The beginning of the new year also marks a new step for the Open edX community: A brand new version of Open edX. Every six months, edX releases a new version of the platform. This is to ensure that edX stays on top of any bug fixing and library updates to provide a better user experience after getting feedback from the last release. With every release, the community experiences a new and improved version of the platform and the cycle continues. 

The newest version of Open edX, called Maple, was released by the build-test-release working group in December 2021. This means that the previous version, Lilac, is no longer supported. This is to ensure that the entire Open edX community has access to the same, stable version of the platform. In this way, the entire community can stay on one page when it comes to discussing features, improvements, or sharing related knowledge. 

As with every version, Maple comes with new features, discontinues redundant ones, and retains what’s important. Let’s have a look at what Maple has to offer!

Tutor Supported

Tutor is now the only supported way of installing Maple. This means that the other Open edX deployments cannot be used by individuals and organizations looking to implement Open edX on their servers. The goal is to create a simple and easy-to-use method to install the Open edX platform and Tutor provides just that! You can learn more about Tutor and get started with Open edX deployments here.

Learning Micro-Frontend Made the Default Experience

To make it simple to understand what Learning Micro-Frontend (MFE) is, it is an application used to render all learner-facing course pages. In Maple, the Learning Micro-Frontend is the default courseware experience in Maple. Some of the added features in the Learning MFE aim to boost learner success rates.

These features include estimates of completion times for modules within a course, or small pop-ups celebrating learners progressing through some important milestones. These may include completion of the first section or a three-day streak. The idea is to boost learners’ performance by providing little nudges of appreciation, or in the case of section estimates, to allow them to manage time effectively.

React-Based MFE

Building on the Learning MFE feature, Maple has released a React-based MFE. This allows for better site performance and faster development speed. This also creates a better learning environment, by reducing course-load time and improving the mobile-web experience.

With the React-based MFE, better internal development speed means that developing features is much more efficient. Developers can leverage the reduced dependency and break down the courseware to work in this area of the platform with much more ease. In this way, React promises to make both the learner and developer experience much more smooth sailing. 

Special Exams Experience

Open edX has always allowed Instructors to create custom content and Special Exams. With Maple, a new page has been created in the account frontend specifically to host proctoring instructions and requirements. This page can be altered as per specific course or instructor requirements. A huge benefit for learners is that in the event of an error during an exam, the learner does not have to restart the exam. 

Convenience for Instructors

With the new release, Instructors can now be granted Course and Library creation rights on a per-Organization basis. Course authors sometimes experience issues when importing an updated version of their course via Studio. In the previous releases, the error messages displayed made it hard for the authors to find out what was causing said errors. In Maple, instructors can see specific error messages which help in fixing them efficiently.

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There’s More!

The features explained above barely scratch the surface when it comes to what Maple has to offer. Other features significantly improve administrator use, reporting, and data collection, as well as the overall developer experience. More details about the features of the new Open edX release can be found in the release notes. The Open edX platform is always evolving; the next release, Nutmeg, is being planned as you read this and will further improve the Open edX platform’s features!

Edly: An Open edX Service Provider

Edly is one of the largest Open edX service providers in the Open edX Marketplace. Working with edX since 2013, it is also one of the oldest and most reliable Open edX service providers. With clients such as MIT, Harvard University, Philanthropy University, UCSD, and more, Edly aims to build comprehensive Open edX learning environments for users around the world.

If you are looking to experience Maple, Edly is here to help! Book a free demo with us today and let us help you understand how our services and solutions can build you the best Open edX powered solution out there.