OERbit

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OERbit: Open.Michigan’s Drupal Publishing Platform for OER


Image:OERbit-wordmark-logo.png

Contents

One-Sentence Intro

OERbit is a Drupal-based publishing platform to share publicly licensed learning resources (OER/OCW) with the world. [infosheet]

Background

The Open.Michigan team at the University of Michigan, together with Switchback, created and deployed OERbit as the publishing platform for the Open.Michigan website. The platform was designed with OER/OCW in mind and is built on the Drupal CMS. OERbit provides a basic set of functionality for OER/OCW publishers, including course and resource-based navigation, flexible content hierarchies, Creative Commons license integration, and RSS distribution, as well as RDFa output. The code is open source and available for download and distribution on GitHub.

How is OERbit different from standard Drupal?

Below is a short list of some of the features available in OERbit. For a more detailed description, refer to our blog posting announcing Open.Michigan's platform upgrade. OERbit enables the following:

  • Flexible hierarchical organization of content (e.g., schools and colleges > departments > specializations - as many levels deep as you want)
  • Course/resource content types (special content types provide an easy template for displaying a course or resource and its associated materials)
  • Flexible publishing workflow paired with a revisioning system
  • Different user roles can participate in the publishing process
  • Users can create alternate revisions of a page/node while the existing node remains published (and unaltered)
  • Creative Commons license integration that goes beyond enabling the CC Drupal module (a user can specify a CC license for each material that's uploaded or each course/resource they create)
  • Apache SOLR search, which bypasses the generic Drupal search feature
  • Full RDFa metadata for each course/resource
  • RSS feeds at various levels of the hierarchy
  • A simplified publishing interface
  • One-click download of all materials for a course/resource

Getting started

The Open.Michigan site is running OERbit with a few localized modifications -- you can test out some of the front-end features on our site. To demo the back-end of the publishing system, we've created a few resources below to help you out.

OERbit Demo

There are a few ways you can demo OERbit:

  1. Watch the video walk-through of OERbit's main features. (Intro Video) EASIEST
  2. Play with it, live. (http://open.umich.edu) DARN EASY
  3. Check out some screenshots of the publishing process. (Screenshots) EASY
  4. Quickly download and run OERbit on your laptop/desktop computer. (MAC || WINDOWS) NOT SO TOUGH
  5. Install and configure OERbit on your own server. (Installation Guide) SKILLZ REQUIRED

If you choose to test OERbit on your computer or server, try out the OERbit publishing steps to see how it works.

Docs

  • OERbit Install/Upgrade instructions
  • Git help and documentation. Installation is easiest if you have Git installed. The commands you need to use are given in the installation instructions above.
  • OERbit publishing steps. Once you have OERbit installed (on a server or as a demo), these steps will guide you through publishing your OER/OCW.
  • Ways Customize OERbit. If you're planning to deploy OERbit for yourself or your organization, here are some ways that you can customize it to match the experience you want your users to have.

Mailing list

Although we make no promises or guarantees to respond or actually be helpful, questions, rants (especially rants), raves, general comments are welcome on the OERbit Google group. The archives are publicly viewable but posting is restricted to members, so please join and let us know your thoughts on OERbit.

License

OERbit and Drupal are released under the GPLv2 license.

Development

Source code The code is hosted on GitHub at http://github.com/openmichigan/oerbit. You are encouraged to fork this code, we'd love to receive patches, enhancements etc. if you have code to contribute, please commit to a branch in your fork and create a pull request on Github.

Mailing list We'd like to manage all discussion, including development related matters via the OERbit Google group at http://groups.google.com/group/oerbit. Posting is restricted to members but anyone can read and search through the archives.

Bugs, enhancements, feature requests If you encounter a bug; would like an existing feature enhanced; or would like to request a new feature please look at the issue tracker on Github. Search through the tracker and if you don't see something similar to what you'd like to say, please create a new one. If someone has already said what you were intending to say, you may vote for your issue.

If you're not on Github, please sign up, it's free if you'd like to participate in projects or if you'd like to host open source projects. It's also quite fun to collaborate on projects via Github. If you're really not interested, you may join the OERbit Google group and share your thoughts on the group.

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