UNITAR, IEA and Open edX® platform:

A new Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) e-learning plattform based on Open edX® platform developed for the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

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Logo United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

Logo International Energy Agency, (IEA)

About UNITAR/IEA and the project

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a training arm of the United Nations System, and has the mandate to enhance the effectiveness of the UN through diplomatic training, and to increase the impact of national actions through public awareness-raising, education and training of public policy officials.

Together with their partner, the International Energy Agency, (IEA) e-learning was to be offered as part of their collective training offer.

The IEA is an autonomous body within the OECD framework, working to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 29 member countries and beyond. As part of their training offer, a set of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) had to be developed and Open edX® platform as a suitable platform selected, as best fitting their needs and requirements.

The platform is used all over the world to host Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as well as smaller classes and training modules. Social and collaborative learning are also part of the Open edX concept.

As a consequence, Abstract-Technology, as being one of the service providers of Open edX® platform, was commissioned to first set up a functional, secure, staging environment with Studio and LMS, on which a small group of users and courses can be registered. As a second step, we were to set up a fully functional, secured, scalable production environment resulting in a fully fledged Open edX platform.


Offer users complete programmes, and not just individual courses packages, with a scalable and modern platform. Ensure access to an e-learning/training platform with a scalable number of MOOCs for a wide number of potential users, leveraging dedicated (responsive) web resources.

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What we used

Frontend layer

Application layer

System layer
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What we did

A fully functional, secured, scalable production environment for self-paced courses

We set up a fully functional, secured, scalable production environment, resulting in an Open edX® platform platform. In addition, we are providing hosting and maintenance for services. We first provided a staging environment and hosting (Studio & LMS) to allow testing and previewing of features, including the following characteristics:

  • Installation requirements: current Open edX® platform release Ficus including all Git tags as mentioned in the official release page
  • can accommodate a small group of authors and two courses and is compatible with a third-party software, Articulate Storyline (SCORM 1.2). Export compatibility required: SCORM 1.2 is saved as File -> Export -> SCORM 1.2.

We further developed the Open edX® platform on the productive environment with the following characteristics:

  • Open edX® platform Studio: the course authoring tool
  • Customized XBlock which facilitates learning transport interoperability (compatibility with a third-party software, Articulate Storyline 2 / SCORM 1.2)
  • Functional configuration to provide a discussion forum
  • Functional configuration to provide certification options
  • Open edX® platform Insights, for statistical data analysis via user reports
  • Provide monitoring and data backup though the installation of software agents

Ensure the platform has the following configuration/technical specification:

  • compatibility with a third-party software, Articulate Storyline (SCORM 1.2)
  • registration capacity of 2000 – 3000 users
  • capability of hosting two opened, self-paced courses
  • scalability
  • high level of security
  • optimization of screen resolutions for tablets and mobile phones as permitted by the basic installation of the newest release of Ficus 4

The e-learning platform (LMS and the Studio) is compatible with most of the browsers and systems currently used in the market. The installation of the Open edX platform runs on the following browsers:

  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Internet Explorer 11

For further information, see Open edX® platform documentation here: Read more.

The project will be public as Mooc in January 2018

What we can do for you

Abstract-Technology provides the standard implementation and consulting of Open edX® platform technology for creating MOOC courses. Our planning and implementation phase is very agile, leaving room for individual requirements.

With Open edX® platform and Salesforce (CRM) integration you can easily connect both platforms to manage users and campaigns. Contact us to get started.

Our expert team works hand in hand with their customers to develop an individually fitting MOOC course. Transparency, agility and competence form the basis of every planning and implementation phase.

Come to us, if you...

  • want to develop your online-training capabilities in a strategic way
  • require adapted functionalities, Add Ons, XBlocks, XModules
  • require Open edX® platform consulting
  • require strategic Open edX® platform adaptations
  • are looking for an Open edX® platform support service
  • have to migrate content from other platforms (Ilias, Blackboard, Moodle LMS, Docebo ...
  • want to host MOOCS on your own instance

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Weitere Fallstudien

Was können wir für Sie tun?

Unsere Fallstudien sind nicht das Ergebnis einer fertigen Lösung, sondern resultieren aus einer Methode, die der Software mehr Wert verleiht. Wir sehen die Projekte von einem anderen Blickwinkel und deshalb können wir helfen, diese zu verbessern.

Erfahren Sie mehr über unsere Dienstleistungen