The new Open edX® release: Introducing Quince and Beyond
Quince is the 17th community release of the Open edX®
platform. We have summarized all you need to know!
The Open edX® platform, a powerful and versatile learning management system (LMS), updated and enhanced through a structured release cycle. Quince is the 17th community release and we summarise the new features for you.
Release Frequency and Naming Convention
The platform is maintained and developed by the global active community of contributors, which gets supported by 2U/edX, Axim and all contributing Open edX Marketplace Providers. Prior to the launch of a new version, the community plans and discusses which new features and functions should be included in the new release. The Open edX Roadmap can be found here. Once the selection is made, development, tweaking and testing continues until an alpha and beta version of the software are released. The Open edX Github Repository can be found here. These provide stable test environments to locate and fix bugs and problems before the final release is published and made available for download.
Open edX follows a predictable release cadence, typically releasing new major versions every six to eight months. Each release is assigned a unique name from a botanical tree species, symbolizing the growth and evolution of the platform. The current release, Quince, was introduced in October 2023, marking the 17th major release of the Open edX platform.
Quince: A Release of Significance
The Quince release brings a wealth of improvements and new features to the Open edX® platform. Here are some of the highlights:
Enhanced Learner Experience: A revamped learner dashboard provides a more personalized and intuitive learning experience, with improved navigation and access to key resources:
- ThemingThe learner dashboard is now built with Paragon, allowing it to be easily styled and customized according to individual requirements.
- Course ListingCourses are presented in a series of cards showing the course thumbnail, information about the course, and the ability to upgrade to a paid track or access the course content. 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.
- Course sorting / filtering
Clicking the “Refine” button opens options for learners to filter their courses by course status or sort either by most recent enrollment (default) or title.
To make the learner dashboard more manageable, the course list is now paginated, showing up to 25 courses on one view. To see other courses, a user can browse through the pages using the pagination controls at the bottom of the course list.
- Course Discovery
If learner wants to discover more courses than the ones suggested, they just have to click on “Explore Courses” from the side panel to discover even more courses.
Image: Screenshot of the new learner dashboard in the Quince release
- Discussion sidebar
This upgraded version of the discussion forum allows learners to interact with forums using a collapsable discussion sidebar instead of having to navigate away from the learning component or scroll to the end of the page. This sidebar will help learners view, respond to and initiate discussion threads relevant to the course unit they are viewing.
Image: Screenshot of the new discussion sidebar in the courseware in the Quince release
- Streamlined Instructor Experience: Instructors now enjoy a simplified course creation and management process, with enhanced tools for grading, feedback, and communication:
- Copy and paste for course content
So far, the copy/paste function was only available at the component-level of the course outline. Now the copy/paste function is available for other levels of the course outline, including units, subsections and sections.
Image: Screenshot of a content/component which you want to copy.
Image: Screenshot of the unit you’d like to paste a copied component. This may be in the same course or a different course
- Copy and paste for course content
- Strengthened Admin Tools: Administrators gain access to improved tools for managing users, courses, and institutions, streamlining operations and enhancing overall platform control.
Improved Developer Experience: Developers benefit from a more streamlined development workflow, with enhanced APIs and tools for extending the platform's functionality.
Enhanced Analytics Experience: Researchers and data enthusiasts gain access to improved tools for analysing and extracting insights from Open edX data, supporting informed decision-making and data-driven pedagogy.
Staying Updated with Open edX Releases
To ensure you're always using the latest features and benefits of Open edX, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest releases. Open edX provides comprehensive release notes and documentation for each release, detailing the changes, enhancements, and potential breaking changes. Additionally, the Open edX community provides resources and support for transitioning to new releases.
Get all the information here: LINK
The Open edX platform's regular releases ensure that educators, learners, and administrators have access to the latest advancements in online learning. By understanding the release cycle and following the guidance provided by Open edX, you can harness the power of these updates to enhance the educational experience for your target audience. Embrace the Quince release and keep your eyes open for the upcoming Redwood release as Open edX continues to evolve and empower education worldwide.
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