Exploring and Building Open [Source] Software for Tech-savvy Educators and OER Publishers


I’ve been feverishly working in the open on the Fall 2016 Course Hub (built with my Grav Course Hub and using a flipped-LMS approach, naturally!) for SFU CMPT 363 so that potential students can better self-assess course fit before online registration starts on July 4th.

A significant change...

I’ve been thinking about all the different activities involved so far in the creation of the Grav Course Hub, and I thought I would share them here:

I’ve been further refining my sustainable approach of an open design practice for my experience design work in the education field, and (bravely or foolishly) I’ve attempted to craft a working definition of the phrase:

What is a flipped LMS?
A flipped LMS approach is where an open platform, in the control of course participants, serves as an alternative front-end to the institutional LMS

Flipped-LMS approach
Figure 1. Flipped-LMS approach.

Why flip the LMS?
To support pedagogical goals unmet by current LMS/platform
To deliver a better student (and facilitator) experience
To increase capability of access, sharing and collaboration

While trying to visualize my flipped-LMS approach using an open and collaborative platform, it’s become apparent that I am looking at two distinct, though related, models.

As a modern flat-file CMS, Grav can take full advantage of today’s ecosystem of open and collaborative editing services, such as GitHub or GitLab. In this article we will look at how to easily use Grav with GitHub Desktop (which uses GitHub and Git for source control) and the automatic deployment service Deploy to result in a very efficient, open and collaborative workflow. No scripting or command line interactions will be required, I promise.

Recently, I’ve been exploring ways to use the modern flat-file CMS Grav as a simple open publishing tool. Grav is a natural candidate for this usage, as all content is stored as individual files which can be stored on a variety of open and collaborative editing environments (e.g. GitHub).

I’ve been trying to formulate a sustainable approach of an open design practice for my experience design work in the education field, and I think I am getting closer to defining a workable approach: