edX learning platform now all open source
The edX learning platform has now completed its transition to open source and is available under an AGPL licence. The core of the system is the edx-platform which includes both the LMS (Learning Management System) and Studio, a tool for creating courses. Other parts of the system, such as the XBlock component architecture for courseware, machine-learning-based grading such as EASE, the discern tool, deployment tools, interfaces to external grading systems and Python execution utilities, can all be found on the new code.edx.org.
The open sourcing of the code base fulfils a promise made in April when Stanford University joined the edX project; this was founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. The edX project is under the management of the xConsortium with 27 colleges and universities from around the world working together.
For this release, Stanford contributed code to provide real-time chat, bulk email, new installation scripts and the external integration tools for the open source edX. Meanwhile, Professor Armando Fox at UC Berkeley contributed graders from his CS169 course on Software as a Service to the platform to allow professors to leverage automated grading. Students at UC Berkeley have been working on integrating forum software to allow students to discuss assignments.
The project code development work also has an international nature; for example, the University of Queensland has contributed an XBlock for interoperable learning tools and is developing an identity XBlock and voted-Q&A-style discussion tool. edX is mostly implemented in Python, but also includes some Ruby and Node.js code. New contributions are also coming to the project from 10gen, the company behind MongoDB, and the Concord Consortium.