Enhance your Course with XBlocks

While creating your course in Studio, you have the option to add an Advanced component called an XBlock.

The XBlock infrastructure is a component architecture designed to make it easier to create new online educational experiences. What this means in practice is we sometimes add native-level support for new tools and activities that are as easy to use as the existing features like videos and discussions. For example, some of the XBlocks we currently have installed and support include:
  • Polls - Enables a course author to create polls in course materials. Poll XBlocks have one question
  • Survey - Similar to a poll, but allows you to ask many questions with the same answer options, instead of just one
  • Peer Instruction - Allows learners to answer a question, and see what everyone else thought and why, to arrive at a deeper understanding of concepts
  • Open Response Assessments - Lets learners grade each other, grade themselves, or wait for a staff to grade an essay or file submission
  • Staff Graded Assignment - Allows learners to upload a file for manual staff grading
  • Free-text Response - Allows instructors to create questions that expect a free-text response
  • Virtual Labs Container Launcher - Enables you to embed a software Virtual Lab into your course
  • LTI Consumer - LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability, which enables you to pull in learning content from 3rd party sources (like SCORM, or H5P).
  • Google Document - Enables embedding of Google Documents within a course
  • Google Calendar - Enables embedding of a Google Calendar within a course
  • PDF - Simplifies embedding a PDF in a page.pdf
  • Problem Builder - Provides an increased range of problem options for posing more varied questions problem-builder
  • Step Builder - Enables you to ask questions in a sequence rather than listing them down a page.
  • Completion - Allows a learner to mark an activity as complete and earn a mark for their progress chart
  • Vector Drawing - create vector drawing exercises

Note: Every new course in Open edX is like an identical blank slate. This means that even if you have an XBlock that you use in all of your courses, you will still have to re-enable it for use in your new course. See our help article on How to Enable XBlocks for the details on this!

For the latest list (and technical details) of XBlocks available on Tahoe, you can check out our knowledge base. We continue to add more over time! And for more on how and why XBlocks matter to you, check out our blog post XBlocks in Open edX: An Introduction.

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