The EDM conference is a leading international forum for high-quality research that mines large data sets in order to answer educational research questions that shed light on the learning processes . These data sets may come from the traces that students leave when they interact with learning management systems, interactive learning environments, intelligent tutoring systems, educational games or when they participate in a data-rich learning context. The types of data therefore range from raw log files to eye-tracking devices and other sensor data.

Educational Data Mining is an emerging discipline, concerned with developing methods for exploring the unique and increasingly large-scale data that come from educational settings, and using those methods to better understand students, and the settings which they
learn in.

Whether educational data is taken from students’ use of interactive learning environments, computer-supported collaborative learning, or administrative data from schools and universities, it often has multiple levels of meaningful hierarchy, which often need to be determined by properties in the data itself, rather than in advance. Issues of time, sequence, and context also play important roles in the study of educational data.

The International Educational Data Mining Society’s aim is to support collaboration and scientific development in this new discipline, through the organization of the EDM conference series, the Journal of Educational Data Mining, and mailing lists, as well as the development of community resources to support the sharing of data and techniques.

另外一个和教育数据分析相关的领域为KDD http://www.kdd.org/,学习行为预测也是教育数据的一个热点。

Open edX 2016年1月产品更新


New Features

We’ve introduced several new features over the past few weeks.

Office mix showing a lesson about Bayesian statistics

Office Mix

The Office Mix tool, an open source contribution from Microsoft, is now available in Studio. Office Mix extends PowerPoint so that course teams can create interactive lessons—including exercises and narrated videos—and embed them in their courses. All mixes in a course, including videos, can be cached. For more information, see Office Mix Toolin Building and Running an Open edX Course.

Comprehensive Theming

Sites that are running Open edX can now change the appearance of their sites by creating and using themes that include logos, page headers and footers, and other templates and assets. For more information, see Changing the Way Open edX Looks in Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform.

Single Sign-In from Campus LMS

Learners who register and sign in to your site with valid campus or institutional credentials, or with a Google or Facebook account, can now sign in and enroll in courses even before they receive an activation link in an email. A reminder message appears on the learner dashboard until account activation takes place.

Feature Improvements

In addition to adding new features, we’ve made updates to improve several of our existing features.

Accessibility Updates

As part of our commitment to making edX courses accessible to as many learners as possible, edX has updated colors for wiki alerts and for staff actions in course discussions according to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) specifications.

New, Extensible LTI Component

Using a new LTI component, course staff can now configure LTI components to open in a modal window, in a separate browser window, or directly in a course page. This new version of the LTI component uses the XBlock framework, improving stability and increasing extensibility. The previous version of the LTI component has been deprecated. For more information, see LTI Component in Building and Running an Open edX Course.

Video Updates

We’ve made some changes to make using videos easier for both you and your learners. First, we fixed a bug so that transcripts are now created automatically for both YouTube and HTML5 (.mp4) video files. Then, our design team made improvements to the video player in both user controls and accessibility, including changes to icons and enhancements for screen readers.

File Uploads in Open Response Assessments

A recent Open edX contribution has expanded the types of files that learners can upload to accompany their open response assessment (ORA) responses. Course teams can now allow learners to upload .gif, .jpg, .pdf, and .png files. Additionally, if instructors want to allow additional file types, they can specify a custom set of file formats for learners to upload. System administrators for edX and Open edX sites can maintain a list of prohibited file types. For more information, see Allow Learners to Submit Files in Building and Running an Open edX Course, Submit a File with Your Response in the Open edX Learner’s Guide, or Prohibiting Submission of Specified File Types in Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform.

iPhone app showing an assessmentExpanded iPhone App

Learners who use the edX iPhone app to access courses can now view HTML and text components, as well as complete basic assessments including checkbox, multiple choice, and text input problems. For more information, see The edX Mobile App in the Open edX Learner’s Guide. The equivalent version of the edX app for Android is coming soon.


Our docs team recently added a “mobile-ready” note to the Support column in the table of exercises and tools on the Exercises and Toolspage, and we reorganized Building and Running an Open edX Course to make the information you need easier to find. Note that some URLs have changed, so you may need to update your bookmarks.

