9. Open edX Birch Release

This page lists the highlights of the Birch release.

Note

With the Open edX Cypress Release, the Birch release is no longer supported. This page remains in these release notes as a record of when new features were included in Open edX.

9.1. Split Mongo Modulestore

The edX Platform now supports the split mongo modulestore for course data storage. Split mongo refers to the separation of identity, structure, and content, and it enables you to use more advanced capabilities in developing and managing courses. For more information, see the Open edX Developer’s Guide.

9.2. Cohorts for Discussions and Content

You can now define smaller communities of students within the larger, course- wide community. Learners in a cohort can have private discussions. In addition, you can create different course experiences, including presenting different content, for students in different cohorts.

For more information, see Including Student Cohorts in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide.

9.3. Content Libraries and Randomized Content

You can now create a content library that contains a pool of components that can be used in randomized assignments.

For more information, see Working with Content Libraries in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide.

9.4. Prerequisite Courses

You can now require that students pass a specific course before they enroll in your course.

For more information, see Specify Prerequisite Courses in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide.

9.5. Entrance Exams

You can now require that students pass an entrance exam before they access your course materials.

For more information, see Require an Entrance Exam in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide.

9.6. Student Notes

A learner can highlight text and make notes while progressing through a course. The learner can then review his notes in the body of the course or on a separate Notes tab.

For more information, see Student Notes Tool in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide.

9.7. Course Reruns

You can create a new course easily by re-running an existing course. When you re-run a course, most, but not all, of the original course content is copied into the new course.

For more information, see Rerunning a Course in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide.

9.8. Google Calendar and Google Drive Components

You can embed Google calendars and Google Drive files in your course. Learners see the calendar or file directly in the courseware. Learners can also interact with Google Forms files, completing forms or surveys.

For more information, see Google Calendar Tool and Google Drive Files Tool in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide.

9.9. Support for Graded Problems in Content Experiments

Content experiments can now include graded problems.

9.10. REST APIs

EdX has built and published documentation for the first versions of several REST APIs:

9.11. Other Changes

In addition to the new features listed above, the Birch release includes many small changes and bug fixes. See the edX Release Notes for changes listed after the Aspen release.