edX and Microsoft Office integration – Office Mix and Office 365

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Last year I wrote about the Microsoft partnership with edX to develop services to help teachers, including integration between edX and Office Mix – to allow teachers to quickly and easily create multimedia content using PowerPoint. Open edX is an open source platform teaching and learning, and is used by many universities to publish MOOCs, as well as being used by education and professional learning organisations (including Microsoft) to deliver courses online to the public. The latest Microsoft-edX integrations have been released into the latest release of Open edX.


The Microsoft Open Tech team have provided details on their blog post, but here’s a quick summary of what’s now possible:

edX Single Sign-On with Office 365

The July Open edX release allows users to sign in to edX using their Office 365 identity, which makes life easier for students and teachers. If they are already logged into Office 365 in their browser, then they won’t need to use their username and password to login again as they switch between edX and Office 365.

Office Mix XBlock

This allows teachers to very quickly embed an Office Mix into an Open edX course. There are two immediate benefits:

  • Teachers can create interactive recordings inside PowerPoint, including PowerPoint slides, audio recording, video, interactive activities and quizzes and assessments, and upload with a single click
  • Teachers can use the Office Mix analytics to see which students have viewed the Mix, how long they viewed each slidesection, and what how they answered assessment questions.

Technical info on the Office Mix XBlock

Insert/Embed files easily into edX courses

The Microsoft Open Tech team have contributed a new feature to edX that allows files from other cloud services to be easily embedded into courses. The Microsoft team created it originally to make it easy for users to add files that they store in OneDrive (either the consumer version, or the Office 365 version), but they realised they could expand it easily, so it will also allow users to embed files from Box.net, Dropbox, Google docs, SlideShare, Soundcloud, TED, Vimeo and YouTube!!

Technical info on the File Storage XBlock

Learn MoreRead more about these integrations on the Microsoft Open Technologies blog

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