Patching a running Open edX instance?

I don’t know how to ask this, so, I’ll just describe the situation.

I’m helping with a course running on edx. The course is running in self-paced mode, but, people can view the progress page while they take the final exam which is setup so learners get infinite tries. The exam problems are configured such that they do not get feedback about their answer, that is, after they hit submit, they don’t get either a red x or a green check.

The problem is that while taking the final exam, dishonest learners may check the progress page before and after answering each question to determine if they got it right.

One way to fix this, (which is probably not possible) would be to grab a shell on the machine running the openedx instance and edit the html template file for the progress page so that it checks if the user is currently taking the final, and if so, skips rendering the progress page.

In lieu of doing that, does anyone have any ideas? I’m under the impression that it’s not possible to make changes to a running instance on edx, is that true? (I’m assuming they’re using an immutable container based solution)

What we’ve thought of:

  • Just hiding the progress page for everyone all the time (off the table for now)

TLDR: Is there a way to hide the progress page for people during their exam period?

Hi @DerekRhodes,

I see some possible solutions:

  1. easy: Use a proctoring tool, most of them are integrated into edx-platform using LTI components
  2. easy but the problems may persist: Bundle all the problems into one big problem component. The issue with this solution is that only problem components are allowed to be bundled together and this will not prevent users to see the progress page.
  3. easy, but users can enter to the progress page using the direct link: In the Pages tab in Studio, you can hide the progress tab.
  4. easy, but the issue persist: Limit the number of tries of the exam.
  5. hard: Use a redirection in nginx. This will hide the progress page for all students and for all courses.

You can also configure some sort of combination between those settings.

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Hey @Ian2012, thanks! I should have said more clearly, that this course is running on, from what I’ve been able to tell so far does not allow course runners access to the server, at all, which is probably necessary, beneficial and the right decision, but still does prevent quick fixes.

Woah, I’m going to have to test that out!

That might work, but it’s starting to look like #4 might be the most practical route. Thank you for taking the time to help!

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