The Evolution of edX Course Discussions

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Auteur : Greg Price
Date de l'info : 28 novembre 2014

Source: Gretchen Ertl for The New York Times

Earlier this year, the course discussion engineering team at edX decided to revisit our decision to build a custom discussion platform. In the course of investigating alternatives, we determined that support for the unique usage patterns of our users (both course staff and students) and deep integration with our courseware are key differentiators for edX. This determination led us to the decision to continue to invest in our own platform rather than integrate a third-party platform. Now that the dust has settled from that decision and we have delivered some significant improvements on edX course discussions, we thought it would be useful to take a step back and share with our developer community and users some detail about how we got to where we are today.

At the beginning of the year, we were focused on stabilizing the discussion feature and making it sufficiently scalable to handle the growth that we expected over the course of the year. As we wrapped up that work, we took a hard look at the feedback that we had been receiving from our users. Naturally, many comments drew comparisons between our functionality and that of other discussion platforms. They frequently requested features such as a reputation system (like Stack Exchange) and infinite reply depth (like reddit or Discourse). All of these comparisons led us to wonder whether we should change direction and integrate a different open source discussion platform instead of continuing to build our own.

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