Cleaning House

With the end of the year, edX has deprecated or removed several outdated and unused features. In the LMS, the “legacy dashboard” is no longer available. In Studio, we have removed items including the Checklists option on the Studio Tools menu, the FoldIt protein simulator XModule, and the first version of open response assessments (ORA 1). Existing ORA 1 data is still available, and we continue to fully support ORA 2. EdX has also removed the Psychometrics and Licenses Django apps.

Coming Soon

EdX plans to release some great new features this month.


Learners will soon be able to use a new Bookmarks feature to mark important course pages and return to them easily. Learners can access their bookmarks from the learning sequence bar at the top of a page, or they can access all their bookmarks for the course on a new My Bookmarks page.

Settings for Self-Paced Courses

New settings in Studio will allow course teams to specify whether a course is self-paced or instructor-paced. When course teams select the self-paced option, the course will not include internal content release dates or assignment due dates.

Caliper Analytics介绍



  • 为更多学习活动测量和学习成果之间相关性提供答案。
  • 看看哪些行为和内容始终如一地生产所需的学习成果。
  • 比较不同的内容或交互类型的有效性。
  • 设置预警系统,建立预测措施。
  • 根据学生模式的实时个性化课程。

The potential of learning analytics to innovate and shape education are found in the widespread collection and display of the data by online learning environments and other learner activity data collected by many institutions. All efforts to date have been built around proprietary standards that reinforce the silos often found in education. This makes it nearly impossible for the educator, student or institution to see a truly holistic view what is happening in the teaching and learning environment. Not only does each organization need to reinventing the analytics wheel, but the current analytic conditions means the resulting analytics cannot be compared effectively. Each organization counts different things in different ways.

Since many curriculums ask students to work in multiple learning environments, there is a widespread need for data, that can be consolidated for a single view or cross-provider analysis.

The Caliper Framework will:

  • establish a means for consistently capturing and presenting measures of learning activity, which will enable more efficient development of learning analytics features in learning environments
  • define a common language for labeling learning data, which will set the stage for an ecosystem of higher-order applications of learning analytics
  • provide a standard way of measuring learning activities and effectiveness, which will enable designers and providers of curriculum to measure, compare and improve quality
  • leverage data science methods, standards and technologies
  • build upon existing IMS standards
  • provide best practice recommendations for transport mechanisms

Caliper Analytics Current Status

IMS has developed a standard which:

  • creates IMS Learning Metric Profiles to establish a basic, and extensible, common format for presenting learning activity data gathered from learner activity across multiple learning environments. Metric Profiles provide a common language for describing student activity. By establishing a set of common labels for learning activity data, the metric profiles greatly simplify exchange of this data across multiple platforms. While Metric Profiles provide a standard, they do not in and of themselves provide a product or specify how to provide a product. Many different products can be created using the same labels established by the standard.
  • creates the IMS Learning Sensor API™ to define basic learning events and to standardize and simplify the gathering of learning metrics across learning environments.
  • leverages and extends the IMS LTI™/LIS/QTI™ standards thus enhancing and integrating granular, standardized learning measurement with tools interoperability and the underlying learning information models, inclusive of course, learner, outcomes and other critical associated context.


Caliper Analytics Framework

2016年Open edX年会:共享的教育


2016年Open edX年会将在斯坦福召开,今年的主题为:共享的教育(education shared),会议日期为6月14-17日。

斯坦福从Open edX创始起就一直是项目支持者。斯坦福团队参与了Open edX开源项目,持续贡献自己的代码以及对项目的热情。

做为成千上万个技术创新的发源地,湾区驱动着edX和Open edX社区来实现伟大的新事物。斯坦福大学校园位于硅谷核心,6月举办也有利于更多学校的参与。



如果有国内老师想去参与此次年会,欢迎联系我们组团:) (email: info@edustack.org)

年度回顾: 2015年主要的LMS发展

Year in Review: Top LMS Developments of 2015

作为一个 传统,Edutechnica团队编译出了2015年LMS中最新的进展和挑战。



ELMS Learning Network project 是一个开源的学习平台,它可以在创建课程过程中自动嵌套不同的学习工具来支持特定的用户体验或者在线教学方法。ELMLN今年得到发展,它的工作是关于将课程内容存储在github上,在LMS之外共享和更新版本。

