Open edX Meetup - 2024-02-29 - Panel Discussion


Discussion panel 40 minutes, which includes Q&A time

  • Attendance - members of the TOC who will be there:

    • Ed

    • Nacho

    • Régis

    • Xavier

    • Others?

  • Ed introduces and moderates

    • We agree on some questions that Ed would ask

    • Each question is answered and debated by several board members, as a discussion?

      • It would be more natural this way, rather than each board member answering their own question or presenting something specific? And this way we can show that we have different perspectives on each topic

      • To intervene during a panel discussion, use a Slack channel to coordinate turns to talk? Or maybe that can be done in Gather directly? We “raise our hand” there, and Ed tells us when to talk (and when to expedite a response )

  • Q&A time

    • To get better questions and allow to interject them during discussions, use a question ranking tool like Slido? This could allow

Agenda / Questions

Intro > 1M

By Ed?

What is the TOC? > 3M

History by Ed? with comments from the group

  • Prepare 1 or 3 slides

  • When and why was it created? History of the governance structure (before the 2U switch with as the sole "elephant", after with the creation of Axim and the TOC)

  • What the TOC is -- a place for discussion and decision-making about the Open edX project, between some of its main stakeholders: 3 seats for 2U/edX, 3 seats for Axim (including one for Harvard and one for MIT), and 3 seats for the rest of the community (elected every 2 years)

  • What the TOC isn't -- a source of funding (its members), the place to take all decisions (for most decisions the project contributors are empowered with being able to take them - the TOC is more for bigger topics, with a perspective towards the long term health of the project)

Who are the TOC members? 5M

Slide for absent members: 1M

We each introduce ourselves: > 1M/each (4M total)

  • Share a little bit about your background

  • Why is the Open edX project important to you?

  • How do you plan to be involved in helping the Open edX project realize its potential?

What were some of the recent discussions and decisions? 6M

Each of us picks one? 2M each @ 3 (6M)

What do you think is the biggest opportunity for the Open edX platform in the next year?  3M/each (12M)

  • What recent projects do you think have had the most impact for the platform?

  • What future projects are you looking forward to?

  • In your opinion, what are the main issues that are affecting the platform?


  • We already have Axim, repo maintainers and working groups dedicated to Open edX, why do we need the TOC?

    • Most of the decisions are taken directly by repo maintainers, core contributors or working groups - and it’s meant to remain that way, the TOC means to keep those who do the work empowered to take every day decisions about it.

    • But for topics or decisions with a long term impact on the project, or if there are divergent opinions and approaches on an important topic, the TOC is meant as a higher level place which can take larger decisions about the project.

    • It also aims to represent the project stakeholders more broadly, including not just Axim, but other organizations and board members elected by the community.

  • Will the decisions of the TOC override the decisions made by maintainers?

    • Rarely, though that is a potential recourse. It would be an extreme case though for the TOC to become involved in overriding decisions from maintainers, in general the TOC would be looking to discuss, and find consensus - and generally would take more general decisions than the scope of a given maintainer’s work.

  • The TOC is supposedly composed of 9 people. Why are there only 8 of them listed here?

  • In recent times, many Open edX experts have more or less left the community (Edulib, FUN, 2U). This is a huge loss for the community. What is the TOC going to do about it?

    • First some of them haven’t left the community - 2U is still very much involved in Open edX, keeps running it, maintaining and contributing huge parts of it. Just less of it - and this can be good for the project by increasing its elephant factor. Others like FUN and Edulib are going out, though FUN still also runs a large Open edX site, and the Edulib courses are moving to

    • However, we also have people arriving or developing their use of Open edX - the initiative from the Spanish government is one, Ethiopia is setting up their own instance, Harvard Medical School is broadening and deepening its use of Open edX, etc. The community always had some people leaving and joining over time - it’s part of any healthy community.

    • We just need to keep improving our project good practices, that’s what will allow not only to replace those leaving, but also improve the health of the project, by allowing more participation from its users. It’s for example exciting to see several university working together on contributing the course sidebar - now when something is wrong or missing, instead of only being able to complain about it, now it’s easier than ever to contribute a solution.