Open edX: What Is It And Why 19 Million People Use It?

Nishi Agrawal
5 min readMay 20, 2021

Understanding Open edX®

Open edX® is an open-source learning platform developed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It was created to fulfill the instructional design requirements of various organizations so these can offer engaging experiences that cover several topics. These topics cater to different goals that use different learning scenarios.

Your business can have the correct mix of tools to educate your learners with different topics that come inside the box. Open edX also allows you to integrate multiple third-party systems and tools including LTI, SCORM, iFrame and a lot more. With this open-source learning platform, the possibilities are almost endless.

In this blog, we will try to cover everything about Open edX and why it has a huge user base of 19 million. There are several reasons why businesses implement this open-learning MOOC development platform in their architecture. Being flexible and completely customizable, Open edX offers the freedom to the developers and instructors to develop customized courses for various audiences.

What Type Of Businesses Use Open edX Currently?

Open edX is adopted by a huge range of businesses and organizations worldwide. Let us see what type of businesses and organizations have adopted this platform.

Small Organizations

Open edX offers small organizations the ability to develop state-of-the-art learning content that not only increases the profits but also improves the learners’ engagement.

Educational Institutions

Huge educational institutions including the Arizona State University, MIT, Harvard, and other organizations use Open edX to engage with their learners. These institutions provide their students with quality learning content. Students can easily track their progress with the systems and powerful dashboards provided by this platform.

Large Organizations

Giants including Google, McKinsey, Jhonson & Jhonson, Microsoft, and other large organizations use Open edX for employee training sessions, customer onboarding, and educational purposes.

But WHY Does It Have A Huge Base Of 19 Million People?

As the demand for learning management systems increases every day, Open edX is gaining momentum and popularity with the unique features it offers and the challenges it revolves. But HOW does it stand out in the competition against other online learning platforms? The more requirements are covered by this system, the better are its chances to gain popularity. We will uncover some online learning challenges in the online learning industry.


  • Course management, content creation, and administration are one of the biggest challenges. With heavy competition in the marketplace, it is quite difficult to create content that can engage the right learners at the right time.
  • The mobile interface is extremely important in the new age as most of the learners use their smartphones and devices. There is a need to implement a mobile learning interface and web system that is both comfortable and user-friendly.
  • There are no one-size-fits-all learning courses and different organizations require dynamic online learning management systems that offer top-notch delivery features and different types of content.
  • Integrating the courses with internal systems and databases is another challenge.
  • A good learning course should offer advanced reporting and analytics to track the progress.
  • Adaptive learning, gamification, decision-based events, and other modern learning approaches that improve engagement.
  • Customized look and feel that resonates with the brand.

So these are the challenges of the online learning sector. Businesses require a one-stop online platform that can address these issues. Let us now see how Open edX solves these issues.

Open edX Features That Address Various Issues

Learner Interface

A comfortable UI offers a great learning experience. Open edX offers a simple-to-navigate and effective interface that has everything the learners require.

Course Navigation

A structured course navigation panel helps the learners to quickly switch between lessons, modules, quizzes, and assignments. This flexibility enables them to check how many lessons are left for the current chapter.

Learners’ Dashboard

Open edX allows the learners to effectively track their progress with an easy-to-use dashboard. This dashboard gives them a clear understanding of the current course success and insights about their assessments in a structured report format.


When it comes to planning a strategy for a content course, variety is very important. Open edX offers the ability to craft online learning material and content using a mix of different content types.

And there are more content varieties that can be mixed and customized depending on the requirements.

Social sharing ability is a very important feature that gives freedom to socialize the entire learning process. This feature allows the students and learners to discuss their projects, assignments, and take part in online surveys within groups. An effective survey utility helps the instructors to get insights into some important questions. Course creators and developers can implement discussion groups within the course to streamline collaboration between the learners.

By implementing this feature, both content creators and instructors can easily create groups that are more focused on specific learning needs or work-related tasks. Groups are also used for discussion and assignment submission.

Using advanced analytics and reporting, the instructors can easily supervise the students’ activities, new admissions, or learners. Apart from checking the enrollment status, the instructors can also use this feature to detect particular assessments that cause problems for students and fragment their course content in real-time.

Adaptive learning is used to improve the education process and modify the teaching methods based on that data in real-time. Open edX leverages this technique to enable the instructors to respond to the learners’ interactions in real-time. Adaptive learning offers individualized support.

All the learners have different levels of competencies. Some learn quickly and some take their own time. Competency-based learning is a flexible technique that allows the students to level up their skills at their own pace regardless of the learning environment. Open edX platform implements competency-based techniques to offer different types of courses to the learners according to their capabilities.

  • Skill-based scenarios
  • Self-directed assignments
  • Event-based learning

Comprehensive themes and customization options allow the content creators and developers to completely customize the online learning platform. Open edX platform offers a unique combination of customizing the user interface according to your business requirements.

Final Verdict

So now you see why the Open edX platform is so popular and has a user base of 19 million? It is an open-source platform that allows you to easily deploy your business platform and bring your content to your learners. This online platform is surely changing the future of online learning by offering the much-required solutions to the businesses that are in the online learning sector.

If you are an enterprise and want to offer training programs, learning courses, and gamified learning content, Open edX is a great tool for you. Redefine digital learning and offer your learners an immersive experience that not only improves engagement but also brings great profits.



Nishi Agrawal

Management Student, Digital Marketing Enthusiastic Interested in Web Security and Internet topics. Young Mind with creative thinking capabilities.