EdX Documentation

EdX publishes documentation on the docs.edx.org website. Guides are available to help learners, course teams, researchers, developers, and other audiences use edX websites and software effectively.

The following information provides a weekly summary of what is new in edX documentation.

Week Ending 13 Jan 2017

  • The documentation for Custom JavaScript Display and Grading problems (also called custom JavaScript problems or JS input problems) has been extensively updated to reflect the new title attribute inside the jsinput tag, as well as the new problem template in Studio. For more information, see Custom JavaScript Display and Grading Problem in Building and Running an edX Course or Custom JavaScript Display and Grading Problem in Building and Running an Open edX Course.

Week of 19 September 2016

  • In the LMS, a new user assistance option is now available on every page. On the edx.org site, learners now select Support to ask questions, report problems, and access the edX FAQ. In addition, a new Help option is now available on each page. Selecting this option opens the EdX Learner’s Guide.

    For Open edX instances, selecting the new Help option opens the Open edX Learner’s Guide.

  • A new section that describes how to set up different sites for an Open edX installation is now available in the Installing, Configuring, and Running an Open edX Site guide. For more information, see Configuring Open edX Sites.

Week of 8 August 2016

In the EdX Learner’s Guide, the Receiving edX Certificates and Enrolling in edX Courses or Programs topics have been reorganized and updated.

Week of 18 July 2016

A new section in the Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform guide describes how to configure an Open edX instance to serve course assets from a content delivery network (CDN) instead of directly from your Open edX instance. Using a CDN offloads the work required to deliver assets from your Open edX instance. For more information, see Enabling a CDN for Course Assets.

Week of 11 July 2016

A topic that describes how to use the XBlock URL to render an XBlock in HTML without the user interface of the LMS is now available. See Rendering XBlocks with the XBlock URL in the Open edX Developer’s Guide or Rendering XBlocks with the XBlock URL in the Open edX XBlock Tutorial.

Week of 27 June 2016

The Getting Started with edX section in the Building and Running an edX Course guide and the Creating Your edX Account section in the EdX Learner’s Guide have been updated to clarify the process of creating and activating accounts on edx.org and edX Edge.

Week of 20 June 2016

Week of 13 June 2016

  • The Verify a Payment topic was added to the EdX Learner’s Guide and to Building and Running an edX Course.
  • Information has been added about the recipient groups, including cohorts, that you can send bulk email messages to. For more information, see Message Addressing in Building and Running an edX Course and Message Addressing in Building and Running an Open edX Course.

Week of 6 June 2016

New and changed analytics events related to navigation in the LMS are documented in the EdX Research Guide*. For more information, see Course Navigation Events.

Week of 30 May 2016

The “Learning in a MOOC” topic has been added to the Welcome! section in the EdX Learner’s Guide.

Week of 23 May 2016

A new section, Data Security Guidelines for Data Czars, is now included in the EdX Research Guide. These guidelines are intended as a starting point for data czars at partner insitutions as they implement policies to safeguard the learner data they receive from edX.

Week of 16 May 2016

  • The Open edX Platform APIs guide has been updated with documentation for the courses API.
  • The EdX Research Guide has been reorganized. All of the reference information about the data stored in SQL and noSQL databases is presented first, in a Data Reference section. This section is followed by information that is more specifically applicable to data czars at edX partner institutions. Bookmarks to the information for data czars might need to be updated.

Week of 2 May 2016

Week of 25 April 2016

New Drag and Drop Problem Type

The Building and Running an edX Course and Building and Running an Open edX Course guides now include information about the new drag and drop problem type. This new drag and drop problem type is more flexible and accessible, and should be used instead of the deprecated version. For more information, see Drag and Drop Problem in the Building and Running an edX Course guide or Drag and Drop Problem in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide.

Analytics events for the new drag and drop problem type are described in Drag and Drop Events in the EdX Research Guide.

Open edX sites can customize the styling of the new drag and drop problem type. For more information, see Styling Drag and Drop Problems in the Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform guide.

Week of 11 April 2016

Configuring the CourseTalk Widget

The Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform guide now includes information about the CourseTalk widget. For more information, see Adding the CourseTalk Widget.

Enabling Badges

The Installing, Configuring and Running the Open edX Platform guide now includes information about creating and configuring badges for custom course events. For more information, see Create Course Event Badges for Your Open edX Instance.

