Open edX

The Open edX platform provides the massively scalable learning software technology behind edX. The edX platform is the online learning destination co-founded by Harvard and MIT with Open edX being the platform that provides the learner-centric, massively scalable learning technology behind it. It was originally developed for MOOCs, however the Open edX platform has now evolved into one of the leading learning solutions catering to higher education institutions, enterprise and government organizations alike.

edX is a trusted platform for education and learning. Founded by Harvard and MIT, edX is now home to more than 20 million learners, the majority of top-ranked universities in the world and industry-leading companies. As a global nonprofit, edX aims to transform traditional education, removing the barriers of cost, location and access.

The edX platform provides massive open online courses in a wide range of disciplines to a worlwide audience. edX is a nonprofit organization that runs on the free open edX software platform. In addition to offering educational courses, edX also conducts research into distance education trying to better understand how people use the online platform to learn. edX offers certificates of completion and for some courses students are even eligible for receiving credits. The courses will often provide tutorials in the form of videos which are similar to in-class lectures, course notes and online discussion forums where students can ask questions and get help from teaching assistants. Some courses also contain various assignments and online laboratories that students have to complete.

Open edX is the open source software developed by edX which is available to other institutions that wish to provide similar services. The open edX server-side software is mostly based on Python using Django as the web application framework with JavaScript being a very big part of the code base as well.

Product Vision

In this essay, a deep dive was done into the Open edX project, to ascertain its product vision. This vision describes what the system aims to do, and for who. While also keeping the future in mind. For a short introduction into Open edX and what it aims to do, see our intro page.

From Vision to Architecture

In the previous essay, we focused on the vision of the Open edX system. In this essay, we will focus on the realization of that vision, visible in the architecture of the Open edX system.

Quality and Technical Debt

In the previous essay, we focused on the architecture of the Open edX system. In this essay we will take a look at the quality and technical debt of the Open edX source code. We try to provide examples of coding guidelines and standards that are used by the developers working on the edX project and relate these with the actual code.

Variability Analysis

In the previous essays we focused on analysing the vision of the Open edX project along with some of its architectural patterns and investigated the overall quality of the system. In this essay we will deepen our analysis by looking into the variability modeling, management and implementation mechanisms that are relevant to Open edX. More specifically, we will build a feature model and determine how variability is managed and implemented in the system we analyse.