One of the biggest (yet newest) names in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is edX. In case you’re new to the MOOC or Edudemic world, edX is basically a consortium of schools that have banded together to assemble a robust library of online courses. From Physics to History to Computer Science, many of the world’s largest universities and colleges have come together to use the edX online learning platform.
And now the edX platform is yours. The edX team made their code open source as of June 1, 2013 and are actively encouraging developers around the world to remix, rethink, and build onto the platform. After all, what better way to develop a product than to have countless people around the world add to it, use it, and continuously test it. The model has worked for a ton of major web tools like WordPress and Wikipedia.
This platform offers another avenue for the delivery of educational material from Stanford as well as an exciting opportunity for other universities to develop their own online coursework with minimal barriers to entry,” said John Mitchell, vice provost for online learning and professor of computer science at Stanford. “By giving universities the ability to manage their online coursework directly or through a third-party provider, using a high-quality platform, we hope to continue broadening access to new educational opportunities for students of all types around the world.
If you’re not tech-savvy but want to help, I’d recommend trying out edX and offering your tips, fixes, and requests via this contact page.
If you are a web developer or know at least a little bit of code, then you should access the newly open source edX source code on github here. Currently, the areas where edX is ready for individual contributions or feedback include the edX Open Response Assessor (ORA) and grading APIs, the XBlock architecture and internationalization of the platform. EdX expects to complete integration of XBlocks into the platform over the next few months.
There’s a buzz slowly building about who is stepping in to help improve the edX online learning platform. Here are some of the recent contributions according to a press release from edX: