Open edX Learning Management System Customization

  • Open edX system installation, configuration and customization
  • Integration with the legacy platform for online courses migration
  • SCORM packages import via SCORM Cloud
Expertise
eLearning & Online Training
Verticals
Education

Our customer needed to upgrade their online learning platform, moving it from the legacy Java-based system to the Open edX technology.

Calendar
2
Duration
Months
Gears
2
Efforts
Person-months

Context

Open edX is a powerful and engaging platform used to host massive open online courses (MOOCs), smaller classes (SPOC) and blended learning modules. It was initially developed to power the edX.org online learning platform by Harvard University and MIT and open sourced for free usage and community contributions down the road. To take full advantage of the Open edX platform capabilities, the Customer needed to configure and customize it to their needs along with migrating learning materials and quizzes from the legacy system. 

Solution

The Open edX is split into components residing on different servers, which makes it stably performing and easily scalable, but at the same time requires additional effort with installation and configuration of dependencies. The platform is written predominantly in Django, Python but the Forums component in developed using Ruby, which also needs to be considered during the system deployment. While providing a wealth of fully modifiable learning management functionality, the Open edX platform doesn’t support SCORM integration natively, and the Customer needed to migrate their existing courses packaged in SCORM files.

Development Process

Iflexion customized a number of  Open edX features to make the platform tailored for the customer’s needs and convenient to use, among them:

  • theme to match the customer’s branding
  • course editing pages
  • user group management with access restrictions implementation
  • data presentation

The content migrated from the legacy LMS solution was packaged in SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) files. To make up for the missing native SCORM support in Open edX, Iflexion used SCORM Cloud – a third-party service that wraps e-learning content in a SCORM dispatch package – to host the Customer’s SCORM assets. Thus, integration with SCORM Cloud provided for native-like usage of the existing SCORM content within Open edX.

The functionality of the delivered LMS revolves around providing companies and individuals with access to learning courses and quizzes. Clients can be represented by individuals or by companies. A company has a representative authorized to track activity of their students. The platform envisages the following user roles:

  • Administrator: edits and manages learning content, manages student and teacher accounts, assigns rights, courses and teachers, manages groups of users, has access to personal info on all system users, including their payment data
  • Student: gets access to the courses, takes quizzes
  • Teacher: uploads courses, tracks students’ success. Each course includes name, completion rules, default or custom set course timeline and list of the covered topics. Online quizzes are web pages with multiple-choice or open-ended questions and a ‘submit’ button to send data to the server for processing.

Results

Taking advantage of the Open edX platform capacities and the ability to modify any of its components, Iflexion delivered a custom-tailored learning management solution to a professional training center in only 1.5 months. The system was configured and installed according to the thoroughly documented instructions and deployed to the cloud hosting service Amazon EC2.

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