CourseNetworking 是一个产品概念,尝试连接多个学校的课程、内容和用户来分享全局的学习特性。

Beyond LMS 提供了工具和框架来摆脱LMS,但保留了一些相同的功能来允许新的教学方法和教学实践。该项目的互联学习分析工具包收集和聚集学习分析来自各种使用体验API(XAPI)的非LMS系统。

The Flipped LMS 是一个教师的尝试,用来创建一个“由教师和学生控制的开放平台,做为学院LMS的替代前端”。作为一个例子,这里是Canvas的一个UI层。

EdCast 尝试桥接正式和非正式学习,通过把外部演讲者和微型课程引入。

Cornerstone OnDemand (一个企业培训 LMS) 宣布一个专业学习设置里的 新的产品特性 即 “允许点对点的知识获取和讨论来延长TED演讲的学习效果” 。

EDUCAUSE的下一代数字学习环境 (NGDLE) project,并不是一个特定的产品,而是试图建立未来的最佳在线学习环境的标志性特征。

OpenEdX 从MOOC平台开始,但是正在成为一个新的更现代的开源LMS 。 OpenEdX 对于我们很方便,因为它有一种新颖的插件框架,并包括一个健壮的课程创作工具作为其解决方案的一部分。

Kannu 把自己描述为一个使用身临其境的富媒体内容的专用LMS,如应用在艺术和人文学科的在线课程。

TEx 是“独一无二的移动学习平台,提供高度个性化的教育体验。这不仅使学生获得在iPad上访问所有课程内容的能力,也可以让教师和教练来实时跟踪学生的进度 。“目前得克萨斯州里奥格兰德河谷大学在使用这个平台。

New entrants and indirect competition

Schoology has set its sights on using a recent round of funding to expand into higher ed. While most dominant LMSs started in higher ed and expanded into K12, Schoology could become the first major player to get its start in K12 and then evolve to meet higher ed-specific needs.

LinkedIn acquired Lynda this year which, given its previous acquisition of SlideShare in 2012, raises speculation in our minds of their longer-term intentions. Could LinkedIn one day expand to add LMS capabilities and support lifelong learning and skills mastery (and tie these to verified credentials and a professional portfolio)?

Workday also launched a LMS this year. While many speculate that it will (initially) be focused on corporate learning, Workday has also been expanding more aggressively into higher ed for its administrative software products.

A growing realization that course design is more important than the LMS

While last year the conversation seemed to change from debating specific technology choices to how to use specific technology products more effectively, this year the conversation seemed to evolve from how to use technology more effectively to how toevolve pedagogy and practice to better support new online learning approaches. This is encouraging and shows continued maturation in the space. In our opinion, instructional and functional needs should inform and drive technology design, not the other way around.

At the same time as we realize that course design and pedagogy are more important than the LMS used, other schools are finding that home-grown LMSs do not offer as significant a competitive advantage as was once thought and are switching to commercial off the shelf solutions. Apollo Group, the large operator of several for-profit universities, abandoned its efforts to build the ultimate home-grown LMS this year. The University of Auckland is also moving from a home-grown LMS to Canvas. And when a more custom or tailored LMS solution is desired, similar to SNHU’s decision to spin off Motivis Learning last year as a separate company to build its LMS, other schools are actively exploring new models for collaborating with software companies to achieve this goal.

Moodle maneuver mania

With the acquisitions of Remote Learner UK, X-Ray Analytics, and Nivel Siete, Blackboard established itself as the largest single commercial Moodle powerhouse this year. Because Moodle development is funded through partner revenue streams, these acquisitions in combination with Blackboard’s previous ones of Moodlerooms and NetSpot have prompted growing concern over the risk related to this continued concentration.

Also in the commercial Moodle space Totara, a LMS built on top of Moodle, announced this year that is has decided to fork its product to give the organization more flexibility over future direction without the constraint of having to remain in lock-step with the Moodle organization.  Remote Learner US and Canada also decided to leave the Moodle Partner program this year.

In an attempt to diversify from its historical reliance on partners for revenue, theMoodle Users Association was founded this year to accept resources (ie: mainly financial contributions) from schools, departments, individuals, and non-partner organizations who want to influence and contribute to ongoing and future Moodle development efforts.

Instructure continues its positive momentum

In addition to significant sustained growth in new US clients , Instructure also went publicthis year on the NYSE.  The company continues to exhibit exemplary decision-makingabilities with how it manages its client relationships and product expectations.

A first institution publicly commits to Blackboard Learn SaaS/Ultra

While Blackboard has been talking about it’s SaaS/Ultra solution for a while, it wasn’t until very recently that we knew of even one institution that was openly committed to using it. We now know that University of Phoenix (of the for-profit Apollo Group) plans to move from a home-grown LMS to Blackboard’s newest solution.

From Blackboard’s perspective, this is a huge and significant win – both financially and psychologically. From Apollo’s perspective, they are moving from their risky strategy of building their own LMS to the risky strategy of choosing a new and unproven technology, but at least they will likely gain significant, early influence over the product roadmap.

Early productization of CBE LMSs

Institutions continue to struggle to define exactly how Competency Based Education will work, but it is clear that the impact of CBE is going to affect not only the LMS but many other systems, processes, and practices as well.

Ellucian acquired Helix, a CBE LMS, early in the year and then launched Brainstorm as its CBE-capable LMS later in the year. They are smart  to realize that the success of CBE programs will rely heavily on advancements not only to the LMS but also to SIS functions including financial/billing systems, registration, financial aid, and transcripts.

Cengage acquired Learning Objects this year. Learning Objects has received early traction with their Difference Engine CBE-capable learning platform.

Motivis Learning also continues to make progress with its CBE-capable learning platform as well. Built on top of Salesforce, the solution differentiates itself primarily with how it supports Learning Relationship Management, borrowing concepts from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to improve student outcomes.

Keep in mind that there is still a lot of non-LMS-related modernization that needs to occur in higher education to make productization of CBE in the LMS a reality. Though many vendors are making claims that their products support CBE, LMS technology is only part of the solution.

Continued LMS consolidation

The spread of LMSs that institutions actively use in production continues to narrowsuggesting a consolidation in the marketplace. Most institutions are standardizing on 6 major LMS platforms: Blackboard Learn 9.1, D2L Brightspace, Instructure Canvas, Moodle, Pearson’s Learning Studio, and Sakai – and fewer large schools are using “other” or alternative LMSs. With a dominant design now generally agreed upon, we believe that 2016 will see even more new takes on what a LMS should be.

Analytics and the LMS

Though version 1.0 of the Experience API was released in 2013 and is in use by over 140 adopters, it continues to be most popular in the corporate learning space. In higher education, another learning analytics standard launched in 2015 – IMS Caliper.

D2L was the first to announce support for Caliper in its Insights product that complements its Brightspace LMS in June.  Two days later, Instructure mentions Caliper support in their announcement for the Canvas Data product. Blackboard, however, a month later claimed to be the first LMS to comply with the specification (but only in its new SaaS product, not its Learn 9.1 product). Strangely, neither Instructure nor D2L appear on the official IMS Caliper certification chart (as of Dec 6). And no one is known to be using Blackboard’s new Learn SaaS product in production.

In our opinion, the increasing adoption of learning analytics will spur the creation of specialized data warehouse-like products that capture data for further analysis outside of the LMS. With the Experience API, this solution is referred to as a Learning Record Store(LRS). Caliper, however, “does not formally include an open, standards based event store/LRS in its initial scope.”

Increasing pain of plugged-in learning tools and “courseware vs LMS”

While standards like LTI have enabled massive improvements to technical interoperability, many schools are beginning to struggle with the management and policy of implementing new learning tools both piecemeal and at scale. Most apparently, plugging multiple tools into a LMS impacts usability. Different learning tools when linked from the uniform UI of a LMS look visibly different. The student and faculty experience across courses and across tools can often appear disjointed using different colors, terminology, navigation structures, and menu options. Faculty are often left to support these integrations independently as they are assumed by external vendors and internal IT support to “just work.”

