The annual Open edX Conference is taking place next month in San Diego, and the conference agenda is now available.
Open edX is the open source software that powers some of the largest MOOC platforms, including edX and the Chinese platform XuetangX. National MOOC platforms such as France’s FUN and Israel’s Campus-Il use Open edX, as do many companies, government entities, and institutions. While the organization is unable to maintain records on how many users have accessed Open edX on all the instances that are operating around the world, current estimates run in the neighborhood of 40 million.
The annual conference offers a chance for the developers, instructional designers, university administrators, and professors who make up the Open edX community to learn from one another in a series of workshops, plenary sessions, and talks. Once again, Class Central will be attending the conference as a media partner.
Keynote speakers at this year’s conference include edX CEO Anant Agarwal, Director of Learning Science at Amazon Candace Thille, and Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. As in previous years, the conference includes both practical workshops for developers, as well as talks of interest to all kinds of stakeholders. This year, the talks are grouped into five distinct tracks: Community and Collaboration, Extending, Learning Ops, Pedagogy, and Platform. The conference organizers created a robust and balanced agenda, in which all of these topics are addressed in multiple sessions.
Some of the sessions that have our interest piqued include Cheaper MOOCs and masters (part of the Pedagogy track), E-learning trends: Open edX vs. other LMSs (in the Platform track), and How MIT is leveraging Open edX in on campus courses (in the Learning Ops track).
In addition to providing a forum for partners and users to exchange knowledge, Open edX uses the conference as an opportunity to share what’s new and offer insight on the direction of the organization. One item that is sure to be on Open edX’s list this year is the launch of its new marketplace.
Screenshot of Open edX’s new marketplace
At Class Central, we think of Open edX as the WordPress of course management systems, both because it is free to download and use, and because it is the software of choice for organizations interested in offering a MOOC experience. However, setting up an Open edX instance is not quite as easy as starting a WordPress blog. Several companies now specialize in helping organizations to get Open edX instances up and running. Open edX created its new marketplace to facilitate connections between these companies and would-be Open edX users.