Nonregistered course access

Allow students to explore and interact with course content without registering for an account (like Khan Academy) and prompting them to register while they are exploring.

@giuliog If I remember correctly you already have an implementation for this, right? Do you still use it?

i saw this implemented on Lagunita (stanford’s open edx instance)

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edX has implemented this as a prototype feature, enabled on a course-by-course basis using the enable_anonymous_courseware_access course waffle flag.

see edx-platform PR#16315, and further discussion on edx-code

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Is anyone talking about the ability to share certain types of content? For example, show everything “except assessment”. Although people can always make a second account to view assessment items, I think the artificial barrier of creating that second account would still help keep cheating at its current rate. Would be interesting to hear the perspective of MIT researchers working in this area.

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So, @jill_opencraft, what the verdict? Is this feature available on master?

Yes, it is available in master, though it has limitations, as described in the edx-code post, like:

  • content can only be accessed via direct links – you can’t just browse around as an anonymous user.
  • problems, discussions, and other xblocks which require storing learner-specific data aren’t visible.

The feature can be enabled via Django Admin, either globally or per-course.

Great clarification to my questions. Thanks @jill_opencraft!

We’ve just posted a proposal for enhancing support for anonymous access as a PR. The aim is to add support for:

  • Making the course outline public
  • Making individual units public
  • Showing public/non-public status in the course outline (for anonymous users)
  • Navigation between units in anonymous mode

This should enable:

  • Making a sample of a paid / registered-only course available to everyone
  • Making an entire course public by making all of its units public
  • Making only specific units public, and linking to them directly without making the outline public

Only static content and videos will be supported in such courses initially.

I’d love to hear feedback on this on the PR and here.

edX were supportive of our proposal, and so thanks to client support, we’ve since made some great progress on this feature!

The following related PRs are merged:

Remaining PRs to be completed are:

The PRs mentioned above are merged and available in Ironwood! See the Public Course Content: in Ironwood blog post for details.