There is also continued debate as to which open standards LMSs should support and how they should do so. Says Jon Dron, “we just have to be really careful about what we standardize and where we celebrate diversity” while avoiding standardizing at the wrong level – or mandating “standards built for horses and carriages when we have already invented helicopters.”

The way in which learning tools plug into the LMS also opens up licensing questions about digital content and courseware such as – is the plugin a technology purchase or a content purchase (which often have very different academic freedom and procurement implications) and who pays (the individual student, faculty member, department, or institution)? The LMS may not be at fault for these items, but it is certainly easy to blame. 2016 will be the year to get ahead of these challenges.

While there will always be challenges, we look forward to the solutions and new opportunities that 2016 brings. Wishing everyone a happy and restful end of the year.






  • 3D Model Viewer XBlock: to include and view 3D .obj models within an edX course
  • ACID Xblock: a block for testing the implementation of the XBlock runtime.
  • Adventure XBlock: creating a simple “Chose Your Own Adventure” style simulation.
  • Animation XBlock: shows students an animation they can go through. There is a set of images with corresponding text, and a slider for going through these images.
  • Audio XBlock
  • Brightcove Video XBlock: to include Brightcove videos within an edX course
  • Carousel XBlock– XBlock to provide carousel of multimedia instructional content including images, video, documents. This XBlock currently supports three web hosted media formats in a unified media carousel for course content presentation. This XBlock also provides a way to integrate instructional media with a separate workspace that could be used for hands-on activities.Click here for the demo
  • CarouselWorkspace XBlock– This is our second XBlock to combine learning content and practice space within the same window. The first XBlock provided a multimedia carousel to host learning contents here. This XBlock along with providing a multimedia carousel, focuses on embedding a separate url of a web-enabled workspace for hands-on activities. In the example below, we demonstrate this XBlock with terminal emulator using open source Gateone application. Click here for the demo
  • Drag and Drop XBlock: exercise which asks students to drag and drop text or image elements into different buckets according to their content
  • Drag and Drop XBlock v2: enhanced version of the Image Explorer XBlock. Due to incompatible data model with v1, the original XBlock still remains
  • Flash XBlock: Embed Flash (.swf) files into your course.
  • Google Drive XBlock: enables embedding of Google Documents or Google Calendar within edX.
  • hastexo XBlock: enables course authors to define and integrate arbitrarily complex computing environments running on private or public clouds, which auto-suspend when not in use. Currently supports OpenStack Heat.
  • Image Explorer XBlock: to display tooltips on top of an image within the course content
  • Image Modal XBlock
  • LeaderBoard XBlock: allows to display an arbitrary number of top scoring threads in an inline discussion, as well as top scores in a graded exercise.
  • Mathematica Cdf XBlock
  • Personality Test
  • Problem Builder XBlock: Set of interactive exercises, and tools to automate the workflow of real-life mentoring within an edX course. It supports: free-form answers (textarea) which can be shared accross different XBlock instances (for example, to remind a student of an answer he gave before), MCQs (multiple choice questions), MRQs (multiple responses questions), rating scales, progression tracking (allowing to check that the student has completed the previous steps before allowing to complete a given XBlock instance).
  • Ooyala Video Player XBlock: to include Ooyala videos within an edX course. It supports transcripts, overlays (to place raw text or html content at a specific moment in your video) and player tokens (to secure your video content using a token with an expiration time)
  • OfficeMix XBlock – allows for the embedding of lectures hosted on Office Mix directly into an edX course.
  • ORA2: Version 2 of the Open Response Assessor Project. Provides functionality for peer assessment, self assessment, student training.
  • Paella Video XBlock
  • PDF XBlock
  • PDF XBlock (alternative): Another XBlock to embed PDF, with XBlock title and download buttons.
  • Pie Chart XBlock: to include Pie chart within an edX course
  • Poll & Survey XBlock: enables a course author to create survey/poll elements to get feedback from students. Poll XBlocks have one question, and a series of answers. Survey XBlocks have several questions.
  • Rating XBlock: Rating and comment the video unit.
  • School Yourself: This repository contains XBlocks for displaying School Yourself (SY) content on the edX platform. These will be used in the upcoming AlgebraX and GeometryX courses, developed for the High School Initiative.
  • Staff graded assignment: Allows students to upload files to be graded by course staff.
  • Table XBlock: Table XBlock is powerful tool used to create user-editable tables.
  • Video JS XBlock: Use Video.js HTML5 player (www.videojs.com) instead of the default one.
  • SSH XBlock: Provides a web-based terminal emulator through which students can send commands to a server via ssh. The server details and credentials are set by the tutor in the XBlock settings and are not visible to the student.
  • Voice Recognizer XBlock: This XBlock allows students to recognize their voice and can see the what they spoken in text format. It supports multiple languages. This version works best on Google Chrome.

