, “Refine”; clicking this button opens options to filter by course status or sort either by most recent enrollment (default) or title.

Courses on the homepage are now paginated, meaning only 25 courses will show at one time. This improves the loading time of the page.

Rate XBlock

A note that the Rate XBlock is no longer supported. We recommend using the Feedback XBlock

How can I get these changes?

These improvements are available as of the Open edX Palm release. Upgrading your local installation to Palm will guarantee that your system is up-to-date with the latest features, including everything listed in this post.