Building open source tools for open access to syllabi.


Common Cartridge Viewer is an open source toolkit that allows users to view and share the contents of a Common Cartridge package. It includes a command line tool, as well as web-hosted version.

Common Cartridge (CC) is a set of open standards developed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium that aims to provide a standard way to represent digital course materials.The format allows Learning Management Systems (such as Moodle, Canvas, Brightspace) to be interoperable, that is syllabi and learning materials may be exported and imported between any compliant platform.

The Syllabi Explorer is a platform on which educators can publish and browse syllabi.

This project aims to address the lack of openly browsable repositories of syllabi and curricula. Currently, the curricula designed by educators are too often locked away behind the walls of proprietary software and institutional accounts. Despite the fact that educators typically own the intellectual property rights to the course material they develop, there are few tools that specifically support the open sharing and discovery of learning materials between teachers.

By and large, education is a field that thrives on open sharing and collaborative progress, and our goal with Syllabi Explorer is to create a platform that enables wide access to curricula.

Multimodal is an classroom-centric authoring and presentation app that aims to support educators’ workflow from curricula design through instruction. In authoring mode, material and media can be collected and structured in one place with ease, without having to adhere to the constraints of traditional presentation software. This allows educators to focus on the design of syllabi, rather than slides. Key concepts and material may be flagged inline, for presentation in the classroom. Presentation mode also features teaching tools such as live drawing, diagramming and discussion note-taking.

In the long run, the plan is to also build features to support iterating courses over semesters, and branched content, such as for multiple classes taking the same course.


Pierre Depaz is an academic, developer and artist. He is currently lecturing at NYU Berlin, the Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad-Wolf and Sciences Po Paris, while completing his doctoral thesis on the aesthetics of code under the direction of Alexandre Gefen (Sorbonne Nouvelle) and Nick Montfort (MIT). His academic research revolves around how software systems create representational frameworks for inter- and intra-personal organization.
Tobias Schmidt is a software engineer with a decade of experience of building software at Soundcloud and is an active contributor to the Prometheus and Kubernetes open-source ecosystems, amongst others. Over the last few years he has helped to integrate Prometheus in SoundCloud’s infrastructure and worked with product teams to deliver more reliable and secure software products.
Pat Shiu is an artist, designer and frontend engineer with a background in UX strategy. Pat was the Associate Director of Design at Rhizome, an arts organization that champions born-digital art and culture through commissions, exhibitions, digital preservation, and software development. At Rhizome, she was part of the team that developed Webrecorder, an open source suite of tools for web archiving.
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