Viewing Badges

The Open edX Learner’s Guide now includes information for learners about viewing badges they have earned in their profile, if badging is enabled on the platform. For more information, see Viewing Earned Badges in Your Profile.

Week of 28 March 2016

Documentation for edx.org Users

Guides described in this section are intended for audiences that are using, or learning about, courses on the edx.org or edge.edx.org websites.

Building and Running an edX Course

  • The Managing the Pages in Your Course topic in the Building and Running an edX Course guide now includes information about how to hide the course Progress page.
  • The Adjust Grades for One or All Learners section in the Building and Running an edX Course guide has been updated. This section now also includes information about how to update grades for open response assessment (ORA) problems.
  • A clarification about using the edx.org website during a proctored exam has been added to the Online Proctoring Rules for Learners topic.

edX Learner’s Guide

Documentation for Open edX Users

Guides described in this section are intended for audiences that are using, or learning about, courses on an Open edX instance.

Building and Running an Open edX Course

  • The Managing the Pages in Your Course topic in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide now includes information about how to hide the course Progress page.
  • The Adjust Grades for One or All Learners section in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide has been updated. This section now also includes information about how to update grades for open response assessment (ORA) problems.

Open edX Learner’s Guide

Week of 21 March 2016

Documentation for Open edX Users

  • Some sections of the Open EdX Developer’s Guide have been reorganized. The “Writing Good Code” section now includes a new subsection, Preventing Cross Site Scripting Vulnerabilities, as well as existing subsections edX Accessibility Guidelines, Internationalization Coding Guidelines, and Django Good Practices. If you have bookmarked existing pages in this guide, you should visit the updated version to locate and re-bookmark pages in the new structure.
  • The Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform guide has been reorganized. Improvements include a streamlined table of contents which combines various “installing” and “configuring” sections for developer stack and full stack options under two new top level sections: Installing and Starting the Open edX Platform and Configuring the Open edX Platform. If you have bookmarked existing pages in this guide, you should visit the updated version to locate and re-bookmark pages in the new structure.
  • The Building and Running an Open edX Course guide now includes the same Glossary that is included in the Building and Running an edX Course guide.

Week of 14 March 2016

Documentation for Open edX Users

A new section, “Adding E-Commerce to the Open edX Platform”, is now available in the Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform guide. Two versions of this guide are available on the docs.edx.org website.

Week of 7 March 2016

The search feature for edX documentation includes two improvements.

  • You can now include punctuation and other non-alphanumeric characters in search terms. For example, you can search for terms such as “A/B testing” or “user_id.”
  • The snippet of content in search results no longer shows .. include:: for some results. Those search results now show a sample of the actual documentation content in the results.

Week of 3 March 2016

A note has been added to alert course teams to a best practice for using open response (ORA) assignments. Each course unit must contain only one ORA assignment. Multiple ORA assignments in a unit cause errors when learners submit peer assessments.

For more information, see Best Practices for Open Response Assessments in the Building and Running an edX Course guide or Best Practices for Open Response Assessments in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide.

Week of 22 February 2016

Release Notes for 2013-2014

Release notes for 2013 and 2014 are now located in a separate guide, edX Release Notes 2013-2014. Release notes for 2015 and 2016 are still available at edX Release Notes.

Documentation for Open edX Users

Guides described in this section are intended for audiences that are using, or learning about, courses on an Open edX instance.

Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform

The Configure OAuth Token Expiration topic is now available.

Week of 26 January 2016

As of 1 January 2016, the edX documentation team no longer maintains an individual change log for each guide. These release notes provide a weekly summary of platform changes, and include links to more complete documentation when it is available. If you are interested in detailed information about every change made to the edX documentation set, the edx-documentation repository on GitHub provides a complete record.

Documentation for edx.org Users

Guides described in this section are intended for audiences that are using, or learning about, courses on the edx.org or edge.edx.org websites.

Building and Running an edX Course

The Peer Instruction Tool topic is now available.

edX Learner’s Guide

The Explaining Multiple Choice Answers topic is now available.

EdX Research Guide

  • The Peer Instruction Events section now lists events that identify when a peer instruction component is accessed, and when an initial answer or a final answer is submitted.
  • Information about the new audit_notpassing and audit_passing statuses has been added to the EdX Research Guide. For more information, see ref:data:certificates_generatedcertificate.

Documentation for Open edX Users

Guides described in this section are intended for audiences that are using, or learning about, courses on an Open edX instance.

Building and Running an Open edX Course

The Peer Instruction Tool topic is now available.

Open edX Learner’s Guide

The Explaining Multiple Choice Answers topic is now available.

Week of 18 January 2016

As of 1 January 2016, the edX documentation team no longer maintains an individual change log for each guide. These release notes provide a weekly summary of platform changes, and include links to more complete documentation when it is available. If you are interested in detailed information about every change made to the edX documentation set, the edx-documentation repository on GitHub provides a complete record.

Documentation for edx.org Users

Guides described in this section are intended for audiences that are using, or learning about, courses on the edx.org or edge.edx.org websites.

Building and Running an edX Course

Documentation for Open edX Users

Guides described in this section are intended for audiences that are using, or learning about, courses on an Open edX instance.

Building and Running an Open edX Course

The Course Pacing topic is now available.

Week of 6 January 2016

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

  • Guidance for the most appropriate heading levels to use in HTML components has been added to the Working with HTML Components topic.
  • Information about adding rules and exceptions in proctored exams has been added to the Proctored Exams topic.

EdX Learner’s Guide

The Bookmarking Course Content section has been added.

EdX Research Guide

Bookmark event information has been added to Bookmark Events.

Documentation for Open edX Users

Building and Running an Open edX Course

Guidance for the most appropriate heading levels to use in HTML components has been added to the Working with HTML Components topic.

16 December 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

EdX Learner’s Guide

The Receiving edX Certificates and Enrolling in edX Courses or Programs sections have been updated to reflect the new edX certificate policy.

EdX Research Guide

The Open Response Assessment Data section is now available to introduce the SQL tables that store open response assessment data.

Documentation for Open edX Users

Open edX Learner’s Guide

The Getting a Course Certificate or Badge section has been updated.

XBlock Tutorial

The Introduction to XBlocks topic has been updated to clarify differences between developing XBlocks and developing for the edx- platform repository.

8 December 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

  • Added information about enabling the new implementation of the LTI component (lti_consumer) and about configuring the way that LTI components launch to the LTI Component topic.
  • Added “mobile-ready” to the Support column in the table of exercises and tools in the Problems, Exercises, and Tools section.

Documentation for Open edX Users

Building and Running an Open edX Course

  • Added information about enabling the new implementation of the LTI component (lti_consumer) and about configuring the way that LTI components launch to the LTI Component topic.

Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform

Added the Changing the Appearance of Open edX Sites section.

1 December 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

EdX Learner’s Guide

Added information about additional file types that learners can upload to the Submit a File with Your Response topic.

EdX Research Guide

Documentation for Open edX Users

Building and Running an Open edX Course

Open edX Learner’s Guide

Added information about additional file types that learners can upload to the Submit a File with Your Response topic.

Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform

Added the Prohibiting Submission of Specified File Types topic.

10 November 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

Added the Designing Your Course For a Mobile Experience section.

Documentation for Open edX Users

Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform

Added the Index of EdX Feature Flags topic to list most edX feature flags, along with their status and default value.

4 November 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

Using edX Insights

Updated the Engagement with Course Content and Computation Reference sections. Metrics for engagement with content are now expressed as percentages in addition to counts.

Documentation for Open edX Users

This section lists updates to the latest versions of Open edX documentation. EdX does not update the documentation for named Open edX releases.

Building and Running an Open edX Course

Added the Offering Timed Exams section.

Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform

Added the Installing an XBlock topic to provide guidance about expanding the Open edX platform by adding XBlocks.

27 October 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

EdX Research Guide

Added the Third-Party Content Events section.

Documentation for Open edX Users

This section lists updates to the latest versions of Open edX documentation. We do not update the documentation for Open edX releases.

Building and Running an Open edX Course

Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform

Updated all topics in Configuring the Open edX Platform to instruct users to modify the lms.env.json and cms.env.json files, not the corresponding Python files.

EdX Developer’s Guide

Updated the Analytics section in the edX Developer’s Guide with new configuration information for sites that use the Segment event tracking system. For more information, see Analytics.

21 October 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

EdX Learner’s Guide

Updated the Print a Certificate section.

Documentation for Open edX Users

This section lists updates to the latest versions of Open edX documentation. We do not update the documentation for Open edX releases.