Experimental XBlocks:

  • Discussion XBlock: a prototype of the discussion XModule as a separate, pure XBlock. Functional, but requires patches to edx-platform at the moment.
  • Group Project XBlock: to allow students to work as a group of 2-5 on a group project, with peer grading between projects and team members. Functional, but requires patches to edx-platform at the moment.
  • Group Project XBlock v2 – second generation Group Project XBlock: allow students to work as a group of 2-5 on a group project, with peer grading between projects and team members, embedded discussions support and richer project navigation. Functional, but requires patches to edx-platform at the moment.

Open edX DogWood版本特性


2015年底将发布的Open edX第4个大版本Dogwood


前一阵子在社区发现一个有意思的点,Open edX的版本顺序为:Aspen、Birch、Cypress、DogWood、Eucalyptus,正好是字母表的ABCDE。以后可以不用这些复杂的全称,直接用D版本来简称DogWood就行。


根据现有的安装情况来看,安装过程中问题少了很多,看来Open edX在易用性方面逐渐在提升。


  • Badging in Dogwood
    • 未完成
  • Ecom Services for Dogwood
    • 只有部分文档
  • Insights in Dogwood
    • 计划中
  • Student Notes in Dogwood
    • 可能不会完成
  • Python upgrade
    • Working with Ops 目测已经完成
  • Django Upgrade 1.4 to 1.8
    • Working with T&L Lahore 目测已经完成
  • NLTK upgrade  TNL-2486 – 更新到新版NLTK 3   (拖延到 Eucalyptus版本 )
  • OPEN-507 – 切换 Open edX 使用新的逻辑流ICEBOX
    • SSO 和 LTI 应用需要可用
    • 需要放到下一个发行版
  • MongoDB/Pymongo Upgrade
    • Feanil Patel to provide some tickets for this work (Ops & Platform work)
  • CohortMembership fix ( TNL-3478 – JIRA project doesn’t exist or you don’t have permission to view it. )
    • Includes a management command, course_groups/post_cohort_membership_fix, to be run after data migrations.
  • Python 2.7.10 Upgrade
    • 用户需要重建virtualenvs
    • 新的 vagrant images 会有正确的 virtualenvs 和 python 版本
  • Course Overviews as source of truth for list of courses.
    • Includes a management command, “manage.py lms –settings=X generate_course_overview –all”, to be run after data migrations.
    • If this management command is not run,
      • deployments that run with ENABLE_COURSE_DISCOVERY set to False, may see courses missing on their Course Catalog page
      • the Courses API “/api/courses/v1/courses/” may not include all courses in the system


  • “shoppingcart” 功能应该在Dogwood中考虑为废弃,将来的版本中会被移除。类似服务将由”Otto” 来取代。
  • ORA1 代码完全被移除。
  • Legacy instructor dash is turned off by default, and will be removed entirely in Eucalyptus
  • 移除的旧代码:
    • 管理面板
    • abtest_module
    • Psychometrics
    • “Licenses” djangoapp
    • FoldIt XModule
    • Studio 的课程核对表
  • Removed support for the outdated ispublic field on the Course Module, including its corresponding ACCESS_REQUIRE_STAFF_FOR_COURSE feature flag.  Instead, operators should use COURSE_CATALOG_VISIBILITY_PERMISSION and COURSE_ABOUT_VISIBILITY_PERMISSION settings.
  • The “graphical_slider_tool” is deprecated, and will no longer be available starting in in Eucalyptus (the code has been removed from Master).