This page lists the highlights of the Dogwood release.
With the Open edX Eucalyptus Release, the Dogwood release is no longer supported. This page remains in these release notes as a record of when new features were included in Open edX.
The following new features are included in the Open edX Dogwood release.
A new LTI XBlock is now available. This XBlock is intended to replace the existing LTI XModule. In addition to all of the functionality previously offered by the XModule, the LTI XBlock also offers course teams the ability to configure the way that learning tools interoperability (LTI) components open when learners use them: in a modal window, in a separate web browser window, or embedded in a course page.
The LTI XModule continues to function in courses that include it, but it does not provide the new launching behavior options.
For more information, see LTI Component in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide.
A new preview mode in the LMS allows course team members to see the courseware as a specific learner sees it. For courses that use randomized content from content libraries, course team members can use this feature to view the content assigned to a specific learner and to adjust a learner’s grades if necessary.
For more information, see Learner Grades and Grading in Building and Running an Open edX Course.
In Studio, course teams can now configure the following problem types so that learners can receive partial credit for a problem if they submit an answer that is partly correct.
For more information, see Awarding Partial Credit for a Problem in Building and Running an Open edX Course.
Developers who are interested in extending Open edX Insights can now set up a separate development environment, the Open edX Analytics Developer stack, to support analytics development. This environment, known as the Analytics Devstack, includes the edX Analytics Data API and Open edX Insights, as well as all of the components needed to run the Open edX Analytics Pipeline.
For more information, see Installing Open edX Analytics Devstack in the Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform guide.
EdX does not currently provide installation or support of Insights for Open edX installations.
The initial version of comprehensive theming is now available. Sites that are running Open edX can now create and use themes to change the default branding of the system to present their own brand. Logos, page headers and footers, and other templates and assets that control the way a site looks are now organized into specifically named directories and files that can be replaced easily and without coding changes.
For more information, see Changing the Appearance of Open edX Sites in the Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform guide.
Course teams can now specify, and learners submit, additional types of files along with text responses to open response assessment problems. When course teams edit an open response assessment component in Studio to allow file uploads, the following options are available.
For more information, see Specify the Response Type.
To protect learners from the transmission of potentially harmful files, this enhancement also gives system administrators the ability to configure a list of file types that learners cannot upload.
For more information, see Prohibiting Submission of Specified File Types.
This release includes several updates to web certificates.
As a part of the effort to support XSeries program certificates, edX has created a new credentials service. In the Dogwood release, program certificates can be configured on the Django admin console. Additional changes are currently in progress to move all existing course certificate tools and logic to this new service. Be sure to watch for more changes in the Eucalyptus release and other future Open edX releases.
When you install the Open edX developer stack, the search feature is now enabled by default. For more information about how you can configure this feature, see Enabling Open edX Search. For more information about how learners can use this feature, see Searching the Course.
This release includes the timed exams feature. Course teams can configure a course subsection so that learners have a specific period of time to complete and submit all problems in that subsection.
For more information, see the Offering Timed Exams section in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide.
Another special exam feature, proctoring, is available for courses on the edx.org website. The proctoring feature can be enabled in Open edX, but it is not supported for the Dogwood release. This feature requires additional configuration and the services of a third-party proctoring vendor such as Software Secure to be used effectively.
Open edX installations can now add an e-commerce service. The edX e-commerce service is a Django application that manages and handles orders for product catalogs.
For more information about how to install and set up the edX e-commerce service, configure partners and sites, add assets, and fulfill orders, see Adding E-Commerce to the Open edX Platform (Dogwood) in the Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform guide.
Learners who register and sign in using third party authentication, such as with a Google or Facebook account, can now sign in immediately. They can sign in and enroll in courses even before they follow the activation link that is sent by email. A reminder message appears on the learner’s dashboard until account activation takes place.
A learner who enters an incorrect email address, and who therefore does not receive the activation email message, can correct the email address by selecting the menu next to his username, and then selecting Account.
The labels that identify two of the course team member roles in the LMS now match the labels for those same roles in Studio. In the LMS, on the Instructor Dashboard Membership page, the “Course Staff” role is now labeled “Staff”, and the “Instructor” role is now labeled “Admin”.
No changes were made to the privileges granted by these roles. For more information, see Course Staffing in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide.
No changes were made to the privileges that system administrators set in the Django admin console, or to their labels.
In the LMS, the icon that indicates a graded subsection in the course navigation is now a paper and pencil symbol instead of an alarm clock.
The recent edX platform upgrade to Django 1.8 required a change to the
management command used when installation:testing an enabled SAML
identity provider. This command now uses the
lms saml --pull instead of
lms saml pull.
The following list includes new or changed events in the Open edX Dogwood release.
For more information about these events, see Events in Tracking Logs in the edX Research Guide. Note that this document is written primarily for edX partners running courses on edx.org. However, the event listing applies to Open edX instances as well.
In keeping with edX’s commitment to creating accessible content for everyone, everywhere, the Open edX Dogwood release contains numerous accessibility enhancements and improvements to readability and navigability.
This release includes several updates to the edX video player.
Several features are deprecated as of the Open edX Dogwood release.
The “shoppingcart” functionality is deprecated as of the Dogwood release, and it will be removed in a future release. Similar services are now provided by the E-commerce Service.
The Tools menu in Studio no longer offers the Checklists option. For a template checklist, see the Course Launch Checklist topic in the Building and Running an Open edX Course guide.
When you access a course that contains an open response assessment created using the original version of this assignment type (ORA 1), Studio now displays the message, “This course uses features that are no longer supported.”
A newer version of the open response assessments feature (ORA 2) was released over a year ago, and the ability to add ORA 1 problems was removed from Studio in May 2014.
Support has ended for the “legacy” Instructor Dashboard. The Legacy Instructor Dashboard is now disabled by default, and the LMS presents a single version of the Instructor Dashboard. The Revert to Legacy Dashboard option is no longer available.
Code for the Legacy Instructor Dashboard will be removed entirely in the Open edX Eucalyptus release.
The Data Download page in the Instructor Dashboard now includes an option to download a report of all learner submissions for a specified problem. Previously, this report was available only from the Legacy Instructor Dashboard through a view on a Django app.
The following XModules and tools are deprecated in the Dogwood release.
The following Django apps are deprecated in the Dogwood release.
The edX platform was upgraded from Django 1.4 to Django 1.8.7. This section summarizes the effects of this upgrade. For more information, see the Django 1.8 Upgrade Release Notes page on the edX wiki or the Django 1.8 pull request in GitHub.
commit_on_success decorator is no longer available. You can use the
outer_atomic decorator instead.
To avoid exceptions when you create models, edX recommends that you use the following pattern.
if need_to_create_model: try: with transaction.atomic(): MyFancyModel.create(**kwargs) except IntegrityError: # Model has already been created. log.warning("Something...")
The edX Release Notes contain a summary of changes that are deployed to edx.org. Those changes are part of the master branch of the edX Platform in GitHub.
You can also find release announcements on open.edx.org, which list changes in each release on edx.org. You can subscribe to have release announcements sent to your email account.
Changes listed for 16 December 2015 and before are included in the Dogwood release of Open edX.
AUDIT_CERT_CUTOFF_DATEsetting to control when audit certificates are discontinued. For more information, see Discontinue Audit Track Certificates in the Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform guide.
An update to the release packaging was made to fix errors during installations and upgrades.