Building and Running an Open edX Course

8 October 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Using edX Insights

The video engagement feature in edX Insights is now available for courses running on edx.org and edX Edge. Updated the Engagement with Course Videos section to change the computation of this data from weekly to daily, and from aggregate view counts to average view counts at the section and subsection levels.

Building and Running an edX Course

EdX Research Guide

EdX Guide for Students

Updated the Receiving edX Certificates topic to include information about web certificates.

Documentation for Open edX Users

This section lists updates to the latest versions of Open edX documentation. We do not update the documentation for Open edX releases.

Building and Running an Open edX Course

EdX Developer’s Guide

Added the Contributing to the Documentation for Your Open Source Feature topic.

Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform

25 August 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

  • Updated Course Data to include descriptions of newly added values.
  • Updated Enrollment to remove references to enrollment counts on the Instructor Dashboard. Course enrollment data is available in edX Insights.

Documentation for Open edX Users

This section lists updates to the latest versions of Open edX documentation. We do not update the documentation for Open edX releases.

Building and Running an Open edX Course

  • Updated Course Data to include descriptions of newly added values.
  • Updated Managing Course Discussions with information about discussion administration options that are not yet available in the edX mobile apps.

19 August 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

The Qualtrics Survey Tool is now documented in the Creating Exercises and Tools section. You can use this fully supported tool to import surveys created in Qualtrics into your course.

Documentation for Open edX Users

Building and Running an Open edX Course

The Qualtrics Survey Tool is now documented in the Creating Exercises and Tools section. You can use this tool to import surveys created in Qualtrics into your course.

4 August 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

Documentation for Open edX Users

Building and Running an Open edX Course

28 July 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

The new Specific Learner View section provides instructions for course teams to view the course as a specific student.

Documentation for Open edX Users

Building and Running an Open edX Course

The new Specific Learner View section provides instructions for course teams to view the course as a specific student.

Open edX XBlock Tutorial

EdX has just released the Open edX XBlock Tutorial. This tutorial guides developers through the process of creating an XBlock, and explains the concepts and anatomy of XBlocks.

There is a separate EdX XBlock API Guide.

17 July 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

A Best Practices for Open Response Assessments topic has been added to the documentation about open response assessments. For more information about open response assessments, see Introduction to Open Response Assessments in the Building and Running an edX Course guide.

Documentation for Open edX Users

Building and Running an Open edX Course

A Best Practices for Open Response Assessments topic has been added to the documentation about open response assessments. For more information about open response assessments, see Introduction to Open Response Assessments in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide.

8 July 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

The Problems, Exercises, and Tools section now includes details for the new poll and survey tools.

Documentation for Open edX Users

Building and Running an Open edX Course

In the latest version of this guide, the Problems, Exercises, and Tools section includes details for the new poll and survey tools.

1 July 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

Documentation for Open edX Users

Building and Running an Open edX Course

A new Adding Feedback and Hints to a Problem section describes the new problem templates that include hinting and feedback.

23 June 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

The Accessibility Best Practices Guidance for Content Providers section has been expanded and moved to the top level of the guide.

Using edX Insights

The Student Performance section is updated to reflect that submission data is now averaged rather than summed.

Documentation for Open edX Users

The docs.edx.org website now includes a section for the latest version of the Open edX guides. These guides are available in addition to guides for the Open edX Birch release, and offer the most up-to-date documentation available for features in the Open edX platform.

Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform

The new Enabling Custom Courses section describes how to configure the Open edX Platform to allow users with the right permissions to create custom courses.

Building and Running an Open edX Course

16 June 2015

Open EdX Platform APIs

In the EdX Platform APIs guide, the Enrollment API Version 1.0 section has been updated to reflect the addition of a new GET parameter that will include expired course modes. For details, see Get the User’s Enrollment Status in a Course.

10 June 2015

Documentation for edX Partners

Building and Running an edX Course

The Working with Video Components section now includes an Adding a Pre-Roll Video to Your edX Course topic.

EdX Research Guide

Latest Open edX Guides

The docs.edx.org web site now includes a section for the latest version of the Open edX guides. These guides are available in addition to guides for the Open edX Birch release, and offer the most up-to-date documentation available for features in the Open edX platform.

Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform

Building and Running an Open edX Course

  • The new Setting Up Certificates section describes how you configure certificates for a course in Studio.
  • The new Manage Course Fees section describes configuration and management of fees for paid courses.
  • The “Creating Exercises and Tools” section now includes a list of the Mobile-Ready Problem Types that learners can complete using the edX mobile applications.
  • The Add a Course Update topic now includes information about sending notifications to the edX mobile applications for course handouts.

