Exploring and Building Open [Source] Software for Learning Ecosystems


SFU’s fourth annual DEMOfest is scheduled for Wed, November 21st and I hope to share with my fellow educators how the Grav CMS can be used to expand and enhance Canvas - here’s my submitted proposal:

Expanding and Enhancing Canvas with the Open Source Grav CMS
Tech-savvy educators! Want to incorporate more open and collaborative materials within Canvas? How about improving the online experience? Faced with this challenge, Paul Hibbitts developed components for the file-based Grav CMS ( to effectively work inside of his CMPT-363 Canvas course ( Grav uses the platform-independent Markdown format and enables collaborative editing by students and instructors with Git-based services such as GitHub and GitLab. These also naturally support the 5 Rs (Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute) of Open Educational Resources. Integrating Grav pages within Canvas is seamless too - without any content restrictions.

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 me...

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 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 easie...

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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With the release of the Open Course Hub 2.0 package, three example sites are included in the Course Hub Bootstrap theme’s _demo folder; basic, intermediate and advanced. Let’s take a brief look at the visual appearance and highlights of each example:

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