Like clockwork, the fifteenth Open edX community release, Olive, was published on 12th December, 2022. This new release is just the latest in a long line of updates that strive to keep the Open edX platform robust. As with its predecessor, Nutmeg, Olive was also orchestrated by the Open edX Build-Test-Release group.
Olive aims to make the Open edX experience more seamless than ever, with new features that make the platform even more user-friendly. There are also several bug fixes and feature deprecations that keep the platform relevant. Let’s find out more about what’s new in Olive:
For the Learners
A new authentication Micro-Front End (MFE) provides users with a much smoother registration and sign-on experience, complete with username suggestions when creating a new account. Even with new bells and whistles, the MFE will still contain all the usual legacy features as seen in the previous versions. This new MFE will be enabled by default in Olive, though it can be disabled if you prefer the original sign-on experience.
Randomized Content Block
In a bid to make practice questions reusable, the randomized content block has a new reset button that can be enabled in Olive. With the reset buttons, students can reuse their questions as a practice problem set as many times as they wish.
Students can now easily find out if there is any real-time content available for their courses thanks to a ‘Live’ tab display. For instance, when applications like Zoom are used to deliver live classes within the platform, a live flag will appear on the respective tab.
From the Instructors’ End
Course Authoring MFE Enabled by Default
Enabled by default, the course authoring MFE in Olive also features some new changes. The ‘Pages and Resources’ section can be accessed from the content menu. This section can display a range of different settings, such as course progress, notes, wiki, discussion, and more.
Additionally, the new Text Component, formerly known as the HTML editor, makes it easy to incorporate special characters and emoticons. On top of that, it makes undoing or redoing text changes easy, as well as creating tables conveniently, without having to go into the complicated HTML mode.
Olive also includes a new video editor in the course authoring MFE. While the new editor is not production-ready, Studio users are still able to play around and experiment with it.
Discussion MFE enabled
Another Micro-Front End that comes enabled by default in Olive features discussions. The new and improved MFE will be added automatically in Units from the Studio end, relieving the devs from the task of manually adding the discussion blocks to an Open edX deployment.
On top of that, the MFE features a new, more user-friendly design and interface, a more efficient search feature, as well as better forum moderation aids.
Other Important Upgrades
Edit MFE Settings at Runtime
Making the lives of administrators and operators easier, the new Open edX release allows changes in MFE to be made at runtime, as opposed to earlier versions where settings could only be set at build time. This also reduces the number of times MFE container images need to be rebuilt, therefore saving time and resources when undergoing deployment.
Open edX Test Course
Open edX also takes extra steps in Olive to enhance the developer experience. An Open edX test course has been developed for Olive which aims to utilize as many courseware features and blocks as possible in order to make the Open edX installation easier to test. Devs can peruse through plenty of example uses of different blocks which can be enabled through the course’s Advanced Settings.
Olive is quite a comprehensive upgrade for the Open edX community. In order to see more details about the features of this new version, take a look at the release notes compiled by Open edX contributors. As we enjoy this new experience and get acquainted with Olive, Open edX has already started planning great things for its next release, Palm!
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