Open edX Learner’s Guide

Open EdX Platform APIs

A new section of the EdX Platform APIs guide is now available for the Profile Images API Version 1.0 (Deprecated).

28 May 2015

Building and Running an edX Course

The new Course Licensing topic provides information about course licensing options.

EdX Learner’s Guide

The new Understanding How Courses and Videos Are Licensed topic describes the visual license indications that learners see in courseware and for videos if the course team specifies licenses.

Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform

The new Enabling Course and Video Licensing topic provides information about how to enable course licensing options for Open edX.

19 May 2015

EdX Research Guide

EdX Data Analytics API

This guide now includes information on the Video Data API.

12 May 2015

Building and Running an edX Course

The grade report that course teams can download from the Instructor Dashboard now includes columns with information about learners’ enrollment tracks and certificate statuses. For more information, see Interpreting the Grade Report.

28 April 2015

Building and Running an edX Course

  • Updated the Working with Video Components section to reflect a field label change.
  • Added the “Exploring Your Dashboard and Profile” topic with profile and account settings information.

EdX Platform APIs

  • Updated the example responses in the Enrollment API Version 1.0 documentation to include new enrollment_start and enrollment_end fields.

22 April 2015

edX Guide for Students

  • Added sections to reflect changes to account settings and the introduction of profiles.
  • Added a new section about the Learner Dashboard.

For more information, see the edX Learner’s Guide.

Building and Running an edX Course

In the Problems, Exercises, and Tools section, a new column in the tables indicates the level of support that edX provides for each exercise or tool.

EdX Research Guide

New columns were added to the auth_userprofile table and a new student_languageproficiency table was added to reflect changes for the Profiles feature. For more information, see the User Info and Learner Progress Data section.

15 April 2015

Using edX Insights

Added the Ungraded Problem Submissions section to the Using edX Insights guide.

Building and Running an edX Course

EdX Research Guide

Added the Course Content Data section to describe the course structure file.

Open edX Developer’s Guide

Added the Language Style Guidelines section with guidelines for Objective-C contributions.

31 March 2015

Building and Running an edX Course

EdX Learner’s Guide

Added registration and enrollment to If You Use the edX Mobile App section.

25 March 2015

Building and Running an edX Course

18 March 2015

Building and Running an edX Course

EdX Research Guide

The Events in the Tracking Logs chapter now includes events for student interactions with library content.

11 March 2015

EdX Research Guide

The Events in the Tracking Logs chapter now contains descriptions of these events.

  • New events for contributions to discussion forums.
  • New events for the opening of Google calendars and documents to the Tracking Logs chapter.

Using edX Insights

Added the Student Performance section to the Using edX Insights guide.

2 March 2015

Building and Running an edX Course

The Creating Cohort-Specific Course Content section now reflects the ability to delete content groups and view their usage in a course.

Open edX Documentation

The following new guides are now available specifically for Open edX.

23 February 2015

Open edX Developer’s Guide

This guide now includes a new section containing guidelines and tips for developing code that is compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. See edX Accessibility Guidelines.

Building and Running an edX Course

In the Problems, Exercises, and Tools chapter, the section about accessing open response assessment information has been updated to include a topic with details about removing a student response from peer grading. For more information, see Remove a Learner’s Response.

28 January 2015

Building and Running an edX Course

This guide now includes a new section about creating different course experiences for learners who are assigned to different cohorts. For more information, see Creating Cohort-Specific Course Content.

Open edX Developer’s Guide

To support packaged releases for Open edX better, the source files for the Open edX Developer’s Guide are now located in the GitHub edx-documentation repository.

EdX Learner’s Guide

Answers to frequently asked questions about the edX mobile app are now available in the If You Use the edX Mobile App section of this guide.

EdX Research Guide

This guide now includes a description of the new Email Opt In Report.

14 January 2015

EdX Enrollment API

Version 1 of the Open edX Enrollment API guide is now available.

8 January 2015

Building and Running an edX Course

EdX Research Guide

Updated information is available for video events that the edX mobile app emits. See the Events in the Tracking Logs chapter.

EdX Data Analytics API

The initial, version 0 Alpha of the Open edX Data Analytics API Version 0 guide is now published.