Stanford has adopted an alternative discussion forum software called Piazza

And provided instructions for how to integrate it with Open 

MIT also has this integration with Discourse, but I've never tried it so I 
don't know how well it works.

And instructions are here:

On Friday, February 9, 2018 at 4:40:52 AM UTC-8, Antonello L. wrote:
> Hello,
>   I hope this is the right place for feedbacks on edX platform.
> This thread is about its software.
> I really appreciate that it can link discussion with actual content at the 
> finer scale, lesson or exercise.
> On the other hand if you read a bit of forums that compare edx with 
> coursera or udacity you will read that first complain for edx is its forum 
> software. It is really (on my subjective opinion) old fashion, ugly, 
> difficult and not much powerful (aside the already cited advantage of 
> proximity discussion/content).
> Is there any plan to refactor it to enable more feature while also 
> improving user friendyness (e.g. discourse, S.O...) ? It would really 
> deserve it!
> (as side comment, MathJax seems not to work in the android app, maxing 
> really useless the app for math-rich courses)
> Best regards,
>    Antonello Lobianco

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