I am excited to be sharing the most recent developments of my Grav Open Course Hub project at the Festival of Learning on May 29th.

Here is the description of my session:

Delivering a Better Experience by Using the Open, Collaborative and Flexible Grav CMS – Inside or Outside of your LMS

Want to provide students and course facilitators a better online experience but still want or need to use the existing institutional LMS? Faced with this exact challenge, Paul Hibbitts started to develop a set of components in 2016 for the modern Grav Content Management System to partner with his institution’s LMS (Canvas). Grav leverages forward-looking standards such as Markdown for platform-independent content and enables Git-based (i.e. GitHub, GitLab, GitBook, etc.) collaborative workflows, both which naturally also supports the 5 Rs of Open Educational Resources. In addition, the ability to use GitHub Desktop for mirroring Git-based content to one’s own computer for backup and editing with the tools of your choice not only brings peace of mind but also a highly efficient workflow.


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Open Publishing Space with Git Sync is designed to publish, share and collaboratively edit Markdown-based content using the modern flat-file Grav CMS. I am happy to share the news that a customized version of the new Grav default theme Quark, using the Lightweight, Responsive and Modern CSS Framework Spectre CSS Framework, is now the standard Open Publishing Space theme!

Open Publishing Space Blog List Figure 1. Open Publishing Space Blog List

The original Open Publishing Space theme, a customized version of the Antimatter theme, is still available.


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With an unexpected opportunity to teach SFU CMPT 363 User Interface Design this summer, I’ve been feverishly working in the open on the accompanying Canvas LMS site (leveraging my Grav Open Course Hub project) so that potential students can better self-assess course fit before our first class meets in-person on May 9th. It’s also already proven to be a great way to start conversations with those students already registered.

The summer offering brings some changes, with the addition of a journey mapping individual assignment and using a single open source application for both individual and group assignments.

Here is the list of apps I am using to reach my pedagogical and student/facilitator experience goals this term (with lots of open source goodness):

Grav CMS
GitLab (hosted at sfu.ca)
GitHub Atom
Swipe
RocketChat
Sandstorm
Canvas LMS (well, no surprises there)

You can check out the in-progress Canvas site for the course at https://canvas.sfu.ca/courses/38847.

CMPT-363 Summer 2018 Canvas Site, with Embedded Grav Open Course Hub Pages Figure 1. CMPT-363 Summer 2018 Canvas Site, with Embedded Grav Open Course Hub Pages

A brief video demonstrating how locally hosted H5P content can be used with the Grav Open Course Hub (once you have set the source URL of the H5P content):

With the most recent release of the Grav Open Course Hub, site authors can insert H5P content (hosted on h5p.org) into any page using a simple Shortcode (i.e. [h5p id="712"]). In addition, a new H5P button is now available in the Admin Panel page editor to make using the H5P Shortcode even easier!

Grav H5P Shortcode and Admin Panel Editor Button
Figure 1. Grav H5P Shortcode and Admin Panel Editor Button.

Preview of H5P content in the Admin Panel
Figure 2. Preview of H5P content in the Admin Panel.

The development of this new Shortcode was greatly simplified by the amazing Shortcode Core Plugin, which lets Grav authors add their own custom Shortcodes.

H5P content is still supported via a custom content type (i.e. where custom fields are use to hold H5P information), which provides further flexibility for displaying one instance of a Grav page containing H5P content in multiple areas of a site via the Page Inject Plugin.

H5P custom content type page
Figure 3. H5P custom content type page.

Getting to Know Grav (via bavatuesdays.com)

Getting to Know Grav

I recently highlighted some of the key things to know about the Grav Open Course Hub project, and I thought I would share them here too:


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A Ride on the Grav-y Train (via bavatuesdays.com)

A Ride on the Grav-y Train