Open edX Dogwood release enhanced features

Enhanced E-commerce and Mobile Apps Major New Features in Open edX Dogwood Release

With a new year we also have a brand new version of Open edX. The latest named release of Open edX is Dogwood, and it’s coming soon with some great additions to the platform. If you care to check out all of the new features, you can read about them in edX’s official release notes. We took the liberty of highlighting some of the most exciting ones below.


Open edX now ships with a powerful e-commerce engine called Otto which is based on the robust open source ecommerce framework Oscar Commerce. This gives you the ability to choose whether you want your course to be free to learners or if you want your learners to pay a fee for one of three different types of certifications – Verified, Professional Education, or Credit.

course type screenshot

The introduction of e-commerce in Open edX also comes with access to an E-Commerce Dashboard, where you can see data on what your customers are buying and create coupon codes, discounts and special offers. Combined with the upcoming Programs add-on which is being built to power edX’s xSeries, you’ll have the ability to sell a bundle of courses.

Ecommerce Course Types

e-commerce analytics dashboard
Ecommerce Analytics Dashboard

Mobile App Updates

Previously, the mobile Open edX app functionality was limited to playing course videos. The new mobile edX iOS app v2 takes advantage of new APIs introduced in Dogwood, so learners can now access HTML content like announcements and handouts directly from their smartphones. Additionally, learners can now complete assessments such as quizzes and tests on the go. Read more about the new mobile app features in the Open edX Learner’s Guide.

open edx mobile app
open edx announement app

Visual Insights & Video Engagement

edX Insights now allows users to easily see how students are answering graded problems in color-coded graphs. Also, additional engagement metrics are being made available for videos. You’ll be able to see which videos are being watched, if learners are watching them all the way through, and what parts of videos are being repeated. Read more about video engagement here

what it looks like to see views for all videos in a course.
views over time for a single video as well as what parts of a video are being replayed.

Timed Exams

With Dogwood, course authors will be able to create exams and assessments with a time limit. This will require learners to answer all the problems in the exam within a certain time frame. Of course, you will be able to add time for students under special circumstances. Read more about timed exams in Open edX Building and Running and Open edX course.

New XBlocks

  • Oppia – creates explorations, which are short interactive tutorials. As an XBlock, you can embed these kind of explorations within your course.
  • Office Mix – Office Mix allows you to turn PowerPoint presentations into interactive online lessons. With the XBlock, you can embed these “mixes” directly into your course.

Partial credit

Instructors and course authors can now configure checkbox, multiple choice, and numerical input problems to allow learners to receive partial credit for answers that are partly correct.

Django Update

Django, the framework upon which Open edX operates is being upgraded from version 1.4 to 1.8. This ensures that Open edX is supported and will receive the support it needs to run effectively.

Many thanks to the hardworking team at edX for the herculean effort of upgrading the Django version, and for pumping out yet another fabulous release of Open edX!  If you haven’t done so yet, head over to the Open edX Slack channel and give Ned, Joel and Molly your kudos!

For more info

Read the official Dogwood release announcement and release notes. If you’re an Appsembler customer, look forward to an email from us outlining when we will be upgrading your site.