Hawthorn’s New Features Reviewed

The new Open edX Hawthorn includes many new features and updates and, three weeks after its launch, the community keeps exploring them.

Nate Aune, CEO at Appsembler, posted his discoveries on a recent post.

This is a summary:

  • More granularity on how the learner is progressing without having to rely on graded assignments. Green completion checkmarks appear in the navigation bar when a learner completes a unit. Additionally, a unit is marked as “complete” when the learner has viewed all video and HTML content and has submitted answers to all problems. This feature has to be activated through the Django admin.
  • Ability to offer both video streaming options with adaptive video streaming. Video streaming automatically adapts to the learner’s connection speed. This is especially advantageous when accessing from mobile phones which run on lower-speed internet connections
  • A new mobile app with a streamlined finding new courses and bulk downloading videos all at once features, as well as more languages.
  • Updated HTML components in Studio to give course authors easier formatting and image insertion. Texts can be aligned left or right, centered, or fully justified. Images can be added directly without uploading them beforehand; it requires to activate this feature in Django admin.
  • Improved Files & Uploads page with filters and drag and drop in the Studio CMS.
  • Weekly email message to learners listing course highlights as a way to keep them engaged. Activation of this feature requires several steps, as described in the documentation.
  • A user retirement feature to remove data in response to user requests for deletion following the European GDPR.
  • Improved learning profile page and discussion forum (with email report to users).
  • Ability to purchase all the courses in a program in one transaction, optionally with a discount.
  • Transferable student records.